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As one of the fastest growing full service airlines globally, Hainan  Airlines now operates over 1400 routes, linking 110 cities. Our rapidly expanding, modern fleet features Boeing 737, Airbus 330, and  the  world’s  most  advanced  aircraft,  the  Boeing  787  Dreamliner.  With over six million hours of safety operation records, Hainan Airlines is one of only ten SKYTRAX 5-star rated airlines. Our mission  is to provide safer and more reliable service with more personal ized and elegant service both in the air and on the ground.

NEWS World Travel Awards has revealed its Middle East Gala Ceremony will be hosted in Ras Al Khaimah on April 19th The red-carpet ceremony heralds the opening leg of the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2018 - a search for the finest travel and tourism organisations in the world. The Grand Tour 2018 also marks World Travel Awards’ 25th anniversary of honouring excellence in the international hospitality industry. It will be World Travel Awards first visit to Ras Al Khaimah, the most northerly of the UAE’s seven emirates. The burgeoning tourism hotspot boasts

an enviable climate, traditional culture, sandy beaches and a wealth of activities, including the world’s longest zipline, Jebel Jais Flight, on the UAE’s highest mountain. Hospitality leaders from across the region will gather for WTA’s Middle East Gala Ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah on April 19th to see who among them has been voted the best in the business.

Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “It will be an absolute pleasure to visit Ras Al Khaimah for the very first time. Fringed by the majestic Al Hajar Mountains amid swathes of terracotta coloured dunes, Ras Al Khaimah promises an authentic Arabian experience. World Travel Awards has maintained its position as the industry leader for the past 25 years, consistently proving its value as the global benchmark for excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality business.”

The WTA Middle East Gala Ceremony 2018 will take place alongside the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference which runs from April 17th-19th. The leading hotel investment conference connects business leaders from the international and local markets, driving investment into tourism projects, infrastructure and hotel development across the region. It is attended by the highest calibre international hotel investors of any conference in the Middle East.

As part of the Grand Tour 2018, WTA is also hosting ceremonies in Athens (Greece), Jamaica, Hong Kong, Guayaquil (Ecuador), Durban (South Africa), with the winners progressing to the Grand Final in Lisbon (Portugal).

Voting for the WTA Middle East Gala Ceremony is now open and runs until March 18th.

Find out more at



ALL THE LATEST FROM BREAKING TRAVEL NEWS With so much to keep track of here at ITB Berlin it is easy to lose track. Fortunately Breaking Travel News is here to help, bringing you the latest headlines from the key players here at the world’s largest travel show. Atlantis Sanya, the flagship resort on beautiful Hainan Island, has opened its doors and welcomed its first guests. The much-anticipated opening of China’s first integrated entertainment resort is set to enhance Hainan’s incredible tourism proposition. Located on the Haitang Bay National Coast, Atlantis Sanya is the first Atlantis resort in China, joining the flagship Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai as well as The Royal Atlantis Resort & Residences in Dubai and Atlantis, Ko Olina in Hawaii, both currently in development. Serge Zaalof, chief operating officer, Atlantis Resorts & Residences, commented: “The Atlantis brand is known for unique, ocean-themed destinations offering a wide variety of entertainment experiences and Atlantis Sanya is no exception. The owner, Fosun International, is an

incredible partner and together we have created a resort that offers unprecedented experiences to its guests.” Atlantis Sanya encompasses 540,000 square meters of unparalleled excitement and larger than life experiences embodied in China’s newest luxury resort. “When you combine 1,314 guestrooms including 154 suites, five of which are underwater suites, impeccable design from talents like Jeffrey Beers International and Hirsch Bedner Associates Design and an incredible water adventure at Aquaventure Waterpark, we know we are giving people unparalleled experiences new to Hainan Island and China, that only Atlantis can deliver,” added Heiko Schreiner, managing director, Atlantis Sanya.”


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During their stay at Atlantis, guests will be delighted to discover a wealth of impeccable dining choices at the resort with 21 different restaurants, cafes, lounges, and bars that include the signature Ossiano Underwater Restaurant and Bar, as well as celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s awarding winning Bread Street Kitchen and Bar. Atlantis also features a sophisticated and exclusive Ahava spa, boutiques of world famous brands, a conference centre and multi-function ballrooms, ideal for all leisure and MICE events. Already a leading holiday destination, Sanya, Hainan Island will be transformed into the new pinnacle of entertainment in China with the addition of this new trailblazing landmark.


Dubai recorded a strong 6.2 per cent year-on-year increase in international overnight visitation in 2017, accelerating the five per cent growth witnessed in the previous year. The milestone propels the emirate towards its 2020 goal of welcoming 20 million visitors per year by the start of the next decade. According to the latest data published by Dubai’s Department of Tourism & Com-

merce Marketing, a total of 15.79 million tourists visited Dubai last year, setting a new record for the emirate and underlining the sustained strength and resilience of its travel and tourism sector. Commenting on the annual performance, Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai Tourism, said: “Our strong 6.2 per cent growth in 2017 has allowed us to ramp up the pace towards meeting our 2020 targets, and today Dubai’s travel and tourism sector is not only well positioned to offer a superlative destination experience across its eight core strategic propositions, but also geared to accelerate its appeal to the diverse and evolving needs of our global travellers. With Dubai firmly consolidating its position as the fourth most visited city globally, we remain confident that our performance.” In terms of country-specific performance, India retained top spot in 2017, contributing 2.1 million visitors, becoming the first country to cross the two million mark in a single year. Third-placed UK, meanwhile, delivered 1.27 million travellers, rising two per cent over 2016, underscoring Dubai’s enduring popularity among British travellers despite lingering uncertainty surrounding Brexit that has impacted overall outbound travel growth from this market.


WORLDWIDE VOTING WINDOW FOR WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS MIDDLE EAST NOW OPEN Industry insiders, consumers and stakeholders from around the world have been invited to cast their votes ahead of the Middle East Gala Ceremony 2018

2018, World Travel Awards will also visit Greek capital Athens, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Guayaquil in Ecuador, the South African city of Durban, and Portuguese tourism hotspot Lisbon


Ras Al Khaimah – one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE – will host World Travel Awards’ much anticipated Middle East Gala Ceremony on April 19th. It will be the first time that World Travel Awards has visited the UAE’s most northerly emirate which recently entered the global spotlight with the launch of the world’s longest zipline, Jebel Jais


Flight, on the UAE’s highest mountain. World Travel Awards founder, Graham Cooke, said: “It will be an absolute pleasure to visit Ras Al Khaimah for the very first time. Fringed by the majestic Al Hajar Mountains amid swathes of terracotta coloured dunes, Ras Al Khaimah promises an authentic Arabian experience.

With voting now open for our Middle East region, it’s time to make your voice heard. Recognition by World Travel Awards is rightly seen as the highest accolade in the industry, and your vote can really make a difference.” He added: “Register for your chance to vote now.” As part of the Grand Tour

World Travel Awards celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade. Attended by senior executives from major travel companies, operators, destinations, WTA events are universally respected as providing established, top level networking opportunities, regionally and globally. The brand aims to celebrate those organisations who push the boundaries of industry excellence. For more information on World Travel Awards, please visit the official website at www.

Exhibition Grounds Messegelände


ITB Berlin 2018 07 – 11 March


Asia-Pacific Asien-Pazifik 5.2a

– South Asia / Südasien – Australia, Pacific / Australien, Pazifik 5.2b – India/Indien 3.1b,7.2a – Central Asia / Zentralasien 26 – Far East, Southeast Asia / Fernost, Südostasien


Tourism Companies Touristische Unternehmen

Carrier, Hotels, Tour Operators / Reiseveranstalter 8.1, 9, 10.1, 13, 14.1, 24, 25

Segments Segmente

Germany Deutschland

4.1 – Youth Travel, Adventure Travel, Responsible Tourism, Economy Accommodation, ITB Stages 5.1 – ITB Travel Technology 6.1 – ITB Travel Technology, eTravel World 7.1c – ITB Travel Technology, eTravel World 8.1 – ITB Travel Technology 10.1 – ITB Travel Technology 11.1 – Career Center 16 – CULTURE LOUNGE 21b – Gay & Lesbian Travel (LGBT) 21b – Medical Tourism 25 – Cruises / Kreuzfahrten

Europe Europa

Media Center Medienzentrum

Africa Afrika

4.2a, 20, 21a

Arabian Countries, Israel Arabische Staaten, Israel 2.2, 4.2b, 21b

Americas / Caribbean Amerika / Karibik 3.1a, 22, 23

6.2, 7.2c, 8.2, 11.2, 12

1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 7.2b, 10.2, 15.1, 17, 18

As of/ Stand: 2018-01-15

M1 M2

ITB Berlin Convention ITB Berlin Kongress 4.1 6.1

– ITB Workshop Days – eTravel World: eTravel Stage, eTravel Start-Up Day 7.1a – ITB Business Travel Forum – ITB City Tourism Forum – ITB CSR Day – ITB Destination Days – ITB Experts Forum Wellness – ITB German Tourism Forum – ITB MICE Forum – ITB MICE Hub – ITB Tourism for Sustainable Development Day – Home of Business Travel Forum by ITB & VDR 7.1b – ITB Future Day – ITB Marketing & Distribution Day – ITB Zambia Tourism Forum 7.1c – eTravel World: eTravel Lab, ITB Hospitality Tech Forum 11.1 – ITB Young Professionals Day Palais – ITB Convention Awards City-Shuttle Lounge Marshall-Haus

5.3, 6.3

Hotel-Shuttle Airport-Shuttle Tegel

Business Lounge

Messe Berlin GmbH ∙ Messedamm 22 ∙ 14055 Berlin ∙ Germany T +49 30 3038 0 ∙ F +49 30 3038 2113 ∙

Shuttle P+R Olympischer Platz INFOX Package Foyer 1.1/2.1


Enjoy your stay at Zurich Airport



MOMENTUM HOUSE, LOWER ROAD, LONDON SE1 8SJ, UNITED KINGDOM Tel +44 (0) 20 7925 0000 To subscribe to the free daily newsletter or sign up via the website EDITOR (editorial) Christopher O’Toole ADVERTISING CHAIRMAN, CEO Graham Cooke GROUP SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT Kevin Taylor EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Chris Frost

Boeing and Aeroméxico have celebrated the delivery of the first of up to 90 737 MAX airplanes. Mexico’s global airline plans to use the more fuel-efficient and longer-range MAX jets to expand its network across the Americas. In 2012 Aeroméxico placed an order for up to 90 MAX airplanes, including the MAX 8 and the larger MAX 9 variant. The two models offer the airline the flexibility to fly between approximately 160 and 190 passengers on flights of about 3,550 nautical miles (6,570 kilometres), both with better operating costs and passenger experience. “We are very proud to be one of the first airlines in Latin America operating this aircraft, which allows us to provide operational efficiencies that translate into multiple benefits for our clients, both in terms of their experience on-board and the options they have to reach their destination,” said Andrés Conesa, chief executive of Aeroméxico. Aeroméxico, the largest airline in Mexico, operates one of the most technologically-advanced fleets in the region. It is a leading operator of the 787 Dreamliner. “We are honoured to expand our partnership with Aeroméxico and welcome them to the 737 MAX family,” said Ricardo Cavero, vice president, Latin America sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 737 MAX will provide Aeroméxico with unmatched reliability, fuel efficiency and a premium on-board experience for its passengers.”





Destinations ITB Berlin Hall 2.1 Stand 208

New from Winter 2018/19 · Gran Canaria


Easy & stress of



· First Beach Row · Local Cuisine · Body & Soul Entertainment · Breakfast for late Risers




New from Winter 2018/19

Gran Canaria




you · All Inclusive · Only-Adults and Family-Areas · 24 h Snack Area · Extensive Animation





Jumeirah Group’s first hotel in the Kingdom of Bahrain has opened. Jumeirah Royal Saray offers a new wave of understated luxury on a private beach in the northern coastal Seef district. Architecturally inspired by traditional Bahraini summerhouses, the hotel will blend history and modern culture with a chic dining, spa and pool scene. The new 174 room hotel will feature stunning rooms, unique summerhouses and royal residences, poolside cabanas and an upscale casual and trendy restaurant featuring a fantastic Gin bar. A spectacular lounge, The Palm Lounge, overlooks

the turquoise blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, serving world class coffee by Colombian baristas and French Patisserie. The Al Hadiqa pool cabanas will offer guests fresh blended cocktails in a Mediterranean ambience complete with ancient olive trees that adorn the pool. Indoor and outdoor meeting spaces will be able to accommodate more than 400 people and Talise, Jumeirah’s own brand, will eventually offer a wide range of signature treatments from a destination spa, sitting in its own wing.

As general manager of the hotel, Nordine El Yafi is responsible for introducing Jumeirah’s unique approach to luxury hospitality to Bahrain. Commenting on the opening of Jumeirah Royal Saray, El Yafi, said: “Jumeirah Royal Saray is an important opening for us as it’s our first in Bahrain and first in 2018. The hotel will become a key reason for international visitors to discover Bahrain, an ideal destination for a weekend escape for visitors from across the GCC, and a gastronomic hotspot in the city. We are confident that this landmark,

understated luxury hotel will have great appeal to the growing number of tourists visiting Bahrain every year and become a particular favourite of Bahrain residents.” The design of guest rooms within Jumeirah Royal Saray pays homage to the Bahraini pearl diving industry with the colours of nacres (mother of pearl), silvers, and shimmering ocean blue tones. Located 15 minutes from the airport, the hotel is set in an ideal location in the prestigious district of Seef, with its stunning coastline, luxury living and high-end shopping malls.




