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T TG NO R DIC

No 362

Januar y / Februar y 2017

| Ja nuar y / Februar y 2017

Travel Trade Gazette

HOTEL MANAGER HELENE HALLRE:

A RARE LEADERSHIP TALENT FRANK FISKERS ON FINNISH CULTURE THIN AIR GIVES LESS JETLAG

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No362

CONTENTS

Alfabetica Travel Agencies www.billund-airport.dk/ om-lufthavnen/check-in-billund

www.visitbritain.com

www.visitfinland.se www.visitfinland.com

Business & Leisure www.bcdtravel.dk

www.bcdtravel.se

www.bcdtravel.no

www.bcdtravel.fi

www.dolphind.com www.flightscanner.biz

CONTENT

32

42

Page 6

Around the world

Page 8

Hotel Manager Helene Hallre has a special gift for leadership

Page 13

Quiz – win a prize!

Page 16

Comment by Ejvind Olesen

www.standby.dk www.standbynews.com

www.godominicanrepublic.com

Page 18

The customers are ready – but the companies are not

Page 19

SAVE TM are focusing on travel management

Page 20

Travel gadgets

Page 23

Opinion: Too few business travel agencies have trainees

Page 26

Copying is a business condition

Page 27

Halal tourism is growing

Page 28

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28 20

Formula 1 at Monza

Page 32

Interview with the London company George P. Johnson

Page 36

It’s possible to reduce jetlag

Page 39

BRA is focusing on charters

Page 41

Stand By Lounge

Page 42

Theme on Finland

Page 48

Events & People

Stand By is issued six times per year and distributed as paid subscription in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, The Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland to travel agents, tour operators, airline offices tourist agencies, foreign tourist representatives, tourist bus companies, and all of the major industries in Scandinavia. Stand By bears no responsibility for unsolicited editorial material

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www.visitmalta.com

www.galileo.dk

Rail Travel

www.bahn.com

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www.visitdenmark.com

www.udviklingfyn.dk

www.visitnorway.com

www.kronerejser.dk

www.procon.dk

www.spain.info

www.mangaard-travel.dk

travelize.com AllaBussresor.se AllaTemaresor.se

www.visitsweden.com denmark@visitsweden.com

www.norskrejsebureau.dk

www.travelport.dk www.travelport.se

www.rb-seniorklub.dk

www.worldspan.com

     

www.spain.info

Recruitment Travel Trade

www.greenland.com

www.centrum-personale.dk

www.gotoasia.no

www.berning-leonhardt.com

www.france.fr

www.kellyservices.dk

www.topflight.no

Tourist Boards - Information

www.tahiti-tourisme.dk

www.tourismthailand.se

www.usarejser.dk

Travel Technology

www.hungary.com

www.germany.travel

www.discoverireland.com

www.unikkemoedesteder.dk

www.amadeus.com/sca

www.inspiredbyiceland.com

www.visitaland.com www.visitaland.com/se

www.datacon.dk/travel

Is YOUR company missing?

Want to be a partner? CALL

+45 70 25 97 00

Contact STAND BY on phone: + 45 7025 9700 or e-mail: sales@standby.dk

Absalon Hotel Adina Aalborg Lufthavn Alsie Express Air France Air Greenland Amadeus Scandinavia Arp-Hansen Hotel Group Arthur Hotels Austrian Auto Europe Avis Baltic Stand By BCD Travel Berning & Leonhardt Billund Lufthavn Blue Lagoon Bonnier Responsmedier British Airways British Midland Airways Brussels Int. Travel Service Cabin Hotel Cathay Pacific Airways Celebrity Cruises Centrum Personale A/S Check-in Billund Cimber Air Cirkusbygningen Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers Copenhagen Airport Danish Air Transport Datacon A/S Destination Destination Fyn DB Bahn DBTA DFDS Seaways Dolphin FlightScanner Dominican Republic Estonian Air Europcar Europæiska Reseförsäkringar Europæiske Rejseforsikring Finnair First Hotel FlyNordic Franske turistkontor Færgen Galileo GoToAsia Gouda Rejseforsikring Hadler DMC Head aHead Helnan International Hotels Herning Messer, Rejsemesse Hertz Hotel Føroyar Hotel Hafnia Hotel Tórshavn Hungarian National Tourist Office Hurtigruten Icelandair Icelandic Tourist Board Irland Turisme Jet Time A/S Kelly KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Krone Rejser LOT Polish Airlines Malta Tourism Mangaard Travel Group Meliâ Meridien National Car Norges Varemesse, Reiseliv Norsk Rejsebureau ProCon Solution RejserNu.dk Rejsebranchens Seniorklub Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Qatar Airways SAS Scandi International DMC Scandic Hotels Scandlines Sixt Small Danish Hotels Smyril Line Spanske turistkontor SRF Svenska Resebyrånföreningen Stand By Tahiti Tourisme TAP Portugal Team Benns Thailand Tourist Thomascookairlines Topflight AS Travelize Travelport Travel Proffesionals Travel Club Tysk Turist Information USA Rejser Vienna Tourist Board Virgin Atlantic VisitBritain VisitDenmark VisitFinland VisitGreenland.com VisitNorway VisitNordsjælland VisitSweden Wimdu Worldspan Ålands Turistinformation

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No360

INTRO

Kitt Andersen Editor in Chief

THE PERSONAL SERVICE WILL ALWAYS WIN Digital development and the speed at which it breaks down old patterns and barriers is a huge challenge for many companies. Especially for those who, for better or for worse, have retained an old corporate culture. They are often not as quick to adapt to new times and sometimes react too late. Even in the travel industry, which is otherwise characterised by considerable movement among customers, progress in adapting the business to the new times has been slow. Not because the opportunities are not present, but because the competencies within the companies cannot keep up with the developments in the machinery.

Copenhagen office: Vester Farimagsgade 2, kontor 1013-1015, DK-1606 Copenhagen V. Tel: +(45) 70 25 97 00 Fax: +(45) 70 25 97 01 standby@standby.dk www.standby.dk Managing director: Stig Thygesen / stig@standby.dk

Beatings for the older agencies That is the experience of Ian Heywood, Travelport’s Global Head of Product & Marketing, Air Commerce, when it comes to the traditional airlines, which are much too slow to change their business strategies, as opposed to low-cost carriers, which have been much quicker to embrace the new opportunities and earn money from them (p 18). Albatros’ owner Søren Rasmussen has also noted that the competition has become tougher and he puts it very clearly. “All the older travel agencies with a focus on individual travellers have taken a sound beating from search engines, internet agencies and hotel and airline sites. Anyone who has not managed to develop their own concept or niche is in trouble.” (p 26) At the corporate travel agency CWT (p23) and British events agency George P. Johnson (p32), they are also fully aware that you have to run quickly in order to keep up with developments. Both companies would like to include younger people who have grown up with some of the digital competencies the companies need. Good service is never out of fashion But airlines, travel agencies and hotels all have one thing in common when it comes to providing good service, even if it is digital, and that is that it must be personal. Customers want to be recognised and as the Radisson Blu Royal’s new General Manager Brian Gleeson says: “There is nothing like being welcomed like an old friend.” And that is precisely what he and Hotel Manager Helene Hallre will put a lot of effort into in the near future (p 8).

Managing Editor: Kitt Andersen / kitt@standby.dk Senior Editor: Ejvind Olesen / ejv@mail.dk Journalist: Henrik Baumgarten / hb@takeoff.dk Journalist: Flemming Juul / flemming@juul.dk

Sales and advertising: Tel: +(45) 70 25 97 00 Fax: +(45) 70 25 97 01 sales@standby.dk Trine Christensen / trine@standby.dk Gitte Nielsen / gitte@standby.dk Layout: Kenneth Nannberg / kenneth@standby.dk Print: Tryknet Publisher: Scandinavian Travel Media ApS.

Stockholm Office: Manager Christian Jahn christian@ttgnordic.com tel. +46 70-644 45 45

Vilnius office: So even if we learn a lot of new things at lightning speed, some of the time-honoured virtues like courtesy, care and good old-fashioned service still lie on top of it all.

Journalist: Howard Jarvis howard@ttgnordic.com ttgnordic.com tlf. +370 79267

CONTACT US CALL US OR WRITE AN EMAIL if you have a good story about airlines, hotels, cruise, car rental, travel agencies, MICE or travel technology

(Från Köpenhamn SAS & Norwegian)

you want to share with the industry. Editor in Chief Kitt Andersen, kitt@standby.dk, tel. +45 30 23 91 03 Senoir Editor Ejvind Olesen, ejv@mail.dk, tel. +45 45 86 21 49 Journalist Henrik Baumgarten, hb@takeoff.dk, tel. +45 20 93 28 48 Manager Christian Jahn, christian@ttgnordic.com tel. +46 70-644 45 45Journaiist Howard Jarvis, howard@ttgnordic.com tel. +370 79267

Cover photo: Emil Hornstrup Jacobsen

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MORE TO SEE

MORE TO DO

MORE TO REMEMBER

Direktflyg Norden-Malta 2017 Stockholm-Arlanda - 11 månader om året med 3 flyg i veckan vår/höst och 6 flyg i veckan under högsäsong Nyhet 2017: SAS öppnar ny linje till Malta från Köpenhamn med 3 flyg i veckan under högsäsong Kopenhamn april-december samt från Oslo april-okt Skavsta året om och från Billund april-oktober Helsingfors 3 ggr i veckan april-oktober

MALTA IS MORE WWW.VISITMALTA.COM

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No362

AROUND THE WORLD

FRENCH FASHION, DANISH DESIGN

Photo: Givenchy

The French fashion house Givenchy is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year and has been in Copenhagen to shoot pictures for its 2017 collection. It was at the music venue Vega in Vesterbro, which was originally called the People’s House, designed by architect Vilhelm Lauritzen and built in 1956. The fashion house also visited a petrol station in Skovshoved dating from 1936, known as The Mushroom and designed by Arne Jacobsen. And last but not least, it visited the functionalist Hotel Astoria next to the Central Station in Copenhagen, designed by architect Ole Falkentorp and built in 1934-35 as a station hotel for DSB. In 2007, DGI-byen took over operations at this hotel and decorated it in collaboration with Gubi Design. In 2011, the budget chain Zleep Hotels took it over. Finally, in 2014, Brøchner Hotels adopted the rather rundown property. With an investment of DKK 15-20 million, the hotel has been renovated and restored to its old look with a new roof and was painted in its original colour, a light nougat. French fashion house Givenchy was at the Hotel Astoria next to Copenhagen’s Central Station.

SEASIDE HOTEL RESURRECTED After standing empty for five years, the Hotel Bretagne in Hornbæk, North Zealand, is being resurrected, opening in April following large-scale renovation. The hotel will have around ten employees and will be both an exclusive seaside hotel and venue for functions. The hotel was purchased two years ago by landowner and multimillionaire Henrik Frederiksen. The hosts will be Anne and Kasper Heebøll Harbo, who have a combined 40 years of industry experience. She is a waitress, academy economist in hotel leadership and, most recently, man-

Hosts Anne and Kasper Heebøll Harboe at the Hotel Bretagne.

ager of the Tisvildeleje Strandhotel. Kasper started out as a caretaker at the Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen and is currently hotel manager at the Schæffergården in Gentofte. “The hotel will have 23 rooms and suites and our goal is 5-star service. Because the hotel has been closed for five years there was no customer base, but we are well ahead of expectations,” Kasper Heebøll Harboe tells Stand By. The hotel’s large function room has space for 70 guests, while the Fireplace Room can accommodate 20 and the Boardroom 40.  HB

SENATOR: ”ENOUGH IS ENOUGH” New York Senator Charles Schumer, and Senate minority leader, threatens legislation if airlines continue to monetize every atom. His target: Overhead bin fees. American has announced that it would join United in instituting such a policy and adopt an overhead bin fee. Under the new “Basic Economy” fare, travelers can store a carry-on that fits below the seat, but will be charged extra if they want to lay claim to overhead real estate. More expensive Economy tickets still provide bin storage without additional charges. The company argues that, in creating a “new tier” of ticket, it makes airfare more affordable for flyers willing to travel lightly. “I’m announcing that in the upcoming FAA bill, which regulates the airlines, I’m going to lead a push to expand the airline passenger bill of rights…to add provisions so they don’t allow these extra fees for the overhead and for some other things - enough is enough,” says Charles Schumer.

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med Star Alliance.

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No362

INTERVIEW

A SPECIAL TALENT FOR LEADERSHIP The hotel manager at the 5-star Radisson Blu Royal in Copenhagen, Helene Hallre, has won several prizes for her inclusive, strategic leadership style and her overview of business issues. She enjoys a good challenge – not least when it involves her surfboard.

By Kitt Andersen Photo Emil Hornstrup Jacobsen

HELENE HALLRE CV Of course it’s not without reason that hotel manager Helene Hallre at the Radisson Blu Royal in Copenhagen has been named several times as the leadership talent of the year. Most recently, in November 2016, she ranked third among 91 finalists from the Norwegian business community by the financial and business online publication E24 in collaboration with the recruitment agency Boyden Executive Search. Nor was it without reason or due to any lack of planning that the 32-year-old manager asked to change our meeting date, which had been set for the beginning of January. When she was named leadership talent of the year, the jury noted that “she has impressed everyone with her leadership style, and she enjoys a high level of trust in every part of the organization. She is described as incredibly strategic, systematic and commercial, with an excellent overview and insight. Helene always has a Plan A and a Plan B.” And it was precisely this ability to think both strategically and commercially that prompted Helene Hallre to activate a Plan B and change her interview date. She came to the hotel in August 2015 from the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in Oslo at the same time that director Roy Al Kappenberger (who was also director of the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel) left the group after nearly 20 years. Helene Hallre became acting hotel director in January 2016, reporting to district manager Sonja Divé-Dahl, who is based in Sweden. But on January 1 of this year,

Helene got a new boss when 37-year-old Irishman Brian Gleeson was appointed as the new director. With Helene Hallre as hotel manager, the two of them now make up the leadership duo at the Radisson Blu Royal. And so on our new meeting date, it was not just Helene I met in the lobby of this 5-star hotel. The new date was timed to coincide with the announcement that same morning about the hiring of Brian Gleeson. It was a smart move on her part. A family affair Apart from her talent, Helene Hallre brings another advantage to the table as hotel manager and temporary hotel director: her family is firmly rooted in the hotel business. In 1936, her great grandmother and her great-great grandmother opened the Hotel Føniks in Oslo. It was run by the family for almost 70 years, and Helene worked there during a number of summer vacations. So her interest in making guests feel at home and her passion for the hotel business are part of her DNA. “While I was growing up, I think I mentioned several times that I would like to be a hotel director. It was more or less in my blood. It’s a dream I have pursued. And if you take this kind of pleasure in being a hotelier – if you have the feeling within yourself that this is your arena and that this is what drives you – then this is what you have to do,” she says. She began her career at the Radisson Blu Plaza in Oslo in 2005, later following

Helene Hallre is 32 years’ old and lives with her boyfriend in the Amager area of Copenhagen, near the beach. She holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel management from the University of Stavanger and a Master’s in international management and global leadership from Hawaii Pacific University. In 2012, she was named Young Leader of the Year at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in Oslo. In 2014, Helene Hallre was chosen by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Chapter Norway as young leader of the year in the hotel and travel business. In 2016, she was chosen from among 91 finalists as the third-best leadership talent in Norway by the country’s largest online financial and business newspaper E24 in collaboration with the recruitment agency Boyden Executive Search. Candidates were all under 35, all from the business world, and all of them had responsibility for results, staff and/or decision-making. Selections were based on interviews and references. Helene has been employed by Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group since 2005.

