Since 1997 volume 17, issue 2, February 2014
THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON GREECE… part two, by Dimitri Laspas EU WEBSITE FOR ACCESSIBLE TOURISM UK HOLIDAYMAKERS OPT FOR ALL INCLUSIVE HOLIDAYS INTERNATIONAL CRUISE INDUSTRY TO GROW IN 2014 THE KNOCK-ON EFFECT FOR TOURISM, by Caroline-Artemis Laspas COOPERATION BETWEEN NICARAGUA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION MINISTERS OF MERCOSUR MEET IN CARACAS 18th MITM EUROMED SIGNED AND REGISTRATION OPENS! HEALTHCARE TRAVEL EXPO, UKRAINE THE MEETINGS SHOW SEES FAST GROWTH BEST OF M.I.C.E NETWORKING FORUM AN INTERVIEW WITH MS. CHARO TRABADO, GSAR MARKETING, SPAIN A BIT OF GERMANΥ IN AUSTRALIA FUTURE OF BERLIN AIRLIFT SOUTHEAST ASIA EXPANDS ITS TOURISM INDUSTRY, by Dimitri Laspas MALDIVES DIVERSIFY FOR SPECIFIC TOURIST SECTOR PAN-ASIA FAST RAIL SERVICE UK MUST DECIDE AVIATION FUTURE THE FUTURE OF AVIATION
Athena/Minerva, the goddess wisdom and war, Athens, Greece TATW Monthly 2014
Letter from the Editor
T h e Na ti o na l Fl a g o f G r ee ce .
THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON GREECE… part two! by Dimitri Laspas – publisher & founder In this second part of the TATW Monthly feature on the Greek tourism sector and the huge potential and investment opportunities that are on offer, we start with the prospect of reaching new higher targets at the start of a new tourism year. Greece's target for 2014 is to reach over 18 million foreign visitors, with air arrivals rising by as much as 1 million, especially with new airlines starting new scheduled flights into Athens this year. Revenue from tourism is expected to rise by 13% to a record UK£10.66, (EU€13) billion in 2014. Tourism growth is expected to increase by 10% in 2014, which will continue to help the nation’s economy. Arrivals for 2013 reached 17.5 million. The target for 2021 is 24 million tourist arrivals together with increasing the level of GDP contributed by tourism by 5-6%. Tourism employs 1 in 5 Greeks. One of the key ways to achieve this 2014 target is to retain the VAT rate at 13% (instead of the previous 23%) for catering enterprises that was implemented in August 2013. An expansion of this tax relief at ports that receive tourists would also help as well as cutting by half the VAT on ferries from the current 13% down to 6.5%. In addition, stopping property transfer tax would benefit properties in the tourism sector like empty hotels, which equate to 50,000 beds and a potential investment of UK£2.50, (EU€3) billion. Now in its 6th year of recession, the Greek economy expects to contract by over 4% in 2014, but to come out of recession in 2015. It is not all bad news at all; indeed, tourism has been one of the most upbeat industries in the country and could well be a catalyst for getting it out of recession. Tourism contributes over 15% of Greece's GDP and has not suffered hugely and remains stable despite the nation’s difficulties. Greece's tourism sector saw a substantial boost in 2013 with tourism revenues up by 20% on 2012 figures. Greece also benefited from the unrest in North Africa and the Middle East with more tourists choosing the land of the gods rather than risk difficulties elsewhere. With global financial institutions seeing this positive growth, T h e a n ti - Kyt h ir a me ch a n i sm, ( t h e fi r st co mp u t e r o f t h e wo r l d , many have lifted the financial 2 5 0 0 ye ar s a g o) a t Na ti on al Ar ch a e olo g i cal Mu se u m, rating of Greece which in turn At h e n s, G r e e ce has presented a much more positive destination for foreign investment, particularly in the tourism sector. So, with the tide turning in Greece’s favour, it is now set for a comeback as a top tourist destination. With much of Europe still keeping the purse strings tight, holidays closer to home are increasing among European holidaymakers and many are choosing well known and well established destinations like Greece, to explore its unique nature and islands as well as its history that has influenced so much of the world for the last 3,000 years and will continue to do for generations to come. Bookings during 2013, confirmed this trend with an increase of 10% year on year especially from traditionally strong tourism markets like Germany, the UK and the Netherlands. One of Germany’s biggest tour operators saw bookings up 30% in March 2013 for summer holiday vacations. Europe's largest tour operator TUI Travel also saw its bookings by its German operation up 4% in 2013.
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Dear Friends, Happy New Year…again! This time for the Chinese New Year and the entrance of the Year of the Horse. Throughout history the horse has always been seen as a symbol of strength and prosperity, of determination and wealth. So let’s hope that the new Lunar Year will bring us all such luck. If ever there was a horse of a nation moving forward then China is it. In a matter of months they build new airports and hotels, new highways and high-speed train lines. In just 15 days they can build a block of apartments for 1,000 people and it does not stop there. They are rapidly developing regions of this vast nation into state of the art, futuristic cities and trade zones that have virtually zero carbon footprints. These are whole new Chinese cities, not just one hotel or housing complex. By comparison, here in Europe, we are stuck between the West and the fast developing Far East. We are trying to maintain our prosperous past but also to keep up with new global competitors, since the Wall fell 25 years ago. So far, we are still trying to work out the right path and reform ourselves but we seem to be stuck and unable to hold onto much even with small examples. For example; it can take us years to decide on a plan, another half a decade to plan it and a decade to build it, by which time the future has moved on and we are left behind again, living in a bubble. This is why China (and other countries in the Far East) is facing the world as the grand nation it is, with the strength of the horse and power to build herself ready for the future and not just trying to catch up. With a fast growing numbers of her citizens living in such advanced environments, how will this affect their expectations of what we have to offer as tourism destinations? Are we ready for the new advanced Chinese tourist, or will we remain in words and in actions ‘the Old Continent’, trying to advance only through technology? Looking forward to the next edition! Caroline-Artemis Laspas editor & co-founder
T h e Acr o p oli s Mu se u m, At h e n s , G r e ece
The country is also seeing a greater numbers of visitors from Eastern Europe and Russia. The global tourism industry which was estimated to be worth UK£700, (EU€853) billion in 2012 expected to grow by between 3-4% in 2013, mainly due to a 6% increase (final numbers for 2013 to be announced) from visitors from emerging markets. These new tourists are also citing Europe as one of their top destinations and Greece is high on their visiting wish list! The opportunities for investment continue to be big and varied in Greece with many of the nation’s public assets being sold off to assist in the overall economic recovery. Greece is offering really good value for money right now, with options for funding as an incentive with these kinds of investment. Greece’s property market is seeing more interest from a growing number of foreign investors, mainly from the USA and UK, who are seeking opportunities in the tourism sector. There has been considerable demand for hotel properties and property relating to tourism. Indeed even individuals seeking a location for a 2nd home are finding Greece to be a very competitive and positive market, with much on offer and across the entire country. It seems that Greece is back on the investor map! Greek hotel operators, restaurant owners and tourism businesses have taken the opportunity that this financial crisis has caused to become more competitive while upgrading their services in order to attract more tourists and business to Greece. With fewer protests, the global image of Greece has been restored and while tensions continue in the competitor destinations of Turkey and Egypt, Greece has reaped the benefits. For the first time in years, Greece is now gaining the market share against its main competitors. With the future looking the most promising in a long while, Greece must capture this chance and make the necessary changes for its future like focusing on its internal management across all departments in order to get the country up and running again. As the nation that brought us most of the values we all hold close till today, it needs to concentrate on applying these to its own citizens. The positive results in tourism can only grow if more is done At h e n s t r a m, co n n e ct in g t h e ci t y ce n tr e wi t h so u t he r n across the whole nation to ameliorate the su b u r b s an d t h e ma i n ha r b o ur o f P i r ea s. way the country is run, otherwise this positive sign in tourism will be just a small bubble of prosperity that will burst if things do not change on a huge scale. The Greek tourism industry has much to do, especially with an ever increasing demand and competition offering wider diversification on tourism products. There is nothing standing in Greece’s way to achieve great things in tourism, but its people need to change their attitude and work together. For more than a decade the Ministry of Tourism has wanted Greece to become a year round destination, but still there is no tangible evidence of this. The country has the perfect climate for year round tourism and has many diverse products and services it can offer 12 months a year. However there is a lack of management and positive exploitation; there is a huge need for an internal campaign to boost the Greek tourism and hospitality products, either for leisure or business. Greece deserves to have the best tourism in Europe and to be among the top global destinations. It needs to catch up and make up for lost time with quick positive decisions. The Greeks need to unite which will help improve the economy, create jobs and benefit the nation and its people as a whole from now onwards. Greece can do it. The Greeks can do it. They are the ones who proudly carry on their shoulders the most amazing history of mankind and this is theirs to keep and promote to the generations to come. Greece is the Word. Greece is the Place. Greece Is Where To Be.● 3