Saudi Arabia has more than 64,000 rooms across the three phases of the hotel development pipeline, according to data from STR. That room total represents 76 per cent of the more than 84,500 existing hotel rooms in the country. As shown in STR’s January Pipeline Report, there are 187 hotel projects total in Saudi Arabia between the planning, final planning and construction stages. The construction phase represents the largest portion of the pipeline with almost 40,000 rooms in 94 projects. At the market level, Makkah is set to receive the

largest amount of new supply with more than 23,000 rooms In Construction and more than 32,000 rooms total in the pipeline. Jeddah and Riyadh are each approaching 10,000 rooms total in the three phases of the pipeline. STR area director for the Middle East and Africa, Philip Wooller, commented on the market’s supply development: “Saudi Arabia’s hotel market is going through a period of massive supply expansion. In the short term, we’ve already seen this growth affect performance levels, and this trend should continue as more and

more properties start to come online. But it is important to note that this is part of a major long-term investment for the market to further develop its infrastructure to accommodate millions of annual visitors, which come for religious pilgrimages and as new tourism attractions spring up as part of Vision 2030.” Wooller notes that Vision 2030 was announced in 2017 as an initiative aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on oil. Included in the plan were major investments in the country’s tourism sector. The most notable project in the tourism seg-

ment is the Red Sea beach resort project, a new luxury destination along part of Saudi Arabia’s west coast, scheduled for construction to begin in 2019. According to STR analysts, this attraction has the potential for strong tourism business, with indications that some restrictions of the country’s religious customs will be eased in this area. Wooller stresses the importance of considering these longterm developments when assessing Saudi Arabia’s hotel performance.


ITB CONVENTION: FOCUS ON ECOLOGICAL RESPONSIBILITY IN BERLIN Overtourism, integrating refugees and the financial viability of social tourism projects: these are just some of the key topics that this year’s ITB Berlin will examine under the ‘sustainability’ heading

From March 7th-9th experts from around the world will discuss key issues and possible solutions at the ITB Berlin Convention, on the stages in Hall. 4.1 and at numerous other forums. “Our aim is to make use of the unique international platform that ITB offers to give sustainability and responsibility in


tourism a voice,” said Rika Jean-Francois, CSR officer at ITB Berlin. “Against a backdrop of climate change, growing ocean pollution, alarming human rights abuses, overtourism and global warming the need for this has never been more urgent.” Large visitor flows are

increasingly posing major challenges, particularly for big cities. Accordingly, overtourism is a topic that numerous speakers will address at the ITB Convention. On Wednesday, March 7th, the ITB Future Day, together with Margaux Constantin, associate principal of McKinsey, Gloria Guevara

Manzo, president of WTTC, will present the latest McKinsey report. On March 7th, Destination Day 1, based on a survey conducted by the German Society for Tourism Research and the Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism, representatives of a number of cities con-


cerned, including Barcelona, Amsterdam and Dubrovnik, will present their respective measures to counter overtourism. On Friday, March 9th, Destination Day 2, tourism experts will highlight how digital technology can help to manage visitor flows outside cities too. On CSR Day, tourism experts will discuss the difficulties and opportunities that the booming sharing economy presents. Furthermore, for the first time at ITB Berlin, the OECD will present its findings on financing the development of sustainable tourism. Michael Lutzeyer, manager of the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve South Africa, and Niko Paech of Universität Siegen, will take part in the unconventional Hot Seat format and discuss the ambivalent relationship between tourism and sustainability.

On Thursday, March 8th, ITB Berlin 2018 will see a continuation of last year’s theme, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism declared by UNWTO, in the shape of the Sustainable Development Day. Together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the German Society for International Cooperation speakers will spend the afternoon discussing this topic in Room 7.1a.

organised by The Code and the working group ECPAT on the dangers of voluntary tourism work. Key topics will include protecting children from sexual abuse.

including Iran, the Oder Delta, the Azores, Formentera, Dominica, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, as well as Kenya, which has much more to offer than ‘Big Five’ game hunting.

This is the fifteenth year that the PowWow for Tourism Professionals will take place on the small stage in Hall 4.1. On Wednesday, March 7th, the main topic will be coastal protection. Taking the North Sea as an example, a presentation by Universität Oldenburg will examine ocean pollution by plastics. Other programme highlights will include a panel discussion on ’Land and Resource Rights of Coastal Fishing Communities in the Era of Tourism Development’ as well as a presentation on sustainable fishing practices.

Rounding off the trade visitor days, ITB will be inviting visitors to the international Responsible Tourism Networking Event on Friday, March 9th at 18:00, which this year will take place for the tenth time at ITB Berlin on the small stage in Hall 4.1b. ITB Berlin Convention Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors and exhibitors. For more information please visit or

On all the days open to trade visitors it will be possible to gain an insight into sustainable activities at numerous destinations,

Hall 4.1 – the place to head As in previous years, the events on both stages in Hall 4.1 will focus on ecological and social responsibility. Thus, at the Youth Forum a workshop held by Heike Bähre, HWR Berlin, will invite visitors to examine the opportunities for integrating refugees in the tourism industry. Also taking place on the large stage will be a discussion


ITB CONVENTION: YOUTH TRAVEL AT ITB BERLIN ITB Berlin visitors can get comprehensive information on youth travel

As in previous years, Hall 4.1 will be the place to head for Youth Travel & Economy Accommodation, where tourism associations, organisations and tour operators will be presenting their services and latest products. The displays are next door to the Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism segment where hotels for backpackers, budget hotels and designer hotels as well as youth


hostels, internet websites and associations will be presenting their services for young people. A wide range of events on youth travel awaits visitors to the stage and the Youth Incoming Germany Lounge. Together with the youth travel operator and holiday search engine Juvigo a total of six tourism start-ups will be presenting themselves to trade visitors and the youth

travel community. The focus will be on new digital products which are certain to be of great interest to companies in this market. The Start-up Forum on the ’Digitalisation of Youth Travel’ will take place on Wednesday, March 7th, from 12:00-15:00. The day after, the programme will take a special look at tourism destinations. On Thursday, March 8th, from 12:00-15:30,

under the heading of ’Youth Travel Destinations’, visitors can find out how regions can obtain certification from the travel network Deutscher Fachverband für Jugendreisen for this group of customers. The Arberland and Schliersee regions, the first two destinations to have received certification, will relate their experiences and success. The travel network will also have wide-ranging information

F E AT U R E ‘Photo Box’. A single click will let them travel all day to different destinations where they can have their photos taken against a backdrop of their choice. They can also design their own festival armband or individual button. The Music Station featuring the popular video game Guitar Hero is all about being creative too. Visitors to the stand can produce their own sound and be part of an imaginary band. And just like at open-air festivals they can get a special souvenir in the shape of a genuine henna tattoo. on procedures as well as benefits and marketing opportunities for interested destinations. On Friday, March 9th, from 14:00, and on Saturday, March 10th, from 10:30, the programme will be rounded off by a two-day seminar for teachers and trainee teachers on ’Certification for School Trips’. At the seminar, which is being organised in association with A&O Hotels and Hostels and Welcome Berlin Tours, key points will include legal and safety aspects when travelling, organising school trips, the certification of hotels/ hostels for this market and considerations when taking coach trips. On Thursday, March 8th, from 17:00-18:00, a panel discussion will devote itself to the important topic of general safety and the safety of children and young people when travelling. Dennis Peinze,

managing director of BundesForum Kinder- und Jugendreisen, will moderate the event. Experts will discuss the standards established in recent years, especially those aimed at preventing sexual abuse. Safety concepts and quality criteria will be equally important topics, as well as extensive training of full-time and voluntary supervisors. Among those taking part in the panel discussion will be Eva Lingen, regional managing director of the child protection agency Deutscher Kinderschutzbund in North Rhine-Westphalia, and Lisi Maier, federal chair of the catholic youth organisation Bund der Deutschen Katholischen Jugend.

Hochschule Bremen will be organising the world’s smallest festival on the display area of YIG. This event at ITB Berlin addresses a topical trend, as for young people festivals offer an important reason for travelling. Accordingly, a wide range of events has been scheduled. Visitors can take home a personal souvenir from a


Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors and exhibitors. For more information please visit or

On the weekend of the show the main theme will be ‘Rockin‘ All Over the World’. From 14:00-18:00 on Saturday and Sunday, the two days open to the public, students of


When global actually is global Worldwide business travel spend is expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020. As travel spend rises, effective travel management becomes more and more important.

In 2016, half of corporates spending half a million (or more) on travel were contracted with a single Travel Management Company (TMC) for managed travel services worldwide. Single sourcing offers a myriad of benefits to the corporate including visibility of spend, traveller tracking and compliance as well as cost savings. Travel programs became increasingly global in the 2000’s. The proportion of corporates with more than 20 countries in their programs rose from 17% in 2001 to 49% by 2014. This was driven by the same factors that make single sourcing so attractive to travel buyers. TMCs themselves have contributed towards the globalisation of travel by consolidating to grow revenues and to provide services multinationally. Technology has also enabled the big TMCs to offer both online booking tools and a why FCM’s 90+ in-country teams are all fully-trained. Providing a global travel program doesn’t mean a ‘one size fits all’ approach either. Having teams on the ground who understand their local markets, but who have the common technology platform and processes to use that knowledge consistently is the hallmark of a truly global TMC.

Visit to find out more.

Global workforce As the cost of attracting and retaining talent rises for the world’s employers, the company travel program will increasingly be regarded as a means to retain staff by turning the demands of regular travel into a process in which the individual’s needs are in-built intuitively. That talent needs to be mobile too; the “gig” economy reflects a work environment where temporary contract positions are common, and companies use independent workers to fill short-term engagements. The implications of this on travel management are immense, and make the decision of TMC more crucial to the achievement of corporate goals. FCM has established a proven track record of transforming the Travel Programs of companies all over the world. To find more visit


ITB BERLIN 2018: STRONG ECONOMIC BOOST FROM THE LEADING TRAVEL TRADE SHOW ITB Berlin reflects worldwide dynamic developments and growth in the travel industry (ITB Asia) and China (ITB China), under one label. At the 52nd edition of ITB Berlin around 10,000 tourism companies from 186 countries and regions will be represented on an area covering 160,000 square metres at the Messe Berlin fairgrounds. Over 80 percent of the exhibitors are from abroad. Once again the organisers expect more than 100,000 international trade visitors seeking prosperous business opportunities as well as many thousand members of the public on the weekend, who will be able to find inspiration for their next trip. From March 7th-11th 2018, the world’s leading travel trade show will again be the industry’s meeting place and must-see event, devoting itself to innovative and forward-looking trends in the travel industry, politics and business. In the future,


ITB will present itself as an international umbrella brand and focus not only on promoting the annual event in Berlin. This re-orientation on a global scale means a concentration of three formats, the trade shows in Germany (ITB Berlin), Singapore

“In 2018 ITB Berlin remains strongly in touch with the industry’s trends. We provide a forum for pressing issues such as overtourism, revolutionary forms of travel and digitalisation as well as topical themes such as luxury travel,

technology and sustainability. ITB Berlin has firmly established itself as an international brand and above all stands for acquiring industry contacts from around the world and industry knowledge that is first-hand. It is the logical consequence of positioning ourselves as the leading market force and opinion-former of the global travel industry,” said Christian Göke, chief executive of Messe Berlin. The focus is on this year’s partner region Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which will have information on its wide range of products in a number of locations, including Hall 6.2. and 4.1. Manuela Schwesig, president of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, said: “ITB Berlin gives us a unique opportunity to showcase the attractions of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to the world. The state will present itself as a modern,

NEWS Travel Quality Alliance will present the world’s ten best clinics catering for medical tourists.


successful and extremely diverse holiday region. In particular, we would like to welcome more international guests to our state.”


Luxury travel is booming, and at the same time the general attitude towards the market is changing. Affluence is no longer defined by glitter and an exhibition of wealth. Both the challenges and the opportunities that this change can bring concern the industry and will thus be key topics at ITB Berlin and ITB Berlin Convention.

The Loop Lounge @ ITB will be celebrating its debut in Hall 9. In cooperation with Lobster Event, ITB Berlin has created a new platform for networking exclusively with a selected group of exhibitors. On Thursday of the show the first ITB Luxury Late Night will provide an

opportunity to cultivate the contacts made. At this new outstanding networking event at Orania.Berlin, a new Boutique Hotel, exhibitors will be able to meet leading buyers from the global luxury travel market. The event will be opened by Dietmar Müller-Elmau, the managing director of Schloss Elmau.


At ITB Berlin 2018 the number of exhibitors from China is growing especially fast. The online portal Ctrip will be exhibiting its products at ITB Berlin for the first time. Other newcomers from China will include Flightroutes, Ucloudlink, Letsfly, Qyer and Qup. For the third year running ITB Berlin will be organising the ITB Chinese Night, where invited participants can find out more about the Chinese travel market, exchange views and establish new contacts.


This year, demand for places at ITB Berlin is particularly high from Arab countries, Asia and South America. As an emerging

travel destination, the United Arab Emirates (Hall 2.2) are now expanding into the market. Abu Dhabi has almost doubled the size of its stand, and the displays of Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah are much larger than last year. In Hall 26, Vietnam and Laos will be occupying more than twice the floor size of 2017. Japan has also significantly increased its representation. A number of exhibitors including Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Taiwan will be welcoming visitors on two-tier stands. All the regions from the Caribbean are exhibiting in Hall 22a, a clear sign that after the devastating hurricanes tourism is more important than ever to these islands. Martinique and Jamaica have even increased their stand size.


Find out more about the industry leading travel show at

Following last year’s successful launch of the important and fast-growing Medical Tourism segment, growing demand means it has had to relocated to a larger hall (21b). In addition to a wide-ranging program of presentations and lectures at the Medical Hub at the Medical Pavilion, the Medical Media Lunch will take place for the first time at the Medical Tourism Pavilion on Wednesday, March 7th from 13:00-14:30. Afterwards, the Medical


EUROPCAR GROUP AND SNAPPCAR JOIN FORCES IN GERMANY AND DENMARK Europcar Group, a major player in mobility markets, has announced the launch of its Drive & Share solution in Germany and Denmark together with SnappCar, the second-largest international peer-to-peer car sharing player in Europe


F E AT U R E services already available, meets our members’ mobility, sharing and financing needs,” explained Victor van Tol, co-founder and chief executive of SnappCar.


