TRAVELUpdate PHILIPPINES The total industry read
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
FEBRUARY 15, 2014 / VOLUME 17 INTEGRATED ISSUE 7
Asian passengers shaping long haul economy air travel
Top Ten Europe Tours in 2014
Be a ‘Tourism Star’
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he Department of Tourism’s office of tourism standards and regulations unveiled an awards program that will recognize private sector and government officials who have exceptionally contributed in the industry.
“Be a Tourism Star” continued on page 2 >>
The annual recognition dubbed as Tourism Star Philippines is comprised of two categories – the frontliner and the LGU chief executive. Unlike its long-defunct predecessor, Kalakbay Awards, Tourism Star is designed to align with It’s More Fun’s focus “on the unique selling proposition of the Philippines which is the Filipino character,” said Domingo Enerio III, COO of the Tourism Promotions Board. The tourism front-liner award will be handed to one “who exemplify the true Filipino hospitality in their workplace” which qualifies any of the 4.2 million individuals directly employed by tourism (2012 figure) and the unaccounted workforce that supports the industry such as the national police and service providers. The front-liner can be anyone “whether you are accredited or not, working in the industry, who have direct contact with a tourist in a destination” said Rica Bueno, director of tourism standards and regulations of the DOT. “They may be hotel or resort workers, tour guides, local transport drivers like kalesa, tricycle, or habal-habal…porters, waiters, policemen, among others.” Government staff can also qualify under this category. For the front-liner category, the number of awarded front-liners will not be limited to one but will depend on how many will qualify. They may be nominated through an online form that the DOT has made available in the awards’ website www.tourismstar.ph or through a direct submission to the agency’s regional and national offices. Nomination can be done by a Filipino or a foreigner in the form of a narrative, describing a positive personal experience with the front-liner that occurred between 2011 and present. The criteria are as follows: hospitality; flexibility, adaptability, ad creativity; honesty; professionalism; and promptness. Local chief award Meanwhile, the LGU chief executive category recognizes an official who has made “positive impacts to tourism in his locality.” He must be holding office at the time of the nomination. The category’s nomination process is more
portr ait photos by jimmy hilario
“Be a Tourism Star” continued from page 1 >>
The front-liner can be anyone whether you are accredited or not, working in the industry, who have direct contact with a tourist in a destination. They may be hotel or resort workers, tour guides, local transport drivers like kalesa, tricycle, or habal-habal…porters, waiters, policemen, among others.
detailed since the DOT requires documented proof of a mayor or governor’s tourism policy programs and achievements. Only one official will be chosen in the LGU chief executive category.” The inclusion of the LGU in the Tourism Star program stresses the DOT’s policy to encourage local governments to develop and promote on their own, guided by the agency’s standards and programs. The DOT requires the category’s nomination to show proof of a local tourism office with a budget and complementary workforce, tourism master plans and product development plans, an ordinance or policy that mandates DOT accreditation for the issuance of business permits, local investment packages, and a centerpiece project, among other criteria and requirements. The agency said additional points will be given to nominations that show a local official’s support to its advocacies such as barrier-free tourism (PWD-friendly programs) and child-wise tourism (anti-child trafficking program). The winner of each category will be awarded by President Aquino. An array of privileges await the winning LGU chief executive; the DOT is committing a PHP1 million funding for a community-based tourism project and free participation and booth space in a “market-matched” international travel fair, among others. The cut-off date of nomination is on May 31. Awarding is scheduled in September.