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up on her career goals with a stint at the Hawaii Pacific University, where she learned to surf. It’s a sport she still enjoys. She is highly enthusiastic about the western coast of Denmark and has been to Klitmøller with her board. She later added a stand-up paddleboard to her repertoire and has used it to experience coastal waters all over the country. But, after Hawaii, she was once again attracted to the Plaza and the Radisson Group. “I felt at home there and I was also attracted by the international arena that Radisson is a part of. As I stood there just before for my job interview and looked up at the 117-metre building, I thought that this could be the beginning of something fantastic. And now it’s fun to look back and see that I became part of a really good company that I truly u

LEADE R TH E GOO D lene Hallre,

g to He t be: Accordin ader mu s d a goo le

G ENGAGIN LISTENER A G OO D E INCLUSIV CLEAR MING FORTHCO

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No362

INTERVIEW

enjoy. That I have been noticed, that things were followed up in a positive way, and that I have had such excellent support.” Helene Hallre also has an idea about what it is that makes her such a good leader. “I’m a manager who listens. My focus is on including my staff in my decision-making. The door has to be 100

per cent open. But I also have a very operational focus.” A future as hotel director? Even though she has written proof of her leadership talent, she still wondered whether she could handle the job as acting hotel director. She asked those closest to her for advice and there was no doubt about the answers she received. “I realized that I was the only one who doubted whether I could do it,” she told the online business magazine E24.no in December 2016. When she came to Copenhagen from the Plaza in Oslo in summer 2015, she was part of a task force whose focus was food and beverage. She was only to cover a two-month maternity vacancy at the Radisson Blu. “I found Copenhagen delightful, and they were apparently pleased with my work. So I was asked if I wanted an extension, and it became permanent in January 2016.” During the time prior to the hiring of Brian Gleeson, she worked closely with district manager Sonja Divé-Dahl who coached and guided her. And now she can envisage herself as a hotel director, once she has reached the point where her experience matches the job. “Yes, I would like that. It is my goal and my dream.”

MY VACATION Your best vacation? “One of the best vacations I’ve ever had was a five-day tent and backpacking hike in Hardanger (an area east of Bergen along the Hardanger Fjord, a 179-kilometre-long body of water that is the world’s third-longest fjord, ed.). The freedom there was wonderful. It’s either that or Antibes in southern France.” Which airline do you use the most? “We have a long tradition with the company in this chain – SAS.”

Your dream destination? “I have travelled a great deal. When I was 19, I backpacked around the world for five months. But I would really love to go to Brazil. My sense is that it encompasses so much warmth and joy. The beach life is of course also an attraction.” Most important take-along item? “My travel diary. I have a whole shelf of them, and I love making them. Whenever I travel I’m constantly writing, cutting and pasting.”

RADISSON BLU ROYAL SAS Royal Hotel: When the hotel was built as Copenhagen’s first ‘’skyscraper’ in 1960 with 22 floors, 260 rooms and a height of 70m, it was called the SAS Royal Hotel. It was Denmark’s tallest building until 1969. It was also the very first Blu hotel and has a special status in the organisation. Arne Jacobsen: The world-famous Danish designer designed the façade, as well as the cutlery in the restaurant. Room 606, the Arne Jacobsen Suite, features the original interior from the 1960s and Arne Jacobsen design.

Alberto Kappenberger: The hotel’s first director from 1960 to 1985. The restaurant Alberto K on the top floor is named after him. His son Roy Al Kappenberger later became the director of the hotel from 2008 to 2015 and he lived with his family on the 20th floor. Radisson Hotels: When SAS bought shares in Radisson Hotels in 1994, the name was changed to the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel and then to Radisson Blu Royal in 2009 when SAS sold all of its shares. There are 380 Radisson Blu hotels. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group: Radisson Blu hotels are part of the Carlson Rezidor Group, which has more than 1,400 hotels in 115 countries divided between the brands Quorvus Collection, Radisson, Radisson Blu, Radisson Red, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites by Radisson. When the work is finished in a few years, the Carlson Rezidor Group will have invested 110 million euros in upgrading the Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson Hotels in Scandinavia.

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No362

INTERVIEW

Within the next couple of months, the hotel will begin to create arrangements for the citizens of Copenhagen, as has previously been the tradition. “I hope that people in Copenhagen will be proud of what we intend to do,” says Brian Gleeson.

“WE MUST STAND OUT” BY Kitt Andersen

Previously, the hotel director at the Radisson Blu Royal had also been responsible for other hotels. But Brian Gleeson, who was employed on January 1, will, together with hotel manager Helene Hallre, be focused only on the iconic Copenhagen hotel. The hotel in Hammerichsgade, fairly close to Tivoli Gardens and the Central Station, has a strong position in the entire Radisson organisation and, should the opportunity arise, few will turn down an offer to work there. Neither did the 37-year-old Irishman Brian Gleeson. He comes from having been the director of three hotels in Stavanger, but will now concentrate on just one. “Over the years, there have been various organisational setups concerning management at the Radisson Blu hotels in Copenhagen. The plans for the hotel, the market dynamics and the competition all play a part in determining the strategy and the individual management. The market in Copenhagen is extremely competitive; there are many hotels with high standards, and my biggest challenge will be to differentiate ourselves on the service. We must focus on the guest and create experiences that will be remembered, and we must stand out from all the other hotels in Copenhagen,” says Brian Gleeson, who is responsible for commercial strategy, quality and strategic long-term planning. The hotel director at the Radisson Blu

Royal has previously also been responsible for other hotels, but in the future he will, in cooperation with hotel manager Helene Hallre, make up the management duo at the hotel. No fear of Airbnb Of all the competitive parameters that Brian Gleeson must take into consideration, Airbnb is not one he spends much time on, even though the popular rental portal is now aiming to lure more business guests. “I have been asked this several times in recent years. Personally, I believe there is room for everyone in this segment, but when it comes to business guests then Airbnb is not causing me any sleepless nights. To put it very simply, we can give our business guests more than Airbnb can, and this is in particular regarding security. It is a critical point for business travellers. You need to feel safe, and this is a big part of our history. Here we will always win compared to Airbnb.” On the other hand, Brian Gleeson is, with his background in food and beverage, very interested in what is going on in the city’s restaurants.

“I have already been around Kødbyen, Vesterbro, Christianshavn and Østerbro, and I have visited both chains and individual restaurants. It’s impossible to be bored. Regardless of what you feel like, you can have it. It’s a foodie’s dream. You have some of the most visionary chefs in Copenhagen, who are sometimes seven, eight, ten years ahead of the trends. It’s fantastic.”

BRIAN GLEESON CV Graduate in Hotel & Catering Management from Griffith College in Dublin, Ireland, and the American Hotel & Lodging Association in Washington, USA. He was moreover named Best Hotelier by the MKG Worldwide Hospitality Awards 2014 for his efforts at the Radisson Blu Paradise Resort & Spa in Sochi, Russia. Brian Gleeson has been employed by Carlson Rezidor since 2001.

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VORES BELIGGENHED ER I VIRKELIGHEDEN DET MINDSTE

Er der én ting, vores gæster altid nævner i forbindelse med et arrangement, så er det følelsen af at være velkommen. Det lille smil. Den høflige betjening. Og den afslappede atmosfære, uanset om der er to eller trehundrede gæster. Vi elsker nemlig at holde fester. At forkæle med god mad, gode vine og gode oplevelser. Med andre ord tager vi ansvaret, så du kan nyde festen – præcis ligeså meget som alle dine gæster.

- an attraction in itself

admiralhotel.dk

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No362

QUIZ

WHAT WILL HAPPEN THIS YEAR? Win a luxury weekend for two from Friday to Sunday at the AC Bella Sky Hotel in Copenhagen. Answer the 20 questions we’ve put together about what might happen in the Danish and Scandinavian travel industry during the year ahead. We’ll find a winner in December. The stay includes breakfast, parking, access to the spa and a dinner for two.

Answer the questions before 28 February and send them to: konkurrence@standby.dk

The winner of Stand By ’s ‘quiz of th weekend sta e year to co y for two at me’ will enjo Denmark’s ya Bella Sky Cop largest hote enhagen. l, the AC Ho tel

1

Will SAS or DSB reopen their own travel agencies in Denmark?

2

Will President Donald Trump and Air Force One be visiting one of the Scandinavian countries this year?

3

Currently Aller Leisure have these travel agencies in Denmark: Beach Tours, Kulturrejser Europa, Nilles Rejser, and Nyhavn Rejser. Will Aller buy more Scandinavian travel agencies this year?

4

Will Australia, Canada or South Africa open an official tourist office in Scandinavia this year?

5

Will Ryanair overtake Norwegian at Copenhagen or Oslo airports when it comes to passenger numbers?

6

Will American Airlines or United Airlines start flying to Scandinavia this year?

7

Will Jutland’s Sun-Air start flights from Copenhagen?

8

Will SAS announce this year that it’s opening a new overseas route from Copenhagen, Oslo or Stockholm?

9

Will any of these directors get a new job this year: Sys Hansen (Danish director at the large business travel agency VIA Egencia), Dorte Krak (CEO at Copenhagen’s largest hotel chain, Arp-Hansen), or Thomas Woldbye (CEO at Copenhagen Airport)?

10

Will DFDS Seaways announce that it will get new ships for its Copenhagen-Oslo route this year?

11

Currently, BC (Bella Center) Hospitality Group has three hotels in Copenhagen – AC Hotel Bella Sky, Copenhagen Marriott Hotel and Crowne Plaza. Will the chain announce this year that it will acquire or build yet another Danish hotel?

12

Will this year’s Danish Travel Awards once again award 19 prizes – like in 2016?

13

Will Enterprise Biludlejning continue to be represented in Denmark by November 30?

14

Will Asiana from South Korea, Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong, or Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi start passenger flights this year to one or more of the main Scandinavian airports, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm?

15

Will there be common Scandinavian lregulations for Airbnb this year?

16

Will Royal Caribbean, by the end of the year, continue to be the only cruise company with its own sales office in Denmark?

17

Will one of the Danish hotel chains Arp-Hansen, CabInn or Guldsmeden Hotels be sold this year?

18

Will there be a new ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano this year?

19

Will one of the following chains announce it will open a hotel in Scandinavia this year: Four Seasons, Hyatt or Kimpton?

20

Will the United States win best travel destination outside Europe at this year’s Danish Travel Awards?

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CONTINUED GROWTH FOR SCANDIC Scandic is growing at a rate of between seven and ten per cent a year. Now Germany is the next step for expansion. “We used to hire young employees who we had to tell what to do. Today we take them in so they can tell us what to do,” says Frank Fiskers, who has seen his staff grow from 8,000 to 14,000 since returning as chief executive for Scandinavia’s largest hotel chain. “We’ve had an annual growth of between seven and ten per cent, and we now have 230 hotels. One of our newest additions is the prestigious Haymarket hotel, a former PUB department store just across from the concert hall in Stockholm. The turnover is 13 million Swedish kroner.” He continues: “Growth is clearly driven by the interest in Scandinavian design and food, among other things. In Norway, it’s the cruise industry that fills up many of our hotel rooms. We would like to expand, with more single acquisitions of hotels, or through new construction, also in Denmark. But the really big growth is now waiting to happen in Germany.” In January eight more hotels were added in Scandinavia when Scandic made an agreement with the companies Pandox and Ejendomsspar to run the hotels. Also read the interview with CEO Frank Fiskers on page 42. 

ACCOR IN NEW COLLABORATION AccorHotels is investing €11 million in a new collaboration with the well-known hospitality brand Banyan Tree Resorts. The amount represents 5 per cent ownership, and there’s an option for a further 5 per cent. In addition, a partnership has been initiated with Qatar Airways involving the two companies’ loyalty programs. With its 17 brands, AccorHotels has a Scandinavian turnover of one billion SEK out of a total of 50 billion SEK worldwide. Twenty per cent of its Scandinavian turnover comes from the travel business. The group includes 4,500 hotels, some of which are owned, while

others are operated or represent collaborations within the sphere of sales and marketing. AccorHotels has also opened its own booking page for independent hotels via its subsidiary Fast Booking. The strategy is to offer advantageous distribution and competitiveness compared to other booking pages, and the aim is to quickly increase the number of hotels from 4,500 to 10,000. “Previously, digital sales activities have hinged on networking and many social contacts, but now we want to include digital solutions in a more serious and professional collaboration with the travel business,” explains Jan Birkelund, who has been head of Accor Scandinavia for 13 years, after previously serving as sales manager at KLM.

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No362

COMMENTARY

By Ejvind Olesen

SUNNY OPTIMISM – WITH GOOD REASON?

Most players in the Scandinavian travel business are publicly predicting a very good year, but there are many uncertainties and threats on the way. Baby food vs. security in Florida. No matter who you asked about the outlook for the future at the beginning of this year, the answers showed a budding optimism based on 2016, which was a very good year for most in the travel business. But there were also some serious setbacks, and terrorist threats and grave events continued into the new year. Within the first ten days of January we saw yet another heavy vehicle attack, in Jerusalem, and at the airport in Fort Lauderdale a terrorist passenger caused

death and injury in the arrivals hall. Why on earth should parents have to stand at a security checkpoint and taste their baby’s food to prove there are no explosives in the bottle, while a war veteran can legally check in with a weapon in his luggage in Alaska and start shooting and killing as soon as he retrieves it from the baggage carousel in Florida? This is going to mean extra security checks in future – and fewer passengers. The two biggest Scandinavian airlines,

Norwegian and SAS, operate in this high-tension world of air travel. The performance of both will be a decisive factor for winter and summer seasons to come in Scandinavia. This goes for business traffic as well as discount routes. Charter companies have joined in the competition. In general, they will have a million passengers a year, regardless of whether times are good or bad. Generally speaking the field is crowded, and passengers are benefitting from this as never before.

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SAS has a new regional partner It took SAS quite a while to find a new owner for Cimber. But, at the end of January, the Irish regional carrier CityJet took it over. It appears to be a good deal, where Cimber will remain based in Copenhagen – much to the delight of the 250 staff. In future, SAS will shift focus away from regional routes and concentrate on long haul and the most profitable business area, medium haul within Europe.

It might appear odd that SAS could not make a profit out of operating its own low-cost carrier, Cimber. Something that SAS management really envisioned could have been feasible just a few years ago. And it is a vision that many of Europe’s major airlines subscribe to. LCCs these days are in the pipeline at the likes of Lufthansa, Air France/KLM and IAG (British Airways, Iberia, etc.). All with the same purpose, to reduce labour costs.

Norwegian can be hard-hit A new threat against Norwegian is the new US president. That is, we don’t really know what will happen at the time of going to press. All we know is that some intense lobbying is taking place to withdraw the permission to fly with an Irish license. If that happens, it will bring down the entire Open Skies agreement on free global competition. This will send us back to the days of monopolies, higher ticket prices and the resulting consequences. There will again be a market for bilateral agreements, with more expensive tickets and more regulation to follow. The entire travel business is bubbling with optimism, but terror can tip the balance in no time. Oil prices, the political situation in many countries, exchange rates and the survival instincts of the air travel business can change a great deal. Danish customers, together with the travel business, are usually able to keep their balance through difficult times. Will this also happen in 2017? The answer is blowing in the wind.