After a first successful pilot phase in France, Drive & Share is now launched in Germany and Denmark. Drive & Share is dedicated to people who want to enjoy the flexibility of owning a car but who don’t need to use it often. With Drive & Share, customers have access to long term car rental to answer their mobility needs, which they can share on the SnappCar platform when they don’t need it. Drive & Share is a good alternative to car ownership. “With the launch of Drive & Share in two of our subsidiaries in Europe, Europcar Group sustains its commitment to offer innovative, simple and flexible mobility solutions to its customers. With this new product, we want to match the evolution of usage patterns to be able to offer a new way to use a car in response to customer needs. We are also happy to partner with

SnappCar, a key player in its market,” said Sheila Struyck, managing director of the new mobility business unit at Europcar. Drive & Share is an all-inone solution that includes vehicle, insurance and maintenance. Customers select a package based on their preferred vehicle category and rental package (rental period ranging from three to 12 months; mileage and insurance package). A monthly rental rate is set based on the package selected. If the owner commits to share the vehicle at least twice a month, they will receive an attractive rate plus the SnappCar rental earnings.

Europcar Group is a major player in mobility markets and is listed on Euronext Paris. The group’s mission is to be an attractive alternative to car ownership by providing a wide range of mobility solutions: car rentals, chauffeur service, car-sharing or peer-to-peer. Customer satisfaction is at the heart of the group’s mission and all of its employees and this commitment fuels the continuous development of new services. The group operates through multi brands meeting every customer specific needs: Europcar - the European leader in vehicle rental services; Goldcar - Europe’s largest

low-cost car rental company; InterRent - value for money brand targeting leisure customers; and Ubeeqo - a European company specialising in fleet and mobility solutions for both the business and the end-customers market. The group delivers its mobility solutions worldwide through an extensive network in 130 countries and territories (including 14 wholly-owned subsidiaries in Europe and two in Australia and New Zealand, franchisees and partners). Europcar itself took the titles of World’s Leading Green Transport Solution Company and World’s Leading Car Rental Company Website at the World Travel Awards in 2017. Find out more at www. or head over to Hall9/123 here at ITB Berlin.

“SnappCar wants to keep innovating in the German and Danish markets. This association with Europcar demonstrates our commitment to offer simple, quality solutions, accessible to everyone. This exclusive offer, complementary to



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AEROFLOT WELCOMES THE WORLD WITH RUSSIAN HOSPITALITY Aeroflot is working to dispel outdated myths about Russian aviation. Here Breaking Travel News finds out more about this leading carrier Celebrating its 95th birthday in 2018, Aeroflot is the world’s third oldest airline and operates one of the youngest aircraft fleets over an extensive network dominating Europe-Asia transit routes. The carrier – recognised as the World’s Leading Airline Brand by the World Travel Awards – provides internationally

recognised best-in-class service on many routes. Aeroflot is the face of Russia, and its most recognisable company both at home and abroad. For tens of millions of people around the world Aeroflot is synonymous with excellent customer

service infusing Russian hospitality and leading international standards. Since its foundation in 1923 in the early days of aviation, the long-path to excellence has not always been a turbulence-free experience. In the latest zigzag, the dramatic transformation of the ailing airline begun in 2009 and allowed Aeroflot to reinvent the iconic brand. A new management mindset, with a relentless focus on customer service and high-tech solutions, has turned the ailing post-Soviet carrier into a modern European airline. In a breakthrough for Russian aviation, Aeroflot was recognised world’s strongest airline brand, as well the strongest brand in Russia as a whole, by leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance in 2017. Long-term investments in the fleet


and digital capabilities played a role. Aeroflot has leveraged Moscow’s geographic position to gain a leading role in providing seamless Asia-Europe connectivity via the Sheremetyevo hub. Throughout its long history Aeroflot has always shown resilience. Driven by the new customer focus central to all operations in the last decade and worldwide industry recognition, the carrier is destined to soar to new heights.


Aeroflot is Russia’s largest airline and a major European airline group, operating one of the youngest fleets globally. The extensive route network embraces 137 destinations in 51 countries, as of winter 2017/18. This ensures an excellent Europe-Asia transit service with journey times reduced


by quick connections through Sheremetyevo International Airport.

la carte menu, real china/ glassware, and a Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit.

The 224-strong fleet with an average age of 4.1 years - comprises modern Airbus, Boeing, and Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft.

The business class offering maintains a true premium-class standard, even on short- and medium-haul intra-European flights, featuring wide seats, spacious aisles, and exclusive catering.

Aeroflot’s premium-level long-haul product is based on its Boeing 777 and Airbus 330 fleet, featuring 62/60-inch pitch fullflat seats. The Aeroflot business class offering comprises varied inflight entertainment options, personalised service, and splendid on-board catering. Included are haute-cuisine dishes, exquisite wines and signature cocktails, an a

ing adequate legroom and reasonable privacy. Catering is a pillar of Aeroflot’s top-notch service. All dishes are cooked using fresh ingredients in line with health-consciousness considerations. Aeroflot offers 17 special menus, including vegetarian, diet,

and Russian options. Aeroflot also scores highly on service offerings to tech-savvy customers, with a Wi-Fi-enabled longhaul fleet, multiple mobile apps, and advanced online ticketing services and digital communication channels.

At the same time, Aeroflot’s economy class offering features lucrative fares and value for money - as certified by global rankings and passenger reviews. The economy cabin is designed with ergonomic principles in mind, featuring reclining seats with an up to 32inch pitch (depending on aircraft type) and provid-


Aeroflot’s cabin crew, whose expertise has been boosted with international training, create a psychologically comfortable and friendly atmosphere. The carrier has garnered numerous awards and citations for its attractive and stylish cabin crew.


Keen to showcase its heritage, Aeroflot recently introduced a new Russian menu on its flights. The decision to introduce this special on-board menu took account of the popularity of Russian cuisine around the world, with special emphasis on its wide variety of flavours. Passengers can order the special menu at no additional cost up to 36 hours prior to departure. The new menu is available on Aeroflot direct flights departing from Moscow. For business class passengers, it is available on flights of any duration, for economy class passengers, on flights lasting more than three hours.



Commenting on the introduction of the new menu, chief executive of Aeroflot, Vitaly Saveliev, said: “Aeroflot emphasises the quality and range of its on-board catering, supplementing and improving it in accordance

with customer requests. In our new menu, focus has moved towards the national component, revealing the rich variety of our national cuisine.” He added: “We hope Aeroflot’s Russian menu will be

a calling card for foreign guests and a pleasant reminder to homesick Russians travelling.”

options to suit a variety of age, medical, and religious requirements.

Passengers ordering the special menu in business class will be able to taste assorted Siberian fish or Chekhov’s mushrooms for starters, followed by slice of sturgeon with potatoes in mustard sauce or Smolensk porridge with stewed beef in a port wine jus. Depending on the duration of the flight and the class of travel, for dessert passengers will enjoy a choice of Tula honey-cake, ice cream, or baked apples with cranberries.

Aeroflot is Russia’s flagship carrier and a proud member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance. Aeroflot and its partners serve 1,062 destinations in 177 countries worldwide.


Find out more about the carrier at www.aeroflot. ru or head over to Hall 25/141 here at ITB Berlin 2018.

The 17 special meal options currently available on-board Aeroflot flights include several vegetarian choices, as well as


FCM GOES IT ALONE IN GERMANY FOR FIRST TIME FCM is set to expand in Germany with the official start of its equityowned operation and the launch of new FCM Connect technology perience, whether booker, traveller or manager. The gateway to FCM Connect is ‘HUB’, which links the user to eight integrated evolutionary FCM-owned tools and superior third-party solutions from pre-trip approval and booking, to reporting and traveller tracking.

The global travel management company has been on the countdown to trading independently in Germany since the acquisition by its parent company, Flight Centre Travel Group, of Opodo Corporate from eDreams Odigeo in late 2016. FCM has had a presence in Germany since 2006 via a partnership with the business travel unit of DER Touristik, which came to an amicable end in January. FCM clients previously managed via



HUB’s user-friendly dashboard can be personalised in design and configuration for use by travel bookers, managers or travellers, giving each user visibility of the information that is relevant to them. It can be accessed via PC, tablet or mobile device and tailored globally, regionally or locally to suit an organisation’s travel programme needs.

FCM Connect is an innovative suite of next-generation interconnected business travel tools that gives clients a complete travel resource and transforms the user’s ex-

Franziskus Bumm, FCM general manager, Germany, commented: “This is an exciting time for FCM as we have now officially launched our equity-owned travel management operation in Germany. We see great potential to differentiate FCM in this market with our unique value proposi-

this partnership have now transitioned to FCM’s wholly-owned operation in Berlin.

grow turnover in Germany to around €200m per annum by 2020.

FCM is opening new premises in Berlin, which will serve as its head office, with capacity for 100 employees. The Berlin office will manage former Opodo Corporate clients as well as a pipeline of around 20 new global FCM accounts. FCM has ambitious plans to open further offices in Frankfurt and Munich within 18 months and

The company has also introduced its powerful new travel technology platform FCM Connect in the German market.


tion of people and service, state of the art traveller-focussed technology and superior product content.” He added: “Germany is a major business travel market and key to FCM’s success in Europe. The market has evolved significantly in recent years and we expect further growth and evolution in the years to come. We expect the current trends of increased focus on savings, greater direct supplier influence and more demand for mobile services to continue to be key drivers in the German market. “We will continue to invest in our operations and

technology in this market to match these trends and to provide tangible benefits to our corporate customers and their travellers. Our first major step is the launch of FCM

Connect. This end-to-end solution to give travellers, bookers and managers the optimum framework to be more connected to the entire booking, travel and management process. “FCM Connect also supports our clients across the spectrum of their travel programme priorities, from cost reduction strategies and data compliance to duty of care responsibilities and global, regional or national fulfilment.”


FCM Travel Solutions is the flagship global travel management brand of the

Flight Centre Travel Group which has expanded to become one of the world’s largest travel companies. FCM is the business travel partner of choice for large national, multinational and global corporations. For seven consecutive years to 2017 the company has been recognised as the World’s Leading Travel Management Company at the esteemed World Travel Awards. Visit to find out more about the company.


NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE PLOTS COURSE FOR GROWTH With Norwegian Cruise Line putting the final touches to Norwegian Bliss and revealing the name of its next ship, there is plenty happening at the Miami-based line. With the Leonardo class of cruise ships also on the horizon, Breaking Travel News editor Chris O’Toole here finds out more about this innovative operator

The smallest of the three United States-based majors, Norwegian Cruise Line certainly does not lack in ambition. Just weeks before its launch, the international media was invited to view its latest creation, Norwegian Bliss, as artist Wyland put the finishing touches to its whale-themed hull art at the Meyer Werft dock in north Germany. Inside, the ship was rapidly approach-


ing completion, as nearly 1,000 builders, welders, plumbers, and their colleagues assembled what resembled a gigantic Lego set.

fleet. When she takes to the water, she will become the third Breakaway PlusClass ship Norwegian has launched, able to carry 4,000 guests.

Bliss will feature a topdeck race track, variety of exciting new dining options, luxurious accommodations, and the largest Haven – essentially an exclusive ship-within-aship – of any vessel in the

During her inaugural summer season this year, Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaska cruises each Saturday from the recently expanded Pier 66 Cruise Terminal in Seattle. Itineraries will

feature calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising. An expanded observation deck will allow passengers to fully experience the natural wonders around them as they cruise through the crystal-clear waters of the region. Bliss will then head to Miami for her first winter


ings will be shared in the coming months.

season. Beginning in November, the ship will sail seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruises each Saturday from PortMiami, featuring calls in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.


This is an exciting time to be in the cruise sector – with all the major lines bringing a new ship to market virtually every year. Demand outstrips supply in many markets, with the shipyards, and the slots they offer to build new ships, the main bottleneck slowing the pace of growth in the industry.

In response to this optimism, Norwegian also celebrated the first steel cutting for Encore, the line’s next ship, earlier this year. She will be the seventeenth vessel in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet and the line’s fourth, and final, ship in the Breakaway Plus Class. Known until this week as Ship 708 in the Meyer Werft nomenclature, she is set to sail from Miami in early 2019. Norwegian Encore will feature amenities and interactive experiences that will excite and inspire, and more details on the ship’s design, accommodations, dining and onboard offer-

“Norwegian Encore will be the ultimate Breakaway Plus Class vessel and we are thrilled to celebrate the start of construction for this incredible new ship,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “Over 50 years ago the Norwegian brand began creating unforgettable vacation moments with the first inter-island cruise in the Caribbean from Miami. We continue building on our legacy of innovation with this brand-new stateof-the-art vessel perfect for exploring the natural beauty of some of the most remarkable islands in the world.”


Norwegian Encore is, however, tinged with a touch of sadness, as she will be the last Norwegian ship to be built at Meyer Werft for the foreseeable future. The next generation, the so-called Leonard class, will be built in Italy, at the Fincantieri yards. Four ships are already on order – again illustrating the confidence Norwegian Cruise Lines has in the future of the market. The first will be delivered in 2022, while the line holds the option of two further ships to be delivered in 2026 and 2027. “We are looking forward to this exciting new generation of ships. The new, breath-taking design will

offer our guests a flexible on-board experience with an incredible array of offerings and further integrates inside and outside spaces, so they feel more connected with the sea,” said Christian Böll, managing director Europe, Middle East, and Africa Norwegian Cruise Line. The four 140,000 gross ton ships will each accommodate approximately 3,300 guests, a figure slightly smaller than the current Breakaway Plus class. This will increase the number of ports with the facilities to host the ships - a vital attribute as an ever growing number of ships crowd the most popular destinations.


Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a half-century long history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising. Today, Norwegian invites guests to Feel Free to explore the world on one of its purpose-built ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed, resort style cruise holiday on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea. Norwegian Cruise Line is also considered the World’s Leading Cruise Line by the World Travel Awards. Find out more at www.ncl. com or visit Hall 25/160 here at ITB Berlin.


STAR CRUISES LAUNCHES JEWELS OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA - WINTER ESCAPADES With the success of the first-ever floating hotel concept in Sanya, Star Cruises has announced that SuperStar Gemini will continue her Hainan homeport deployment with the launch of Jewels of the South China Sea - Winter Escapades from Hainan with exciting ports of call in Vietnam and the Philippines.”