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
February 15, 2014
SPEAK EASY PUBLISHER’S NOTE
My take on vacation tips Nearing vacation and summertime, we will again see the many “tips” and “best” stories written or researched(?) in various magazines and blogs about going on a trip. What does it take to have a meaningful, hassle-free vacation? It is not what you bring, how expensive your bags, clothes and gadgets are, or the destination. It is the experience. Yes, it is what happens when you're finally there. It can be a moment, it can be the whole duration. It is, more often than not, unexpected and not part of what you paid for. You can, however, contribute to a small part in the experience by being prepared for the unexpected, like rain or sandflies. Remember that no amount of money in cash or in your credit cards can buy you comfort in a place where you cannot buy the things you need. To make this relevant and not mean like it’s a been-there-done-that story, I will recall a CNN reporter's tips and confirm or debunk it, having the Filipino traveler in mind and basing suggestions from my experience. 1) the airline is king – In travel, the airline is king. If by luck or expertise of your travel agent you get just an average of two hours in between connecting flights to your destination for a seamless connection, there are other factors that can cause you worry - transfers, accommodations, insurance, security, plus the omnipresent side trip you will undertake apart from your itinerary. The side trip will either be memorable or forgettable. For me, an allseason accessory is a folding umbrella. My best non-hosted airline experience? Air France when it was still Air France. 2) shopping – I know of many lady friends who will insist on getting big discounts from flea markets, canvassing further, and ending up wanting to go back to the first place they saw the merchandise, sometimes even spending added cab fare. Where is the logic? If tourists have come up with many ways to get discounts, so do the sellers in pretending they are only getting a 2% profit. No one would part with his product without getting a hefty profit. So, the best shopping tip? Buy only what you can use. You're friends and staff will not care for all the keychains and cheap wallets that you buy for them all the time because there are better-looking ones here. Buy them cookies or chocolates at the Duty-Free instead, less hassle in packing. My best shopping experience? There was this curio shop in Vancouver that sells donated merchandise from hotels,
Buddy G. Recio Ruby Gonzalez ART DIRECTOR
Jet Revilla Paolo Abellanosa Genivi Factao
multinational companies, etc and all in brand-new condition. A part of their profit goes to an animal hospital that takes care of strays and those involved in various accidents like deer and other wild animals. 3) fashionable but awkward – know the season and the area. Don't bring your nice Gucci leather shoes in a beach resort or wear your favorite leather shoes when you go to a Subic jungle adventure, or that Burberry scarf when it's summer. Won't that be very awkward instead of impressive? My awkward moment? Forgetting to pack pants going on a conference. I had to make do with only what I was wearing the whole time. 4) understand the shuttle route – if you think that 5 mm difference you see in the guide map is only a short distance, think again. If you're in Hong Kong, you don't know if you have to climb a flight of stairs, or maybe you cannot cross the street , and the next crossing is 500 meters away. My worst shuttle experience? I took the earliest (5:00a.m.) shuttle, but a snowstorm came, and in that haze I got lost. Good thing, there are good Samaritans that help you out in that part of the West, and I was able to hitch a ride to the next stop. You won't be that fortunate in other parts of the world. 5) Connectivity, connectivity – did you know that you have to call in and activate your debit card? That wasn’t the case before. And if you're going to “parts unknown” on a shoestring budget, bear in mind that your credit cards are useless in some parts of Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, even India. But the worst is not understanding the language at all, and that is bad especially in money matters. Roaming? I don't use that anymore because wif-fi opens you to many options without going through the “roaming fees” gimmicks of the telcos. Wi-fi means Skype, viber, tweeter, FB and that is all for free. There are many tips on how to keep foreign currency fresh, my tip? Wrap it in ziplock and keep it in your fridge. It will remain crisp. Also, airports give better rates than hotels, so make time to change currency. 6) local food – go where the locals frequent. They are not immune to bacteria. Travel is the best activity we can undergo in our lifetime. It is what will make us rich in more ways than one, and sometimes we don't even have to spend much. In fact, a memorable travel experience can place us shoulder to shoulder with the more affluent because it is something one can't buy.