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L a Se i ne , Pa ri s, F r a n ce
BRITISH HOLIDAYMAKERS THE EXPLORERS OF 2014! In a new survey 65% of the British wish to explore and try something different while on holiday this year. They are also keen to achieve their own goals of visiting their destinations of a lifetime! The top holiday desire is to visit a famous site (30%) followed by seeing wildlife (25%), with the experience of a new culture ranking 18%. 24% choose their holiday based on the opportunity to do something and go somewhere completely different; while only 3% chose a holiday based on a recommendation from friend/family. The over 55 age group were the most innovative holidaymakers with 23% wanting something different, compared to just 16% of under 24 age group. The research was carried out by Celebrity Cruises who have a new collection of shore excursions for cruise passengers wanting more than a city to see. The new programme includes speedboat rides and snorkelling with salmon in Norway, a gastronomic tour through Sicily, triathlon trails in Croatia and kayaking through the Stockholm archipelago. As to destinations for 2014, 32% wanting to go travel within Europe, 12% to Australia and New Zealand and 10% to the Caribbean and North America. Only 3% wished to travel to South America or to the World Cup being held in Brazil. PARIS HOSTS HOTELIERS EUROPEAN MARKETPLACE (HEM) The ETOA’s Hoteliers European Marketplace will take place in Paris, France on 17 February with the Paris Region Tourist Board. More than 200 delegates representing European hotels, hotel chains and qualified accommodation buyers will participate in a B2B hotel contracting workshop. The big chains like Carlson Rezidor Group, Starwood Hotels and the Louvre Hotels Group will be present, as well as independent hotels from across Europe. Buyers will attend from most of Europe’s leading inbound tour operators. A full programme of activities will be on offer as well as fam trips the weekend prior to the Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte, Musée de la Grande Guerre and Disneyland Paris, as well as a dinner-cabaret at the brand new Mugler Follies. ‘SHORT BREAKS’ FOR UPCOMING TOURIST SEASON IN OMAN Οman Air and Oman’s Ministry of Tourism have jointly launched ‘Oman Short Breaks’, a project offering convenient and competitively-priced holiday packages for customers from the GCC region, especially those from the UAE. The packages are available for travel during the forthcoming spring and summer seasons and include return flights with Oman Air together with accommodation in any of the many deluxe hotels in Muscat and Salalah. Oman Air currently operates 7 daily flights from Dubai to Muscat, 4 daily flights from Dubai to Salalah, and 3 daily flights from Abu Dhabi to Muscat. Class guests, besides Oman Air’s Premium Lounges located at Muscat International Airport. Muscat is one of the most visited cities in the GCC by international tourists. Rich in history and culture, the capital city boasts several tourist Ma si r a h i sl a nd , O ma n attractions including forts and castles, museums and forest reserves, wadis and beaches, souqs and malls as well as world-class hotels and restaurants. Salalah is another popular tourist destination in the region because of its location by the mountain range on the edge of the Indian Ocean. Also known as the ‘Perfume Capital,’ it is popular for its beaches, waterfalls, limestone cliffs, blowholes, coconut and banana plantations, and heritage attractions. 4
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TOURISM News INTERNATIONAL CRUISE INDUSTRY TO GROW IN 2014 As new markets appear and more ports of call announced the cruise sector is growing at a great pace. Passenger forecast for 2014 are 21.7 million worldwide. With demand growing it is expected that cruise lines will introduce 24 new ships in 2014-2015 adding a total passenger capacity of 37,546, representing a capital investment of approximately UK£4.90, (EU€5.93) billion in ocean going and river cruise categories. In 2013 global passenger numbers are estimated at 21.3 million. North America is still the world’s biggest cruise market (55.1%of passengers) with the Europeans at 6.4 million. The leading cruise destination in terms of ship deployments remains the Caribbean, accounting for 37.3% of all global itineraries followed by the Mediterranean at 18.9%, Northern Europe 11.1%, Australia/New Zealand at 5.9%, Alaska 4.5%, Asia 4.4% and South America 3.3%. Top trends in 2014 include improved technology to lower the cost of onboard communications, more efficient passenger servicing; first-time passenger growth coming from younger generation travellers; more luxury cruising; more all-inclusive options as well as accommodations, services and amenities packages.
EU WEBSITE FOR ACCESSIBLE TOURISM With many destinations focusing on becoming a destination for all travellers, especially those with disabilities, a new European Accessible Tourism Directory called ‘Pantou’ aims to connect travellers and suppliers. Tourists with a disability can now discover places to go and things to do, comfortably and safely due to a new online directory of accessible tourism suppliers in all European Union countries. The website has been created by the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT). The name ‘Pantou’ is Greek for ‘everyewhere’ and that is the aim to offer tourist access to everywhere across Europe from accessible accommodation, restaurants, transportation and other services. The directory includes accommodation, facilities, transport, tours, venues and attractions designed to be inclusive and accessible for people who have a disability, long-term health condition or other specific accessibility requirements. The directory also includes agencies and operators outside Europe who specialise in Europe-inbound tourism.
2013 INTERNATIONAL TOURISM EXCEEDS PREDICTIONS International tourist arrivals grew by 5% in 2013, reaching a record 1,087 million arrivals say the UNWTO. Even with continued global economic difficulties, the figures were above predicted estimates, with an additional 52 million international tourists travelling the world in 2013. For 2014, UNWTO forecasts 4-4.5% growth. International tourism was best for destinations in Asia and the Pacific (+6%), Africa (+6%) and Europe (+5%). The leading sub-regions were South-East Asia (+10%), Central and Eastern Europe (+7%), Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6%) and North Africa (+6%). Europe welcomes most of the new arrivals with an additional 29 million international tourist arrivals in 2013, totalling 563 million. The sub-regions of Central and Eastern Europe was up 7% and the Southern Mediterranean up by +6%. In Asia and the Pacific the number of international tourists grew by 14 million to total 248 million. South-East Asia saw increases of 10% the highest performing sub-region, while growth was comparatively more moderate in South Asia with 5%, Oceania and NorthEast Asia reaching 4% growth each. The Americas saw growth of 6 million arrivals, totalling 169 million. Best growth was in North and Central America at 4% each, while South America grew 2% and the Caribbean by 1%. Africa attracted 3 million extra arrivals, reaching a new record of 56 million. North Africa grew by 6% and the Sub-Saharan destinations grew by 5%. The Middle East remained static at 52 million arrivals. The most important source markets in the world continue to be Russia and China, the latter becoming the largest outbound market in 2012 with an expenditure of UK£62, (EU€75) billion, saw an increase in expenditure of 28% in the first 3 quarters of 2013. The Russian Federation, the 5th largest outbound market, reported 26% growth for first 9 months of 2013. Other outbound source markets saw some growth; France at 6%, the USA, UK Canada and Australia at 3%, while Germany, Japan and Italy saw a decline in outbound expenditure. Emerging markets with very positive growth in outbound expenditure were Turkey-24%, Qatar18%, Philippines-18%, Kuwait-15%, Indonesia-15%, Ukraine-15% and Brazil-14%. TUI TO BRING 2 MILLION TOURISTS TO GREECE One of the largest tour operators in the world, TUI Travel aims to bring 2 million visitors to Greece in 2014 and is to build 2 hotels, one on the island of Rhodes and the other on the island of Crete. TUI outlined its plans with the Greek government as well as its interest in the privatisation of selected regional airports. Greece has seen a real comeback in 2013 which sees no sign of dropping in 2014 hence the company’s aim to increase its tourists to Greece by 10% and reaching 2 million arrivals. TUI was also keen to run a joint advertising campaign promoting Greece, which was received positively by the Greek government. TUI’s plans would also help Greece to extend its tourism season outside of the summer season. LONDON HOTELS WORST GUEST REVIEWS IN TOP EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS The results of a recent survey have found that guests of London hotels have on average the worst reviews of 30 of Europe’s top destinations for the past two years. In London 19% of reviews for 3* hotels had a negative review; the worst among all 30 destinations. London also ranked poorly for 4* hotels with 12% negative reviews. Only the French cities of Paris (13%) and Nice (16%) performed even worse. The best destination, was Berlin, with just 6% of the 3* hotel reviews and 5% of 4* hotel reviews being negative. Prague (7% / 5%) and Budapest (8% / 5%) respectively did well. Other city destinations within the UK scored well with Liverpool (8% / 6%), and Cardiff and Belfast (both at 8% / 7%), making them among the top European destinations. Edinburgh in Scotland was mid-range while Manchester was ranked towards the bottom of the list. The survey was keen to know to what level hotel guests had been disappointed with their hotel stay. 5
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M o t z a r t p l a t z , Vi e n n a , A u st r i a