Until March 28th, guests are invited alternating fivenight journeys to Vietnam and the Philippines from Sanya or Haikou, as well as two-night itineraries to Danang or Halong Bay in Vietnam. “Following on the successful launch of our Golden Sea Route in summer 2017, Star Cruises is continuing its commitment


to the Chinese market with the development of innovative itineraries in 2018,” said Ang Moo Lim, president of Star Cruises. “Hainan Island is the destination of choice for winter escapes in China, and we are pleased to introduce our new Jewels of the South China Sea 2018 – Winter Escapades series, comprised of specially curated itineraries departing

As the first international cruise company to homeport in Hainan, Star Cruises has had a long and illustrious relationship with this idyllic island. In 2011, SuperStar Aquarius called Sanya home and contributed greatly to Hainan’s tourism industry while in 2013 and 2015, SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Libra respectively expanded their itineraries with their first homeport deployments in Sanya and Haikou. This year, SuperStar Gemini will return to Hainan once again to welcome guests old and new on exciting journeys to exotic destinations.


Guests can sample the charms of the Philippines during SuperStar Gemi-

ni’s five-night journey to Manila and Subic Bay, with departures on March 11th and 18th. Experience world-class gastronomic delights, independent cafes, art markets and underground bars in Manila, and enjoy a spectacular tour of the underwater world in Subic Bay, a prime diving site with an astounding 75 species of fish, many of which make their home in the sunken US navy ship, USS New York.


Star Cruises’ chefs will tantalise palates on SuperStar Gemini via 11 signature restaurants, such as the Taipan Chinese Restaurant featuring traditional Chinese cuisine, Bella Vista Western Restaurant serving Eastern and Western delicacies, Champ’s Bar offering an open-air poolside experience, as well as The Oceana Barbecue Restaurant


with International cuisine and barbecue buffet. Guests will also thrill to SuperStar Gemini’s signature world-class entertainment and amenities, including the dynamic stage production Circus; a Magic Show by Ezker Emparanza, one of Spain’s

top magicians; a comedy show by Fabulous Chan; and more - all showcased at the Stardust Lounge with seating for over 600 guests. Kids and seniors will also have plenty to keep themselves occupied with the Junior Cruisers Program

of eight children’s activities including the Little Chef’s Workshop and Little Pajama Party while young sports enthusiasts can enrol in a special sports day at sea and compete in soccer games, swimming challenge, novelty races and more. The Senior Cruisers Program for golden-aged guests will be highlighted by tai chi classes by Jack Ma’s former instructor, Salsa dance lessons, Spring Festival calligraphy workshops and more.


been operating its fleet since 1993, taking on the bold initiative to grow the region as an international cruise destination with a fleet of six vessels including SuperStar Virgo, SuperStar Libra, SuperStar Gemini, SuperStar Aquarius, Star Pisces and The Taipan. The company is considered Asia’s Leading Cruise Line by the World Travel Awards. Find out more at www.

Star Cruises is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong, a leading global leisure, entertainment and hospitality corporation. A pioneer in the Asia Pacific cruise industry, Star Cruises has


The World’s Leading Ferry Website

ANDILANA BEACH: THE STAR OF MADAGASCAR THAT SHINES ALL OVER THE WORLD Andilana Beach, on the island of Nosy Be, just off Madagascar, is a wellknown resort whose fame continues to be fuelled by the numerous awards that it claims each year from the most prestigious organisations



blocks 100-200 benefit from being close to all of the hotel services and the swimming pool, whereas the rooms in blocks 300400 ensure peace, perfect peace. All located just a few metres from the Andilana shore, the rooms are split across four, two-storey buildings and all include a balcony or a spacious veranda, complete with small table and chairs. Recently renovated, the 208 rooms come in three different categories – classic, family and superior – and offer a choice of a kingsize or queen-size bed. Last year was no exception, with Andilana Beach collecting a rich bounty of prizes. The property received numerous titles during the World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2017, including those of World’s Leading Beach Resort and Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Resort.

VOI Hotels, the chain of the Alpitour Group. “For the Bravo Club, Andilana is a source of pride, a village that has always represented the excellence of the destination and is the reference for the entire market” com-

mented Gian Maria Patti, brand manager of Bravo Club.


Andilana Beach offers two world-class beaches, affording guests the luxury of choosing how to enjoy a holiday. The rooms in

A dream holiday at the most beautiful and exclusive bay of Nosy Be. Don’t waste your time going anywhere else – the Andilana Beach Resort offers you the best of the best. Find out more at www.

The titles place the resorts as one of the best around the planet. Andilana Beach is one of the brightest stars in the portfolio of Alpitour Group, which acquired the property in 2017. The Malagasy destination now fits into a virtuous circle of supply for the group, with an increase in visitors expected out of the Italian market. Bravo Club, the exclusive tour operator, will serve the resort, which will now be managed by



MIDDLE EAST GALA CEREMONY Thursday 19th April 2018 Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah, UAE





ARABIAN HOTEL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE HEADS TO RAS AL KHAIMAH The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference is to be held in the fastemerging northern emirate of Ras al Khaimah next month be co-hosted by its founding patron, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and chairman of Emirates Airline. Worlsey added that Sheikh Ahmed’s “continued support of the industry and AHIC has been critical to the region’s tourism growth”.

The move follows 13 successful years where the event has been held at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. AHIC 2018 is set to take place on April 17th-19th at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah and will, for the first time, take place at a


custom-made complex called the AHIC Village on the beachfront of hotel. The theme of the event is ‘Focus’. Bench Events chairman Jonathan Worsley ex-

pressed delight at having the event hosted in Ras Al Khaimah and revealed that it will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, supreme council member and ruler of Ras Al Khaimah. AHIC 2018 will

He further revealed that for this event, a bespoke pavilion will be built on the beach in front of the Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah, giving the organising team an opportunity to experiment this year. It will include stages, networking areas, workspaces, new private meeting options as well as access to relationship building activities. The news was released in an open letter to members of the AHIC Community, outlining the changes in the conference


this year, while revealing that the region’s tourism industry has now grown to an estimated US $227 billion in value. Worlsey noted in the letter: “Our efforts have highlighted the Middle East as an attractive destination for business and leisure, as well as a resilient market with real returns for investors. Together, we have enabled prosperity.” Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority Haitham Mattar, chief executive, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, welcomed the move. He said: “Our partnership with AHIC is testament to the success of Ras Al Khaimah as one of the region’s fastest growing tourism destinations and its emergence as a prime MICE and business host, benefiting from its close proximity to Dubai. As Ras Al Khaimah draws closer to reaching its one million visitors target by the end of 2018, and charts a path towards attracting 2.9 million visitors by 2025, the need for quality hotel rooms has never been so important.”

pipeline of major hospitality brands, as RAKTDA launches a range of new tourism products and attractions, expanding the appeal of the emirate for travellers and residents alike.” Home to the highest mountain in the UAE and the newly launched Jebel Jais Flight – the longest zipline in the world - Ras Al Khaimah is famous to those seeking adventure, relaxation and escapism. Something of a hidden gem, the destination will use AHIC to promote its rich cultural heritage and unique mountain, extensive coast, mangrove, and desert landscapes.


The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference will take place alongside the World Travel Awards Middle East Gala ceremony, which will

take place on April 19th at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. Now in its 14th year, the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference is the annual gathering for the Middle East’s hospitality investment community organised by global hotel investment event organiser Bench Events in partnership with Meed Events. AHIC creates a knowledge and networking platform for global and regional investors of all backgrounds, offering essential insights to investing in hotels, showcasing regional and international hospitality investment opportunities and facilitating direct connections with hospitality industry stakeholders. Head over to for more information.

The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority was established in May 2011 under the government of Ras Al Khaimah. In order to achieve target growth of one million visitors by the end of 2018, the authority aims to develop the emirate’s tourism infrastructure and establish Ras Al Khaimah as a world-class destination for leisure and business travel, creating sustainable investment opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for its residents. In order to achieve its goals, the RAKTDA has a government mandate to license, regulate and monitor the emirate’s tourism and hospitality industry. Find out more in Hall 2.2/103 here at ITB Berlin or visit for more information.

He added: “Hotel investment is integral to accommodating this growth and the emirate will need an additional 15,000 hotel rooms by 2025. We anticipate further growth in the emirate’s impressive



Apart from being an internationally renowned tourism attraction, Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is the leading centre for falcon medicine worldwide



museum with historic photographs of traditional falconry. Fun and excitement is guaranteed by the sheer number of falcons that can be seen during the tour. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital tours give unforgettable memories to the visitors.

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is the world’s largest falcon hospital with an influx of more than 11,500 falcon patients per year from all over UAE and the Gulf region. Since the location started its tourism program in 2007, the

number of tourists visiting its facility has increased every year by an average of 20 per cent, showing the tremendous interest of visitors from all over the world for the stunning experience of the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.

Nowadays Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is one of the leading tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi and has been recognised with the World’s Responsible Tourism Award by the World Travel Awards for its high-quality tour program. The unparalleled Falcon World Tours cover the fascinating history of falconry in Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates, the cradle of modern falconry. It then takes the visitors in the real life of modern falconry where they can interact with live falcons, take pictures with falcons on their arm and watch the feeding of a falcon. Another tour highlight is the aviary where falcons are flying freely inside which gives an adrenalin boost to the guests. The tour ends in a beautiful

However, the tourism offerings of Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital are not only for leisure tourism, but also cover MICE tourism with its state-of-the-art conference facilities. The Shaheen Conference Centre is the ideal and unique corporate venue for innovative events, meetings, workshops and conferences. Apart from the modern conference room with advanced technologies, it houses a beautiful museum of the Emirati tradition of falconry as well which gives a special twist to conferences and events.


Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is open to visitors for guided tours from Sundays to Thursdays at 10:00 and 14:00 and on Saturdays at 10:00. In order to facilitate bookings, an advanced and easy-to-use online booking portal has been established so that tours can be booked and paid conveniently online. For more information or bookings, please visit



In just a few days a new terminal will open at Muscat International Airport, transforming operations for Oman Air and offering a dramatic boost to the domestic tourism sector

The opening of the new $1.8 billion facility will be akin to the overnight opening of a new airport. The existing terminal will cease operations at midnight, with the carrier resuming its work the next day in the new state-of-the art complex on the other side of the airfield. Featuring nearly one hundred


check-in counters, ten baggage belts, 40 gates, and 29 aircraft stands with jet-bridges, as well as a new control tower, it will increase capacity significantly at what has, until now, been an outdated facility. Oman Air flights currently touching down in Muscat

are forced to settled in remote parking spots, leaving passengers with bus transfers to the terminal taking upward of 20 minutes. No more. The new 580,000sqm terminal will be able to welcome 12 million passengers annually, with plans to extend the airport itself to accommodate as many as

50 million passengers in the coming years. Away from the terminals, the existing runways at Muscat International have also both been extended to four kilometres in length, allowing them to accommodate everything up to the Airbus A380. Oman Air will use the


Dreamliners the carrier has on order, two of which will have a new first-class product. The new planes, from both Boeing and Airbus, will facilitate the growing international network.


Oman Air is the flagship carrier of the Sultanate of Oman.

infrastructure upgrade as an opportunity to further grow its transit traffic – which currently accounts for around 60 per cent of passengers. With hubs such as Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Dubai, home to Etihad, Qatar Airways, and Emirates, respectively, close by, it might be imagined Oman Air would struggle to build a transit hub. However, political strife within the GCC has jeopardised connections across the region, leaving a relatively neutral Oman a chance to build its position in the aviation sector. In future, Oman Air seeks to grow its role in connecting Europe and Asia – building its profile in the east to rival its current position in the west and Indian subcontinent.

operate around 70 planes. Key among them will be the new Boeing 737 MAX, the first of which was delivered last month. Acting Oman Air chief executive Abdulaziz Al-Raisi, explains: “This is a very exciting day for us as we take delivery of the first of our 30 Boeing MAX aircraft on order. By the end of 2018 we will receive a total of five aircraft into our fleet. They will serve both domestic and short

to medium international sectors.” Oman Air is expected to launch three new routes this year, to Casablanca in Morocco in June, followed by Istanbul in July, and Russian capital Moscow in October. The carrier is also assessing the possibilities of re-launching Beirut, Maldives, and Singapore in the coming months. In June, Oman Air will also receive the first of three further 787-9

It is considered the World’s Leading Airline - Economy Class by the World Travel Awards. Founded in 1993, the airline has since witnessed strong growth and has played a major role in making Muscat an important traffic hub in the Middle East, supporting the commercial, industrial and tourism sectors. Find out more on the official website at www.

Currently Oman Air’s fleet consists of six Boeing 787 Dreamliners, six Airbus 330-300s, four Airbus 330-200s, five Boeing 737900s, 22 Boeing 737-800, and four Embraer 175s. By 2023 the carrier hopes to


ROTANA EXPANDS IN MIDDLE EAST WITH TWO NEW DUBAI PROPERTIES Making a significant addition to the UAE’s tourism and hospitality offering, Rotana has announced the soft opening of two stunning hotels in Dubai, the five-star Al Bandar Rotana, and a fully-furnished serviced apartments, Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, at Dubai Creek Elegantly designed with a range of modern luxuries, and situated on a prime waterside location on Baniyas Road, the new properties offer stunning and expansive views of

the creek, which passes through the heart of Dubai, and Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Away from traffic and in close proximity to major

attractions and landmarks in the city, including Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Trade Centre, Al Bandar Rotana and Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, which perfectly blend luxury and comfort, and feature state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities and dining lounges, make an ideal destination for both business and leisure travellers. “Dubai has been one of the best-performing markets for Rotana, where we have a strong presence with an existing inventory of eleven hotels, and several under development which will give us an additional 3,168 rooms in the city. “With its forward-looking economy and continued infrastructure investments, combined with its appealing luxury, retail and tourism offerings, the emirate continues to be a


magnet for both business and leisure travellers. “The emirate has seen a steady growth in the number of visitors and in 2017 alone it welcomed 15.8 million travellers. “With the opening of Al Bandar Rotana and Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana, we have reached a new milestone in our growth journey and the properties, situated in a prime location in Dubai, have further cemented our leading position in the hospitality industry,” said David Prince, area vice president, Rotana. Hussein Hachem, an accomplished hotelier with more than 35 years of experience, is at the helm of the two new hotels. Regarded as one of Rotana’s most experienced and awarded general man-


agers, he has held various roles at a number of the company’s hotels during his 25-year-long tenure. “Al Bandar Rotana and Al Bandar Arjaan by Rotana are set to redefine Dubai Creek living, where the emirate started off its magnificent journey. “With their closeness to major heritage and tourist attractions, including Dubai Festival City, Dubai Museum, Gold Souk, Al Seef and Rise at Dubai Creek Harbour, the hotels make a natural choice for travellers exploring the city and also the ideal place for business travellers looking for convenience and five-star facilities in the heart of the city.

unique design and technology-driven accommodation solutions for an unmatched guest experience,” said Hachem.