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TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES is published fortnightly (yearly total of 19 issues for travel trade and private sector subscribers, 16 issues for schools and university subscribers). For releases, advertising and subscription inquiries, please contact the address in the box. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. Copyright by Travel Update Philippines. All rights reserved. Volume 17 Integrated Issue 7 / February 15, 2014 / ISSN 0118-4709
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
February 15, 2014
Image source from: http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com
#PHThankYou kicks-off 2014 campaigns The Department of Tourism (DOT) sees it fit to designate the first two months of 2014 as a time for appreciation before moving on with its promotions programs. A simple thank you would not do, however. It is doing this in multiple fronts – a consumer-driven #PHThankYou hashtag campaign and Tourism Star Philippines, an annual awards for tourism employees and LGUs. The #PHThankYou campaign was conceptualized by Gang Badoy-Capati of advocacy group RockEd and supported by the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB). It is the first national tourism communications program to hit mainstream after Typhoon Yolanda devastated Eastern Visayas in November, having brief exposures at Times Square billboards and a one-day advertising in Yahoo! ASEAN, among other places. Image source from: http://www.yout
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“It was a loud and clear message to the world that the Philippines is very thankful for all the support it has [been] given in time of need,” said Domingo Enerio III, COO of the TPB. The TPB suspended its advertising programs in the aftermath of Yolanda. Enerio said that “we're actually doing a little bit of research and evaluation together with our creative agencies” on their next move with regards to the It’s More Fun campaign. “We are coming up with new programs for 2014 and 2015.” Enerio also said that the TPB is cooking a consumer-focused campaign for Mindanao as was announced by Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. via video in September after the Zamboanga City Siege Crisis. The Department of Tourism has designed 2015 as Visit Philippines Year to coincide with the year-long APEC meetings.
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
China Reigns Among MICE Industry’s Top Buying Markets
According to a 2011 Global Meetings Procurement Agency HelmsBriscoe report, the value of China’s conference and events industry was estimated at USD150 billion, with tens of millions of conferences held every year. The Chinese MICE industry itself is burgeoning at 20% annually, reflecting endless opportunities for both international and domestic MICE suppliers alike. Meanwhile, a 2012 study by PhoCusWright evidenced doubling of China’s travel gross bookings over a span of 5 years, from USD 54.8 billion in 2009 to USD 105.5 billion in 2013. For many MICE industry suppliers, China’s relentless growth translates to inevitable shifts in customer geographies, where the country is already amongst their top buying markets. Returning IT&CM China luxury cruise exhibitor, Silversea Cruise’s Regional Director – Asia, Melvyn Yap notes, “China is now our second largest Asian source market, behind Japan. We believe it has the potential to grow even bigger, especially with the Chinese interest in our expedition product to the polar regions.” Long-time IT&CM China exhibiting destination Thailand is also experiencing the massive impact of the outbound Chinese MICE business. Concurrs Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), “China has become the number one (top) source market of MICE travellers to Thailand since 2013, and with a constant growth of the Chinese economy; we expect to welcome more business travellers and MICE visitors from China.” Other returning exhibitors to IT&CM China 2014 cite strong business generation results as a reason for coming back to the show. Dorinda Chua, Assistant Vice President – Global Sales of Dusit International, says, “We are expecting revenues in excess of USD 500,000 from the direct discussions that took place at the 2013 event.” Meanwhile, Charles Lai, Vice President – Sales & Marketing of international hospitality chain Kempinski Hotels, China, estimates that actual business generated from their 2013 participation aggregates about USD 850,000. IT&CM China – The Leading International MICE Event In China – returning for its eighth edition in 2014, is the only MICE show in China that optimises business opportunities with the Chinese on all fronts – Outbound, Inbound and Domestic.
Highlighting the strategic significance of the event, Darren Ng, Managing Director of TTG Asia Media – representing TTG Events, one of 3 co-organisers of the event shares, “2014 exhibitors can expect to see 70% Chinese buyers, addressing the outbound and domestic procurement for both International and Chinese suppliers respectively. The latter can also benefit from the remaining 30% of international buyers looking to buy into China (inbound).” Chen Yueliang, Vice-President of China International Travel Service (CITS) Limited – co-organiser of IT&CM China, echoes in agreement, “China’s business events market is growing faster than any other nation. It is predicted that China will be the world’s largest contributor to this industry. With domestic and international demand driving surges in group meetings and events travel, both Chinese industry suppliers and buyers alike will find IT&CM China an ideal platform to expand their business networks. CITS is excited about playing a significant role in delivering these delegates to the event.” The 2014 IT&CM China event is set to welcome approximately 3,000 MICE professionals from sectors including DMCs, PCOs, corporate travel and associations. The show will also feature 400 hosted delegates, over 10,000 business appointments set to be conducted, and more than 60 business, education and networking sessions planned for delegates. Organisers are expecting 67% new buyers with a targeted ratio of 1.25 buyers to 1 exhibiting company. IT&CM China 2014 will also be anchoring the Shanghai Business Events Week (SBEW) featuring 8 industry business, education and networking events.