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No362

TECHNOLOGY

HABITS ARE HARD TO CHANGE Travelport’s Ian Heywood, Global Head of Product & Marketing, Air Commerce, in conversation with easyJet’s Head of Business, Anthony Drury, on the left and the former CEO for Go Air, Giorgio De Roni, on the right.

By Kitt Andersen

The customers are ready, but many airlines are not. Companies lack the competence and are too slow to adapt to the new digital reality. Whereas it used to be the airline that usually set the pace, it’s now the digital possibilities and not least the customer that control developments today. And they are demanding and impatient. But some of the older players in the market are having a hard time keeping up with the process. The technology may be available but the competencies are missing. “Many companies would like to, but they’re not very good at it. Low-cost carriers are doing a much better job. They are better at making money, while the traditional companies are very bad at merchandising. But the competencies needed for the industry are lacking. Companies are trying, but the collaboration is not good enough to make it work,” said Travelport’s Ian Heywood, Global Head of Product & Marketing, Air Commerce, at CAPA’s conference in October in a panel discussion about the gulf between the opportunities, what

the airlines offer and what companies and travellers want. Not keeping up “Their current systems are one of the challenges faced by the traditional companies – that is to say, organisational. It’s not just a question of digitisation but also a matter of who will operate it. There is a lack of education,” Ian Heywood said. Travelport, which provides solutions for distribution, technology and payment for the travel industry via their platforms, have specialised in assembling the offers from the individual airlines and giving them the opportunity to be presented with their own visual identity through Travelport’s Rich Content and Branding solution. Most recently, Finnair was the 200th partner to enter into an agreement to be represented in Travelport’s system, which allows travel agents and companies to access fares, additional options and booking in real time. Mobile only KLM CEO Pieter Elbers also finds that the corporate culture is having a tough time

keeping up with digital development. “I started working at KLM 24 years ago. When I returned to the place where I started and everything had been digitalised, I discovered that all of our internal procedures were still the same as they were 20 years ago,” he said as a keynote speaker at the CAPA conference in Amsterdam. On the other hand, KLM is effective when it comes to communicating with customers. The company has made it possible to check in via Messenger. When booking, the customer is asked if he/she would prefer to be contacted via Messenger and if so, the subsequent communication takes place through that channel. “The speed at which change happens is something we are all struggling with. There is no longer such a thing as mobile first. It is mobile only. The future lies in generic apps like Facebook Messenger.” Similarly, the Chinese app WeChat has upended flight and hotel bookings. WeChat has more than 800 million users a month and 200 million users have attached a credit card to their account.

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No362

med Star Alliance.

AT THE OFFICE

Af Kitt Andersen

SOMEONE MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY When Lars Engmose decided to leave Haldor Topsøe after 16 years with the company, he felt a desire to do something completely different. Yet circumstances led him back to business travel. Not as an employee, but with his own company. At the turn of the year 2015, Lars Engmose left his job as Global Director for Travel Management & Travel Security with Haldor Topsøe. He wanted to do something entirely different than working with business travel which he had done for Haldor Topsøe alone for 16 years – and liked very much. ”I thought I’d been there and done it all. And it’s no secret either that a long illness concerning our youngest daughter had a certain say in the decision making too,” says Lars Engmose. Already in January 2016, Lars Engmose speaks with his former boss Søren Lund, who had left Haldor Topsøe in 2009 where he had been offered a job in another international company, and after that he had been in Switzerland for the previous three years. He is on his way back to Denmark and wants to do something with Lars Engmose. Meanwhile, Lars is in contact with Momondo.pro among others in order to thank them for a good working relationship, and he is asked if he would be interested in doing a single job for them.

ment with Momondo.pro as the exclusive distributor of their software in the Nordic countries. ”With Momondo.pro, the companies first and foremost have their own data. This means very unique opportunities for controlling the entire travel area, including the optimisation of cost savings and also an efficiency improvement and improved synergy. Furthermore, the companies are less vulnerable as they keep all their data. Last but not least, Momondo.pro can be tailored to fit the company 100 per cent, which makes for a high degree of compliance,” explains Lars Engmose. He adds that for many years there has not been enough focus on qualifications

in the travel management area, and in some cases, this function has been outsourced without much success. Lars Engmose and Søren Lund therefore see great potential for their new company and their aim to help negotiate supplier agreements, draw up a travel policy and implement safety instructions etc. But they can also help companies in their search for the right person to handle the job in the future. ”In major companies, you need to prioritise the professional qualifications and demand higher standards for jobs in the travel department like you do with other support jobs such as HR, PR and IT. This can create much value for the company.”

New possibilities Søren Lund and Lars Engmose discuss this carefully as they both have positive experiences with Momondo.pro’s software, and not least the advantages they themselves have benefitted very much from. The result is the formation of the consultancy firm Save Travel Management which focuses on companies with significant travel activity. At the same time, they enter into a partnership agree-

Lars Engmose and Søren Lund have set up the consultancy firm Save Travel Management. In addition, they provide Momondo.pro’s software with an optimisation of the working procedures. Photo: Ida Marie Engmose

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No362

GADGET

SLEEP BETTER ON BOARD A classic situation on the plane if you’ve been assigned a seat in the middle or on the aisle: you wake up with a jump as your head moves forward. Some more-or-less comfortable solutions are available to prevent this from happening. Cabeau Evolution Pillow is a kind of neck pillow in a patented ergonomic design thought to be particularly good with memory foam adjusting without losing its shape. And it has got a little extra feature, a pocket where you can keep your mobile phone. It can also be folded. Seen at coolstuff.dk for DKK 319.

DANISH BRAND IN KEY WEST Not every day we see a Danish hotel developing its own brand for the bathroom - and furthermore gets contacted by a hotel in Key West that wants I Love Eco Essentials, which is the name of the series, in their rooms. And they will get them this spring. ”We think it is just great to be contacted from both here and there. They find us online, by themselves, get to know about it or tries it when staying at Guldsmeden Hotels,” says Mia Thielsen, Project Coordinator with Guldsmeden Hotels. The products can be found in a couple of smaller hotels in Denmark, and also with some retailers. But it remains the hotel industry, which is the primary focus. Prices vary from DKK 40 to DKK 375. Iloveecoessentials.com

PREVENT JETLAG

SEARCHING FOR WI-FI

If you have fairly flexible working hours and are able to vary meeting times at work, then Jet Lag Rooster may be useful in order to prevent jetlag. It’s based on scientific research and is quite simple to use. You just need to enter your place of departure, destination, time of departure and time of arrival, as well as some information about your sleeping habits. The app then calculates suggestions on when you should go to bed and when to get up, say three days before departure, in order to have a smooth transition when you arrive at your destination. It’s completely free of charge and may be downloaded for both iPhone and Android.

You rarely make a mistake with Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts whenever you need free Wi-Fi on the road. But there are many other fine places too, and now you can find them with the app Café Wifi. Through user reviews, local cafeterias and hotspots are put on a map, and the organisers are working to add more. For both iPhone and Android.

ONE TRAVELLER TO ANOTHER Thule’s new collection, Thule Subterra, has been developed in cooperation with the company’s CEO Magnus Welander. He says: “This is not just another series that we have developed. I have added my own personal experiences and needs to the process and created a series of travellers’ bags and luggage that all active business travellers like myself need.” Prices from DKK 399 to 2,749.

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GENERATION Z

No362

med Star Alliance.

ADVERTORIAL

– A NEW GENERATION OF BUSINESS TRAVELERS

1. CONSCIOUSNESS IS THE NEW BLACK Whether it’s about money, health or the environment: Gen Z knows what it’s doing. A business trip must offer clear added value before a Gen Z’er even decides to leave on the trip. And if he decides to leave, he pays attention to matters such as the ecological footprint, sustainable overnight accommodation (enter sharing economy), the ability to link a personal experience to the trip, etc.

2. VIDEO IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT Joakim Krumlinde Director Commercial, Sweden BCD Travel and Ticket Biz

We just got used to the Millennials in our work environment, as a new generation of employees hops into our workplaces. According to various sources, the ‘Generation Z’ youngsters can’t wait to graduate and begin their careers. Entrepreneurship is booming worldwide amongst young people. A new generation of workers, also means a new generation of business travelers. So it’s about time we get to know “Generation Z”. What defines them? And what is their impact on the business travel sector? For anybody who doesn’t know them: Generation Z are the youngsters born between mid-90s and early 2000s. Although they have, at first glance, much in common with Gen Y, who preceded them, some studies still show differences. Gen Z would stand more realistically in life, lift the concept of ‘digital native’ to a whole new level, show more entrepreneurship, etc. This generation has grown up in a constant state of crisis, both in the financial and social, as well as the environmental field. This has created an impact on their perception of the world, and will also have an impact on the way they deal with work. And business travel is linked to working. That’s why it’s important for us as TMCs, to think about the most important things we should keep in mind when it comes to young business travelers, our future customers.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Follow us on Twitter @bcdtravel_se or visit www.bcdtravel.se

An American study showed that Gen Z views twice as much video on a mobile device than older generations, and that 70% spend more than 2 hours a day on YouTube. Video calls and conferences make their lives so much easier, and are an important element to include into the corporate travel program and offering.

3. ALWAYS A SMARTPHONE IN HAND … The first generation of real digital natives uses an average of 5 different screens a day: smartphone, tablet, laptop, smartwatch and tv. They are ultraconnected, and expect the same of the rest of the world. Also of their travel manager and travel agent.

4. 8 SECONDS If the average attention span was 12 seconds in 2000, we can be sure that it now has reduced to 8 seconds. It’s obvious that we have to attract and retain attention in a very quick way. Do this by using relevant and personal messages. Stop using long introductions, but quickly get to the essence. A message about a delayed flight? Start with “Flight to NY 2 hrs delayed”. This is what the traveler gets to see on his smartwatch. The rest is irrelevant.

5. PERSONAL CONTACT = EXTRA POINTS Generation Z was raised in an era of self-service, where everything is pretty easy to find and order online, without intervention of a sales person or advisor. This also applies to business travel, and will be even more so in the future. But does a youngster have a complex question about their travel or just a general problem? Then you score extra points by quickly (read: within a couple of minutes) helping them in a personal way. Whether that’s through Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, chat or just by phone. The last couple of years, the future role of travel agents has been criticized in a negative way. Yet, a lot of (business) travelers rely on a travel agent. Amongst them also a lot of young people. They realize more and more that experts can add important value that saves both time and money, and provides a nicer experience. So make an effort to really get to know this new generation, try to get an idea of what exactly engages Generation Z, and think about ways to anticipate as an industry. This way, we ensure that the future is only going to look brighter. 21

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No362

DBTA

READY FOR THE FUTURE! By Anne Mette Berg General Manager, Danish Business Travel Association

How much is a travel purchaser worth to a company? How is travel policy communicated, what is the role of TMCs, and is your mobile strategy in place? These are just a few of the subjects that travel management will deal with in 2017. The DBTA has been a networking organisation for travel managers and travel purchasers for over 45 years. The network was later expanded to include suppliers and today we represent all parties in business travel, meetings and events. We have maintained our membership by staying focused on the organisation’s three key concepts – knowledge-sharing, network and competence – and by staying abreast of the future in everything we do. The theme of the DBTA’s meetings and activities in 2017 will therefore be ‘Travel management – ready for the future’. First of all, we want to explain what the concept of travel management means in 2017. It can be difficult for old as well as new businesses to understand that a knowledgeable travel purchaser can add great value – after all, “how hard can it be to buy a trip?” We will also explore and explain the idea of stakeholders and the nature of their role.

How do we manage end-to-end? Everyone is talking about personalisation. Is this possible for business travel, or in cases where the business has already defined its travel policy? And speaking of travel policy, how do we best communicate it, now that the internet is going out of fashion? We’ll investigate the possibilities. End-to-end is a concept we’ve been talking about for several years. A business trip is more than a plane ticket and hotel room, and a meeting is more than just booking a venue. How do we ensure that the reservation, the trip and the travel expense report function seamlessly and take all elements into account? And what are the latest trends in the

We must learn to understand each other, even though we sit on opposite sides of the table

meeting industry? Can new technology – also with the well-known suppliers – help to ensure that we can deliver excellent, personalised travel from end-to-end? Open and honest dialogue We will also be highlighting collaboration and agreements. What role will the TMCs and business travel agencies play in the future? Is the dialogue open and honest when we work with RFP, agreements,

development, new technology, etc.? We must learn to understand each other, even though we sit on opposite sides of the table. And now everything has to be accessible on your smartphone. Does your business have a mobile strategy? Which are the ’go’ and ’no-go’ apps? Can everything be booked online? And what if something happens during the trip? We’ll be looking at all of this. Data is always on the agenda. In May 2018, the new EU personal data regulation will come into force. Together with the Association of Danish Travel Agents, we’ll take a look at the content. We will also examine reporting, ownership and best practice for the use of all travel data. Our members can also look forward to gaining new knowledge about meetings & events, payment solutions, duty of care and much more. The first big event of the year will be NBTS | Nordic Business Travel Summit 2017, to be held in Stockholm on February 9 and 10. The programme was put together in collaboration between the four Nordic countries. Welcome to a year of exciting meetings!

Danish Business Travel Association has around 120 members, including around 40 travel managers, while the others are suppliers for the travel industry – e.g. airlines, hotels, car rental, travel tech firms and more.

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By Torben Rodenberg Director, Carlson Wagonlit Travel CWT Denmark

WE WILL HAVE TOO FEW TRAVEL CONSULTANTS Too few in the travel trade take on trainees. That is a shame both for the trade and for the young, who are a great asset because of their engagement and their experience with new technology. We know there will be a shortage of good, well trained travel consultants in the coming years. Despite more and more bookings being made online, the total number of bookings is growing year by year and that’s why we will also need travel consultants in the future. Therefore, I think our industry must share the responsibility of educating more trainees. I know that it takes time and resources to train people but there is a strong business case – trainees create greater value. We all want well qualified employees. So more should be done to create apprenticeships if we want in the future to provide excellent service with a qualified workforce. It is a big bonus that every year we are able to celebrate that we have again taught clever and highly qualified young

people. I am both happy and proud whenever I have the opportunity of congratulating them. In 2016, CWT could celebrate five apprentices who were able to call themselves office assistants specialising in travel. Four of the trainees are now employed, dedicated workers at CWT and they create high value daily for the company and our customers.

It is my wish for 2017 that the trade is willing to demonstrate social responsibility and create workplaces to educate more trainees

The young inspire We must not forget that at CWT we have trained young people who are now capable of contributing with inspiration and knowledge to us ‘oldies’ in the industry. They have a greater understanding of the digital advancement and have un-

” The four trainees who have recently finished their education at CWT. From left: Fie Abildgaard, Malene Kristensen, Asbjørn Rytter and Katja Rosenkvist Jensen. Photo: CWT.

believable drive – they come in with new ideas, high levels of engagement, plus strong faith in the new digital advances that are making the industry even more interesting. They also understand how to give our customers good service and sound advice. On November 1 last year, two new trainees arrived at CWT. They are already fully integrated in our daily routine at CWT and are doing great work. There is no doubt that they can look forward to an exciting learning experience as travel life trainees. It is my wish for 2017 that the trade is willing to demonstrate social responsibility and create workplaces to educate fine trainees. We all have the need for clever, well qualified employees. A greater sense of social responsibility will play a decisive role, both for the branch and for the future education of the young.