VIENNA, RECORD OVERNIGHT STAYS IN 2013 Vienna has seen its best year ever with 12.7 million overnight stays in 2013, 3.7% more than in 2012, making it a new record. The Vienna Tourist Board has continued to be a popular destination but also has diversified its markets to attract new business. Vienna's 10 main markets in 2013 were: Germany with 2,513,000 bednights (+5%), Austria-2,327,000 bednights, (+4%), Russia-709,000, (+12%), the USA-658,000 (+6%), and Italy- 611,000 (-5%). Places 6 to 10 were taken by the United Kingdom (+5%), Switzerland (0%), Spain (-5%), France (-4%) and Japan (-1%). Strong growth came from South Korea (+24%), China (+5%), Brazil (+3%), the UAE (+15%) and Saudi Arabia (+6%). Vienna also continued to be one of the world's top congress cities. In 2013 the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked the Austrian capital as congress city No. 1 worldwide for the 8th time in succession, with 195 international conferences. SPA TRAVELLER AWARDS: COSTA NAVARINO’S ‘ANAZOE SPA’ The Greek hotel resort and Spa, Costa Navarino, has won top prize at the recent global Spa Traveller Awards 2013; 1st place in the Best Spa Hotel/Resort: Greece and Best European Spa for Incentive Breaks categories. The awards highlight the ultimate spa destinations around the world, voted for by visitors to the ‘The Spa Traveller’ website. This year sees the Anazoe Spa introduce new treatments based on local ingredients and ancient Greek practices; the Anazoe Grape Seed Scrub and the Anazoe Sea Water Treatments. There are also new outdoor treatments; the ‘Selene’ Moonlight Massage and the Outdoor Herbal Experience using locally grown herbs. UK HOLIDAYMAKERS OPT FOR ALL INCLUSIVE HOLIDAYS TUI Travel, who are big players in the UK tourism industry have seen increased numbers of bookings for their all-inclusive holidays from British holidaymakers. The benefit of such vacations is that no extra money needs to be paid for any services, making it easy for tourists to budget. Even with the warm summer of 2013, holiday bookings did not decrease. However bookings to Egypt have been affected and overall customer’s numbers are down 8%. Prospects for 2014 are on par with 2013 figures. TUI has its own aircraft fleet including the new Boeing Dreamliner which is flies to Mexico, Florida, Thailand and the Caribbean. NOVOSIBIRSK 3 DAY STOPOVER FOR TRANSIT TOURISTS Novosibirsk is to become ‘airlocked’ for a visa free short trip. Located in Siberia, with its stunning natural beauty and traditional Russian culture, is now a destination for transit tourists, who stopover in Novosibirsk. They can now do this for up to 3 days without requiring a visa. The capital of Siberia is hoping many T h e O p e r a h o u s e , N o vo si b i r s k, R u ssi a will take up this novel incentive. CROWNE PLAZA SALZBURG - THE PITTER This year will see the renovated Crowne Plaza Salzburg - The Pitter open with its new glass dome. With huge historic significance the restoration and renovation has taken time. The inner courtyard will house 28 new deluxe rooms over 4 floors, the entrance area, beer garden and outdoor restaurant facilities will be remodelled. The Pitterkeller is Salzburg’s oldest beer cellar. Now extended but still with its historical character. The fitness area has relocated to the 6th floor. From autumn 2014, the new Panorama Restaurant will offer guests stunning views. Finally in the inner courtyard a 450 m² ballroom with a glass dome and a glass facade looking out onto the garden will be on offer. This project will be a top venue for M.I.C.E as well as to explore Salzburg at business or leisure.● 7
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THE KNOCK-ON EFFECT FOR TOURISM OF THE CHINESE POPULATION! by Caroline-Artemis Laspas – editor & co-founder
By 2020 it is expected that due to the gender imbalance caused by the one child policy, China will have 24 million men who will not be able to find a wife due to a shortage of women in general across the population. However, the policy is unlike to see a baby boom, with many families already struggling with increased costs for health, housing and education.
The Chinese government has relaxed its One Child Policy, which it introduced in 1979 to keep the population growth steady. The policy has meant that approx. one-third of China's 1.3 billion citizens cannot have a 2nd child without incurring a fine. The new change now means that more parents can have a 2nd child in some areas of China. The aim is to increase birth rates and ease the financial burden of China's rapidly aging population. By 2050, more than a quarter of the population will be over 65. However the rule does not apply to all. Only couples in which one member is an only child will be allowed to have 2 children. Most people in China will still only be allowed to have one child. Those able to have more have been highlighted as ethnic minorities, disabled people, and couples in which both members are only children. The original policy caused huge problems and has significantly altered the demographics of the country. There are many 2nd generation onlychildren facing a huge financial burden of caring for 2 parents and 4 grandparents. The highly controversial policy caused many people to opt for sex-selective abortions, especially in rural locations where boys were favoured over girls as well as many human rights violations like abductions, forced abortions, huge financial penalties as the family planning authorities used extreme measures to keep birth rates in line with national policy. Despite the one child policy, China still has an average birth rate of just over 1.5 children per woman of child-bearing age which is still higher than many of its regional neighbours, like Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Niger has the world's highest birth rate per woman, with over 7, India has 2.55 and the US has 2.06.
So, what next? There will of course be an increase in China’s population and in years to come, that means even more Chinese tourists! It will take 20 years for the policy to have a beneficial impact on the workforce, but the knock on effect will be substantial. Already we are seeing growing numbers travel abroad and further a field and for longer. Even a minimal increase in the population now could have quite substantial effects on outbound tourist numbers as well as the overall effect on the global tourism infrastructure, which will need to cater for more Chinese tourists, travelling together as a family and no longer a more common threesome (parents and one child). Already, with the surplus of Chinese males expected by 2020, there is the potential for a niche tourism market for assisting Chinese men to find wives abroad through tourism! Now there’s a thought!● 8
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LATIN AMERICA News
T h e P a r l i a me n t , M o n t e vi d e o , U r u g u a y
MINISTERS OF MERCOSUR MEET IN CARACAS Recently the meeting of the ministers of MERCOSUR (Tourism Ministers Countries of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) met in Caracas, with positive outcomes. They discussed the common method by which they can work together, especially in analysing how tourists enter the member nations. In addition, it was proposed to create a Common Tourism Card to strengthen the alliance between the South. Venezuela participated for the 1st time as a full member, although it has been an Associate Member since 2004. The Southern Common Market (Mercosur) comprises of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. Its partner countries are Boliva, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, and has observer countries like New Zealand and Mexico. The Southern Common Market was established in 1991 with the signing of the Treaty of Asuncion. Part of the approach is to develop a strategy to coordinate the participation in international fairs in order to achieve the most out of these events, to boost the South American continent as a multi-destination block. Tourism is a key area for all the member nations and the proposal by Venezuela to incorporate the Mercosur tourist route Amazonia - Caribbean that will connect northern Brazil with the Venezuelan Caribbean was also discussed. In addition how the region can promote itself through common strategies to new foreign markets like Japan and China was a key discussion point. This also means smoothing the process for gaining an entry visa from these emerging nations. With the World Cup being hosted in Brazil, it is a great opportunity for the member nations to showcase their tourism potential. The goal is for tourists coming to South American for such events, can take the opportunity to meet and enjoy other tourist destinations located in nearby countries, adding to their tourist enjoyment. URUGUAY TRIAL FOR INCREASING TOURISM The city of Punta del Este is a favourite destination for many but also for the Argentineans. With the current restrictions by the Argentinean government on allowing its citizens to access money aboard, or by forcing a huge 35% fee for using a credit card, the Uruguay answer is to trial a new ‘tourist dollar’, which can to adopted by any tourists visiting the town. It is hoped that it will increase tourist numbers, with many shops and restaurants seeing this as a positive move for purchases in cash. The scheme is voluntary and the exchange rate is a bit higher at 24 pesos rather than the usual 21-22 pesos. Argentina’s actions have had the knock on effect that Uruguay has seen a loss in competitiveness in terms of dollar value, but with this scheme, they can reward the tourist in more ways than one. CUBA EXPECTS GOOD TOURISM IN 2014 Cuba is expecting a good tourism year in 2014 based on initial figures, targets and investments to expand its tourism offering. January 2014 was already one of the best yet with an increase of 13% of international visitors. With the traditional sun and beach holiday still that flagship of the Cuban tourism product, there is a growing cultural and historical tourism on offer. Cuba is seeing huge changes. With its move to become a more open market, it has already seen 7,000 houses being turned into hotels and a growing number of new travel agency offers pushing the tourism industry forward in a positive way. SAINT LUCIA TOURISM BEST YEAR FOR TOURISM Saint Lucia hit a record number of tourists in 2013 with 315,000 visitors compared to 312,404 in 2012. Key to the increase was an increase air connectivity and new strategic initiatives as well as more consolidated tourism promotions with local hotels and travel agents. Saint Lucia has developed its tourist industry in recent years, which has had a big effect on the sectors contribution to the islands GDP.