Rotana currently manages a portfolio of over 100 properties throughout the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, with an aggressive expansion plan in place. Rotana has chosen to acknowledge how precious

time is by making all time spent in their range of hotels ‘Treasured Time’. This means Rotana has pledged to understand and meet the individual needs of all guests. In so doing, Rotana has evolved its product brands to include, Rotana Hotels & Resorts, Centro Hotels by Rotana, Rayhaan Hotels & Resorts by Rotana, Arjaan Hotel Apartments by Rotana and The Residences by Rotana. Treasured

Time. The Rotana promise to you. Rotana is considered the World’s Leading Business Hotel Brand by the World Travel Awards. Further information on any Rotana property, its brands or reservations can be obtained by visiting or heading over to Hall 9/307 here at ITB Berlin 2018.

“Our team has put in time and effort to ensure the properties meet Rotana’s benchmarks and carry on its legacy by introducing


INTERCONTINENTAL SAMUI BAAN TALING NGAM TAKES TOP WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS CROWN InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam has won the prestigious title of World’s Leading Wedding Resort at the World Travel Awards The trophy comes in addition to the four titles the property took at the World Travel Awards Asia & Australia earlier in 2017, including Asia’s Leading Beach Resort and Thailand’s Leading Beach Resort for the fifth year in a row. Michael Shin, general manager of InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam, commented: “We are extremely proud to have been recognised with these awards. We are constantly striving to exceed our guests’ expectations with our design and superb hospitality and these awards are fantastic recognition. I have no doubt they will inspire our team to keep delivering exceptional experiences for our guests in 2018 and beyond.” InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam


Resort is a beautiful 22 acre-address which enjoys magnificent views across the Gulf of Thailand, the famous Five Islands and Ang Thong National Marine Park. It is listed - Baan

Taling Ngam - in the New York Times’ bestseller book ‘1000 Places to See Before You Die’. The hotel is home to 79 rooms, suites and villas

which sit on a clifftop and descend through tropical gardens to a private white sandy beach. As well as an award-winning spa, there is a fabulous open-air cocktail bar, two


elegant restaurants and plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. The World Travel Awards are one of the most prestigious awards in the industry. They are voted for by a cast of professionals working within the travel and tourism industry, as well as the general public. Since opening in 2011, InterContinental Samui Baan

Taling Ngam has been recognised with a total 22 World Travel Awards.


Being the first ever luxury resort on Koh Samui with stunning views over the Gulf of Thailand and the surrounding coconut plantations, the InterContinental Samui Baan Taling

Ngam Resort comprises 79 elegant rooms, suites and villas spread out on the vast 22-acre premises. Two restaurants serve modern European cuisine as well as Thai and Asian delicacies, while the two bars offer snacks and tapas and a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. This summer, the first ever Harnn spa on the island was launched, the Baan Thai Spa by Harnn, featuring a choice of exclusive Harnn body and beauty treatments and products for purchase. The resort’s own kids’ club, Planet Trekkers, offers

attractions and entertainment for children up to the age of 12 year. Famous for its spectacular weddings, couples can choose from small and intimate to lavish and extravagant. Koh Samui is an hour’s flight from Bangkok with direct domestic connections to Phuket and Pattaya. International direct flights with key Asian cities include Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.


For more information visit



Discover Dubai


ANGELA CHRISTODOULOPOULOU, DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING, SOFITEL ABU DHABI CORNICHE Having taken the title of Abu Dhabi’s Leading Business Hotel for the fifth consecutive time in 2017, Breaking Travel News here catches up with Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche marketing director Angela Christodoulopoulou to find out what separates the property from its Emirati competitors Breaking Travel News: Can you please tell us what you have been up to at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche in the run up to ITB Berlin this year? Angela Christodoulopoulou: We are happy to go into the sixth year of operation of Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche which caters both for the leisure and corporate travel markets in the United Arab Emirates. In this regard, we have recently expanded our complimentary shuttle service to include more prime locations in Abu Dhabi, such as Yas Mall,


Marina Mall, Louvre Abu Dhabi, the beaches on the corniche and at Saadiyat, and Ferrari World. We have also revamped our Jazz & Fizz rooftop bar on 36th floor, which has stunning views of the city, live music and will also be launching a new menu soon. BTN: How is your business capitalising on the emirate’s cruise tourism boom? What other tourism segments are you focusing on and how? AC: Overall, we observe that the increase in leisure tourism to the city of Abu


Dhabi offers diversity and excitement to leisure travellers from numerous destinations. Culture, art, theme parks, and history are only some of the few highlights that travellers can experience in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. BTN: With the dramatic surge in hotel guests recently, how are you ensuring rising numbers as well as repeat guests? To what can these rising figures be attributed? AC: Being the part of AccorHotels, Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche has one focus - to ensure memorable journey to all our guests. This is our focus in our service culture. In addition, the Le Club loyalty program is an excellent doorway to the world of numerous benefits and great offers from leading brands around the world. BTN: Which feeder markets will you be focusing on for this year? How will you be attracting them? AC: Overall, we align our targets to the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority policies and strategies.

The GCC and European markets are leading at present, but also new markers like Asia (including India, China, Japan, and Korea), Australia, and the USA are gaining ground. BTN: What projects are you aware of in Abu Dhabi at the moment that are expected to boost the destination’s tourism credentials? AC: The recent opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi had a great impact on the capital’s economy, reputation and tourism sector. Alternatively, the Yas Island developments create business opportunities and will help to attract families.


Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche is a landmark of Abu Dhabi. Its chic facade and modern interiors are inspired by French Art Deco and designed by London WA International. Find out more on the official website at www. or visit Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche here at ITB Berlin in Hall 2.2/200.


GUAYAQUIL TO HOST WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS ON 2018 GRAND TOUR Guayaquil, Ecuador, has opened its arms to the industry leading event as host of the Latin American Ceremony Guayaquil is the gateway to the unique Galapagos Islands and offers its own city experience as unforgettable as the famed ecological destination. It sits on the border of the Guayas River, with an estuary that gives access to the Pacific Ocean, and is nestled amid remarkable

scenes of natural vegetation, mangroves, tropical flowers, and regional fauna. Thanks in part to its perfect blend of exotic beauty and modern-day services, it has been chosen as one of the top ten destinations on the rise in the South American region.

Gloria Gallardo, president of Guayaquil Tourist Board, indicated: “It is a real honour to welcome the major players of the tourist industry in the region to our city. Representatives from cities, airlines, hotels, and tour operators, all of whom have performed outstandingly this year in

promoting and offering the best possible tourist experiences in leisure, business and combined travel, will join us for the event.” Thanks to a massive regeneration project of the public squares, parks and urban areas, Guayaquil also boasts a five-kilometre waterfront (Malecón Simón Bolivar), attractions ranging from historical monuments, churches, local artisan markets, and botanical gardens, to a new Ferris wheel and several museums, as well as the newly added harbour and promenade of Port Santa Ana. Guayaquil is famous for its original cuisine, at the forefront of Ecuador’s developing gastronomy, as well as offering family entertainment, fun activities, history, and culture. Also in town is a bustling business and commerce environment. Not for nothing has it received the title of South America’s



Leading Business Travel Destination at World Travel Awards for the past two years straight. The city is also a specialised destination in the MICE category. It has a critically acclaimed international airport, the largest convention centre in Ecuador, and around 2,500 beds in differently categorised hotels, while its newly established Convention & Visitors Bureau was showcased as one of the most active in the region at the latest international ICCA Meeting in Prague. Gallardo added: “Even though we will be hosting the Latin American World Travel Awards in September, Guayaquil boasts an unparalleled mixture of warm hospitality, tropical beauty, modern-day

services, and hot climate all-year round. “Guayaquil is your destination to visit, travel and enjoy. We’re sure you’ll fall in love with it and hopefully return. We’ll always welcome you with open arms and make sure you have unforgettable experiences in our city. Guayaquil, the Pearl of the Pacific, welcomes you!”


World Travel Awards will host its annual Latin America Ceremony in Guayaquil on September 15th. Find out more at www.worldtravelawards. com.

To find out more about the city head over to Hall 23A/113 here at ITB Berlin or visit www.guayaquil. travel.


YOUR ROUTE TO A GREAT GETAWAY DFDS is one of northern Europe’s largest ferry operators with 8 routes across Europe including 4 routes from the UK to Europe. We are proud to hold the award of World’s Leading Ferry Operator 2017 and Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator 2017.



Europe's Leading Ferry Operator

World's Leading Ferry Operator



ALL THE LATEST FROM BREAKING TRAVEL NEWS Kerzner International has announced the appointment of Michael Wale as its new chief executive. The company manages a portfolio of globally renowned, entertainment destination resorts, ultra-luxury hotels and residences and innovative entertainment experiences, largely under the Atlantis and One&Only brands. Wale joins Kerzner International at a transfor-

mational time, with the accelerated growth of both destination-defining brands. The $1.6 billion Atlantis, Sanya resort in China with world-class partner, Fosun, began welcoming guests in February, joining the flagship Atlantis, The Palm resort in Dubai, one of the most recognisable hotels in the world. The One&Only portfolio is also evolving, introducing Nature Resorts, Urban Resorts and Private Homes to

the covetable One&Only Beach Resorts, in the most inspiring locations. The legendary One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius began welcoming back guests in December to a completely reborn resort. Wale will be responsible for building on this momentum, developing continued strategic growth, driving the successful operation of the existing collection of award-winning resorts and developing talent across the company. “I am thrilled Michael has joined us at this very important time as we continue our accelerated growth and further expansion of our existing brands, Atlantis and One&Only. We are also aggressively introducing new brands and experiences around the world, from China to Africa to Europe and beyond,” said Mohammed Al Shaibani, chief executive of Investment Corporation of Dubai, and chairman of Kerzner International. “Michael has been extremely successful in achieving outstanding guest satisfaction,

building a world-class corporate culture and delivering strong financial results. Under his leadership, I look forward to the continued growth of Kerzner International, further prosperity and an expanded strategic global footprint.” Wale is well positioned to lead Kerzner International into the future. He has a track record of delivering exceptional growth in hospitality by focusing on continuous innovation, creating guest-centric organisations and inspiring creativity and excellence in his team. “Kerzner International is an incredible business and I am honoured to be joining the Company at this exciting time. Both Atlantis and One&Only have established strong global consumer recognition and loyalty and are perfectly poised for further innovation and strategic growth. I look forward to continuing to build and grow long-term relationships around the world,” said Wale. “We have an incredible group of deeply committed colleagues, all aligned under the company’s vision to ‘blow the guest away’.”


NINE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS TITLES IN ROW FOR CALETA HOTEL, GIBRALTAR The Caleta Hotel has emerged victorious at World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2017, winning Gibraltar’s Leading Hotel for the ninth consecutive year The industry’s elite - including chief executives of leading travel companies, government ministers, and tourist board chiefs - attended the glittering gala event, which was hosted in the Marble Hall of the Russian Museum of Ethnography, in St Petersburg, Russia, in September. The 24th annual awards recognise travel companies for delivering an outstanding customer experience and are voted by travel professionals and consumers worldwide. Kevin Taylor, senior vice president, World Travel Awards, said: “Winning is tough but staying on top is even tougher, and The Caleta Hotel has proven its world-class credentials by winning Gibraltar’s Leading Hotel for the ninth year in succession.” He added: “Its location is unrivalled – a tranquil spot overlooking the Mediterranean yet also close to the


heart of Gibraltar’s action. The facilities are equally excellent, especially the health and beauty centre, and the conferencing, making The Caleta ideal for both business and leisure travellers.” In a further celebration, Caleta also took the title of Gibraltar’s Leading Conference Hotel for the third time in 2017. More than 500 organisations across Europe, spanning more than 125 categories, entered the competition for the World Travel Awards, the most influential accolade in travel.


The Caleta Hotel Gibraltar offers high quality conference, wedding, accommodation, restaurant and leisure facilities to an international clientele of business and leisure visitors to Gibraltar. The hotel boasts modern


well-appointed rooms and suites, restaurants, a lounge bar, health and beauty club and the best wedding, conference and banqueting facilities. It is located on the tranquil eastside of the Rock; a vantage point that offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the coastline of the Costa del Sol. The Caleta Hotel overlooks the peaceful former fishing village of Catalan Bay, yet it

is just minutes away from the centre and airport of this lively little metropolis. On clear days, the North African coast, on the other side of the Straits of Gibraltar, seems close enough to touch - creating a visual spectacle that offers 180-degree views of sea, sky and the meeting of two continents.


For more information head over to


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MAHARAJAS’ EXPRESS, THE WORLD’S LEADING LUXURY TRAIN Having taken the title of World’s Leading Luxury Train each year since 2012 at the World Travel Awards, Maharajas’ Express can rightly claim to be one of the more revered hospitality products anywhere in the world. Here we discover more about this iconic brand

Operated by the Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation, Maharajas’ Express is considered the finest train in the world of luxury travel, enviable in every respect. it is the flag-


ship luxury train of IRCTC and is the newest luxury train in the country. The train which commenced operations in 2010 has been a frontrunner and is known for its enrich-

ing journey experiences coupled with exquisite facilities onboard. There are a total of 14 guest carriages, each named for various

precious stones - such as Moti (Pearl), Heera (diamond), Neelam (Blue Sapphire), Feeroza (Turquoise), Monga (Coral), Pukhraj (Sapphire) and so on.