TORBEN RODENBERG Originally trained in the shipping industry and was first employed in business travel by DFDS Travel in 1994. After having several leadership positions at different travel agencies, he arrived at Carlson Wagonlit Travel in 2005 as Account Management Director and member of the Country Management Team. In 2015, he was appointed Administrative Director as well as taking responsibility for Nordic Program Management. Torben Rodenberg’s educational background is in Executive Management Training from the International Business School INSEAD in Paris. Privately, Torben Rodenberg lives in Dragør with his two children, Veronica and Luca, and their dog Molly.

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No362

PATA

NICHES ARE VITAL FOR TRAVEL AGENCIES Panelists and members of the PATA Executive Board attending the debate included (from left) futurologist Nils Elmark, Martin Schmidtsdorff (PATA, employed at Atlantic Link), Peter Cramon of Travelport, Momondo’s Pia Vemmelund, Claus Bille (PATA, employed at Sunhotels), Rune Seebach of Google and Executive Board members Micky Maceiras of Norwegian and Christian Bjerre of British Airways.

By Claus Vestergaard Pedersen Chairman, PATA Denmark

There is much debate in Copenhagen about the future of the travel business. The advice from a panel of experts? “Traditional travel agencies should find niches and make themselves more visible.” The heavyweights in the travel business have grown even heavier – and the smaller ones should become more spe-

New website PATA has updated its website, which now includes, among other things, a link to the association’s Facebook page. The site also includes photos from recent events as well as news and information about future events. For example, the dates for this year’s Worldwide Workshops are already online: November 1 in Aarhus, and then the following day in Copenhagen. The PATA Denmark Executive Board wishes all members and partners a happy 2017. Without you, there would be no PATA.

cialized. This was one of the messages from experts invited by PATA to discuss the challenges facing the travel agencies of the future. Participating in the debate, which took place in November at the Radisson Blu Hotel Scandinavia in Copenhagen, were Peter Cramon, director of the Travelport reservation system in Denmark, Pia Vemmelund, director of the search engine Momondo, and Rune Seebach, industry manager at Google. Moderating the debate was futurologist Nils Elmark. More than 100 listeners representing agencies, hotels and airlines attended the event, where Rune Seebach of Google remarked: “Travel agencies must be in touch with their customers. It’s not just about selling airline tickets and hotel accommodation. Competitors such as Airbnb will, for example, also offer destination activities.” Knowing a few tricks Momondo’s Pia Vemmelund said that travel agencies need to be aware of the apps that capture market share from local players. “We’re talking about the latest technologies and constant optimization,” she said. She predicted that the travel business would in future become increasingly consolidated. Heavyweights will get heavier, especially online, and more marketing will be necessary to increase customer awareness of one’s brand.

“Growth will especially take place online,” Peter Cramon said. “Traditional travel agencies will need to know some tricks that can’t be performed by search engine robots. And they will have to teach young people how to use a travel agency – and to know that not everything happens online,” the Travelport director said. Other suggestions from the panel of

Traditional travel agencies will need to know tricks that can’t be performed by search engine robots

experts at the one-hour event included: travel agencies should have knowledge that cannot be found online; and the agency should provide unique customer experiences and thus create more value. The panel also pointed out the necessity of making traditional travel agencies more visible – for example through collaborations that can boost their profile in relation to customers.

PATA – Pacific Asia Travel Association. For more info: pata.org or pata.dk

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med Star Alliance.

NORTH ZEALAND TO BOOST BUSINESS TOURISM By Henrik Baumgarten

New and unique partnerships will draw more business tourists to North Zealand, an area that already makes up around 20 per cent – 1 billion kroner – of Denmark’s annual intake from tourism. The region that also markets itself as The King’s North Zealand would naturally like to attract more meetings and conferences. To assist meeting planners and others, a brochure about business tourism has just been published in Danish and English. “This is possibly the first time that five municipalities have worked together to throw focus on business tourism in their region,” Berit Elmark, chief consultant at the tourism organization Visit North Zealand, tells Stand By.

The five North Zealand municipalities to which Visit North Zealand belongs are Fredensborg, Gribskov, Halsnæs, Helsingør and Hillerød. The latest figures show that the municipalities saw around 200,000 business-related overnight stays, and that one-day meetings gave a tourist consumption of just over 1 billion kroner. palities themselves come up with ideas for their own best meeting venues and attractions. The cooperation has also included Greater Copenhagen and business institutes. It is, for example, a great tool for meeting planners or organizers of study trips for the North Zealand companies,” says Berit Elmark.

New partners There are 15 partners cooperating in business tourism in North Zealand, amongst which are Comwell Borupgaard, Kronborg and Marienlyst. Recently Sundbusserne, which sails between Helsingør and Helsingborg, became partners. The ship is available, among other things, for sailing trips with events. “In the new brochure the five munici-

The brochure on business tourism can be seen online at tinyurl.com/Erhv-KN

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No362

TOURISM

NOT ALL ARE HALAL TOURISTS Muslims will be a more significant tourist group in the future.

By Jan Ohlsson

The next wave in tourism could be Muslims. In 2020, one in ten tourists could be Muslim, or about 168 million. The ratings institute Crescent Rating, together with MasterCard, studied how prepared countries are for the coming wave of Muslim tourists, which could number 168 million by 2020. The Nordic countries ranked low, with Denmark at the top, placed 72nd out of 130. The World Trade Organisation believes that Muslim tourism could generate a turnover of US$100 million by 2020. The phenomenon is called Halal Tourism in the media, but in Sweden it has been met with some surprise. “We take into account a number of factors when it comes to tourism, for example sexual orientation and culture,” says Bitte Olsson, corporate communications manager at Visit Sweden. “However, religion is not critical and we don’t really have religious tourism. We work primarily with 13 major markets, where India, which has a large Muslim population, is the fastest growing. But we are not experiencing any complaints.” Crescent Rating lists travel destinations according to the possibility of separating women and men, the ability to pray, alcohol not being served and the option to eat halal meat. At the same time, Muslim tourists, up to 50% of them, insist on travelling with their family and value safety and security. Swedish model of halal slaughter The Swedish Halal Council accepts halal slaughter with stunning. The animal receives water before it is killed and is turned towards Mecca.

This means there is Swedish halal meat for the country’s approximately 160,000 Muslims and also for restaurants. TripAdvisor can tell you, for example, Stockholm’s ten best halal restaurants. Originally, halal slaughter does not involve any anaesthesia. The Swedish Halal Council explains, however, that very few Muslims have made objections in Sweden. “It is not always easy to find a restaurant,” admits Irma Aalto at Fin-S, a PR representative for Malaysia. “But we have no problem with, for example, offering vegetarian food.” “Our fastest growing inbound market to Stockholm, in percentage terms, is Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country,” says Björn Ekegren, country manager for Emirates. “I have not heard any complaints at all, except maybe about the weather. India has exceeded China in inbound, no problems there either.” Muslim tourism not a uniform concept In addition, the travel trade is asking itself the question, what is Muslim tourism? Islam is divided into Shia and Sunni and furthermore there are many people in countries like Iraq or Iran with connections to the Nordic region who are Christians. Attitudes toward alcohol and the niqab are very different. The 160 million Muslim tourists are not a uniform group. Many will experience it differently. Several travel industry representatives TTG Nordic spoke to believe that the cultural background is more important than the religious one, but find the matter “politically sensitive”. With 500,000 Muslims living in Sweden, there is already a high percentage of family-related tourism.

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“COPYCATS ARE A FACT OF LIFE” By Peter Fredberg

In a hard-pressed market, Albatros owner Søren Rasmussen takes a look at the future of his agency and at the travel business in general. And he’s optimistic. Competition has become tougher in the travel business. The Scandinavian and especially the Danish market is under pressure, and copycats are on the rise. But Albatros Travel’s owner and chairman of the board Søren Rasmussen has an optimistic take on 2017. “Financially, 2016 was a good year with gains at both top and bottom – mostly the latter. We are touching the level of our best year-end results. Profits were shown in all related companies , even in East Africa, which has been hard hit by terrorism.” He adds: “Advance sales look optimistic, although much can change in this uneasy world. And I have to admit – between you and me – that we are hard-pressed on the Danish market where competition has taken its toll.” Why has competition got tougher? “It’s all about that buzzword ‘disruption’. We don’t talk much about it in the travel business, despite the fact that all the older agencies that focus on individual travellers have been given a thrashing by search engines, internet bureaus and online hotel and flight bases. Anyone who has not managed to develop their own concept or niche is out of luck. And this is the pinch we feel in our modest little touring niche, where a horde of new players have moved in. “In 1996, we developed a little India tour, and a few years later we dusted off a drive-it-yourself vacation and turned it into a Wild West Tour. It was a huge success, and we had it to ourselves for a wonderfully long time. Today there are at least ten versions of it, all based on the same formula. And that’s how it is with many other products.” Could it be said that disruption has caused more copying and cheaper trips? “Copycats are a fact of business

life that we simply have to live with. And I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to do the same, if anyone were to come up with something original. But you have to be good to make a good copy, and the skill of the travel agency is reflected in its bottom lines. So there is, perhaps, some justice in this world. “And trips may be getting cheaper but it’s not just because the agencies are earning less. Production is also cheaper. Some are simply pulling all the content out of the trip and selling it on the side. So what we’re seeing now is that some trips are getting get cheaper and cheaper, while similar trips are being developed that cost significantly more.” Trips are not just getting cheaper, they’re also losing quality? “No, ‘cheap’ is not necessarily the same as ‘bad’. The most expensive trips will typically have a higher standard of accommodation, but I will admit that it can be extremely difficult for consumers to tell the difference between trips that resemble each other. Usually you probably get what you pay for, and when you look at markets such as Germany, it seems that the bottom has yet to be reached.” In conclusion, Søren Rasmussen has this to say about the general level of travel. “Danes travel a lot. They like to get away several times a year. This means more quantity than quality, and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. But we must expect that the world’s biggest or most attractive sights will become less and less accessible to those on a tight budget.”

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No362

MICE

THE FASCINATION OF

SPEED

By Mette Damgaard Petersen Photo: MDP & Rapido Travel

Formula 1 attracts hundreds of thousands of fans every year. Interest in motor sports is rising in Denmark, and a niche bureau now specialises in package tours to the most important races. The greatest of these is Formula 1 at the Monza track in Milan. A deafening, motorised roar engulfs the area and there is a rush of excitement among the spectators as the time trialling begins and the colourful, streamlined vehicles start zooming past the grandstands at close range. I hurriedly reach for the all-important earplugs provided by our guide. We are at the iconic Monza track in Milan – home of Ferrari, as witnessed by the countless, dedicated fans now waving the characteristic red flag. The Monza track is known for its old-school charm – a historic track that has provided asphalt for some of the world’s best auto racing as well as some of the worst accidents in motor sports. The top speed at this 5.7-kilometre high-speed track was clocked at 377 kilometres per hour, and the many swoops and curves allow spectators a view of the race from a great number of grandstands and standing platforms. As the world’s most prestigious motor sports race, Formula 1 has always been surrounded by an aura of mystery and fascination. As many as 800 million people witness the race, including 200,000 enthusiastic spectators on the final day. Motor sport is the third most viewed sport-

ing event, just after the Olympics and World Cup football. Great teams from Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull have an annual budget of €400 million, the formal budget ceiling. Each of them has more than 1,000 employees, including specially trained engineers who continuously work to further improve the vehicles. National festival The Monza track is located in a park where ancient trees cast cooling shadows in the Italian summer heat. Great banners advertising international luxury brands flutter everywhere and endless streams of beer and panini flow across the counters of innumerable food stalls. Surprisingly, it seems impossible to find a good cup of cappuccino – here in Italy! But then again, being a sponsor of this world-famous race is not inexpensive. It is said that the contract for Heineken, the main sponsor, is €3 billion over a threeyear period. A blare of lively music and giant-screen sound washes over the small groups who are picnicking on benches and blankets, and the mood is like a national festival. The Formula 1 finale is still a couple of days away, but when you are travelling

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RAPIDO TRAVEL • Guests meet racing drivers on every trip. • Supplementary tickets may be purchased for VIP events. • Trips include visits to the Ferrari factory and museums and a Ferrari test drive. • Guests are guaranteed grandstand seating and a minimum 4-star hotel. Standards are differentiated; prices vary according to level. • The price range is 10,000-12,000 Danish kroner for four days, plus extras. • Rapido supports young Danish racing talent. • To see the race from the VIP Lounge and participate in the Pit Lane • Walk, membership of the Paddock Club is required. Tickets cost just under 45,000 Danish kroner. • Rapido gladly arranges tailor-made experiences such as limousine service, sightseeing and dining in Milan. • Rapido also arranges tours to racing events around the world.

with 300 inveterate motor sports fans, you will of course be at the track all day for three consecutive days. The first day offers free seating, to the great delight of my travelling companions who eagerly wander here, there and everywhere in order to see the track from as many angles as possible, and we cheer every time Kevin Magnussen zips by in his yellow Renault.

“The interest in motor sports has increased over recent years, especially since Kevin Magnusson arrived on the scene. It is totally unique that we have a Danish driver among the 22 Formula 1 drivers around the world,” Martin Bjerg continues. Around 80% of Rapido’s customers are

u

Petrol in the blood As the son of a Ferrari employee who always wore those red coveralls and who comes from a family deeply involved in motor sports, Martin Bjerg has always had petrol in his blood. Today he is the owner of Rapido, a niche bureau specialising in motor sports tours. It has four employees and a number of associated guides who are used regularly. “Rapido’s guides cannot be compared to the more traditional package-tour guides,” he says. “We are driven by a shared passion for motor sports, about which all of our employees are highly knowledgeable.” Supporting Danish talent is an important part of the concept, rooted in motor sports and borne forward by a huge network. 29

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No362

MICE

businesses that send customers, sponsors and employees on incentives. Perhaps not surprisingly, its guests are mostly male, but women – often girlfriends or wives of the men – are treated like queens. They will typically be at the track for the finale and spend the rest of their time sightseeing and shopping in Milan. A nice guy Secretive whispers and a quavering buzz accompanies the small talk and clinking of glasses in the hotel bar. We are all sitting here waiting, a group of excited guests. Time drags on, people look at their watches. Has he been delayed? At last we are waved down into a basement-level conference room. We are welcomed and informed that he has been on the track all day and hasn’t had his dinner yet, so he may not stay for long. A silence settles over the room – and he walks in. Kevin Magnusson. Totally relaxed in shorts and a t-shirt. He looks a little tired, smiles modestly. Then the participants are invited to ask questions. “Is it an advantage or a disadvantage to be a nice guy in Formula 1?” an older gentleman wants to know. “It’s an advantage for working with the team, because it’s important that we work well together, but when it comes to the competition you really need to be a jerk,” the race driver replies with a twinkle in his eye. After a few more technical questions the meeting ends in a round of applause and selfies. Kevin Magnussen has time for everyone.