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LATIN AMERICA News
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C a b o d e Ho r n o s , I l sa d e l o s E s t a d o s, A r g e n t i n a
COOPERATION BETWEEN NICARAGUA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION Nicaragua with assistance from the European Union (EU) funding programme valued at over UK£67, (EU€81) million is to focus on developing its health, education, tourism and water supply in 2014. A focus on technical education and vocational training, fiscal management and sustainable local economic development of tourism are key aspects. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE The Dominican Republic aims to reach 10 million tourists by 2022, double to current 10 million tourists. This is resulting in massive investment in new and updating of infrastructure, predominately at tourist resorts across the country. With tourism being a main economic sector it is an ideal investment sector, with over 50% of hotel investment coming from Spanish capital. This is set to increase following the new tax treaty agreed between Spain and the Dominican Republic last year. Some of the plans include the construction and modernisation of the road network and on strengthening citizen safety. Next year will also see the inauguration of the cruise ship dock at Puerto Plata, which is envisaged to kickstart the tourism industry in the area. The areas that are most active for tourism are Punta Cana-Bávaro, Bayahibe, Puerto Plata, Samaná, Santo Domingo and La Romana, which specifically offer all-inclusive packages, adventure trips and residential tourism. PERU’S DOMESTIC TOURISM IS RISING Peru’s domestic tourism market over the recent festive season and New Year generated more than UK£767, (EU€925) million in revenue. About 2.5 million Peruvians travelled around the country during the period, spending on average UK£30, (EU€37) per day. Half of the travellers were from Peru’s capital Lima and the rest from cities in the jungle and highlands, who like to spend time on the coast to enjoy the holiday. The most popular places were Peru’s northern beaches including Zorritos, Mancora and Punta Sal, which combined with the great local cuisine and warm climate attracted a lot of tourists. Many travel agents had confirmed that tour packages to the north of Peru had sold out as soon as they had gone on sale confirming the strong demand for the destination. In the South of Peru the top destinations were the cities of Cusco and Arequipa during the holiday period. URUGUAY AND ECUADOR HAVE BEST CLIMATES IN THE WORLD With a gentle climate year round and moderate rainfall combined with a low risk of natural disasters the top 2 countries in the world to retire too are Ecuador and Uruguay. Achieving a perfect 100% for the 2nd year running, Ecuador located on the equator offers 12 hours of daylight throughout the year. To get the most of the equatorial weather head for Cuenca, Otavalo, Vilcabamba and Quito. In 2nd place was Uruguay again with temperate weather year round and enough rain to keep things green and mild winters giving the country 4 distinctive seasons. In summer mild cooling breezes by the sea make it an ideal place to be. GUYANA INCREASE IN TOURIST ARRIVALS The Caribbean island of Guyana has seen tourist arrivals rise by 11.7% in 2013. In 2012 it received 176,642 visitors a 12.6% increase on 2011 figures. 2013 saw 197,310 visitors. For 2014, the island is hoping for a 15% increase in visitor arrivals, with greater numbers arriving at the islands ports. Increased figures are hoped for following the completion of the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and the opening of a big new hotel. PERU 3rd MOST POPULAR DESTINATION FOR US TOURISTS Peru is an extremely popular destination for American tourists looking to go abroad. Following a recent survey about where US holidaymakers wish to go, Peru and China tied for the 3rd place, while the top two places were Italy followed by Great Britain. The survey also found that several new trends are appearing in US tourists including river cruises (77%) as well as sports travel to events like the World Cup and Olympics (37%), religious tourism (23%) and entertainment travel (TV and film destinations 9%).● 10
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INTERVIEWINGâ€Ś Are there plans to launch another MITM event elsewhere in the world? Not yet. Each edition of the events moves to a new location. Does this enhance the event or would you prefer to have them settled in the same place and to build up the event? No, changing venues is another key to success! The 2013 editions of MITM Americas and CULTOUR Fair took place jointly in Guadalajara, Mexico. Will the next editions of the events be held together? What was the benefit of co-currently running the two together? Were they more successful? Surely the two will come together again. We did it as an experimental formula and it was a great success.
In an interview with Ms. Charo Trabado, General Director of GSAR Marketing, here we discover how the company is moving forward and developing its events to cater for the growing markets of South America and cultural tourism. This interview took place during MITM Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico with Dimitri Laspas publisher of Tourism around the World monthly. How did you get into this industry? I studied Tourism because my passion was travelling and meeting different cultures. What does your position at GSAR Marketing involve and what is the best part of your job? I do a bit of everything, I do business relationships with customers, promoting, I select the locations of the fairs, etc. What I like the most is the direct contact with customers! How many shows are there in the GSAR Marketing portfolio and where do you see their importance in the global exhibition industry? We have already made 41 international fairs in Europe, America and the Caribbean. GSAR Marketing has much to say in the global exhibition industry since we have been pioneers in Europe and the Americas in organising interactive M.I.C.E trade fairs. We have been copied by all those currently doing the same type of shows as us and they are always aware of all the changes we are introducing, to follow suit. What makes the MITM Americas, MITM Euromed and CULTOUR Fair special? Their unique format which ensures a direct and intimate contact between all the participants, whose position is at a management level.
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Are there any particular places/countries or regions of the world not represented at the CULTOUR Fair, that you feel would enhance the event for all participants? Of course there are many destinations that are not present and it would benefit them much if they got involved. Where is your favourite place to go on holiday? As I said at the beginning of the interview, I love to travel, knowing different cultures, etc, therefore, anywhere in the world is a wonderful place for a vacation!â—?
What is the future of these shows and where do you see them in another few years time? I was sure since we started 17 years ago, that this model was going to be the model of the fairs in the future because it is the most productive and economical. 11
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EXHIBITION News ‘RAMON ALVAREZ IN MEMORIAM’ AWARD WAS GIVEN FOR THE 1st TIME The "Ramon Alvarez in Memoriam" Award is from this year on, part of the already known awards of Grupo Excelencias. This prize is delivered to an institution or personality for the achievements and inputs in the M.I.C.E tourism, during the annual FITUR exhibition in Madrid. This year’s winner was Lic. Luis Felipe Nuño, Promotion Director of Guadalajara's CVB and President of The Latin American Association of Convention Bureaus, for his brilliant professional career and his contribution to the development of M.I.C.E tourism in Guadalajara, Jal.Mexico. The award was created last year after the decease of Ramon Alvarez, as recognition to his accomplishments and contributions to the tourism industry. Ramon Alvarez was the founder of Convenco-GSAR Marketing, organising company of the MITM Americas, MITM Euromed and CULTOURFAIR trade shows.
global e-news for tourism, travel, m.i.c.e, exhibitions and aviation
TOURISM AROUND THE WORLD MONTHLY is a global e-journal for the travel and tourism, M.I.C.E, exhibitions and aviation industries. It provides accurate, detailed, information and is produced in English. Started in 1997 it has an ever-growing circulation. It is also the official global media support for several key exhibitions within the industry. www.tourismaroundtheworld.co.uk
PERU TRAVEL MART 2014 Business conducted during the 21st edition of Peru Travel Mart, the most important annual tourism event Peru is expected to reach more than UK£33, (EU€40) million. The 2014 edition will be attended by 141 leading buyers from Latin America, Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania who will be gathered in Lima from 24-27 April at the Sheraton Lima Hotel and Convention Center. The 4-day event is aimed at travel industry operators and includes 2 seminars. Increasingly the interest of Asian operators to promote Peru as a tourist destination is seen as a good business opportunity at the show. Since 1987, Peru Travel Mart has been a meeting point for Peru’s tour operators and wholesale buyers from around the world, resulting in positive results for the development of tourism in the country.