In these carriages are fitted luxury cabins that are segregated in four categories - Deluxe Cabin, Junior Suite, Suite and Presidential Suite. In total there are 43 guest cabins which can accommodate up to 88 passengers on each journey. Accommodation is available as twin cabin and double and each cabin can accommodate two passengers. Standing apart is the Presidential Suite, which can accommodate four passengers. Called Navratna, it spreads itself in an entire carriage and is inclusive of two bedrooms, a separate living area, a dining room and a private bathroom with a bath tub. Whatever class, each cabin is adorned with rich

tapestry, linen, upholstery, wall-to-wall carpeting, semi-precious stones and antiques. During a journey, guests can enjoy the beautiful scenery whizzing by from the huge panoramic windows. While having a traditional royal dĂŠcor, the spacious cabins offer every modern-day facility at par with the international standards. Every cabin is well-appointed with services and amenities like LCD TV, direct dial telephone, choice of twin or kingsize bed, channel music, electronic safety deposit, private bathrooms with toiletries, DVD players and much more.

peccable services of the well-mannered, dedicated and courteous staff. There are two restaurants on board the train, each with a seating capacity of 42 passengers at a time. The restaurants - Peacock and Rang Mahal - serve

cuisines from around the world including traditional Indian, Chinese, Continental and authentic Mewari cuisines. So, while the chefs trained in world cuisine tickle the taste buds with their gourmet delights from the stateof-the- art kitchen, the

During your stay in the luxury cabins, guests will also be offered the im-


Guests could also order house brands of wine, spirits and beers along with an array of wellknown brands from around the world. A well-stocked bar named Safari is an ideal place to get to know your fellow

guest can observe the landscape as it spools by. It is also equipped with a library, personal bar and a souvenir shop and a great place to socialise and collect memorabilia. For book lovers, the train has a collection of titles on Indian art, culture, history. To take care of medical emergencies, there is an in-house paramedic available round the clock.

of the largest dinosaur fossil park at Balasinor, or the erotic temples of Khajuraho. Guests can also indulge in a regal meal at the shimmering lake city of Udaipur with the opportunity to meet royal families - all in true blue majesty. The range of various tour itineraries also includes splendid gala events and a range of activities such as elephant

traveller over light drinks and snacks in a laid-back ambience.

The incredible journeys on offer let one to explore India’s diversity.

Also on offer is the Maharajas’ Club. This plush observation car offers relaxing chairs where

On offer is a chance to discover timeless traditions and exotic locales, such as a visit to one

polo at Jaipur, cocktail and barbeque sundowner on the sand dunes of Bikaner, wild life safari at Ranthambhore, champagne breakfast overlooking the immortal beauty of the Taj Mahal, boat ride

barmen, servers and, valets pamper guests and take care of all their needs during the journey


at the holy city of Ganges and much more.


Luxury train travel in India has come a long way since the introduction of the Palace on Wheels in 1982 for the promotion of tourism in Rajasthan. The most recent and unarguably the most luxurious tourist train in India, the Maharajas’ Express offers

finesse on a par with the Orient Express of the West. It has redefined the art of elegant travel in India. Radiating sheer opulence, Maharajas’ Express offers a fascinating voyage


across some of the finest destinations in India manifesting the true spirit and kaleidoscope of the country. One of the most expensive and luxurious luxury train rides in the world, the salons of the train draw inspiration from the private saloons of the erstwhile maharajas of India. Even before the inception of rail travel in India, the maharajahs of India had a keen fascination with these moving wonders on wheels invented by James Watt. In the era of Raj, many maharajahs had their own personal carriages draped in luxury used for occasions such as state visits, nuptial sojourns and hunting trips. Many had been built and

designed in art deco style. Sylvan inlays, exquisite carvings and elegant tapestries along with exquisite mirror and jewel work exuded an unmistakable élan.

At the same time, the seven-night Southern Jewels leaves Trivandrum and visits Chettinad, Mahabalipuram, Mysore, Hampi, Goa, Ratnagiri, before ending Mumbai.

All this and more spoke volumes about the splendour and pomp of the maharajahs of erstwhile princely states of India.

The train journeys offer a unique mix of history and culture. Each itinerary is uniquely crafted giving guests the opportunity to visit the prominent places of interest at a destination, have meals at exclusive venues and enjoy the folk dance/culture of the destination. Several optional activities are also available at each destination for the guests to choose, in addition to the main programme.


Two new Maharajas’ Express itineraries in the of south India will debut September 2018.

The first, the Southern Sojourn, last seven nights out of Mumbai and takes in Ratnagiri, Goa, Hampi, Mysore, Ernakulam, Kumarakom, before ending in Trivandrum.

rajas’ Express brings one closer to bygone era of imperial India. Find out more at www. maharajas-express-india. com.

An experience of a lifetime, a journey on Maha-


The latest spa tourism news on the most significant developments in the wellness and spa tourism industry. Find stunning photos, videos and interactive discussions with our group members.

DISCOVER TIMELESS ADVENTURE IN PERÚ There is no doubt that Perú has been firmly on the travelling “hot-list” in recent years because nowadays being rich is not about having lots of things, it is about enjoying timeless moments. Here we find out more

People seek unique experiences and Perú has become the perfect destination, with an offer based on the diversity and authenticity of its attractions, which are also scarce in the world. Perú is a world within the world. A unique and ancient country with a diverse natural wealth and innumerable tourism


attractions that provide amazing and memorable travel experiences. A place where wealth is not measured in cash, but in the experiences you achieve when in the middle of nothing you feel complete, when silence allows you to listen to yourself and even when you discover a meal that

not only fills the stomach but it can also feed the soul. Whoever approaches Perú discovers an exuberant country that invites you to embrace the new concept of wealth. Ad campaign slogan “Perú, the richest country in the

world” aims to communicate Perú’s diverse tourism offerings, boosting the perspective of experiences as a new form of wealth, capitalising on the recognition of the country where the diversity and authenticity of the culture, nature and food hold the essence of life itself.


gastronomy has gained a renowned top-tier standing in the world. In addition to hosting the most important food fair in Latin America, Lima, Perú’s capital, is home to three of the fifty best restaurants in the world: Central, Astrid & Gastón, and Maido. Lima’s culinary variety delights locals and visitors alike because its cuisine is one of the most diverse fusion foods in the world. Perú invites us to rediscover a new world in a mega-diverse country, where each destination has something different to offer, from new flavours that nourish the soul to islands with ancient history and accommodations that are luxurious beyond belief. A place where you can dive into a unique and unparalleled journey through adventures that only a diverse geography can offer. A warm desert coast to race over sand dunes in Ica or ride the longest left wave in the world, a mountain range full of traditions to trace the paths

of ancient civilizations: from Caral, the oldest civilization in America, to the cradle of the largest and most powerful empire of the southern continent: Machu Picchu; and an immense and diverse jungle, with the greatest diversity on the planet that it records the largest number of endemic species in the world (more than 120).

Perú invites you to discover the country through its food and discover why it has been named Culinary Destination of South America six times in a row by the World Travel Awards. The richest country in the world aims to shift peo-

ple’s paradigm for what it means to be rich, because the more you experience Perú’s charms, the richer you become.


The Peruvian Commission for the Promotion of Exports and Tourism - Promperú - is the official entity specialised in tourism promotion and marketing attached to the ministry of foreign trade and tourism of Perú. Promperú establishes long-term relationship with tourism trade and media in all countries where promotional activities are carried out. For further information visit or head over to Hall 23A/118 here at ITB Berlin 2018.

Every corner in Perú has something different to offer, Perú’s culture is one and many at the same time, and among our many traditions we celebrate our beloved cuisine. Perú’s


A magazine to tantalise your senses, a place to think and be luxurious, published daily, weekly and monthly. Luxury is much more than expensive things. It is about appreciation, the experience and time. Luxury is a state of mind and a lifestyle choice.


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HAINAN AIRLINES EXPANDS IN LATIN AMERICA WITH TAL AVIATION GROUP DEAL TAL Aviation will be serving the airline in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Panama in order to accommodate expected increases in traffic to this region Less than a year after TAL Aviation was appointed to the role of IATA official contractor for the Billing & Settlement Plan Program in Mexico, the company has signed a representative agreement whereby it will be providing services on behalf of Hainan Airlines in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Panama. This brings to a total of nine global markets in which TAL Aviation is representing the airline. In addition to the aforementioned destinations, it serves travel markets in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The announcement comes following IATA’s recent forecast that it expects strong profitability in the sector to continue into 2018. Passenger traffic in the Asia Pacific region is expected to rise six per cent as more people than ever are travelling.


Asia-Pacific carriers posted annual demand growth of 9.4 per cent, compared to 2016, driven by robust regional economic expansion and an increase in route options for travellers. This was the first time since 1994 that Asia-Pacific led all the regions in annual growth rate. Capacity rose 7.9 per cent, and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to 79.6 per cent. IATA director general, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “Last year, more than four billion passengers used aviation to reunite with friends and loved ones, to explore new worlds, to do business, and to take advantage of opportunities to improve themselves. The connectivity provided by aviation enables goods to get to markets, and aid to be delivered to those in need.”


of safe flights. Hainan Airlines’ fleet is mainly composed of Boeing 737s and 787s as well as Airbus 330s. Hainan Airlines has more than 300 aircraft in operation, which are used for carrying passengers and cargo. Its renowned international business class service features comfortable, spacious and privacy screens for each passenger. The carrier is considered the World’s Leading Airline - Business Class by the World Travel Awards. He added: “Aviation truly is the business of freedom, liberating us from the restraints of geography to lead better lives. Aviation can do even more in 2018, supported by governments that recognize and support our activities with smarter regulation, fairer taxation, cost efficient infrastructure and borders that are open to people and trade.”

rope, North America and the South Pacific. More than 1,400 domestic and international routes reach to almost over 110 cities worldwide. Hainan Airlines’ fleet is mainly composed of Boeing 737s and 787s as well as Airbus 330s. Hainan Airlines has more than 300 aircraft in operation,

which are used for carrying passengers and cargo. Its renowned international business class service features comfortable, spacious and privacy screens for each passenger. Since its beginning, Hainan Airlines has achieved 25 years of safe operations and has accumulated over six million hours

In turn, TAL Aviation is a global airline representation organisation with more than 35 offices covering over 50 countries throughout Europe, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas. Find out more about Hainan Airlines at


Since 1993, in addition to its main hub at Haikou, Hainan Airlines has established 11 bases/ branch companies located in Beijing, Xi’an, Taiyuan, Urumqi, Guangzhou, Dalian, Shenzhen, Sanya, Hangzhou, Changsha and Chongqing. Hainan’s extensive network of routes covers China and elsewhere in Asia and extends to Eu-


DEER JET LAUNCHES VIP JAPAN CHERRY BLOSSOM TOURS After the success of its private jet travel itineraries, China-based premier jet operator Deer Jet has announced the launch of new bespoke travel itineraries

The new trips will begin with Japanese favourite, the cherry blossom season, between March and April this year. For this trip, Deer Jet is using its newest fleet of Gulfstream G550 and G450 aircraft to deliver its internationally awarded luxury hospitality services. These aircraft are known for their unique cabin engineering, with windows designed to infuse natural


light, advanced systems introducing 100 per cent fresh air, sound suppression technology and very low altitude pressurisation. The natural light, quite cabin, and fresh air all help guests arrive to the destination rested and refreshed. Deer Jet plans to fly the first group of travellers at the end of this month. The private jet service

is available from China, flying non-stop to Osaka for a week of exclusive cultural, natural and recreational activities across the best cherry blossom spots including Osaka, Kyoto, Amanohashidate, Hokade and Ine. Offered during Japan’s most beautiful season, packages include round private jet flights for limited groups of ten, limousine transfers and

five-stars accommodation at properties including the Ritz-Carlton in Osaka and Kyoto, and Onsen experiences at luxury resorts Kinosaki and Nishimuraya. Relying on its more than 22 years of expertise, Deer Jet is bringing travellers to captivating destinations around the world and allowing them to follow their passion for nature, arts and culture. The company is known for its travel


itineraries offering guests VIP access to events such as the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards and unique experiences with celebrated writers, architects, designers, artists, film directors and celebrities. “Deer Jet designs each itinerary around customer’s passions. This itinerary takes guests to the best and most beautiful places to appreciate the cherry blossom, an iconic symbol of Japan, celebrated and present in nearly every object of Japanese life and culture,” said the company in a statement. Once in Japan, guests indulge in health retreats at exclusive geothermal springs such as Gora Kadan, one of Japan’s most luxurious Ryokans located in Hokane National Park. As signature of Deer Jet, its selection of premier travel brands ensures travellers the best

personalised attention and outstanding services both in the air and on land.


At the same time, Deer Jet has signed up a strategic partnership with the government of Chengdu’s Shuangliu District, one of China’s major aviation hubs and home to the country’s fifth busiest airport. The strategic partnership was signed by Shuangliu’s deputy district mayor, Zeng Hu, and Deer Jet president, Xu Lidong, during a special event in Chengdu. The scope of the partnership includes investing in the building of strategic infrastructure and resources for business aviation operations in Shuangliu’s Pilot Free Trade Zone. To open up this new market and further extend operations across southwest China, Deer Jet will bring its group of leading businesses to the region

including charter services, jet management, maintenance, and fixed base operations. Chengdu’s Shuangliu District already is the largest aviation hub in Southwest China, and as the Chinese economy moves upward in the consumption ladder, now the region looks forward the building of a centre for business aviation to sustain its long-term growth objectives. Still nurturing the growth of its general aviation industry, China is expected to become a business aviation powerhouse and take over as the world’s third largest market for private jets and general aviation aircraft within the next ten years.

ment, brokerage, ground handling, FBO, air medical, luxury travel, and on-demand charters. The company has also expanded into luxury helicopter, superyacht charters, and luxury tour packages to captivating destinations including Tahiti, Paris, Rome, Japan, Thailand, and Australia. The company is considered the World’s Leading Private Jet Charter 2017 by the World Travel Awards. Find out more at


After 22 years in operation, Deer Jet now flies to 800 airports across 180 countries and territories, offering aircraft manage-


INTERCONTINENTAL GRAND STANFORD HONG KONG UNVEILS SLEEK NEW LOOK InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong has announced the completion of its US$43 million renovation project The hotel has unveiled a rejuvenated look, with 572 newly refurbished guestrooms, providing guests the ultimate deluxe experience. “As part of our commitment to strive for continuous improvement to provide guests with the finest service and facilities as well as to stay ahead of changing market trends and to exceed guests’ needs, we have undergone several phrases of guestroom renovation and now all inventories are refreshed,” said Alexander Wassermann, general manager of InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong. Possessing over 30 years of experience and having completed almost 100 hotel projects, veteran John Chan Design was appointed to create the redesign and complete transformation of all 572 guestrooms and suites with brand new, sleek design combined with efficient technology, ensuring the most modern and user-friendly expe-


rience for guests. When entering the newly-redesigned guest rooms, one immediately notices that the exquisite upholstery, hand-tufted carpet and curtains are carefully chosen in a warm palette of earthy tones to establish a welcoming ambience. Taking the advantage of waterfront location, over 40 per cent of guest rooms allow guests to get an eyeful as mirror panels in-room reflect the spectacular views of Victoria Harbour alongside the ceiling-to-floor windows. Three types of suites are furnished with hardwood floors as an enhancement to its modernity. The new interior design is further adorned with the installation of LED mood lights to create a more inviting atmosphere. Discerning travellers can take advantage of the expanded work space with aplenty power outlets in addition to complimentary wireless Internet access


local scene and avoid the tourists. “We are confident that our guests will enjoy the refreshed look and feel of our hotel from the moment they step into the room,� concluded Wassermann.