THE STUFF DREAMS ARE MADE OF At the Ferrari museums in Maranello you can get up close and personal with exclusive luxury vehicles that are sold for astronomical eight-digit sums. One of these museums offers the chance to see the latest bolt of lightning as well as some of the older models, plus trophies and portraits of Formula 1 stars through the years. Afterwards we take a guided bus trip around the factory area. The mystery surrounding the brand is kept alive by refusing access to us ordinary mortals. Only a chosen few Ferrari Cliente are invited inside the hallowed halls on Ferrari Factory Days. To be among them you have to own at least one Ferrari. One of the really expensive ones. The factory produces 7,700 automobiles a year, with delivery times of one to three years. We drive past the Ferrari Studio, where customers can choose between hundreds of models that can be fitted with personal touches – an Arab oil sheik, for example, recently had his name written on the upholstery in real diamonds. We pass the Ferrari Style Centre, tastefully appointed with lighting, fountains and soft music that is meant to promote creativity and inspiration among the designers. In the departments for chassis and motors, 700 to 900 motor components are hand-assembled by mechanics. Here a corner of the veil is lifted when a door opens and a pair of red-clothed mechanics step out of the building. Photography is strictly forbidden, even from the bus. Finally, we reach the painting area, which is the last stop before the automobiles are ready for delivery – an event celebrated with a champagne ceremony for the nearest and dearest.

Formula 1 finale On the day of the finale, the mood at the Monza track is charged. All the spectators are in place at starting time. The defending world champion Lewis Hamilton, who drives a Mercedes, is leading the pack. A bellowing, hair-raising cheer rings out over the stands as he is overtaken by two Ferraris. The suspense is palpable over the entire race, which ends in victory for Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg. In keeping with tradition, the track is then opened up to spectators and thousands of people run, cycle, skateboard and roll around the track. And finally, the crowd assembles for an emotional awards ceremony around the finish line. But the church bells won’t be ringing today. That only happens when Ferrari wins. 30

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No362

MICE

“THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A NEED TO MEET”

Af Mette Damgaard Petersen

A myriad of seminars engaged and educated participants at Cisco Live.

By Mette Damgaard Petersen

Technology is having an increasing impact upon event creators. But, according to the managing director of George P. Johnson, a global London experience marketing agency, emotions and experiences in the real world are still the best way to convey a message. “Let me just take a look into my crystal ball and I’ll let you know,” laughs Jason Megson in answer to a question about how he sees the future of the events business. If anyone has a feel for that sort of thing, it should be Jason Megson. As managing director of George P. Johnson, one of the most respected experience marketing agencies in the business, he heads up a company where innovation and creativity are the most important parameters. “Our goal is to create growth through events and experiences. More often than not, this happens through long-range collaboration with our highly loyal and trusting clients,” he maintains. But even the biggest agencies are feeling the winds of change. In this regard, Megson sees the creative younger generation as a potential game-changer. Creative and fearless A clear trend is the do-it-yourself (DIY)

culture among the young, who fearlessly throw themselves into arranging, for example, music and cultural festivals. “The proliferation of digital solutions and social media have given forward-looking young people without any particular experience or resources the chance to create their own events. This has resulted in a more fragmented and diverse industry and we need to take this into account. If we can’t adapt ourselves, we risk being overtaken on the inside.” He adds: “The young are constantly developing new ways to communicate – new ways to invite, new ways to enter into dialogue with customers and new ways of continuing this dialogue after the physical event has taken place.” In Jason Megson’s view, it is mostly a good thing that new and passionate people are entering the business. One of the advantages of recruiting the young is that they have mastered the new technologies.

GEORGE P. JOHNSON • • • • • • • •

A family-owned, indepen - dent global experience marketing agency with over 100 years heritage Its longest term client relati- onship started almost 80 years ago Offices in 31 countries Employs 1,400 people Global clients include brands such as Pepsi, Samsung, IBM and Tesla Delivers almost 8,400 events per year Engages12 million people per year Winner of countless prizes, including Cannes Lions

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Digital integration George P. Johnson defines itself as an experimental marketing agency – specialising in brand building and where the client’s message is communicated through events. Although the digital element today strongly influences the way we communicate, Megson does not believe that one should view technology as something isolated but rather as an integrated part of the customer experience. “Our focus is always on the experience, and on how it can support the customer’s message. We operate in a world of sensations and experiences that are brought to life when people meet in the real world. Things must be felt.” For this reason he advises against attaching unlimited importance to digitalisation. For example, marketing managers often measure their successes by their digital reach in the form of ‘likes’ on social media. The risk here is that the essence of brand building is replaced by click building. “The strength of conveying a message and influencing people in the real world is invaluable,” he says. At George P. Johnson, the goal of its digital team is therefore also to deliver an experience, in this case through digital media. Importance of recruiting Jason Megson has no doubt that the key to success for the event agencies of the future is a diverse talent mass. Employees at George P. Johnson are a crucial factor in the agency’s global success, and there is a need for people who master both elements: the experience itself and the new technologies. For example, it could very well be young people with an all-round and non-traditional background who add value to new events. And Megson is optimistic about the future. “Since the beginning of time, we humans have had a natural, inborn need and desire to meet, to exchange ideas and views and to challenge and entertain each other. Regardless of the influence of external factors such as technology, terror or politics, there will always be a need to meet. Basic human behaviour is not going to change.”

CASE: CISCO LIVE Cisco Live is the annual loyalty conference of the Cisco technology brand, with 12,000 participants, historically located in London, Milan and more recently Berlin. In the 12 years that George P. Johnson has been the strategic partner of the Cisco Live team, the number of participants has risen from 5,000 to 12,000 The challenge for Cisco Live has been to engage and educate Cisco’s customers and transform them into a community of ‘brand evangelists’. To create a cohesive, integrated approach at Cisco Live 2016, held at Messe Berlin, the agency developed its own theme, called ‘Digital Disruption: Disrupt or Be Disrupted’. This message was a recurring theme in the keynote speeches as well as in the more than 400 sessions of a ‘disruption lounge’. Participants were encouraged to challenge their own opinions about disruption through interactive demos,

periscopes and distortion mirrors designed to make them aware of their own behaviour in a spontaneous and entertaining way. The weeklong programme offered a myriad of professional presentations including ‘Meet the Engineer’, in which participants could discuss their own challenges with a Cisco engineer, and a ‘DevNet Zone’ experience centre where developers and engineers within the delegate audience could learn, encode and gain inspiration using Cisco technologies and platforms. There was also a ‘Cisco Campus’ where customers could test the latest products and take a Cisco certified exam. The closing event was a large stage show. Participants enjoyed a cabaret and a music mix of house, funk and pop. The climax of the evening was a combination of performing bands and choirs, a DJ battle and break-dancers.

The goal of the Cisco Live conference is to turn customers into brand evangelists.

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No362

MICE

CUSTOMERS DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES

Af Mette Damgaard Petersen

Event agencies are under threat. Customers are preferring to create their own solutions.

By Thomas Vig Client Director Agenda Group & Board Member MPI Denmark

Event coordinators needed Statistics from Next, which trains event coordinators in Greater Copenhagen, show that in 2008 they only had a single trainee. By contrast, 44 event coordinator trainees were accepted in 2016. Training manager Michael Jensen of Next confirms this trend, noting that there is an increasing need for event competences in Danish businesses. Mette Kronborg Larsen, who teaches event coordinator trainees at IBC Kolding, says the same: “In our experience, more and more businesses are looking for event coordinators. It is a need often seen in marketing departments. What was once a self-taught industry has now become more complex. Businesses want more quality in their events.”

The bank did it The agencies’ competences are now skills that the customers themselves possess to an even higher degree. “We believe it is important to take on the task ourselves, because we want to go out and meet our customers during the execution. So the kind of external help we need is more strategic than practical,” says Per Møller Jensen of Danske Bank. “Today the bank has a smallish, cen-

Events are extremely important to our customer relationships, and this importance is growing

tralised event unit whose primary focus is on internal events. To focus on customer events, we have placed event managers in each of the bank’s four business units. We have also strengthened our own resources with the event system e-touches, as well as with procurement employees who ensure the bank has the right supplier network in this area.” Smarter customers During the financial crisis, customers began to take over many of the tasks. They have since discovered that this is cheaper than placing the entire job in the hands of an event agency that charges a mark-up. Customers are now more interested than ever before in handling both the practicalities and the logistics – meeting rooms,

accommodations, buses, catering, etc. By the same token, hotels have upgraded themselves with meeting designers to ensure better solutions for their customers. This trend places event agencies in a red ocean where the competitor has become the customer. So what now? Agency owners should think about what kind of agency they want to run. The fact that so many claim to be full-service is not credible and devalues the perception of event agencies. The wise agency that creates communication and behavioural change with the help of meeting design cannot at the same time be the best agency for large company parties or nationwide sampling assignments. Focus on what you do best. The event agency of the future will be able to earn money for its time and its specialised competences. There is much talk of return on investment, digital solutions and sustainability. Might not the event agency of the future be the one that is able to provide advice in these three areas?

H – MPI Denmark with its 190 members is Europe’s largest branch, offering around 10 annual training seminars and network meetings in Denmark, with both local and international speakers. As a member you have access to MPI’s international activities, offers and network. www.mpidenmark.dk

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Events are primarily about communication (apart from Christmas parties). But the products on Denmark’s event agency shelves are practicalities, logistics and décor. Meanwhile, more and more businesses are hiring their own event managers to plan and execute, because events are an increasingly important part of their communications mix. One such company is Danske Bank, where Per Møller Jensen, Senior Vice President and Head of Marketing & Communication in Personal Banking, has this to say about the trend: “Events are extremely important to our customer relationships, and this importance is growing. So in the last few years we have spent a great deal of resources on strengthening this area.”


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No362

AIRLINES

THIN AIR IS GOOD FOR YOU An Israeli scientist proves the connection between oxygen intake and the effect of jet lag. By Hans Henrik Fafner

TEL AVIV – Any frequent flyer knows what to do “in the unlikely event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure”. But not so many are aware that a moderate and controlled reduction in cabin pressure can actually have a beneficial effect. Israeli scientists at the Weizmann Institute outside Tel Aviv recently discovered that this can reduce or perhaps even eliminate the effect of jet lag. Jet lag happens because of disturbances to the circadian rhythm, the 24-hour biological rhythm of the body. Many of its biological processes follow a 24-hour cycle, quickening when

we eat or move around and slowing when we sleep. The body regulates it all through a kind of biological clock in the brain. In lay terms, this one important clock synchronizes all the smaller clocks that are found in each cell. “Light, mealtimes and temperature are the three most important signals that synchronize the circadian rhythm in both humans and animals,” Benjamin Ladeuix in the scientific team explains. “But we have discovered that oxygen intake also plays a role, which involves a protein called HIF1a.”

Jet lag and mice This theory was confirmed through a great many experiments with mice, which are also susceptible to jet lag. Scientists saw that cells with too little HIF1a did not synchronize to accommodate changing circumstances outside the body. In other words, they proved that HIF1a is the link between changing oxygen levels and the way in which the body sets its circadian clock. The lower the

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The leader of the Israeli scientific team is Dr Gad Asher (left), shown here in the lab together with a colleague. Photo: The Weizmann Institute of Science

three kilometres high. This can make most passengers feel slightly dizzy. oxygen level, the faster the mice resumed their ordinary activities. The same can be done with airline passengers who move across many time zones. The pressure in the cabin is already lower than it is on the ground, which also means a lower oxygen level. The ordinary air we breathe is 21 per cent oxygen, while on most aircraft it is between 16 and 18 per cent. So passengers are breathing a thinner air that corresponds to the air on a mountain

Oxygen bars in Arrivals But the lower oxygen level also helps to reduce the effects of jet lag, which normally ease off within a day or two. Ladeuix explains that if the cabin pressure and oxygen levels were the same as they are on the ground, passengers would need at least a week to regain their circadian rhythm. “So we think that the problem of jetlag could be eliminated entirely by further reducing the cabin pressure,

which causes a lowering of the oxygen content to 14 or 15 percent,” he says. This could of course cause some passengers to feel distinctly unwell. That problem could be solved by providing individual oxygen masks with every seat. A couple of hours before landing, passengers could breathe in the thinner air, regulating their own intake. “There could also be special oxygen bars in Arrivals lounges, so passengers could afterwards leave the airport with no ill effects from a journey that has disturbed their circadian rhythm,” he concludes.

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No362

AIRLINES

MALTA ATTRACTS MORE TOURISTS

By Jan Ohlsson

In spring, there will be a marked increase in traffic from Scandinavia to Malta. A ship on stormy seas. This is perhaps how many view Malta, which is now showing strong growth in tourism. A long season and an English speaking population are perhaps other factors. In 2017, SAS opens the new route Copenhagen-Valetta with five weekly departures from April right into December. From Stockholm Arlanda, SAS flies for 11 months of the year, and the weekly flights in high season 2017 will be doubled to six. For some time, Norwegian has flown one to two flights from Oslo and Copenhagen between April and October. Ryanair flies all year round from Stockholm Skavsta and in high season from Billund. Finnair, meanwhile, will provide for the third year in a row three departures per week from Helsinki between April and October. It is expected that Malta will exceed two million tourists this year, according

to its tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis. During the first ten months of 2016, tourism increased by a record 8.3 per cent. “The Nordics were already leading with an increase of 8.1 per cent in 2015 and a further 5 per cent in 2016,” says Patricia O’Connell, the Malta Tourism Authority’s director for the Nordics. This means considerably more than 100,000 Scandinavians every year. For the first half of 2017, Malta takes over the presidency of the EU and in 2018, the capital Valetta becomes European Capital of Culture. Valetta has long been listed under UNESCO’s world heritage. Add to that a bathing temperature way into the winter months and experiences of nature on the neighbouring islands of Gozo and little Comino, well organised conditions, excellent food and a high standard of hotels that are also luring meetings and conferences. English is used everywhere and the distances between the places to see are short.

NO SUPPORT FOR A FLIGHT TAX

By Jan Ohlsson

The consequences of a flight tax would be extremely negative and offer no environmental benefit. A proposed flight tax in Sweden is being unanimously rejected by the industry. A tax of 80 Swedish kroner (€8.40) for domestic and European flights and 280-430 kroner for longer journeys would, according to the plans, be levied in 2018. A family with two children bound for Thailand would therefore have to pay 1,720 kroner. The Swedish parliament believes that such a tax would generate an income big enough to cover the budget deficit. But the environment would certainly suffer from increased road traffic. There is no majority in parliament for the proposal, but the government says it will include it in the budget negotiations. Dramatic consequences It has been predicted that Malmö Airport would lose all of its international traffic, that the regional airline Nextjet would be

markedly reduced and that Ryanair would cut its traffic. Several regional airports fear closure, while the competitive conditions at Stockholm Arlanda would become less attractive, not least for SAS and Norwegian. Fewer departures would also spell fewer investments and fewer jobs in the smaller cities. Another side effect could be an increase in road traffic, not least because of the lack of a viable alternative. A train trip from Kiruna to Stockholm takes 16 hours, and it takes five hours to get from Karlskrona in the southeast. The industry, including airport operator Swedavia, would prefer to focus on biofuels. BRA and SAS, for example, have tested flights where one engine is fuelled solely with biofuel without carbon dioxide emissions. Biofuels could become a major industry in Sweden, particularly in the outlying districts that need jobs. The raw material would be waste wood. Today this fuel is four times more expensive. A moderate suggestion from the industry is that the flight tax be earmarked to support biofuel production.