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18th MITM EUROMED SIGNED AND REGISTRATION OPENS! During the recent FITUR, held in Madrid, Spain, the agreement for holding the 18th edition of MITM Euromed, Meetings and Incentive Travel Market, in Cadiz, Spain, was signed between Cadiz Provincial Council and GSAR Marketing, the organising company of the fair. In the act were present the Provincial Tourism Deputy, Ma. Inmaculada Olivero, the President of Cadiz Tourism Provincial Council, Jose Loaiza Garcia and the General Manager of GSAR Marketing, Charo Trabado. Cadiz was exhibitor in the last edition of MITM Euromed in Seville, Spain, and also sponsored a fam tour for the hosted buyers and press through the Province of Cadiz, so they are aware of the benefits and big promotion that the fair brings to the destination. The evaluation of the last MITM Euromed highlighted the quality of the fair as an ideal forum to seek and obtain potential business. This is an assurance that the next edition in Cadiz will be a success as well. MITM Euromed is known as the oldest international M.I.C.E fair in Europe, pioneer in programming B2B from left to right - Ma. Inmaculada Olivero appointments and with a networking (Provincial Tourism Deputy), Jose Loaiza Garcia (President of Cadiz Tourism Provinci al Council) and program that guarantees the contact Charo Trabado (General Manager of GSAR Marketing) with all the international attendees. MITM Euromed's hosted buyers are decision making executives from incentive houses, incentive travel agencies, event agencies, marketing companies, as well as meeting planners, association executives, international congress organisers and corporate incentive travel end-users. CRUISE SHIPPING MIAMI LAUNCHES CRUISE EVENTS MOBILE APP Attendees can maximise their business opportunities at Cruise Shipping Miami 2014 by using the CSM Mobile App to create a personalised agenda, connect with other attendees and exhibitors, navigate the trade show and meeting venues, and keep up to date with convention developments and industry news. Developed by show organiser UBM, the free CSM Mobile App is available for iOS and Android operating systems in their respective app stores under the title "Cruise Events." For those not on iOS or Android devices, a desktop version of the app is available. In addition to the one-to-one networking capability, the application offers full exhibitor and delegate listings, an interactive floor plan, a conference schedule and event details. App users also can access live social media feeds and engage with the show via on-site displays at the convention. Once downloaded, the app can be used for future Cruise Shipping events. Cruise Shipping Miami 2014 will take place from 10-13 March at the Miami Beach Convention Center.
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42nd ABAV INTERNATIONAL TOURISM EXPO ABAV - International Tourism Expo is the largest and most important travel trade fair in the Americas and the Southern Hemisphere, and it is promoted by the Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies (ABAV), which concentrates over 80% of the country’s sales force, including both national and international destinations. The event is considered an international benchmark, where representatives of more than 60 countries come to interact with the Brazilian market; the world’s 8th largest economy. The 42nd ABAV – International Tourism Expo will take place from 24-28 September 2014 at the Anhembi Exhibition Pavillion, São Paulo, Brazil; South America’s largest financial, corporate and trade centre. Due to the high number of qualified travel agents from the most diverse market niches participating in the event, and the presence of 800 hosted buyers, the event will have 3,500 exhibitors, representing 65 countries, and 40,000 professional visitors from all industry segments. Among the exhibitors are Brazilian and international airlines, the top domestic and international tourism operators, cruise lines, M.I.C.E companies, the top domestic and international communication and hotel networks, car rental companies, ski, ecotourism, and adventure tourism organisations. Organised by Promo Inteligência Turística, the event will once again count on partnerships with Abeta (Brazilian Association of Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Operators), Abracorp (Brazilian Association of Travel Agencies - Corporate Island), and Braztoa (Brazilian Association of Tourism Operators - 41st Braztoa Commercial meeting), and the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Embratur, São Paulo Turismo, and Anhembi.
The 3rd edition of the International Exhibition of Medical Tourism, SPA & Wellness Healthcare Travel Expo is to take place from 15-17 April 2014 in Kyiv Expo Plaza Exhibition Centre, Kiev, Ukraine. It aims to focus on the practice of providing high quality medical services in Ukraine and abroad. The exhibition will take place simultaneously with the main event of the healthcare branch of Ukraine the 5th International Medical Forum ‘Medicine Innovations - the Nation’s health’. The exhibition brings together the major suppliers of medical and health services, representatives of tourist business for organisations of outbound and inbound medical tourism not only from Ukraine, but also from countries near and far abroad. In only a short time, the International Exhibition of Medical Tourism, SPA&Wellness Healthcare Travel Expo has gained significant prestige with exhibitors coming from Austria, Bulgaria, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Latvia, Malaysia, Poland, Turkey as well as many others. Within the framework of the exhibition business programme traditionally will be held the International practical conference ‘Medical Tourism: 7 major trends’, which will highlight the healthcare system, opportunities and perspectives of health, SPA&Wellness tourism, programmes of patient’s exchange, particularities of healthcare tourism development within the exhibiting countries of the event. The 2013 edition of the event saw 76 exhibitors from Austria, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Finland, Croatia, Czech Republic. 14,116 specialists from 36 countries visited the exhibitions and were from Algeria, Azerbaijan Belorussia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Israel, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Moldova, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Romanian, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland. Syria, Turkey, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Uzbekistan. 12
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From 13-14 March 2014 the Slovenian city of Bled will host the 4th international conference on creative and strategic marketing in tourism, Travel Zoom. More than 20 of the top Slovenian and foreign experts coming from tourism, marketing, advertising and IT will share their marketing tips and recipes for success in tourism. Delegates attending the upcoming Travel Zoom will be able to attend several workshops offering an active learning experience. The 4th Travel Zoom will bring new trends, ideas and solutions for tourism and will help advance the delegates skills to turn them to ‘the icons’ of tourism. The 2014 Travel Zoom stage will host Hans Petter Aalmo from Visit Norway, Joseph Fratangelo, presenting the world’s largest travel sight Tripadvisor and Gloria Molins, founder and CEO Trip4Real, global community marketplace that connects travellers seeking authentic, quality experiences with local experts who offer unique activities to do. Extraordinary tourism and destination campaign will be presented by agencies: Valontaire from Stockholm, Circus Marketing from Mexico, Four Werbeagentur from Switzerland and others. The focus of the programme will be on the interactive workshops where delegates will be able to learn how to creatively use the newest marketing tools. Travel Zoom programme will include workshops for direct marketing, digital marketing (Lea Stanković from communis DDB Serbia), content marketing (Milica Cetinić from Jasno&Glasno, Croatia), advertising (Mayer McCann Slovenia), social media (Damjan Planinc from interactive.agency Mediaservices d.o.o., Slovenia) and a workshops teaching delegates how to change a unique selling proposition into a unique emotional proposition (Andrej Pompe from Formitas, Slovenia). The educational programme will be accompanied by competition. Public Agency SPIRIT Slovenia and the international conference Travel Zoom are for the 2nd year in the row inviting local, regional and national tourist destinations, tourism operators and marketing agencies to submit their campaigns for the Golden Zoom 2014. An international jury comprised of international experts will select and award the most creative, strategically sophisticated and effective tourism campaigns. The winners will be announced on 13 March 2014 at Travel Zoom award ceremony.●