The Chinese MICE industry itself is burgeoning at 20% annually, reflecting endless opportunities for both international and domestic MICE suppliers alike. Meanwhile, a 2012 study by PhoCusWright evidenced doubling of China’s travel gross bookings over a span of 5 years, from USD 54.8 billion in 2009 to USD 105.5 billion in 2013.
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
February 15, 2014
ON THE MAP Acuatico, Bulata and Plaza del Norte draw foreign tourists to the Philippines An intimate space, an exclusive place and a perfect getaway for important events, is what driving foreign tourists to come to the Philippines. The Acuatico beach resort in Laiya, San Juan Batangas, the Punta Bulata in Negros Occidental and Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center in Pagudpud are some of the great places in the country to chill out, hold wedding and honeymoon and ideal for family vacation as well as business conference. The Acuatico beach resort is not only famous for locals, but for Singaporeans too. “We will be joining a bridal caravan in Singapore to promote the resort as venue for weddings,” said Tess Samaniego, Marketing Communications Manager of Acuatico. “The resort is becoming popular among Singaporeans through the word of mouth. The guests post messages in our Facebook fan page, which now has 16,000 followers,” she said. “What they like about the resort? It’s the 21 Balinese inspired rooms, the Infinity pool and the ambience,” she said. In 2013, they have accommodated 27 weddings, up 10 percent from a year ago level. Wedding packages range from P345, 000 to P450, 000 for 60-100 people. “We cater to weddings. We’re a bit pricey, targeting the AB market,” she said. Samaniego boasts of a 100 percent occupancy rate. In fact, bookings she said were normally done 3-4 months in advance. Peak months were between November and May. She said tourist arrivals reached 400,000 last year, of which 30 percent were foreign tourists, mostly Singaporeans while others were Canadians. Tourist arrivals have consistently been growing at 10-15 percent.
Punta Bulata Another romantic place which is also the best site for diving enthusiasts is Punta Bulata. “We're really pushing for diving activities here. We have an offsite tour at the marine sanctuary of Danjugan Island, which is owned and managed by a PRRCF Foundation,” said Sales and Marketing Officer Hannah Joyce Montemayor. Last year, it saw 200,000 visitors. About 60 percent were domestic tourists and 40 percent were foreign that includes Russian, Germans, French as well as Chinese and Hongkong tourists. The Russians, Germans and French come here for diving. Visitor arrivals have continuously been growing by 10-15 percent in the last three years. Currently, occupancy rate is at 36-40 percent and it targets to increase to 50 percent
Plaza del Norte Hotel Going to Asian countries particularly Thailand, Taiwan, Korea and China to promote Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center as MICE destination is the way forward. In just three years of operation, Ian Laroda, Senior Sales Manager said they have catered to major clients such as International Regatta rowing team, and Triathlon athletes and attendees. “This year, the medical society will be having a conference. Also, another group of cooperatives will be hosting a convention here,” he said. “We are also arranging charter flights from a city in Korea to Laoag within the year,” he said but refused to give further details. Plaza del Norte has 100 rooms and 12 dormitory villas. The convention center can accommodate up to 1,500 people. They charge roughly P80, 000 for a one-day convention.
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this year, boosted by diving. Punta Bulata’s three storey resort-hotel has 19 rooms. It also has 7 bungalow houses and 4 mud houses. It is seated on a one hectare land, owned by Zayco Family. The resort has a total land area of 20 hectares. In 1995, the place used to have nipa huts, until it was renovated as a luxury hotel and become fully operational in 2005. “We plan to develop more rooms, expand in the unused areas, grow herbs in our own garden and build 4 more mud houses, to bring the total to 8, which is the favorite hang-out of backpackers,” she said. It hopes to finish the additional mud houses, before the start of the Lenten season. Punta Bulata offered 50 percent off for hotel accommodations for those who booked at the three-day travel expo at SMX.