With 572 luxurious rooms and suites, InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong offers state-of-theart facilities and modern comforts of a first-class property to both business and leisure travellers.

and cutting-edge Handy smartphone so that they stay connected and receive the latest news and offers via internet connection while exploring the glamorous city. To better appeal to the modern-day travellers and allow them to stay connected seamlessly, all rooms and suites are enriched with advanced technology including the USB ports and cutting-edge handy smartphone. The handy smartphone offers guests unlimited complimentary local and international calls up to 20 countries, unlimited 3G mobile Internet access as well as Wi-Fi hotspot & tethering.

service beyond hotel premises. Guests can call the InterContinental Concierge directly wherever and whenever they are in Hong Kong with just a button away on Handy smartphone to arrange tailored services from transportations, restaurant bookings to travel tips. Such Around-the-City Inter-

Continental Concierge is a one-stop shop to deliver guests on-demand travel information and personalised recommendations without time and location constraints. Dedicated InterContinental Concierge help guests find the best spots around the city, so that they live like the locals, experience the true

On September 3rd this year the hotel will welcome the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2018. Find out more about that event at or head over to www.hongkong. for more on the hotel.


Alongside the refurbished guestrooms, the hotel extends its concierge


Live the dream.

Discover Caribbean


TOURISM AS A CATALYST FOR DEVELOPMENT IN JAMAICA Minister of tourism for Jamaica, Edmund Bartlett, here writes on how the tourism sector continues to be the leading catalyst of economic development in the country and how he is planning to address the problem of tourism leakage

The resilient tourism sector continues to be the leading catalyst of economic development in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean basin, bringing


valuable investments to our shores, generating one in every four jobs and forging many critical sectorial linkages that produce positive spill over effects

for the wider local and Caribbean economy. For 2018, the Jamaican tourism sector is expected to improve upon its

record-breaking performance from last year when we welcomed an unprecedented 4.3 million visitors to our shores. The stellar performance and

F E AT U R E ment in Jamaica, mainly because of the economic linkages and diversification the sector promotes within the broader economy. The tourism value chain already incorporates several sectors. Its promotion requires the construction and operation of hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related facilities through backwards linkages and the development of basic infrastructure services, such as energy, telecommunications and environmental services; agriculture, manufacturing and other support services.

promising outlook for the sector has strengthened our resolve to do everything in our powers to ensure that tourism maximises its potential to be the engine of social

and economic transformation in Jamaica. The tourism industry has traditionally been such a strong pillar of economic growth and develop-

Tourism has also created a wide range of forward linkages, with sectors supplying services consumed by tourists. These include financial, telecommunications, retail, recreational, cultural, personal, hospitality, security and health services. We can extrapolate that tourism has enormous potential to be a powerful tool for community development and reducing inequalities if it engages local populations and all key stakeholders in its development. As the minister of tourism, I have assumed personal responsibility for aligning tourism development in Jamaica with broader social, economic and environmental imperatives as outlined in the county’s sustainable development road map - Vision 2030. I am well aware of the perception among many Jamaicans that the tourism sector only

benefits hotel owners and large businesses. This is a perception that I have set out to change. My ministry is repositioning the tourism sector to ensure that it supports deeper cross-sectorial linkages, attracts more local investors, stimulates small-scale entrepreneurial activities and promotes broader participation of local populations in the sector. We are especially committed to a vibrant and invigorated community tourism model that enriches the quality of life in Jamaican communities by returning economic, cultural, social and environmental benefits to the communities in which tourism enterprises operate. Developing countries like Jamaica experience a higher rate of tourism leakage than the rest of the world. It has been estimated that the rate of leakage among developing regions ranges from 70 per cent for Thailand to 80 per cent for the Caribbean to 40 per cent for India. A study conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme found that only $5 out of every $100 spent on a vacation package (typically, all-inclusive) by an overseas traveller from a developed country stays in the developing country’s economy. To address the problem of leakage and ensure that the tourism sector delivers on its promise of inclusive


growth for all, we are seeking to identify areas where strong opportunities exist for increased consumption of local goods and services in the sector. This vision forms the crux of the ministry’s Strategic Business Plan 2016-2019, which aims to strengthen linkages with other sectors of the economy, particularly the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, strengthen the benefits derived from the industry by local residents and communities, promote broader participation by all Jamaicans; and ensure the safety, security and sustainability of the natural and built environments. Apart from identifying areas where there is strong opportunity for increased consumption of local goods and services in the tourism sector we are also seeking to


increase understanding of the supply chain for the industry, identify specific constraints and limitations hindering tourism linkage with the domestic economy and to determine the receptivity for use of local goods and services within the sector. I am proud to announce that my ministry has already taken bold steps to promote the diversification of the country’s tourism sector and to deepen economic linkages between the tourism sector and the other sectors of the economy. I am particularly proud to announce that my ministry is pushing ahead with plans to construct five artisan villages in resort areas across the island (Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio) over the next four years. These facilities will provide an avenue for Jamaican artists and craftsmen to

expose and market their creativity, while limiting the volume of imported craft items that are being sold in the industry. Plans are also well afoot for the Tourism Product Development Company’s establishment of a Craft

Development Institute at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston under a memorandum of understanding between the entities. The CDI is among several initiatives being pursued by TPDCo with view to expand the

F E AT U R E craft industry by providing artisans with opportunities to participate in product enhancement and business development training programmes. In 2016, we launched our Community Tourism Portal, which is a web-based platform to promote licensed community-based tourism enterprises across the island. This innovation provides the community tourism subsector with an online presence and online marketing strategies to create growth. This is achieved by the portal’s capability to build awareness of the sector in Jamaica, provide comprehensive and engaging information on the product in the country, as well as offer a convenient means for bookings. It also provides entrepreneurs with affordable and cost-effective e-marketing services. The Jamaica Linkages Network continues to strengthen and encourage vibrant linkages through a number of initiatives focused primarily on human capacity-building, assisting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises with their development, greater integration of local products and services into the tourism product and expanding the country’s potential to tap into new segments of the tourism market. One of our most notable achievements to date has been the activation of Our Five Networks, which

is a conceptual model of our plan to target five new markets/segments over the next five years to

restaurants, distilleries and breweries, pan chicken vendors, cookshops, and fisherfolk. We also

ical, friendly climate and our generally adventurous landscape can be harnessed to attract travellers

promote diversification and deepening of economic linkages between tourism and other sectors. Our Five Networks are: Gastronomy; Health and wellness; Sports tourism; Knowledge and Shopping. In terms of the gastronomy industry, which is valued at US$150 million, we recognise that Jamaica has a rich culinary culture and thus enjoys a competitive advantage in this area.

have plans to tap into the global US$3-trillion health and wellness industry.

who seek thrill, recreation and excitement. We are seeking to capitalise on Jamaica’s sporting excellence and internationally recognised culture as a means of generating income for small businesses and local entertainers.

We have already named Devon House in Kingston as the country’s first gastronomy centre. Plans are afoot to launch more food festivals and integrate food experiences into existing flagships. Anticipated beneficiaries of the expansion of gastronomy tourism in Jamaica include: farmers, local

Members of the government-appointed Health and Wellness Network Committee are tasked with developing the conceptual framework and leading efforts to improve some mineral spa facilities in the country and to promote medical tourism products and services such as spa treatment, nature healing, medical diagnostic, dental and medical surgeries and to develop key attractions. Sports and entertainment tourism is the fastest growing segment within the travel industry today. We believe that our rugged outback, our steep hills and mountains, our seas and rivers, our trop-


The Jamaica Tourist Board, founded in 1955, is Jamaica’s national tourism agency based in the capital city of Kingston. The JTB was declared the Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards from 20062017. Find out more on the official website at www. or head over to Hall 22A/102 here at ITB Berlin.



BEACHES TURKS & CAICOS BACK WITH A BANG FOLLOWING HURRICANE IRMA Beaches Turks & Caicos, one of the world’s leading all-inclusive family resorts, has re-opened its doors to guests after undergoing upgrades post Hurricane Irma renovations, accommodations in all five villages at the resort have also been upgraded, along with the lobbies and public areas. The popular Xbox Play Lounges at Beaches Turks & Caicos as well as the Beaches Resorts in Negril and Ochos Rios, Jamaica, have been upgraded to state-of-the-art Xbox One X console so that all guests can experience immersive, true 4k gaming on the world’s most powerful console.

New additions include restaurants, snack bars and water sports activities. Foodies will love Mr. Mac, an artisan macaroni and cheese truck which offers 10 types of the delicious snack, including Cajun and Mediterranean flavours. Those with a sweet tooth will love the Curls n’ Swirls vintage Volkswagen truck


which serves ice cream, frozen yoghurt milkshakes and additional chilly treats. Beaches Turks & Caicos has also introduced Wednesday Night Fish Fry events where guests can enjoy local cuisine from the islands, as well as Caribbean music and dancing at weekly beach

parties. The new Sky Rooftop Restaurant combines fine dining with spectacular views across Grace Bay and Bombay Club offers the finest authentic Indian cuisine, seven nights a week. These new additions bring the total number of restaurants at Beaches Turks & Caicos to 21. As part of the

Families can enjoy live world-class entertainment with new shows, Creativa. Performances take place at the resort throughout the week on the main stage and include Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, Jungle Book Live and Dolce Vita. These family-friendly musical shows feature cinematic projections as well as live theatre, circus acrobatics, catchy songs and exhila-

F E AT U R E rating choreography, making them suitable for both adults and children alike. Each storytelling spectacle has been designed to stimulate the senses and create unforgettable experiences. Situated on the Caribbean’s best and longest stretch of beach, Beaches Turks & Caicos has also been named the number one resort for almost two decades in the prestigious World Travel Awards.


The Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Beaches Resorts’ parent company, Sandals Resorts International, was deeply involved in the recovery effort following Hurricane Irma. The Sandals Founda-

tion and team members from Beaches Turks & Caicos partnered with the Salvation Army and the Red Cross to deliver desperately needed food

items to victims of one of the most powerful hurricanes in history. The Sandals Foundation is a 501-non-profit organisation dedicated to the communities where SRI operates throughout the Caribbean. One hundred percent of the monies contributed to The Sandals Foundation goes directly to programs benefiting the Caribbean.


With three spectacular locations in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, Beaches Resorts is the ultimate getaway for every member of the family. With outrageous waterparks, XBOX Play Lounge, exclusive Kids Camps, teen nightclubs, Certified Nannies, Butler service, Red Lane Spas, Aqua Centres with expert PADI certification and training; and free Wi-Fi, Beaches Resorts provides more quality inclusions

than any other resort company on the planet. As a proud sponsor of Sesame Street, Beaches Resorts also offers the Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street, where kids can spend their holiday with their favourite friends from the Sesame Street gang with daily activities and weekly stage shows. Beaches Resorts are also the perfect place for family gatherings from reunions and special birthdays and weddings with Aisle to Isle, Beaches’ signature destination wedding and vow renewal programme. Beaches Resorts is part of family-owned Sandals Resorts International, which includes Luxury-Included Sandals Resorts and is the Caribbean’s leading all-inclusive resort company. For more information about the Beaches Resorts difference visit www.



CORNEEL KOSTER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, EMEA, DELTA AIR LINES Having taken up leadership of Delta Air Lines in Europe, Middle East, Africa, and India in 2017, Corneel Koster has seen the carrier expand its operations in the region over the past 12 months. Here we find out more Following a strong 2017, which saw the carrier report pre-tax profits of more than $5 billion, Delta Air Lines received a further boost in early 2018. After months of judicial recrimination, the US-based International Trade Commission found in favour of Bombardier in its dispute with Boeing over tariff protection on the new C Series plane. The decision left the way clear for Atlanta-based Delta to complete its purchase of 75 C Series jets, with deliveries set to begin next year. As part of a wide-ranging interview with Breaking Travel News, Corneel Koster, senior vice president, EMEA, Delta Air Lines, explains the news was welcome, if not unexpected.


“We are naturally pleased by the ruling of the International Trade Commission,” he explained. “We were always confident that there was no USbased manufacturer who offered an alternative. Boeing did not have an alternative for this plane. Therefore, we felt confident that the ruling would

be the way we expected it to be and that we would be able to start operating the aircraft without exorbitant taxes.” But has the dispute damaged the relationship between Delta and one of its major aircraft supplies, with Boeing seeking to scupper a deal the carrier

was intent on completing? No, Boeing and Delta are as close as ever, reasons Koster. He explains: “Let me say, the relationship with Boeing is very good, we are one of the largest operators of Boeing planes in the world, and we are proud to fly Boeing. Our

INTERVIEW chief executive, Ed Bastian, recently mentioned that he would like to be launch customer on a new Boeing mid-range aircraft, one that the company is currently developing at the moment. This remains a very good, positive relationship.” So, what will the new C Series planes mean for Delta passengers when they start to take off in 2019? By focusing on the 100- to 150-seat market segment, Bombardier has designed the C Series aircraft to deliver advantageous economics and to open up new opportunities for single-aisle aircraft. A 100 per cent all-new design, it includes state-ofthe-art technologies and advanced aerodynamics, combined with the Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G engines, to deliver a 15 to 20 per cent fuel efficiency on other planes. Koster enthuses: “This is a fantastic aircraft and the United States’ consumers will now get to fly on this fantastic aircraft, so we are very pleased with the situation. It is an innova-

tive aircraft, 110 seats, with the largest windows on any narrow-body aircraft, and we will offer full seatback entertainment, ambient lighting, in-flight Wi-Fi, and huge overhead bins. At this moment we are working with Bombardier to develop a delivery schedule to nail down the deliveries. The initial planes will come out of Canada and after that we are also excited to get delivers from the Mobile, Alabama, facility, when it opens. There are no dates for this, as yet, we are firming that up.”