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M.I.C.E News THE MEETINGS SHOW SEES FAST GROWTH Dubai, Turkey, The Balearics, Accor Hotels, The Westminster Collection and Chicago are just a few of the new exhibitors to attend The Meetings Show in 2014. The new exhibitors’ represents part of a strong line up of destinations, venues and suppliers already confirmed for The Meetings Show 2014. The show is considerably bigger than in 2013 and 90% of exhibitors from the 2013 event have confirmed or expressed interest in the 2014 edition of the show. In addition to the above companies, other new exhibitors for 2014 include: Dolce Hotels, Sandals and Beaches Resorts, Visit Belfast and Wyboston Lakes. The Meetings Show is a major event for the UK inbound and outbound meetings industry, taking place 8-10 July 2014 at Olympia, London. ADELAIDE CONVENTION CENTRE The Adelaide Convention Centre (ACC) has achieved Gold Certification under the globally recognised EarthCheck environmental programme. EarthCheck, set up by EC3 Global, is the standard environmental best practice programme used by convention centres, travel and tourism organisations around the world. Gold Certification follows the Centre achieving 5 years of continuous silver certification and in the process significantly reducing its environment footprint. The Centre has became the 1st convention centre to use earthworms to recycle its organic waste, reduced its gas consumption by more than 8%, reduced water consumption by 10.7% and re-used or re-cycled 90% of its exhibition waste. The Centre has performed above the best practice level in 7 key areas of natural resource use reduction. This achievement has allowed continued growth in the number of the events and delegates visiting the Centre. The Adelaide Convention Centre is now one of the country’s greenest convention and meetings venues and among the world leaders in terms of sustainability. Adelaide Convention Centre now joins an elite group of convention centres and tourism operators across the world which has consistently demonstrated commitment to adopting responsible environmental practices and promoting the need for more sustainable operations. Adelaide Convention Centre’s Green Team is run by a group of volunteers who formed a committee to research and develop ideas and mentor other employees in environmentally responsible practices. GOLD FOR CHURCH HOUSE CONFERENCE CENTRE Church House Conference Centre has again been awarded the coveted BDRC Venue Verdict Gold Standard as recognition for its consistently high quality of customer service and outstanding venue. Based
entirely on the opinions and experiences of clients, the Venue Verdict Gold Standard is a true mark of quality. Committed to delivering the highest standards of customer care and venue quality, Church House Conference Centre makes regular investments into its facilities and staff. During 2013, the venue invested over £146,000 into technology to enable them to offer clients an outstanding level of in-house audio visual including web streaming and Video on Demand services using HD broadcast quality equipment. Church House Conference Centre is a Grade II listed venue situated in the heart of Westminster. With 19 diverse rooms, state of the art technology, award winning in-house events, AV and catering teams and an iconic Westminster location, Church House Conference Centre is a popular London venue. MOZARTEUM FOUNDATION The Mozarteum Foundation Salzburg has at their heart the preservation and involvement of Mozart's legacy as their principal aims. This also makes for a unique and valuable impact for your event concept. As part of the programme, you can include the life of Mozart, include a visit to Mozart's Residence, Mozart's birthplace and rent the unique Mozarteum concert halls for a conference or product presentation. The Great Hall is a space for large concerts and corporate meetings in Salzburg, combining the most modern technology and an impressive historic ambience. Elegant dinner events for up to 100 guests or smaller meetings should be placed in the Viennese hall with its ceiling-high windows to the gardens of the premises. For exclusive receptions the historic bastion garden are ideal. Adjacent to the world famous Mirabell Gardens and is now home to the mysterious ‘Magic Flute Summer-House’, which it is said that Mozart was locked in this house to complete his opera ‘The Magic Flute’ on time! BEST OF M.I.C.E NETWORKING FORUM: 23-26 APRIL, VENICE-ITALY The Best of M.I.C.E Networking Forums bring together key players from the international M.I.C.E sector. The 7th edition of the Best of M.I.C.E Networking Forum will be held in Venice, Italy with 120 international decision makers from the Meetings & Events Industry in attending. The Welcome2Venice Convention Bureau, the official body for M.I.C.E promotion in Venice confirms that for Venice, the Best of M.I.C.E is important as it enables influential M.I.C.E. decision makers to experience what Venice has to offer for corporate events. Venice already attracts more than 25 million visitors each year but the aim is to increase this and the quality of the M.I.C.E events. ABC Corporate Business Solutions, organisers of the Best of M.I.C.E Nertworking Forums says new exhibitors and in particular American and Asian companies are attending as well as a diverse visitor base of hosted buyers from Germany, the UK, France, Northern European Countries, Switzerland and Italy as well as the USA, Russia, India, China and Brazil. ICS - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SERVICES DENMARK EXPANDS ICS is to open a new office in Malmoe, Southern Sweden this February. ICS has already successfully organised several events in Southern Sweden and by opening the new office ICS hopes to increase the total number of Conferences in the region. The city of Malmoe has developed rapidly over the last couple of years with a new high speed train from Copenhagen Airport in 20 minutes, new Conference facilities in central Malmoe and a lot of potential for social events, both down town and in the countryside. It is also offers unique and value for money facilities. ICS is one of Denmark's leading Congress organisers and Destination Management Companies with over 25 staff members and 26 years in business. 15
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A BIT OF GERMANΥ IN AUSTRALIA It seems that wherever the Germans go outside of their nation, they like to maintain their traditions and village atmosphere, with remarkable success. As we discovered in the last edition of Tourism around the World monthly, with the Austro-German village in Peru, we now discover the town of Hahndorf, which is located maybe as far away from Germany as one can get, in Adelaide Hills, South Australia. Hahndorf was identified as a state heritage area in 1988 by the Government of South Australia. It is the oldest surviving German Village in Australia and as such is a popular tourist destination attracting between 750,000 and 1 million visitors per year. With much of the German architecture still visible the village offers a charming atmosphere of cafes and boutique shops. The German history of Hahndorf dates back to 1838 when George Fife Angas, a director of a South Australian company, travelled to London to promote colonisation. There he met Pastor Kavel who was trying to help 187 German Lutherans, being persecuted by the King of Prussia, to immigrate to safer places. Angas immediately wanted to help and persuaded Pastor Kavel that South Australia was a suitable place for emigration. Upon arrival down under, the village was established by the 187 German immigrants, who in fact were already a community consisting of shepherds, farmers, millers, woodcutters and craftsmen, together with their families. They named the village ‘Hahndorf’ after the captain of the ship they arrived on as he was supportive and helped them establish the village and settle into life in a new land. A visit to the village will find a well established community with a selection of hotels, B&B, and chalets, many restaurants offering authentic German cuisine as well as international flavours. There are art galleries, craft shops, and coffee shops all serving what you would expect to find in a café in Hamburg, Frankfurt or Berlin! You can even find German sausages and other traditional German foods to buy. The main avenue of the village is lined with 100 year old elm and plane trees, an attraction in themselves. You can also find the original ‘Fachwerk’ buildings and cottages restored to their original glory. The German Fold Museum is also a great visit showcasing the history of the village. Although full of tradition, the village also has modern feel. Another attraction is the Beerenberg, where you can pick your own fruit. The versatile offering of Hahndorf means there is something for everybody. The Adelaide Hills produces some of the finest cold-climate wines in the world and you can taste many at several nearby wineries. Hahndorf is also an ideal base from which to explore the surrounding region like the Fleurieu Peninsula and Murray Riverland. While many visitors come to Hahndorf to get a glimpse of the past, Hahndorf is increasingly acknowledged for the modern and the chic and generally a trendy place to wine and dine. 2014 marks the 175th anniversary of the birth of the village. Hahndorf is a unique town where you can walk the past and taste the future. BAVARIA ATTRACTS MORE ARABS FOR HEALTH AND WELL BEING Bavaria visits the medical technology and healthcare trade fair ‘Arab Health’ that took place in Dubai recently. Bavaria already has a great international reputation around the world as a location for medical technology and health. The ‘Arab Health’ trade fair is an 17