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BRA TO FOCUS ON CHARTER TRAVEL

For BRA, every new route is a long-range investment and strategy for personnel, among other things. Pictured is Christian Clemens and a BRA RJ-100 at Stockholm’s Bromma Airport. Photo: BRA By Jan Ohlsson

BRA has quietly changed its leadership and management style. The Swedish regional airline will now make better use of its local network, and director Christian Clemens sees three possible areas for future activities. In Sweden, BRA is viewed as a purely domestic airline. With Christian Clemens at the helm, this view from the Malmö-based regional airline is expanding, with more charter and foreign traffic from regional cities. In addition, special focus has been placed on Finnair. “Domestic travel is of course important. The next step is an expanded collaboration with Finnair in which we fly to their long-haul traffic hubs and they fly into our domestic network. We can also fly in from the regions. We already do this on Umeå-Helsinki, but there could be more. Turku-Stockholm Bromma should also be considered,” Clemens says. “The third area is charter traffic. I know from my time as a tour operator that the most profitable charters are based in the regions. With our new

Bombardier CS-100 we have expanded our reach to include the Canary Islands. It also provides the regions with the right aircraft size for many of the Greek islands. For Skiathos with its short runway, the CS-100 is perfect.” Today, the regions can easily take midweek charter flights. BRA will now expand to weekend charters while its propeller aircraft take over more domestic traffic at weekends and in summer. The CS-100 has 120 seats and BRA has ordered ten more with ten options, so that some of them could be the larger CS-200. “With less volume from the larger cities, we can also cultivate new charter destinations.”

Good service takes time Christian Clemens’ career began at Thomas Cook as director of Trivselrejser and Always. After that, he became the Swedish and later the Norwegian director of the German operator TUI. In 2012, he was given the three-year task of restructuring TUI from 32 to two companies. He sees BRA as a unique airline company. “Anything can be copied. But good

service takes years to build. The fact that the competition does not have its own personnel throughout the country, preferring to use subcontractors instead, is not to their advantage. It becomes more ‘service by accident’. We can offer, for example, locally prepared breakfasts and our own station personnel, as well as crews for all outlying stations.”

Threat of travel taxes Aviation travel taxation is a major problem that has forced BRA to drop its earlier plans for new domestic routes. “The idea is to limit air travel. But how can travellers from Sundsvall and Halmstad get to Stockholm on delayed trains using tracks that are poorly maintained?” He adds: “New, high-speed rails mean producing a quarter of a billion concrete railroad ties, which is an extremely ‘dirty’ way to treat the environment. Before it becomes a reality we will have electrically powered aircraft and self-driving electric cars. With all due respect for high-speed trains, they are in essence still based on 1800s technology.” 39

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No362

FINLAND

Winter comes early to the northwest of Finland; this is the beginning of December.

Low fells, but a large lift system, in Levi-Ylles.

TRANSIT COUNTRY TO TOURIST DESTINATION It’s possible that Finland has fewer magnificent attractions than the other Nordic countries, but its exotic wilderness is successfully attracting tourists, particularly from Asia.

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Can it get any more Finnish? The view across Lake Pielinen, eastern Karelia.

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med Star Alliance.

Text og photo: Jan Ohlsson

After years serving as a transit city, Helsinki has become a big city tourist destination, with the wilderness now selling faster than mobile phones. Nokia’s rubber boot factory, which was sold off earlier in the company history, is again a booming industry in keeping with the rising popularity of life in the wilderness. “The Asian market is complex,” says Katarina Wakonen, manager of research at Visit Finland. “Formerly, it was all about taking a quick tour through the north, without really knowing anything about the countries one was visiting. Today, ripe markets such as Hong Kong are showing interest in our welfare and want to meet the Finns. “But when we visit the travel fairs in China, the organisers say: ‘We know all about your dogsleds, let’s see something new!’ The forests and all the lakes are now in demand and pure and clean is the order of the day. Seventy per cent now come to Helsinki to stay in the summer. “From Hong Kong and spreading north across the country, all year round, there is Asian growth of 33 per cent in Finnish Lapland. This compensates for the fall in Russian visitors. In 2012, 830,000 Russians took their winter holidays in Finland; today there are half a million fewer.” Sauna in a cable car Finnair and Visit Finland launched in 2016 an extensive project aimed at getting tourists out of Helsinki to Finnish Lapland,

Steven Liu, Finnair’s first specialist chef from China, with two Finnair stewardesses in Marimekko design from 2016.

the archipelago and the thousands of lakes on which every Finn has a sauna. At the same time you could gamble on a Finnish-Asiatic food fusion on the flights as well as in Helsinki’s increasing range of luxury inns, where mushrooms, fish, soups and berries are important ingredients. The stakes were also laid on designs by Marimekko or Litala. Last summer a Finnish fashion show was held on the world’s

There’s even a cable car with a wooden sauna gondola, where you can take a naked sauna travelling up the mountain

longest catwalk – an airport runway – and these days many Asians are able to compare the similarities between Nordic and Finnish design. The Asian market is also more important to Finland than to the other Scandinavian countries, as 60 per cent to 90 per cent of passengers on Finnair’s long distance flights are Asians. “The forest is top of the wish list,” confirms Katarina Wakonen. “It doesn’t have to be far out in the wilderness. First-time visitors like to visit a forest near the city. That’s exotic enough, and we have lots of them.” In Finnish Lapland there are two high-quality ski resorts, in two small villages of only a few hundred inhabitants – but with an airport nearby. This is, among other things, an example given in Frank Fiskers’ philosophy of Finnish business (see page 42). Today there are close on 25,000 beds in Levi and Ylläs, with nearly 1,000 suites, the most luxurious costing €11,000 euro per week. Strangely enough, the Finnish Alps are low fells of only 500-700 metres. The world’s lowest Alps! But with long periods of snow. City dwellers have been quick to obtain EU grants, as the councils made

no investments. So hundreds of small businesses have over the last few years ploughed €450 million in profit and loans to provide 35,000 beds for the 29 lifts, 69 pistes and 300 kilometres of long distance trails. There’s even a cable car with a wooden sauna gondola, so you can take a naked sauna whilst moving up the mountain. The Finns call this sisu. The 200 charter flights speak for themselves, and they are not visiting Santa Claus. There is a Finnish community in Rovaniemi far to the east, where you are offered luxury suites with glass ceilings. It is said that those who make love under the Northern Lights will produce healthy offspring. That is a great selling point in Japan. It was also here that the author of this article had to learn the lesson of the Finnish hardcore-sauna. After a warming dinner we were asked to descend into a hole in the ice by the light of the full moon and with an air temperature of minus 16 degrees – without first taking a sauna. Group pressure prevailed, and the wonder occurred. The zero-degree water actually felt warm in the cold air. Afterwards there was sauna with Lapland’s gold, Lapin Kulta, a Finnish beer. Nothing finer. At any rate, a touch of sisu. There are many myths about the Finns, and some are true. In the final stanzas by the national poet Kalevala, the Suomi himself was born, after his mother became pregnant from a cranberry. That could only happen in Finland.

A hardy journalist tries bathing in minus 16 degrees.

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No362

FINLAND

HOTEL BOOM IN HELSINKI Scandic Hotels chief Frank Fiskers arrived in Helsinki in 1991 and helped open the first SAS hotel there. Text and photo: Jan Ohlsson

Scandic Hotels chief Frank Fiskers spent three years in the Finnish capital. He sees the Finns as being more direct and persistent than the Swedes. He also feels that Nokia helped open Finland to the rest of the world. “The Finnish market in 2017 is strong and interesting,” says Frank Fiskers, president and chief executive of Scandic Hotels. “First of all, the Russians are starting to come back. Secondly, Finnair’s strong sales in Asia are consistently growing. And thirdly there’s a geopolitical effect. Helsinki and the other Nordic capitals are seen as being safe, and this attracts large, international conferences that would otherwise have been held on the continent.” Fiskers, who is now beginning a second term at the top of Scandinavia’s largest hotel chain, has extensive experience with Finland, where Scandic is the biggest chain in the capital. “I went there in 1991 to open the first SAS hotel in Helsinki, and I stayed there as director for three years. It was a different, more isolated world than it is today. Supplies were purely Finnish, and we landed squarely in Finnairland. We had 3,000 applications for 120 va-

cancies. There was a huge leap forward – something new and modern from the outside.” In personal terms, it wasn’t easy. On his first day at Helsinki Central Station, Frank Fiskers cautiously inquired whether anyone spoke English. The response was a shaking of the head and an abrupt “ei!” “I asked myself how it would all end. But the fact that I wasn’t Swedish helped me a lot. Danes are seen as being more easy-going and easier to be with, also with regard to alcohol. Swedish is the

yees in Finland. They are effective and have their own style of continuity. They always follow through on decisions and there’s more perseverance and fewer changes. This is typically Finnish.” Fiskers feels that Nokia in its prime boosted the self-confidence and belief in what was Finnish. After Nokia, there was again a search for something to believe in, but Finland has become much more open to international influences. “Today about 60 per cent of the guests at our Helsinki hotel are foreigners.

I asked myself how it would all end. But the fact that I wasn’t Swedish helped me a lot

old, upper-class language – something that’s only spoken in fashionable shops like Palmroth and Stockmann.” Results-oriented style The business culture also has more in common with Denmark than with Sweden. It is more results-oriented, uncompromising and persistent. “It’s not so consensus-oriented, it’s more direct. Scandic has always had proficient, loyal and hardworking emplo-

In contrast to the rest of Scandinavia, Finland doesn’t really have a second or third big city. So at our other hotels, 90 per cent of the guests are Finnish.” He continues: “We are well booked for the coming summer. It has been several years since the Finnish hotel chains have been able to operate with raised prices, but this is happening now, and we are also seeing more acquisitions and new building projects.”

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med Star Alliance.

ÖSTERSJÖNS NATURLIGA VAL

Som Östersjöns ledande rederi känner Tallink Silja Line ett särskilt ansvar för vår närmiljö. Därför har vi som huvudprincip att prioritera miljöskydd. Vi erbjuder våra resenärer och transportkunder ett bekvämt och miljövänligt sätt att färdas runt Östersjön och vi är extra stolta över att ha Östersjöns modernaste flotta. Mellan 2002 och 2009 har vi tagit sju helt nya, moderna och miljövänliga fartyg i trafik. Samtliga Tallink Silja Lines fartyg är miljöcertifierade enligt ISO 14001 standard och följer den internationella MARPOL-konventionen. Alla Tallink och Silja Lines fartyg:

• använder giftfri och godkänd bottenfärg. Fartygens skrov borstas • tillämpar nolltolerans mot utsläpp rent med hjälp av dykare ett par i havet. Allt svart- och gråvatten gånger om året, pumpas via slutna system i land för • använder endast miljövänliga vidare transport till rengöringsmedel vid tvätt och reningsverk, städning, • källsorterar allt avfall ombord för • har katalytisk avgasrening,

vidare transport till återvinningscentraler i land,

• använder inte miljöfarliga freoner eller haloner,

tallinksilja.se 42-43 Fiskers.indd 43

• av nyare modell har särskilt designad skrovform för att minska svall och bottensug och på så vis minska erosion i känsliga farvatten, • följer tidtabeller som anpassas efter årstid för att under vinterförhållanden använda en lägre maskineffekt och därigenom minska bränsleförbrukningen.

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No362

FINLAND

MEGASTAR A REVOLUTIONARY CONCEPT With M/S Megastar, Tallink introduces a revolutionary concept for speed cruises. By Jan Ohlsson

On January 29, M/S Megastar had its first launch on the Helsinki-Tallinn line, and much has changed, such as the two car decks now being emptied simultaneously with ramps on two storeys. Not to mention the new device in Helsinki where the vessel is pulled towards the quay and held in place with a kind of electronic suction cups instead of hawsers. That will save a lot of time in the harbour. Megastar accommodates 2,800 passengers and is 212 metres long. She was built at the Meyer Shipyard in Åbo for the price of €230 million and operates on liquid gas – LNG from built-in tanks. So far, Tallink has stuck to building new constructions in Finland, but both Viking Line and the Swedish Gotlandfirmaet are now building in China, which results in approximately 20 per cent lower construction costs.

HELSINKI-ST PETERSBURG HIGH-SPEED Cooperation between the Finnish and Russian railways has existed since 2010, making high-speed rail travel between Helsinki and St Petersburg possible. Allegro completes the journey in three-and-a-half hours, and there is plentiful Finnish and Russian cuisine on board. The speedy train departs four times a day from Helsinki and St Petersburg at prices from €39. The train has first and second classes, and pets are allowed – provided they have a ticket. It is also possible to exchange currency on the train and to get a tax-free refund. It’s possible to stay in St Petersburg through various Allegro hotel packages. Don’t miss the Top Five: The Hermitage museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, several cathedrals and the beautiful shopping street Nevsky Prospect. There are also several connection options with Russian Railways to Moscow or other destinations, but you will need a Russian visa. The fastest way is through a travel agency, one to two weeks before departure. You’ll need a passport that is valid for at least six months after your departure date.  CJ

HELSINKI HOTEL BOOM The more tourists who land or take off from Helsinki, the more hotels are needed. And right now there is a planning and building boom in the Finnish capital . The most spectacular project is the Clarion, a 78-metre edifice on the waterfront at Busholmen. On the 16th floor an outdoor swimming pool is steaming, even in winter. Besides that, the hotel has 425 rooms, and pets are welcome. In addition Hotel Kämp has also recently been renovated and the Kämp Collection Hotels has taken over a former electrical substation and policestation and made it into the boutique hotel called Lilla Roberts, which proudly serves quiches with rice filling and egg butter for breakfast.  JO

Viking Line’s new ship is equipped with two masts with roller furling sails to help increase the speed.

INCREASED TRAFFIC IN THE BALTIC “We served more than 6.5 million passengers last year with seven ships on five different routes, and the traffic is growing. On the Helsinki-Tallinn and Finland-Åland-Sweden lines the traffic will grow, as more tourists discover how beautiful and safe the areas around the archipelago and the destinations between Sweden and Finland are,” says Kaj Takolander, Viking Line’s marketing director responsible for Finland, Russia and the Baltics. “Even the Russian market is starting to grow after the sanctions, even though they still have a poorly performing rouble.” The total traffic in the Baltic Sea was approximately 19 million passengers in 2016.  CJ 44

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GUGGENHEIM BATTLE IN HELSINKI

Tourism has been given higher priority, and a transitvisa for 96 hours offers a good opportunity to see Doha and the desert. Photo: Kitt Andersen

MORE FLIGHTS TO FINLAND Qatar Airways has been flying daily to Finland since October 10 and the route has exceeded expectations. This spring, a new – and patented – business class will be on display. By Jan Ohlsson

It may soon be time to trade in the newly inaugurated Airbus A320 for the Dreamliner that serves the other Nordic capitals. “The market seems hungry for something new, but of course the fact that everyone knows oneworld in Finland also makes our performance easier,” says Christian Deresjö, Qatar Airways’ country manager for Scandinavia. “We are the only Gulf airline with a presence in all four countries: daily departures from Oslo, daily from Copenhagen – thanks to the market in southern Sweden – and 13 departures a week from Stockholm, which offers business travellers a high degree of flexibility. But oneworld is a lesser-known alliance here, so we’re fighting against Star Alliance.”

Business class patented In addition to the fact that Qatar Airways has free seating, free baggage and free food and drink in all classes, a new business class is in the offing. “We have actually applied for a patent for our new business class, which will be presented at this year’s ITB fair. It will be something really special,” Deresjö says. Qatar Airways has also just signed a huge new aircraft order with Boeing. The airline will turn 20 in 2017 and can now boast 200 aircraft in operation, with another 400 on order. Every ten days, a new plane is delivered. Tourism has been given a higher priority, and a 96-hour transit visa offers an excellent opportunity to see Doha and the desert. And in Doha there are lounges for everyone, including economy passengers who pay an extra fee.