About 90 percent of the hotel’s total revenues come from MICE and 10 percent from individual tourists. The hotel and convention center sees a 300-400 percent jump in tourist arrivals this year. In 2013, it posted a 150-200 percent growth year-on- year. Plaza del Norte, which is seated at a two hectare land, is a stone throw away from Paoay lake. At the back of the hotel is the Sand dunes. The hotel is owned by the provincial government and managed by private entity, 88 Green Inc.
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
Expedia holds first Travel Auction for the benefit of typhoon Haiyan victims
1st row L-R Miguel Capistrano, Darlene Chan, Pebbles Santos, Sharone Rellita, Jonathan Yabut, Kathy Salenga 2nd row L-R Darren Goh, Peter Lee, Celina Le Neindre, Michiel Ovaa
Expedia Inc., the world’s largest online travel company with its hotel partners in the Philippines held its very first travel auction last month. Dubbed “Travel Auction for a Cause”, Expedia together with venue partner Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria hosted a lunch buffet where the highlight was the auction of hotel vouchers, flights
and exciting packages which were so kindly donated by hotel partners of Expedia in Asia Pacific. Hosted by Expedia Philippines’ Sr. Market Manager, Kathy Salenga – the event kicked off with a special message from APAC Senior Director for Market Management Peter Lee. The event was made more meaningful with entertainment by Expedia’s very own Miguel Capistrano and Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences’ Bobbie Frondoza. Special guest auctioneer, commercial model and TV host Bobby Yan hosted the first half of the auction with exciting stays at Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, Boracay Regency Resort and Waterfront Insular Davao all via Air Asia Zest. Guests were in for another treat as Apprentice Asia finalist Celina Le Neindre and the first Apprentice Asia winner Jonathan Yabut were called on stage for the second round of auction. Hotels around Asia Pacific such as The Banyan Tree in Bali, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Anantara Bangkok, Regal Shanghai East Asia, Shiba Park Hotel Tokyo participated in this good cause by providing hotel vouchers which were packaged with air tickets from Air Asia Zest and Japan Airlines. “We are happy to kick off the year with this humble event. We thank our hotel partners for participating in the auction which allowed us to raise enough funds to support the rebuild project of Habitat for Humanity, and to make a difference in the lives of those who lost their homes due to typhoon Haiyan”, Michiel Ovaa, Director for Market Management said.
Experience the 787 Dreamliner
DAILY FROM MANILA TO HANEDA! Starting March 30, 2014
NH 870 Manila 14:40 NH 869 Haneda 09:55
Haneda 19:55 Manila 13:30
MNL-HND flight will be operated using Boeing 767 from March 30, 2014 to April 30, 2014 Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be introduced starting May 1, 2014 ANA flights depart and arrive Manila using NAIA Terminal 3
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
February 15, 2014
TRAVELTRADE NEWS at the opportunities in both sectors and how they can work together while the third day’s session will look at how national and regional governments as well as private sector businesses have successfully integrated wellness tourism into their marketing campaigns. The program is organized by Spafinder Wellness 365.
France to Spain at 320km/h
Image source: https://www.facebook.com/arabiantravelmarket
High speed trains have been running between Barcelona and Paris since 15th of December last year. The trains also serve major cities such as Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille, as well as Madrid in Spain. Travelers now no longer need to change trains in Figueres and can make the most of the new opportunities to travel between the south of France and 2 of Spain’s most iconic cities. Attractive destinations beyond Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid include Carcassone – a World Heritage site and the largest fortified town in Europe; Toulouse – also known as the “pink city”, home of the Cite de l’Espace theme park; Lyon – renowned for its culinary and architectural heritage, and Marseille – famous for its old village atmosphere, fishing port and typical local cuisine. Idyllic Spanish destinations include Girona – a privileged city that enjoys an exceptional location between sea and mountains, or Figueroa – the birthplace of Salvador Dali.