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ideal platform for Bavaria to show its leading medical technologies and its health infrastructure to a wide audience. This is why Bavaria is increasingly becoming a popular destination for Arab tourists. Many of them combine a holiday in Bavaria with medical treatment or rehabilitation services. With such a strong presence at the trade fair helps contribute to make the best possible use of the potential for health tourism from the Arab region. Arab Health in Dubai is one of the world's leading trade fairs for medical technology and healthcare. It is the most important annual event in the Middle East and neighbouring regions in this sector. Around 3,900 companies from over 60 countries were present to show their medical technologies and treatment methods and over 80,000 visitors attended. FOREIGN INVESTMENT INTO GERMANY Germany’s hotel investment market saw strong growth in 2013 with a growing number of foreign investments taking place in the country. Investors see German as economically stable as well as having low interest rates, making it a great option for investment. More than UK£5, (EU€6) billion was invested in German commercial real estate between July and September 2013. By the end of September last year a total of UK£15.85, (€19.1) billion had been invested, a 31% increase on 2012 figures. Existing hotels were a key sector for investment with more than UK£823, (EU€992) million invested by the end of the 3rd quarter; a year-on-year increase of 59%. Many international investors consider the German hotel market an attractive investment option due to the positive trend in room bookings, economic stability and the availability of investment opportunities. Some individual deals saw a total of 48 hotels being sold for UK£528, (EU€637) million, 27 of which generated a sales price of UK£4, (EU€5) million or more, totalling at UK£472, (EU€569) million. FUTURE OF BERLIN AIRLIFT The fate of one of Europe’s oldest city airports will be decided by a referendum in Berlin this spring. Tempelhof Airport in the south of the city closed in 2008. It is currently used as an open space for concerts and city gardening. Proposals are for apartment blocks and a central library on the edge of the site, but there are objections from locals to preserve it as a green, open space. The proposals have caused for a city-wide referendum on the future of the site. The proposed library was among 2 winning designs selected by Berlin's Senate last December. Historically, Tempelhof Airport was used by the Allies to break the Soviet blockade of West Berlin in 1948.●
AVIATION News UK MUST DECIDE AVIATION FUTURE Britain must make a final decision on a new airport runway as soon as possible to avoid a capacity problem that could cost the economy UK£45, (EU€54) billion. A final recommendation on where runway expansion is to be given after the next general election in May 2015. There are 3 options; building a new runway at either London Heathrow or Gatwick and extending the current runway at Heathrow. The idea of a brand new airport in the Thames estuary, east of London has also not been ruled out, but is the most expensive option. ETIHAD REGIONAL IN SWITZERLAND A new joint venture with Etihad and Switzerland’s Darwin Airlines has seen the launch of Etihad Regional, based at the hub of Geneva. Etihad Regional offers year round flights to 15 destinations in Europe with 34 destinations being offered by mid 2014. Etihad Airways aims to acquire a 33.3% Darwin Airline as part of its equity airline alliance strategy. Darwin Airline will become the 7th member of the international alliance and Etihad Airways’ 4th partner in Europe. The new airline will fly to 7 European gateways served by Etihad Airways; Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris, Düsseldorf, Belgrade, Zurich (June 2014) and Rome (July 2014). Etihad Regional will connect with airberlin in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Zurich, providing onward connectivity to destinations in Europe and North America. The partnership will allow for future codeshare agreements. Etihad Airways’ already holds a 29% share of airberlin, 40% of Air Seychelles, 19.9% of Virgin Australia, 3% of Aer Lingus and 24% of Jet Airways. It has also just taken a 49% share of Air Serbia. Collectively, Etihad Airways and the 7 airlines serve nearly 400 unique destinations with a fleet of more than 500 aircraft. In 2013, they carried a combined total of more than 80.5 million passengers. MALAYSIA AIRLINES CODESHARES WITH MYANMAR AIRWAYS Malaysia Airlines and Myanmar Airways International signed a new code share agreement. The deal sees Malaysian Airlines increase its flights into Yangon from 14 weekly flights to 19 weekly flights. For Myanmar Airways International services on the Kuala LumpurYangon-Kuala Lumpur will see the Malaysia Airlines flight code. This also allows for Myanmar Airways International to use the Malaysia Airlines services to Singapore, Langkawi, Bangkok and Penang. In addition, Malaysia Airlines will carry the Myanmar Airways flight code on these flights. The two airlines have previously worked together in 2006, but the agreement was suspended in 2010 due to the International Economic Sanction against Myanmar. This deal is also supporting the desire for an open skies policy among all the ASEAN nations.
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS: 4-STAR SKYTRAX RANKING National carrier, South African Airways (SAA), has, for the 12th year running, been awarded the 4Star Airline ranking for 2014 by Skytrax, the independent, global airline rating organisation. SAA is the only carrier on the African continent to achieve the 4-Star Airline rating. Providing Excellent Customer Service is one of 5 strategic objectives of SAA’s Long-Term Turnaround Strategy, named Gaining Altitude. SAA’s 4-Star ranking signifies that the airline has achieved a good standard of product across all travel categories, with standards of staff service delivery in both the onboard and airport environments being ranked highly. GERMANWINGS: EUROPEAN PUNCUTALITY Germanwings has been ranked the 2nd most punctual airline in the world evaluated in a Europe-wide comparison carried out by Flight Stats, who evaluates all scheduled flights worldwide. This is an area the airline strives for as it believes punctuality is of great importance to its passengers. It was a Spanish airline with a punctuality rate of 92.73% that took 1st place. Germanwings has a 91.6% score. SKY WHALE - THE FUTURE OF AVIATION Is this the future of air travel? It is the latest futuristic design for the aviation industry. The AWWA Sky Whale is so big that it will make the Airbus A380 look small. With a wing span of 88m and it stands 3 storeys high. The aim is to provide a greener footprint for the future of aviation. It has been developed by Spanish designer and avid aviation fan Oscar Viñals. ECUADOR AIRLINE STOPS FLIGHTS TO VENEZUELA Tame, the national carrier of Ecuador has suspended flights to Venezuela, due to a huge debt for unpaid tickets equating to UK£26 (EU€31) millions debt by Venezuela. Tame says the Venezuelan Central Bank has not paid since April 2013. The current debt is equal to a 3rd of Tame’s yearly revenue. Tough foreign currency controls make it difficult for foreign airlines to repatriate money obtained from ticket sales in Venezuela. The government of Venezuela is thought to owe several billion dollars to other airlines. The daily flight between Quito and the Caracus, the Venezuelan capital, started in 2012 and quickly reached 90% occupancy on most flights. The Venezuelan government has put in place measures to address its foreign currency crisis. TRANSAERO AIRLINES LAUNCHES LOW-COST SERVICE The new ‘Discount class’ fare option is available on several of the flights by Transaero leaving from Moscow Domodedovo airport to the domestic and international destinations of London, Berlin, Vienna, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Tel Aviv, Vilnius, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Novosibirsk, Novy Urengoy, Omsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Stavropol, Ufa, Khanty-Mansiysk, Kiev, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa, Astana, Almaty, Karaganda, Yerevan and Antalya. On the 1st day of the service launch, the airline carried 5,000 passengers on 54 Discount Class flights. All seats on specified flights are sold according to Discount Class rules. The ticket fares include, free drinks and meals depending on flight length and a choice of newspapers. Passengers can carry 10, 15 or 20kgs of luggage, depending on tariff of the purchased ticket. Members of the Transaero Privilege frequent flyer programme can earn points travelling in Discount Class at a 50% rate. They can also get reward tickets for these flights. 18
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S a r a wa k S t a t e L e g i sl a t i ve A s se mb l y , K u c h i n g , M a l a y si a
SOUTHEAST ASIA EXPANDS ITS TOURISM INDUSTRY by Dimitri Laspas – publisher & founder The 33rd ATF ended in another huge success last month after taking place in the State of Sarawak, in Kuching, Malaysia. Following consecutive successes, the event is the place to be to develop tourism business in the ASEAN region. From humble beginnings, the ASEAN nations are set to launch their new goal of ‘One Vision, One Identity, One Community’ for ASEAN by 2015. Among the many dedicated projects covered by the ASEAN Member nations to push forward a joint tourism product is the ASEAN Mutual Recognition of Tourism Professionals. As a result, ASEAN member states will reap the economic efficiencies from this free movement of skilled labour and professionals in tourism within the region. Another initiative is the establishment of the ASEAN Promotional Chapter for Tourism (APCT) and the creation of the slogan ‘Southeast Asia, Feel the Warmth’, which has strengthened the joint tourism promotion activities among ASEAN member states. This has filtered through to the private sector with travel agents across the nations working together to develop multi-country tour packages for tourists. The multi destination tour packages are also looking to expand into specific themes and niche sectors to attract even more tourists to the region. As part of the Asean development plan, the ASEAN Cruise Work Plan 2013 highlighted Asean ports and attractions. This work will continue in order to maximise the development of the cruise sector. Other initiatives included the publication of the book on ‘The Magical Gardens of ASEAN’; a joint promotion highlighting all the parks and gardens across the region as part of the ASEAN Ecotourism Strategic Plan ensuring the conservation of nature-based tourism in the region. From the agreed strategic plan, covering 2011-2015, 75% of the ASEAN Tourism Association goals have already been achieved. Despite the ongoing economic downturn, international tourism has remained strong throughout the ASEAN region. Arrivals in Asia and the Pacific have seen a 6% increase to over 10 million arrivals last years. Sarawak received over 3 million arrivals from January to November 2013 an increase of 6.5% from 2012. With its strategic location between the growing and emerging economies of China and India, ASEAN countries are blessed with great potential for growth in tourism. Inbound tourists to Southeast Asia region is projected to increase by 5.1% per annum, higher than the global average rate of 3.3% from 2010 to 2030. Collectively, tourist arrivals to the region are predicted to increase from 69.9 million in 2010 to 187 million by 2030. The increase in tourist arrivals will raise the global market share from 7.4% in 2010 to 10.3% in 2030. The Sarawak State Government was delighted to host the event and was able to showcase the state’s tourism offering to all exhibitors, hosted buyers, trade visitors and media from around the world. Tourism is an important contributor to the economy of Sarawak and receives approx. 