Since 2012, a discussion has raged about a new attraction that could increase international visitors to Helsinki by 65,000 and make the Finnish capital a yearround destination. A new Guggenheim Museum in the city would strengthen Finland and its capital as a cultural and design destination, creating around 100 jobs and giving it an income of some €40 million plus €10 million in taxes. The discussion in the city council has been intensive for a Yes or a No, and nothing is solidly decided yet, but the biggest actors in the travel trade in Finland say they are ready to invest in the project. Finnair, Viking Line, Tallink/Silja, Eckerö Line and many more say that a Guggenheim Museum would attract many more visitors to Finland throughout the year. Precisely 1,715 suggestions from architects have arrived and the 11-strong jury chose a design from Moreau Kusunoki from Paris. The overall project has been carefully evaluated but resistance is still strong – perhaps due to the long recession in Finland, which is only now slowly coming to an end. CJ

FRAUD AT VISIT ÅLAND Over €400,000 has disappeared due to internal fraud at Visit Åland, the tourism authority of the Åland Islands. CEO Lotta Berner Sjölund revealed at a press conference that the sum had been stolen over a period of five years by the individual responsible for finance. The fraud was performed in a very sophisticated way by keeping certain documentation concealed and presenting false economic reports to the management at Visit Åland. Over five years the fraud successfully passed through three CEOs, several boards and two accountants. Visit Åland has a total annual budget of €1 million from the Åland government, so nearly 10% of the budget over five years has vanished, which means a substantial loss when it comes to developing marketing activities and attracting more visitors to the destination. Due to sources on the Åland Islands, Visit Åland will get back most of the money over a period of two years, so let’s hope for the best.CJ

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No362

LOUNGE

By Henrik Baumgarten Photos: Preben Pathuel

The hosts from BC Hospitality Group were (from left): Jonas Appelquist, Sales Manager Corporate, Anne Mette Hvass, Key Account Manager, Elisabeth Støle (seated), Senior Sales Manager MICE, Denise MacDonald, Director of Sales, Lise Sparre Milandt, Director of Congress & Event Sales, Christel Vidø, Sales Manager Leisure and Karen Van Rijn, Group Director of Sales.

STAND BY LOUNGE ATOP A HOTEL Nearly 50 top leaders from airlines, car rental agencies, hotels, tour operators and travel agencies attended the first Stand By Lounge of the year. Stand By Lounges are usually held every quarter, and this year’s first was held atop the largest hotel in Denmark – the 23-storey, four-star AC by Marriott Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen, which is located next to the Bella Center. Both are in the BC Hospitality Group. Last autumn, Bella Sky won the Danish Travel Award as the best hotel in the capital. Within its two towers are 812 rooms distributed among the 23 floors. Stand By Lounge is a gathering of the absolute top names in the Danish travel business. There is no agenda and there are no sales pitches; participants simply mingle, do some networking and enjoy the food, drink and each other’s company. Bella Sky offered two gift certificates to Stand By Lounge participants. The main prize – a stay for two at the hotel plus dinner at the hotel’s Restaurant Basalt – was won by the CEO of Sweden’s Strömma in Denmark, Mads Vestergaard Olesen. Among other things, Strömma owns the Canal Tours in Copenhagen Harbour as well as some sightseeing buses in the capital. Last year, Strömma in Denmark had nearly one million guests, and 75-80 per cent of them took a Canal Tour.

Air Greenland’s station manager at Copenhagen Airport, Johnny Rasmussen (left) is also chairman of the Airline Operators Committee in Denmark. He is shown here with Stig Thygesen, who among other things is managing director of Stand By.

From left: CEO Mads Olesen of Strömma, Elisabeth Støle, head of MICE sales for the BC Hospitality Group, Gitte Nielsen of Stand By’s sales department, and Anne Mette Hvass, key account manager for Bella Sky.

From left: TUI’s (Star Tour) country manager in Denmark, Gorm Pedersen, TUI public relations manager Nikolai Johnsen, and Stand By owner Lars Thuesen, who is also a major shareholder at Jet Time.

Lars Thuesen (left), who among other things is the owner of Stand By, is shown here talking to Horesta’s chairman of the board, hotel manager Jens Zimmer Christensen.

Trine Nielsen (left) of Stand By’s sales department, together with Elisabeth Støle, head of MICE sales at BC Hospitality Group, which includes the Hotel Bella Sky.

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From left: Karin Krogh of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Denmark, general manager of the Danish Business Travel Association, Anne Mette Berg, Jette Bajlum of the recruitment agency Kelly Services, and managing director of the Arp-Hansen hotel Wake Up (the one near the Tivoli Hotel & Congress Centre), Jep Friis Egefjord.

From left: Carsten Østberg, sales manager of Comet Consular Service, sales manager of the travel insurance company IHI BUPA Global, Henrik W Jeppsson, and general manager of the Danish Business Travel Association, Anne Mette Berg.

27-01-2017 10:32:01


MATKA GROWS MORE IMPORTANT From a more regional travel fair Matka today is the biggest travel event in northern Europe and strengthen it´s position in 2017, when Finland celebrates 100 years of independence. A popular meeting point Matka this year welcomed Cameeron, Phillippines, Tajikistan and Qatar as new exhibitors. In total 920 exhibitors over 9900 square meters Matka last year attracted 67 000 visitors over four days.

With new wind in the sail. Lotta Berner-Sjöund is heading successful Visit Åland, here with Annica Grönlund PR Manager. Lumia Ankkkuri is the Sales Team Manager for Matka .

The shipowner himself, Nils-Erik Eklund, one of Viking Lines biggest shareholders with Kaj Takolander, Viking Lines Marketing Director Finland, Russia and Baltics and to the right Jan Hanses CEO Viking line ABP Mariehamn.

Börje Palmqvist leaves Tallink-Silja in the end of February, here together with former colleague Roger Björk.

Marta Wallin FIN-S organizes the Matka ship together with Viking Line, transportation and event on the way.

Viking Line welcomes you on board! Cruise between the capital cities of Finland, Sweden and Estonia. We operate 365 days a year. Enjoy dancing, great entertainment, good food and fun shopping. Welcome to Viking Line!

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No362

EVENTS

Johnny Gardsäter, Our Man in Scandinavia, to the right, now also put Los Angeles in his sales portofolio together with Virgin, Miami and Alamo in the Nordics. Here with Anna Klapper, Brand USA and Anders Wahlström Head of sales SAS Sweden and Finland.

Hiding behind the tropical plan is Nor Azman Yussuf, Langkawi, with Stephan Hoffström Tourism Malaysia to the left and Kamal Azam Kamaruddin, Deputy Director and Niel Seaward.

Emirates Country Manager Sweden and Finland Björn Ekegren welcomes Thai Airways Internationals brand new General Manager Sweden, Finland& Estonia Pornsri Chotiwit in the competition to paradise destinations. She has earlier been posted to Japan and China.

Saoussen Elloumi, Director Tunisian National Tourist Office Scandinavia and Finland with her her colleauges Mohamed Meddeb and Imed Salah to the right hopes to put Tunisia back on Nordic sun destination map with new leisure flights.

The next issue of TTG NORDIC is PUBLISHED APRIL 1ST 2017 We’re focusing on

AIRLINES & AIRPORTS

BUT AS ALWAYS WE’REOUT AB ALSO WRITING

, LEISURE, E IC M & S L E T O H EMENT TRAVEL MANAG Y G AND TECHNOLO FOR ADVERTISING: Please call +45 70 25 97 00 or write to sales@standby.dk Deadline is March 3rd 48

Du kan annoncere efter nye medarbejdere på standby.dk – takoff.dk – ttgnordic.com

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27-01-2017 10:32:03


DFDS WITH ITS CUSTOMERS – AND THE HOMELESS

3Kristina Paukova,new PR Manager Czech Tourist Authority in Stockholm with Lucie Vallin, Director Czech Tourism Scandinavia and Finland to the right presents one of the safest destinations in Europe. Last years increase 10% and new CSA route to Helsinki.

Patricia ´Connell, Maltas Nordic representative with Peter Forsström , Commercial Director OK Matkat.

Competitors on Asian routes; two Aeroflot stewardesses with Finnair colleague.

Malgorzata Hudyma to the right with two colleagues from Poland reports a 12 per cent increase in tourist from Sweden and six per cent each from Denmark and Finland.

Berit Hjorth Rasmussen, Administrative Director of the Norwegian Travel Bureau, and DFDS Country Manager in Denmark and Sweden, Kevin Helsinghof, at a gathering on MS Crown Seaways in Copenhagen Harbour. Norwegian Travel is DFDS’s largest Danish supplier of passengers.

More than 200 important business partners met for a Christmas gathering with DFDS at on MS Crown Seaways in Copenhagen Harbour. And the following day, the company invited 350 homeless people in the Danish capital for some Christmas fun on MS Pearl Seaways, the other ship sailing between Copenhagen and Oslo. DFDS, which last year celebrated its 150th anniversary, is northern Europe’s largest shipping company in freight and passenger transport. The line between Copenhagen and Oslo is biggest, with 750,000 passengers a year.  HB

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Your “Green Meeting” Special at the Steigenberger Hotel Treudelberg! “Green Meeting” daily delegate rate from € 69,00 per person per day. Including conference room with standard technical equipment , two coffee breaks with seasonal snacks and fruits from local providers, tea and coffee specialities unlimited all day, business lunch - Chef‘s choice including self bottled filtrated water, complimentary W-LAN. Overnight stays in one of our standard rooms from € 125,00 per room / per night including breakfast and free use of our Country Club with pool and fitness center. The hotel offers 400 outside parking bays and 147 parking spaces in the garage. BookingCode “StandbyMeeting2017”. It‘s valid for meetings hold until the 31st of December 2017. Already booked events can not be considered. Steigenberger Hotel Treudelberg . Lemsahler Landstraße 45 . 22397 Hamburg . Tel. +49 40 60822-8840 Email. bankett@treudelberg.com . www.treudelberg.com . Golf Hotel Hof Treudelberg GmbH . Part of the Garbe Group

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EVENTS

PATA’S BIG WORKSHOP For the 13th year in a row, PATA Denmark invited the trade to its annual Worldwide Workshops in November, first in Aarhus at the new Comwell Hotel and the day afterwards in Copenhagen at the Tivoli Hotel & Congress Centre. In both places there were more than 150 participating travel agents who were able to meet about 30 exhibitors from, among HB others, airlines, hotels and destinations worldwide.  Lars Thuesen, DBTA chief Anne Mette Berg, Skovshoved Hotel General Manager Pia E Remillard and hotel owner Ivan Nadelmann.

DBTA NEW YEAR’S RECEPTION Almost 50 DBTA members arrived for the association’s New Year’s reception, which according to tradition was celebrated at the Skovshoved Hotel. The hotel offered a delicious buffet with oysters and lobster and other delicacies in the party room on the first floor. The professional feature this time was an exciting journey through Lars Thuesen’s career. After college he started at Privatbanken and then went on to both SAS and Airtours in Manchester and is now back in the financial world as director of Basisbank and a number of directorships at, among other places, Jettime, Nørrebro Bryghus and Stand By.

NEW YEAR’S WITH PATA

From PATA’s New Year’s reception, from left: Thai Airways’ head of leisure sales, Pakpon Nuangsen, Thai Airways’ general manager for, among others, Scandinavia, Patapong Na Nakorn, PATA Chairman Claus Vestergaard Pedersen, and Thai’s Sales Manager Flemming Sonne.

PATA Denmark’s annual New Year’s reception in Copenhagen was held in January on the covered and heated patio at the Fugu Cocktail Bar on Gammel Strand. The sponsor was Thai Airways, which among other things held a draw for tickets to Thailand’s largest island, Phuket. Thai sometimes has up to nine flights a week from Copenhagen flown with a Boeing 777-300 to Bangkok. This year it also two has daily flights a week until late March from Copenhagen to Phuket. This route restarts from December 8 next year – also with a 777-300. Between June 25 and August 13 this year, Thai Airways is flying twice additionally per week between Bangkok and Copenhagen on Fridays and Sundays, a total of nine times.

At the PATA Denmark Worldwide Workshop in Copenhagen, from left: Nina Glahn and Krisser Cavagnaro from the business travel agency BCD Meetings & Events, TAP Portugal Sales Manager in Denmark, Henrik Nielsen, PATA Vice Chairman June Nielsen and PATA Chairman Claus Vestergaard Pedersen.

AWARDS FOR DANISH AIRLINES Danish Aviation Journalists handed out before Christmas its two annual awards, the Aviation Cup and the Ellehammer Prize. CEO Lone Koch received the Aviation trophy on behalf of Alsie Express, which since 2013 has flown between its home base Sønderborg and Copenhagen Airport with probably the best decorated aircraft on Danish domestic flights. “Lone Marie Koch is heading the exciting innovation of this Danish domestic flight. With local beer from Jutland and local food on board Alsie Express, it has achieved a unique local presence,” said Andreas Krog, chairman of Danish Aviation Journalists, at the award ceremony. Lone Koch’s father was the founder of Cimber Air, Ingolf Nielsen, who won the Aviation trophy back in 1971. Her brother, Jørgen Nielsen, won the award in 1996 and 2009. She is only the third woman to receive the trophy. The other prize at the annual get-together in the Vilhelm Lauritzen terminal at Copenhagen Airport was the Ellehammer Prize. It went to the heads of Denmark’s first seaplane airline, Lars Erik Nielsen and Lasse Rungholm. Their company Nordic Seaplanes flies between Copenhagen Harbour and the port of Aarhus. The route opened in August last year. HB)

Danish Aviation Journalists’ laureates Lone Koch from Alsie Express, who won the Aviation trophy, and Lars Erik Nielsen and Lasse Rungholm from Nordic Seaplanes. Photo: Preben Pathuel.

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TAP CELEBRATES WITH TRAVEL INDUSTRY

U S Mishra, left, head of India Tourism in, among other places, Scandinavia at the Indian gathering in Copenhagen, with Pushpinder Singh Dhanjal from the travel agency Pushpinder Group Travels based in Farum, north of Copenhagen.

Portuguese Star Alliance member TAP Air Portugal welcomed 80 agents from 27 travel agencies in December for a Christmas gathering at Hotel SP34 in Copenhagen, part of Brøchner Hotels. Danish agencies sell approximately 85 per cent of the seats on the airline’s flights between Copenhagen and Lisbon. So it was a natural thing again this year to invite Danish travel agencies for the gathering. Here in the winter season, TAP has nine flights per week between Copenhagen and Lisbon, in the high season 13.  HB

INDIA SHOWS THE FLAG India’s tourism authorities, who market the country as Incredible India, ended a Scandinavian tour in November with a gathering in Copenhagen. India had a total of 24,000 arrivals from Denmark in 2015, 42,600 from Sweden and 20,000 from Norway, said U S Mishra, head of India Tourism in Scandinavia, during the gathering at the Hotel Scandinavia in Copenhagen.  HB

TAP’s Nordic chief Joao Morais, left, and Sales Manager Henrik Nielsen during the gathering.