WTM2014 to launch Wellness Tourism Program World Travel Market 2014 on November 4-6 is launching its first comprehensive program to support the fast-growing Wellness Tourism sector. The Wellness Tourism sector is growing at a phenomenal pace of 9% annually, compared to the travel and tourism industry’s 6%. The first day’s session will explore what Wellness Tourism and Wellness Tourism is and why it is growing faster than the wider travel and tourism industry. The session will include findings from the latest research in the sector. The second day’s session looks to define both Medical and Wellness Tourism, which are often confused. It will look
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MICE events May-June 2014 The following are major travel and tourism events for the months of May and June. The Arabian Travelmart and the Emirates tourism stand out this month. The IMEX conference also attracts great from the sector. South Africa is another emerging market, which has been added in the last group of emerging economies known as BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China). June events has three from China underlying the fact that the whole world is targeting China. Event
Dubai, United Arab Emirates May 2-4
Durban, South Africa
GTM (Germany Travelmart)
MITF (Moscow International Travel Fair)
KOTFA (Korea World Travel Fair)
Seoul, South Korea
May 29-June 1
FIEXPO Latino Americana Punta del Este, Uruguay
TTM+ (Thailand Bangkok, Thailand Travelmart plus)
ISTE (International Sea Travel Expo)
Nha Trang, Vietnam
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
Japan Tourism Agency calls out to the world We’re ready for 20 million foreign tourists!
With over 10 million foreign travellers in 2013 and now a target for 20 million foreign tourists possibly in year 2020, Shigeto Kubo, Commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, tells all about the next steps for the agency to make Japan a more touristfriendly place for foreign travellers. In June 2013, the brainchild of the Japan Tourism Agency, the “Action Program toward the Realization of Japan as a Tourism-Oriented Country”, was finally adopted by the Ministerial Council on the Promotion of Japan. The content of the program is now incorporated into Japan’s general growth strategy. “This year marks the start of our even higher goal of attracting 20 million foreign tourists and the execution of the Action Program will be accelerated. Following on from ASEAN member countries, whose citizens are increasingly visiting Japan, we will also roll out focused and strategic promotions in potential markets such as Europe that are anticipated to send more visitors to Japan in the future”, explained last January Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Shigeto Kubo. Following liberalized visa conditions for citizens from Southeast Asia, Japan now wants to enhance the conditions to welcome foreign travellers. Although efforts have been already done to increase the quality of multi-lingual speakers and signage, there is still a lot to do and that remains one of the principal complaints of travellers. “We will improve and strengthen multilingual guidance, including by issuing common guidelines to offer a better welcome to foreigners for facilities such as art galleries, museums, nature reserves, tourism spots as well as roads and public transport systems. According to Mr. Kubo, the government will implement
new measures such as expediting and streamlining immigration procedures at airports and ports, improving the convenience of public transport in response to the increasing number of people travelling alone, setting up a calendar for free public wireless LAN, as well as enhancing facilities for Muslim travellers. Shopping fans have not been forgotten: while Japan will raise its consumption tax from April from 5% to 8%, the government will make some popular items such as cosmetics or confectionary duty-free starting from October. New duty free shops will also be opened at regional destinations. Most important, measures will be taken to make ATM machines compatible for credit and debit cards issued overseas. More shops will also be equipped with international credit cards reading machines. “Following on from the relaxation of visa requirements for ASEAN member countries last year, the JTA will also explore the advantages and disadvantages of relaxing visa requirements for other countries in the future”, added also Mr. Kubo. The target 20 million foreign tourists might be achieved as Tokyo will host that year Summer Games. “With Tokyo being selected as a host to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympics Games, the JTA will begin preparing the tourism industry to that event. The hosting of the Games will provide a powerful tailwind for boosting
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan. I believe it will be important to spread the benefits of holding the Games to regional areas as well, not just Tokyo. We will consequently work on contributing to generate cultural programs relating to the Games, and connecting these to the promotion of regional tourism”, said JTA Commissioner. The JTA will also promote the creation of tourism areas by providing support for establishing brands that are unique to Japanese regions as well as supporting community tourism. Finally, the JTA will continue to work on restoring tourism in Tohoku following the Great East Japan Earthquake. Up to now, the agency has provided support in areas especially to disseminate information about the recovery of the affected regions. However, 2014 will mark three years since the disaster and JTA will move to a more pro-active tourism policy and promotion in coordination with local governments and the private sector.