4 million visitors a year. The host city of Kuching is also looking forward to the forthcoming Routes Asia 2014 Conference and Exhibition in March where about 1,500 participants from airlines and airports will be present. Flight connectivity remains key to increasing tourist arrivals and is a subject continually debated. During discussions at ATF top tourism leaders urged airlines to launch more direct flights to and from the many islands and destinations within the ASEAN region. There is also a call for more direct flights to China in order 19
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to further tap into the 82 million outbound tourists from China. The ATF 2014 has further strengthened intra-regional cooperation and coordination in tourism through various meetings such as the 17th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers, and the 13th Meeting of ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan, & Republic of Korea) Tourism Ministers, besides other meetings of National Tourism Organisations (NTOs). In line with its theme ASEAN Advancing Tourism Together, ATF 2014 succeeded in bringing closer together the tourism industries of each member nation as well as working towards the objective to explore the sustainable development of tourism and other tourism initiatives. ATF 2014 was attended by over 1,600 delegates, including 100 foreign and local travel trade media. The Travel Exchange (TRAVEX) a key part of the ATF, is a 3-day business event that saw a 353 exhibitors with 879 sellers to market regional individual tourism products from ASEAN member countries. There were 462 international buyers also in attendance. 2014 is also the ‘Visit Malaysia Year’, which added huge impact to the whole event across the 8 days of business and networking. During ATF 2014, various awards were presented, including the 27th ASEANTA Awards for Excellence in Tourism and the ASEAN Green Hotel Award. The latter is held biennially during ATF and is presented to hotels for their efforts to be environmentally-friendly and adopt energy conservation measures. A total of 86 hotels from 10 ASEAN countries received the honour this year. There is an increasing demand by tourists for hotels which adopt green practises proven by various studies. Recognising this global trend, ASEAN has developed the ASEAN Green Hotel Standards which comprises an environmental plan, green products, human resource and environment management and is operated under the ASEAN Ecotourism Strategic Plan which promotes responsible tourism and green practices in the tourism industry. With the right investment, tourism can be a catalyst to a green economy, driving economic growth and job creation. While at the same time it improves resource efficiency, minimises environmental degradation as well as raises environmental awareness among travellers. Malaysia’s Tourism minister handed over the Chairmanship of ATF 2015 to Myanmar as the host of the next ASEAN
ASIA News Tourism Forum in Naypidaw. The theme of ATF 2015 is ‘ASEAN - Tourism Towards Peace, Prosperity and Partnership’. For over 3 decades, government and private sector associations have come together annually at ATF to discuss, review and plan strategies to continue to promote ASEAN as the world’s top travel destination. And they are succeeding well!● PAN-ASIA FAST RAIL SERVICE A new huge rail project is underway that will offer a ‘Pacific Rim’ train journey. The first part of this massive Pan-Asia rail route will connect China, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur linked together. The plan is to connect China, via Vietnam, to the nations of the Southeast Asia (ASEAN) including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Although intended for freight, the potential and attraction for travelling quickly between nations would open up a whole new world! With a link between Malaysia and Singapore, the 300km high speed track would offer the potential for commuting from one country to the other daily in a 90 minute train journey. Workers could live in the less expensive Malaysia and work in Singapore. It is predicted that the new rail link could be used by up to 400,000 commuters a day. With such competition, it is likely air fares between the two countries would drop like they did on the Beijing-Shanghai route. Completion is expected by 2020 but already businesses, property companies and tourism operators are looking into the potential of this new fast commute! MALDIVES DIVERSIFY FOR SPECIFIC TOURIST SECTOR The Maldives is to open its 1st Islamic resort this autumn. The resort will be designed and run accordingly to Islamic principles, aiming to attract many Muslims from all over the world. The resort is a joint project between Maldive based ADK Group and Caprice Gold Group from Turkey. Caprice Gold is investing UK£104, (EU€126) million in the 5*, 673 room resort located on Shaviyani Atoll, which is under an hour seaplane flight from Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. The resort will offer a separate, secluded beach for ladies and pool villas for couples. All catering will be halal with no port and no alcohol on offer. It will be the 1st and largest Islamic resort in the Maldives. Currently the Caprice Gold operates a Muslim-friendly 5*, 728 room hotel in Didim, Turkey and is developing another resort in Istanbul offering 1,300 rooms and a Caprice Gold Mosque opposite the hotel due to open in 2014/2015 in Istanbul. The location of the Maldives for such a project is not unusual, as the islands are already
N a y p yi d a w P a g o d a , M y a n ma r
working with the Saudi Arabian Muslim Scholars Association (MSA) to help the promotion of Islam and the holy book. The MSA wishes to establish a distance learning system at the Centre for Holy Qur'an in Male, and assist in establishing and maintaining a system that consists of modern devices and methods to learn and research the Qur'an further. There is also a plan to improve the college, and aid in translating books. Dr Nasir-ul-Umar said that Saudi Arabia would contribute more to religious development in the Maldives. VISA-FREE TRAVEL TO MYANMAR FOR ASEAN BY 2015 Travellers from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei will hopefully be able by the end of the year to visit Myanmar without requiring a visa. Already this is possible for travellers from Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines. Visa facilitation was one of the key points raised during the ASEAN tourism ministers’ meeting this year and is key to continued growth in the tourism sector and to boost tourism arrivals both from within the region and internationally. A single visa for foreign nationals coming to any one of the ASEAN nations is also in the process. The final aim is to have all ASEAN nations working close together and have a ‘seamless; tourism product to promote. LOUIS XIII HOTEL, MACAU Louis XIII Holdings Ltd is to build an exclusive luxury hotel and entertainment complex over 65,000sq.ft on the Cotai Strip in Macau. Aimed at the world’s super-rich, the hotel aims to be the ‘the world’s most luxurious and extravagant hotel and casino’. When completed in 2016, the hotel will offer 230 duplex suites, 16 villas, in addition to ‘the world’s most extravagant suite’ which will cost UK£80,000, (EU€96,115). There will be 66 gaming tables as well as luxury retail shops. Macau is now the world’s top gaming destination, with visitor numbers increasing by about 20% each year. Its gross gaming take was over UK£23, (EU€28) billion in 2013; more than 6 times the size of Las Vegas. Macau as a destination has always attracted China’s wealthy and there still remains significant demand from China for bespoke-level luxury and the Louis XIII Hotel will meet the needs of this niche sector.●
global e-news for tourism, travel, m.i.c.e, exhibitions and aviation TOURISM AROUND THE WORLD MONTHLY is a global e-journal for the travel and tourism, M.I.C.E, exhibitions and aviation industries. It provides accurate, detailed, informative and useful information and is produced in English. Started in 1997 it has an ever-growing circulation. It is also the official global media support for several key exhibitions within the industry. 环球旅游全球电子新闻 月 刊 是针对旅行与旅游业、航空公司, M.I.C.E.行业， 在全球范围内发行的英语版本电子刊物。 它提供准确、详尽的行业资讯，自1997年创刊以来发展迅速，并成为业内几 大卓越展会的官方全球媒体支持方。
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