BRØCHNER HOTELS’ NEW YEAR’S RECEPTION

Per Carøe, Kenya Airways, and the two organisers of the workshop Anneli Bronkhorst and Derek Houston. Ambassador Zindziswa N Mandela, Secretary Nuria Schmidt and Abby Swartz, Assistant Manager at South African Tourism.

There was a big turnout at the Avenue Hotel Copenhagen for Brøchner Hotels’ New Year’s reception, where oysters and champagne were served with a buffet inside – and hot chocolate and rum outside in the lovely courtyard. Brøchner Hotels is busy with several projects – the renovation of the Hotel Denmark, which reopens in April, the opening of a 5-star hotel on Bremerholm in early 2018, and the luxury boutique Hotel Red. Ottilia in the Danish capital’s Carlsberg City in 2019. 

FOCUS ON AFRICA An exciting workshop with a focus on Africa was held with great success at the end of last year. Derek Houston and Anneli Bronkhorst (Houston Travel Marketing Services CC) hosted the event and succeeded very much in putting a ‘Spotlight on Africa’ with assistance from Magical Kenya, the main sponsor of the event. They talked about everything from honeymoons in Zanzibar to African Bush Camps, Kenya’s sights, luxury travel, South Africa’s many opportunities and much more. Nelson Mandela’s youngest daughter Zindziswa N Mandela, who is South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, was also present and together with her colleagues she made great publicity for the country and its possibilities

Avenue Hotel General Manager Lene Larsen, Brøchner Hotels CEO Karim Nielsen, Brøchner Hotels Director of Sales and Marketing Tanja Ibsen Nørskov, and Emirates Country Manager Morten Balk.

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EVENTS

TEN NEW WAYS TO THE GATEWAY TO PARADISE One hundred guests from the Swedish travel industry recently attended an event in Stockholm, invited by Air Berlin and the Dominican Republic’s Tourist Office, represented by Sales Manager Sonja Gertz and Director Patricia Polanco de Olmos. During the winter there are ten departures a week from Copenhagen and Stockholm via Düsseldorf and Berlin to Punta Cana and Puerto Plata. In summer this becomes five a week via Düsseldorf. The number of visitors to the Dominican Republic from the Nordic countries increased by over 25 per cent during January-July. Sonja Gertz also informed the gathering that Air Berlin is now starting an airline charter company, still without a name, and she confirmed that Berlin Tegel Airport would continue to serve as Air Berlin’s hub, even though nobody knows when the new Berlin CJ Brandenburg Airport will open for business. 

Among the participating tour operators, from left: Nathalie Sinnerbrandt, American Express, Irene Meurling, Jambo Tours, Vipula Kumar, Kenzan Tours, Ewa Grzelak, Kleins Resebureau, and Agnes Dudekoch Jacek Grzelak, Central Europe Travel. Photo: Jan Ohlsson

KERALA IN THE SPOTLIGHT Kerala, known as God’s Own Country, is not just exotic and tropical, it has also moved closer to the Nordics. In an exclusive workshop in Stockholm in November, the sellers of exclusive holiday resorts and excursions between the mountains and the sea, where the mysterious backwaters spread, met people from the trade. Axium Marketing by Sissel Thorstensen was the organiser together with Qatar Airways, the airline that has the most destinations in India and Kerala with the best connections from Scandinavia’s airports, currently including more than once-daily departures from Stockholm Arlanda.

LATVIA BELIEVES IN A FLYING FUTURE LUFTHANSA CELEBRATES WITH TRAVEL INDUSTRY There were more than 100 travel agents for Lufthansa Group’s annual reunion at the King Arthur Hotel in Copenhagen. Lufthansa is one of very few airlines that has a Christmas gathering for the travel industry in the city. The airlines in the Lufthansa Group, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa and Swiss, last year notched up almost 10,000 flights to Denmark, mainly to Copenhagen from Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich, but also to Billund from both Brussels with Brussels Airlines and Frankfurt with Lufthansa.  HB

AirBaltic became the first worldwide to own the new, more environmentally friendly Bombardier CS-300, seating 145 passengers. The event was celebrated by 2,000 people including the president of Latvia and the transport minister in the hangar. While Sweden is busy talking about a new aviation tax, Latvia will guard the air traffic routes. In 2017, it is also the plan to privatise the majority of airBaltic and acquire a new strategic partner, but whether this will be just a partner is not yet known. Many believe it will be SAS, others Eurowings, but Etihad also fits the bill, as CEO Martin Gauss explained that the airline wishes to remain outside the alliances. With the new aircraft type, airBaltic doubles its size, and new routes and 1,000 employees are included in the business plan by 2020.

The majority of Lufthansa Group’s employees in Denmark during the Copenhagen gathering with the group’s new country manager Bastian Frantz, who is from Germany, bottom left.

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By Henrik Baumgarten

JOBS

NEW JOB FOR WELL-KNOWN MANAGER

Hotel Kronjylland owners Anni and Hans-Henrik Ditlev, with new manager Peter Laigaard Jensen, right.

FORMER BW CHIEF IN CHARGE OF HOTEL Peter Laigaard Jensen is the new manager at the Best Western Plus Hotel Kronjylland in Randers with 63 rooms. The 47-year-old Peter Laigaard Jensen had previously been country manager for Best Western in Denmark for eight years.

AARHUS HOTEL READY WITH DIRECTOR At the start of the year, 57-year-old Jens Liltorp became the new travel manager at Danish pharmaceuticals giant Leo Pharma. Shortly after his resignation at Novo Nordisk last autumn, Jens Liltorp was in contact with Leo Pharma, where he holds the title of global category manager, travel and meetings. He has twice been chairman of the Danish Business Travel Association, which brings together Denmark’s biggest travel managers and a number of their suppliers.

In January, 42-yearold academy economist and MBA Niels Pallesen became the director of Arp-Hansen Hotel Group’s new hotel Wakeup, in Aarhus. Wakeup will open this spring with 315 rooms. He has previously held positions such as booking manager, reception manager and revenue manager in the hotel industry and has in recent years been the director of the Scandic hotels in Vejle and Kolding.

GOODBYE TO MR BA

KILROY CHANGES MARKETING MANAGER

Jens Liltorp on the Stand By cover last year.

Peter Rasmussen, 50, who was head of British Airways in, among other places, the Nordics for the past seven years, resigned from his position in December, his last day being at the end of January this year. “I have of course thought about it, but I have now had more than 20 amazing years with British Airways – and want to do something else. What, I do not know yet,” he told Stand By.

NEW IN SALES AT SECRET ESCAPES Anna Lopez Aziz, 39, is the new sales manager in Denmark for the international luxury hotel and travel discounter Secret Escapes. She comes from a position as e-commerce manager at Sweetdeal Travel.

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WOCO FIRES WELL-KNOWN PROFILE

In December, Wonderful Copenhagen fired the communications director responsible for the meetings and congress area, 44-year-old Ulrika Mårtensson, who is also chairman of the Danish branch of Meeting Professionals International, MPI. The reason for the termination is that WoCo “wants to change the future communication efforts with new forces and a new focus.” Swedish Ulrika Mårtensson, who had been at WoCo for 15 years, has a Masters of Communications from Roskilde University.

SCANDIC GETS JOINT DIRECTOR OF SALES

Kilroy Group has hired 32-year-old MBA Christina Fahrenholtz as its new chief marketing officer. The appointment is a partial replacement of Anders Iversen, Kilroy’s previous director of, inter alia, marketing, who in 2015 became the new chief executive of DFM Travel. Christina Fahrenholtz is new in the travel business and comes straight from Fresh Fitness. Kilroy Group has four brands: Benns, ISIC, Jysk Rejsebureau and Kilroy itself.

At the end of the year, Peter Hansen, former head of Scandic Hotels’ corporate sales in Denmark, also became responsible for MICE sales. He joined Scandic in 1999 as a key account manager. Scandic is, with its 23 hotels, Denmark’s biggest hotel chain and in May it will take over the 215-room First Hotel Copenhagen in Sydhavnen. This will be renamed the Scandic Sluseholmen. In the autumn, a further two properties will be added to the portfolio, both in Copenhagen: Kødbyen and Falkoner.

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PARTNERS

Airlines www.jet-time.dk

www.airfrance.com/dk www.airfrance.com/se

www.klm.com

www.cph.dk

www.trafikstyrelsen.dk

www.sixt.dk

www.adina.eu

Fairs, Travel Trade

www.wimdu.dk

Incoming Tours & Excursions www.arthurhotels.dk

Associations www.airgreenland.gl

www.alsieexpress.dk

www.lot.com

www.messe.no/reiseliv

www.arp-hansen.dk

www.brussels-international.be www.euromic.com

www.smalldanishhotels.dk

www.scandi.de www.hotelonlineRES.biz

Ferries & Cruises www.sas.dk

www.dbta.dk

Insurance www.austrian.com

www.sun-air.dk

www.srf-org.se

www.celebrity.com

www.firsthotels.com

Attractions www.ba.com

DANMARK www.dfds.dk

www.flytap.com/Danmark

www.hotelforoyar.fo

www.erv.dk

www.eckerolinjen.se

www.helnan.info

www.erv.se

www.faergen.dk

www.hafnia.fo

www.gouda.dk

SVERIGE www.flybmi.com

www.thomascookairlines.dk

www.bluelagoon.com

Car Rentals & Limousines www.cxagents.com

www.newsagentlive.com

MICE

www.dat.dk

www.estonian-air.com

www.finnair.dk

www.icelandair.dk www.icelandair.se www.icelandair.no

www.iberia.com

www.qatarairways.com

Airports and handling

www.aal.dk/

www.autoeurope.dk

www.hurtigruten.com

www.avis.dk www.avis.se www.avis.no

www.royalcaribbean.dk/fi/no/se

www.europcar.dk www.europcar.com

www.scandlines.dk

www.royalcaribbean.com

www.melia.com

www.lemeridien.com

www.hoteltorshavn.fo

Hotels

www.hca-airport.dk

www.hertzdk.dk

www.nationalcar.dk

www.cirkusbygningen.dk

www.hadlerdmc.com

Publications

Conferences & Courses www.bll.dk

Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events/ Exhibitions

www.scandichotels.dk

www.absalon-hotel.dk

www.transhotel.com

www.bonnierrespons.dk

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CONTENTS

Alfabetica Travel Agencies www.billund-airport.dk/ om-lufthavnen/check-in-billund

www.visitbritain.com

www.visitfinland.se www.visitfinland.com

Business & Leisure www.bcdtravel.dk

www.bcdtravel.se

www.bcdtravel.no

www.bcdtravel.fi

www.dolphind.com www.flightscanner.biz

CONTENT

32

42

Page 6

Around the world

Page 8

Hotel Manager Helene Hallre has a special gift for leadership

Page 13

Quiz – win a prize!

Page 16

Comment by Ejvind Olesen

www.standby.dk www.standbynews.com

www.godominicanrepublic.com

Page 18

The customers are ready – but the companies are not

Page 19

SAVE TM are focusing on travel management

Page 20

Travel gadgets

Page 23

Opinion: Too few business travel agencies have trainees

Page 26

Copying is a business condition

Page 27

Halal tourism is growing

Page 28

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28 20

Formula 1 at Monza

Page 32

Interview with the London company George P. Johnson

Page 36

It’s possible to reduce jetlag

Page 39

BRA is focusing on charters

Page 41

Stand By Lounge

Page 42

Theme on Finland

Page 48

Events & People

Stand By is issued six times per year and distributed as paid subscription in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, The Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland to travel agents, tour operators, airline offices tourist agencies, foreign tourist representatives, tourist bus companies, and all of the major industries in Scandinavia. Stand By bears no responsibility for unsolicited editorial material

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02-55 SE Indhold_Web Dir.indd 1

www.visitmalta.com

www.galileo.dk

Rail Travel

www.bahn.com

13

www.visitdenmark.com

www.udviklingfyn.dk

www.visitnorway.com

www.kronerejser.dk

www.procon.dk

www.spain.info

www.mangaard-travel.dk

travelize.com AllaBussresor.se AllaTemaresor.se

www.visitsweden.com denmark@visitsweden.com

www.norskrejsebureau.dk

www.travelport.dk www.travelport.se

www.rb-seniorklub.dk

www.worldspan.com

     

www.spain.info

Recruitment Travel Trade

www.greenland.com

www.centrum-personale.dk

www.gotoasia.no

www.berning-leonhardt.com

www.france.fr

www.kellyservices.dk

www.topflight.no

Tourist Boards - Information

www.tahiti-tourisme.dk

www.tourismthailand.se

www.usarejser.dk

Travel Technology

www.hungary.com

www.germany.travel

www.discoverireland.com

www.unikkemoedesteder.dk

www.amadeus.com/sca

www.inspiredbyiceland.com

www.visitaland.com www.visitaland.com/se

www.datacon.dk/travel

Is YOUR company missing?

Want to be a partner? CALL

+45 70 25 97 00

Contact STAND BY on phone: + 45 7025 9700 or e-mail: sales@standby.dk

Absalon Hotel Adina Aalborg Lufthavn Alsie Express Air France Air Greenland Amadeus Scandinavia Arp-Hansen Hotel Group Arthur Hotels Austrian Auto Europe Avis Baltic Stand By BCD Travel Berning & Leonhardt Billund Lufthavn Blue Lagoon Bonnier Responsmedier British Airways British Midland Airways Brussels Int. Travel Service Cabin Hotel Cathay Pacific Airways Celebrity Cruises Centrum Personale A/S Check-in Billund Cimber Air Cirkusbygningen Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers Copenhagen Airport Danish Air Transport Datacon A/S Destination Destination Fyn DB Bahn DBTA DFDS Seaways Dolphin FlightScanner Dominican Republic Estonian Air Europcar Europæiska Reseförsäkringar Europæiske Rejseforsikring Finnair First Hotel FlyNordic Franske turistkontor Færgen Galileo GoToAsia Gouda Rejseforsikring Hadler DMC Head aHead Helnan International Hotels Herning Messer, Rejsemesse Hertz Hotel Føroyar Hotel Hafnia Hotel Tórshavn Hungarian National Tourist Office Hurtigruten Icelandair Icelandic Tourist Board Irland Turisme Jet Time A/S Kelly KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Krone Rejser LOT Polish Airlines Malta Tourism Mangaard Travel Group Meliâ Meridien National Car Norges Varemesse, Reiseliv Norsk Rejsebureau ProCon Solution RejserNu.dk Rejsebranchens Seniorklub Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Qatar Airways SAS Scandi International DMC Scandic Hotels Scandlines Sixt Small Danish Hotels Smyril Line Spanske turistkontor SRF Svenska Resebyrånföreningen Stand By Tahiti Tourisme TAP Portugal Team Benns Thailand Tourist Thomascookairlines Topflight AS Travelize Travelport Travel Proffesionals Travel Club Tysk Turist Information USA Rejser Vienna Tourist Board Virgin Atlantic VisitBritain VisitDenmark VisitFinland VisitGreenland.com VisitNorway VisitNordsjælland VisitSweden Wimdu Worldspan Ålands Turistinformation

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T TG NO R DIC

No 362

Januar y / Februar y 2017

| Ja nuar y / Februar y 2017

Travel Trade Gazette

HOTEL MANAGER HELENE HALLRE:

A RARE LEADERSHIP TALENT FRANK FISKERS ON FINNISH CULTURE THIN AIR GIVES LESS JETLAG

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TTG Nordic Jan/Feb 2017  
TTG Nordic Jan/Feb 2017  
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