Of course, an airline of Delta’s size has an insatiable appetite for growth, and there are plenty more planes set to join the fleet in coming years. Alongside the Bombardier deal, Delta confirmed an order for 100 Airbus A321neo planes last year, with plans to fly them largely on domestic routes as older Airbus A321s and McDonnell Douglas 88s are gradually retired. The A321neo introduces new door and fuselage enhancements, allowing airlines to make best use of the cabin space, and has a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles. The A321 is the largest member of the A320 family, seating up to 240 passengers. Koster explains: “In December, we placed an order for 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft, with delivery from 2020. It has excellent economics, a spacious cabin, and

excellent product features, including in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, overhead bins, and power sockets in every seat. The plane is a lot more efficient than the current A321s, 12 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, and even more so than some of the older aircraft we are phasing out, such as the MD88.”


Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 314 destinations in 54 countries on six continents. Find out more on the official website at com or head over to Hall 25/128 here at ITB Berlin 2018.


DFDS REPORT STRONG PROFITS DESPITE BREXIT THREAT Ferry operator DFDS has reported another record year for 2017, with the company’s annual results showing an operating profit of DKK2.7 billion, or £321 million, last year

Despite ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit, the company’s operations across Europe continued to grow into the fourth quarter, with a positive consensus looking into 2018 based on recent key indicators.


“Overall, North Sea freight volumes grew by seven per cent in 2017. In spite of the Brexit issue, and the delayed Brexit agreement between the UK and EU, we see that the UK’s economy is still growing, albeit

at a slower pace,” said Niels Smedegaard, president, DFDS. According to the UK government’s official prognosis, growth is expected to continue at just over one per cent in 2018.”

He added: “At the moment, we even see an increasing growth in British exports, which also contributes positively to our developments on our ten North Sea routes. Brexit is not what we hoped for, but it


Brexit may lead to over the coming years, we can also see opportunities for providing our customers with new, valuable, customs clearance services after Brexit, should customs clearance become necessary,” added Smedegaard.


does not change our confidence about the future. The official expectation is that the UK economy will keep growing (although at a slower pace), and as the EU economy is also predicted to grow and both parties depend on trade, we are hopeful for the future.”

increase these investments in 2018, introducing systems for bookings, payments and journey planning, across all devices, including mobile. New apps for freight customers and their drivers were recently introduced to make it easier for them to work with DFDS.

Operations across Europe continued to grow in quarter four 2017, including in the UK – DFDS’ largest market – where export volumes continued to grow at a high rate, while import volume growth slowed due to reduced car imports. Demand for passenger services was stable in quarter four as demand in the UK continued to stabilise.

Company revenue is expected to increase around two per cent in 2018, excluding acquisitions while investments company-wide are expected to amount to around DKK1.1 billion, or £130 million. Trading in 2018 is expected to remain robust with growth across Europe expected to mitigate the inevitable uncertainty caused by the Brexit negotiations.

In 2017, DFDS invested significantly in their digital infrastructure and will

over the coming years, DFDS has ordered four new mega ships with a capacity of 475 trailers each for the North Sea traffic. The ships will be delivered from 2019 and onwards from the Jinling Shipyard in China. “In spite of the challenges

DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of around 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships. The company prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe. DFDS is recognised as the World’s Leading Ferry Operator by the World Travel Awards. Head over to www.dfds. to find out more or visit DFDS at Hall 18/119 here at ITB Berlin.

To accommodate the expected volume growth



VAL THORENS LEADS WINNERS AT 2017 WORLD SKI AWARDS French ski destination Val Thorens has taken the title of World’s Best Ski Resort at the World Ski Awards

Val Thorens led winners at the World Ski Awards

The legendary French resort - the highest in Europe - was the big winner at ski tourism’s event of the year which took place at the five-star A-ROSA Kitzbühel in November, welcoming the elite of the ski hospitality industry to Austria. Also among the winners was the W Verbier. The W’s first alpine and ski resort in Switzerland, which walked away with the title


of World’s Best Ski Hotel. Elsewhere Chalet Les Anges, Zermatt - created by the world famous interior designer, Magali de Tscharner, took the title of World’s Best Ski Chalet, while The Vale Niseko was voted World’s Best Ski Boutique Hotel. Sun Web scooped the trophy for World’s Best Ski Tour Operator, with Leo Trippi named World’s Best Ski Travel Agent.

In a first for World Ski Awards, Rocksresort whose stone buildings are heated with entirely renewable biomass energy - was voted World’s Best Green Ski Hotel. Bergbahn AG Kitzbuhel was also honoured during the red-carpet event, taking the title of World’s Best Ski Resort Company, while Bella Coola Heli Sports was recognised as World’s Best Heli-Ski Operator, and

Ski-Lifts picked up the award for World’s Best Ski Transfer Operator. Meanwhile, LAAX was celebrating having been recognised by voters as World’s Best Freestyle Resort, while Ski Dubai scooped the trophy for World’s Best Indoor Ski Resort. Two of the night’s biggest winners were Fahrenheit Seven and Alpaca. Hip design-led hotel, Fahrenheit Seven, collected the tro-

F E AT U R E Guests are invited to enjoy a whole weekend of activities as part of the World Ski Awards


The application process for inclusion in the sixth annual World Ski Awards – the premier awards programme in ski tourism – has now opened.

phy for World’s Best New Ski Hotel while Alpaca, in the French resort of Méribel, was recognised as the World’s Best New Ski Chalet. An extensive programme of events took place over the weekend, seeing guests invited to engage in three days of exclusive networking events, private skiing, sightseeing tours and a host of other VIP activities.

World Ski Awards Managing Director Sion Rapson said: “The 2017 World Ski Awards was our most successful to date, firmly cementing our position as the global benchmark for ski hospitality. It was a pleasure to recognise so many industry leaders and I hope their recognition, both by their peers and members of public ski community, will inspire them to aim ever higher in the pursuit of excellence.”

In a unique presentation, the World Ski Awards Academy honoured ski industry stalwart, Hans Grimus, with the title of Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism. The Austrian native, who left his homeland for Australia 56 years ago, was instrumental in constructing the first lifts on Mt Buller - a resort village in eastern Victoria, Australia - as well as building his eponymous hotel.

Ski organisations, including resorts, hotels, chalets, tour operators and travel agents, which have performed at an outstanding level over the last 12 months have been invited to participate. Online application is quick and simple, so enter today for the opportunity to win the ultimate ski tourism accolade. The shortlist of 2018 World Ski Awards Finalists across all categories will be published on May 28th ahead of the opening of the crucial 16-week voting window on June 1st. Fund out more about the World Ski Awards at www.

The elite of the global ski tourism sector attends the event

Hans Grimus was recognised by the World Ski Awards Academy


Feel Kitzbühel. Experience Kitzbühel. Nestled between the Kitzbüheler Horn and Hahnenkamm mountains, the region Kitzbühel features almost unlimited options for a fun and active stay. Kitzbühel is a synonym for passion, one that gives rise to an unmistakable way of life, as these mountains inspire adventures that beg to be experienced all year long! Kitzbühel has more to offer. There are a range of other activities, such as tobogganing, winter hiking and snowshoe hiking, romantic horse-drawn sleigh rides or simply strolling through the picturesque town centre, which offer a welcome alternative for those who haven’t come to the “Gamsstadt” of Kitzbühel simply for the skiing. The “Gamsstadt” is an enchanting place, featuring a medieval city centre that is both cosmopolitan and conscious of tradition. You can enjoy typical Tirolean hospitality in the alleys of the old town, which dates back over 700 years. The culinary offerings range from rustic local fare to international haute cuisine.

The legend in the Alps. The most legendary city of sports in the Alps is an attractive and multi-faceted destination for all seasons. In summer and winter alike, Kitzbühel boasts a unique charm and an unmistakable blend of tradition, legend and idyllic landscape. 120 years of successful skiing history. It was Franz Reisch who left the first tracks in the snow on the Kitzbüheler Horn in 1893, triggering a full-on skiing boom. Today, Kitzbühel stands for pure skiing pleasure, with powder runs, mogul slopes, steep northern faces and delightful sunny slopes. The 68 slopes featuring 179 kilometres of pistes offer something for skiers of all abilities. There are also 13 marked ski routes with a total length of 36 kilometres and enthralling options for freeriders. A name. A concept. A legend. Streif! The most spectacular downhill run in the world can be used for hiking in summer and for skiing in winter. However, anyone wanting to follow in the footsteps of the world’s best skiers should be a very experienced skier themselves. The main sections of the Streif racing piste, such as the Mausefalle and Hausbergkante, are classified as “extremely difficult ski runs”.

Foto: Michael Werlberger © Kitzbühel-Schriftzug-Design: Alfons Walde 1933/VKB Wien

Hiking sets you free. Some call it walking or mountaineering, others call it hiking or trekking. We simply call it experiencing Kitzbühel! Feel the rhythm of nature, your mind conjures up adventures and these shall become reality – Kitzbühel, a unique source of motivation!

Grass-covered mountains are typical for Kitzbühel. Unlike the steep and craggy limestone mountains surrounding Kitzbühel, the grass mountains boast meadows and lush green mountain pastures – even above an altitude of 2,000 metres. In fact, the Geißstein is the highest grass-covered mountain in the Alps.

“Gentle mountainscape, the blossoming meadows, the crystal clear water and that really special, magical feeling in the air – this is summer in Kitzbühel!”

“When a new day dawns, the gentle natural landscape impresses.”

Hiking for connoisseurs. Kitzbühel guarantees incredibly beautiful panoramas, geological marvels, local specialites and culinary delights. Kitzbühel fascinates with variety – gentle grassy hills and craggy peaks, always against the imposing backdrop of the Wilder Kaiser, Hohe Tauern and Großglockner. The well-developed network of trails extends over more than 1,000 kilometres, with specially designated routes for all levels of difficulty.

People have always sought out natural idylls and spiritual sources where they can replenish their energies and find inspiration. Kitzbühel offers these “silent paths” and spiritual places, where you have the chance to escape your hectic everyday life and recuperate in peace and quiet. Leave the hustle and bustle behind, take a deep breath and relax. Kitzbühel is the perfect place to slow down, relax, refresh and get inspired, ready to write your own legend.

Start into the hiking season 2018 May, 31st to June, 3rd Spend your bank holiday weekend with us! No matter whether you want to join our sunrise, summit, theme or legend hikes – hiking in Kitzbühel presents itself with particular highlights at the opening weekend. Explore the hiking opportunities at our Testival area and participate in the special programmes for the season start. Particular highlights will be offered at the Hahnenkamm, the Kitzbüheler Horn and the Kitzbüheler Südberge. Get all information at There is no doubt, Kitzbühel is worth a visit all year long, 365 days a year. The legendary Kitzbühel way of life awaits you! Our team at Kitzbühel Tourismus will be pleased to assist you for your individual vacation planning via: or +43 (0)5356 66660.

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LA MANGA INVESTS TO STAY AT FOREFRONT OF EUROPEAN GOLF Spain’s multi-award-winning La Manga Club is determined to remain at the forefront of European golf well into the next decade and beyond

The five-star resort is completing a three-phase upgrade of its golf offering and will be finalising refurbishments to the tees on both the North and South courses, with improved access, landscaping and stone-work. In addition, by the time the season gets


fully underway, the resort will have replaced around 75 per cent of its grounds keeping equipment, upgrading to the latest available Toro machinery. Meanwhile, on the West course, a huge project is underway to improve the

pathways for smoother and easier movement around the course. This will complete a project implemented by director of golf Eduardo Ruiz, who joined La Manga Club nearly three years ago, and golfers have already

enjoyed the benefit of a refurbishment of the club shop, locker rooms, Bar 37 and course furniture. Ruiz explained: “Throughout the project, we have continued to purchase machinery, condition the tee areas located close to


pean Cricket Performance Centre and a 2,000sqm Wellness Centre. In addition, it features the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 15 bars and restaurants.


Located in a magnificent natural environment next to Calblanque National Park and the Mediterranean Sea, with a mild year-round climate and enjoying exceptional security and privacy, the exclusive resort of La Manga Club (Los Belones, Cartagena, Murcia) offers luxury, leisure and sport in the same place, and is set just 20 minutes from Murcia airport and an hour away from Alicante.

the hotel, and landscape the pathway from the clubhouse to the hotel. We’ve put the terrace in the clubhouse into action and we will soon complete our biggest task: improving the buggy pathways on the West Course. La Manga Club continues to invest in its facilities – not just in golf, but right across the resort. It has been at the forefront of leisure and sport since it opened in 1972 and will continue to show the way well into the 21st century.” These latest enhancements come shortly after La Manga Club was also

With the variety of activities and facilities available, La Manga Club has firmly established itself as one of the best sports and leisure destination resorts in Europe and has been the proud recipient of a host of prestigious international awards and accolades over the last four decades. La Manga will this year play host to the fifth annual World Golf Awards, with the event taking place from November 1st-4th. Find out more on the official website at www.worldgolfawards. com. Find out more at La Manga and everything on offer at the resort at

named Europe’s Best Golf Venue at the 2017 World Golf Awards. Three times the size of Monaco and nestling in an exclusive corner of Murcia in south-east Spain, La Manga Club has been at the forefront of European golf since opening in 1972, with its other facilities including a nine-hole academy course and outstanding practice facilities. The official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association, the resort’s unrivalled amenities also include a 28-court tennis centre, a new Euro-



La Manga Club, Spain 1st- 4th November 2018


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Breaking Travel News: ITB Berlin 2018  

Breaking Travel News here brings you the biggest stories from the leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin. Take a look inside for the latest o...

Breaking Travel News: ITB Berlin 2018  

Breaking Travel News here brings you the biggest stories from the leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin. Take a look inside for the latest o...