“This year marks the start of our even higher goal of attracting 20 million foreign tourists and the execution of the Action Program will be accelerated. Following on from ASEAN member countries, whose citizens are increasingly visiting Japan, we will also roll out focused and strategic promotions in potential markets such as Europe that are anticipated to send more visitors to Japan in the future.” February 15, 2014
Asian passengers shaping long haul economy air travel Airbus today published a new research report about the comfort demands of Asian economy class passengers. ‘The Future of Comfort: Asia’ conducted by global future consultancy Future Laboratory, reveals new insights into the evolving demands of tomorrow’s increasingly influential Asian air passengers. Airbus forecasts that by 2032 the Asia region will account for 45% of global passengers; this will make them the dominant flyers of the 21st century shaping the future economy class experience. The research reveals two emerging typologies of Asian travellers who, due to the rise of social media and shared global online experiences, have an increased knowledge of flying and will demand an enhanced level of comfort: • New emerging affluent travellers are first time careers, aged between 18 and 34, highly knowledgeable and wowed by services and add-ons. • High income frequent travellers are more experienced flyers, in the middle of their career and focus on personal time and comfort in the strictest sense, with seat width playing a key factor in their perception of comfort. Whilst their comfort expectations vary slightly, there is a clear commonality on the importance they place on a number of factors: • Sleep, wellbeing and relaxation lead to higher productivity. This is of particular relevance in Asia, where emerging markets are opening up business opportunities and 70 per cent of travellers in economy class are flying for business in Asia (highest percentage globally**). Asian passengers believe that the chance to rest on a flight unlocks higher levels of productivity, as opposed to the western view of seeing this time as a chance to catch-up on work. A productive flight is seen by the Asian flyer as one where they can relax (78%), sleep (58%) and then work (56%) – in that order. • Asians would pay more money for more seat space as it symbolises improved comfort and brings more relaxation. The majority of Asian consumers (58%) believe that the seat itself is the top factor affecting their sense of comfort when flying. 60% believe that wider seats are the top requirement for ‘improved standards of comfort’ and 42% would pay more for increased seat
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width. Wider seats improve views of on-board productivity (53%) followed by more legroom (48%), adjustable seating (43%), quiet zones (42%), and increased arm room (37%) • Service levels motivate Asian economy class passengers to book a flight with a particular airline brand. Better cabin service is the top factor influencing future booking decisions. The report also identified three future macro trends for comfort demanded by the Asian market: • The Always on Cabin - Wifi enabled cabins with telephone and conference calling facilities will be seen as a pre-requisite to the large volumes of Asian business passenger traveling to unlock business opportunities in a world of 24/7 access. • 3D technology - having already made its mark in entertainment and retail, 3D is expected to be offering more immersive film and shopping experience on board. Airbus is future proofing aircraft currently in production with the integration of fourth generation in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems including 3D TV. • Energizing Cabin - Asian Flyers agree that greater in-flight wellbeing allows passengers to relax and unwind, which are seen as key to productivity. Air Quality, cabin quietness, mood lighting and seat space are areas where Airbus is leading to promote heightened passenger wellbeing. Kevin Keniston, Airbus’ Head of Passenger Comfort comments: “The voice of the Asian passenger is fast becoming the dominant voice in the aviation industry and will dictate the future of flight. This new research clearly shows that comfort is paramount to satisfying the needs of long haul travel for the Asian population now and in the future. Airbus offers airlines the ability to respond to these market demands now. Our unique aircraft designs deliver comfort without compromise; the ability to offer passengers high levels of comfort whilst simultaneously delivering the most fuel efficient economics to airlines.” Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory comments: “Our report reveals rich insights into the needs of passengers across eight key Asian markets, and the unique cultural and behavioural drivers around the notion of comfort. It is clear that the emerging typologies of Asian travellers place comfort at the heart of their purchase decisions.”
TRAVEL UPDATE PHILIPPINES
Amadeus accelerates move into Hotel IT sector
Mariott Hotel Resort and Spa in Seoul, image source: www.hospitalitynet.org
Amadeus, the leading technology provider for the global travel industry, today announced that it is to acquire Newmarket International, a leading provider of cloud-based group and event IT solutions to the hotel industry, for USD 500 million. The addition of Newmarket, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, US will bring a strong management team and talented workforce to Amadeus that will significantly strengthen the Group's expertise and experience in the hotel IT industry, a key target sector for future growth. Newmarket also adds established relationships with key customers in the hotel segment. “This important and strategic acquisition will strengthen Amadeus’ position in the hotel IT sector, bringing important expertise and key customer relationships to the company that will accelerate our move into this key market,” said Luis Maroto, President and CEO of Amadeus. “With many hotel chains at a crossroads in their IT strategy, and the provider landscape fragmented, Amadeus is committed to playing a key role in partnering with the hotel industry to address its challenges and this transaction will greatly accelerate that objective.” “The acquisition by Amadeus is great news for both our customers and employees,” said Jeff Hiscox, President and CEO of Newmarket. “We have built a profitable and successful business that is the undisputed leader in our market segment and by joining Amadeus we have the ideal platform to take that success to the next level and extend our leadership in hotel IT solutions”. “Amadeus continues to develop and provide IT systems for the Hotel industry based-on our successful cloud-based platform in use in the Airline IT segment of the market. We intend to leverage the Newmarket business and proven execution abilities to expand the Amadeus Hotel offering to hotels worldwide”, said Jeff Edwards, Head of Global Hotels Group at Amadeus. “The combination of Newmarket's expertise and exceptional customer service, with Amadeus’ scale and global reach will enable us to deliver a comprehensive set of integrated high value products and services to the hotel industry.” Newmarket, which serves around 22,000 unique properties in 154 countries, operates in the group and event management segment of the hotel industry, which is estimated to account for 30-40% of a full-service hotel’s revenues. It will be operated as a stand-alone business within Amadeus’ Global Hotel Group which will integrate many aspects of Amadeus' robust products and services over time. The combination of Amadeus and Newmarket is expected to result in revenue synergy opportunities in both Hotel IT and Distribution. Newmarket’s products and services offerings are complementary to Amadeus’ IT product set which is focused on delivering cloud-based enterprise solutions in the area of: Central Reservations Systems, Property Management Systems, Revenue Management Systems and e-Commerce platform solutions. As a result of the transaction approximately 430 employees globally, including Newmarket’s entire management team, will become part of the Amadeus Global Hotel Group, maintaining Newmarket’s headquarters location in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Newmarket has a strong track record of growth and profitability with estimated 2013 revenues of $110m and EBITDA margin of 31%. The transaction is expected to be earnings accretive to Amadeus on day one. Amadeus and Newmarket expect to complete closing activities in the first quarter of 2014 and therefore do not expect the transaction to have any impact on Amadeus’ financial performance in 2013.
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Amadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail and ferry operators, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travel management companies). The Amadeus group employs around 10,000 people worldwide, across central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters), Nice (development) and Erding (operations), as well as 71 local Amadeus Commercial Organisations globally. The group operates a transactionbased business model. For the year ended December 31, 2012 the company reported revenues of €2,910.3million and EBITDA of €1,107.7 million.
About Newmarket International, Inc. Since 1985, Newmarket International, Inc. (“Newmarket”) continues to deliver proven business solutions for empowering hospitality organizations to lower costs and increase revenue, while improving customer satisfaction and guest loyalty. With more than 40,000 installations serving over 22,000 properties / venues and 150,000 users in over 154 countries worldwide, Newmarket technologies are a cornerstone in the global hospitality industry. Offering solutions for sales and marketing automation, customer relationship management, catering and events, guest loyalty, meeting intelligence, workflow management, and property maintenance, Newmarket enables hospitality professionals to work smarter and better manage all aspects of their transient, leisure, groups and meetings business. Contact details: Amadeus Corporate Communication Telephone: +34 91 582 0160 Fax: +34 91 582 0188 Email: email@example.com
February 15, 2014
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