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Founded in 1997

JUNE 2013 ●

RAS AL-KHAIMAH, U.A.E, The authentic…by Dimitri Laspas


LONG LIVE THE QUEEN… by Caroline-Artemis Laspas


AN INTERVIEW WITH MR. TULANI NZIMA… by Pamela McCourt Francescone




DESTINATION MARS…Space Tourism, by Caroline-Artemis Laspas




The Panepistimio (the university), Athens, Greece. TATW Monthly 2013


Letter from the Editor Dear Friends and Colleagues, Welcome to the June edition of TOURISM AROUND THE WORLD MONTHLY.

R as A l -K hai m a h, T he U A E .

Ras al-Khaimah is one of the 5 Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. Located in the north of the country, it is one of the lesser known Emirates, but that does not mean there is the Authentic nothing to see! It has a wild beauty of its by Dimitri Laspas, publisher own and boasts beautiful scenery as its top attraction rather than tall buildings reaching to the sky as in the other Emirates. In recent years Ras Al-Khaimah has been working hard to place itself firmly on the tourism map in its own right with its ‘rising emirate’ theme allowing it to prosper independently and not in the shadow of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, its neighbouring emirates. The Emirate is already a well established destination for adventure travellers, with opportunities for excellent 4x4 driving through dried out wadis, and sand dunes as well as camel racing. With a national carrier Ras al-Khaimah Airways offering cheap flights within the region as well as a route to the UK, Ras Al-Khaimah is a value for money destination; a sector that was missing in the tourism product of the UAE. Tourism arrival figures in 2012 reached 1 million, an increase from 885,000 in 2011 and it is expected that 2013 will bring approx 1.2 million tourists to the emirate. With hotel prices by the beach approx 40% cheaper than in neighbouring emirate Dubai, the tourism boom is about to explode in Ras Al-Khaimah! Ras al-Khaimah has a very long history with records of settlements as far back as the Umm al-Nar people in the 3rd century B.C. Due to its geographical position, on the Strait of Hormuz, bordering Oman and opposite Iran it was a major trading post to India. It was only in 1972 that it joined the United Arab Emirates. The National Museum of Ras al-Khaimah provides a fascinating look at the emirates history especially as it is located in the al Qawasim family palace, which ruled the emirate in the 18th century. Here there are also some wonderful artefacts from the pearl diving era, one of the emirates most lucrative industries as well as pottery dating back to the 1st century. With the Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi building their tourism industry as a diversification from their oil industry, Ras Al-Khaimah has no oil of its own and so its tourism industry is vital to its economy. As such it is focusing on its ancient sites, the main attraction being the 5,000 year old hilltop Dhayah Fort which is only accessible by foot, up a steep staircase. However the stunning views of the valley and surrounding mountains make the trip well worth it. Indeed, Ras al Khaimah has a very different tourism product to offer compared to the other emirates. In the city centre, the beautiful Ras al-Khaimah mosque is a centre piece. However, a new UK£45, (Euro€52) million mosque is to be built in the emirate offering the capacity of 28,000 worshippers. Late afternoon sees young and old, friends and family gather along the corniche, for a stroll, a jog or a dog walk with cycling paths, restaurants and cultivated lawns. Ras Al-Khaimah offers authenticity; it is a ‘real’ experience, a step back in time to the real Arabia and the tales of the old Silk Road trade route. With sand dunes to the horizon, huge date farms and camels everywhere, it is definitely a different emirate to the buzz of shopping malls, skyscrapers and traffic which have become renowned in Dubai particularly. There is plenty of choice in terms of accommodation and restaurants with many international cuisines on offer. With little traditional food across any of the emirates, it is the influences of places like Lebanon and India that provide a wonderful culinary flare. Ras al-Khaimah is the emirate of the future. It is a unique place showing the true spirit of Arabia while offering all the necessary modern facilities and infrastructure of a booming tourism destination. It is unexpected and refreshing. Ras al-Khaimah is authentic tourism at its best. ●

Ras Al-Khaimah

We are already half way through 2013 and each month we still have endless news and features to offer you for an enjoyable read. Part of the wonderful tourism industry is the ability of destinations being able to offer historical sites from ancient civilisations and dynasties as well as from traditions and cultures to be seen by the rest of the world and to be enjoyed and appreciated. It is sad to hear that even in 2013 there are people who wish to disfigure and ruin such monuments, many of which have stood, not only the test of time, but may have witnessed and survived battles or natural disasters and these days have to also cope with greater air pollution due to our modern lives. We noted two such cases this month with a tourist writing graffiti on an Egyptian temple, while another Mayan temple was nearly dug up to make a road. Our governments in hand with the tourism industry try hard to offer us the best, firsthand experience of historical sites, allowing us to get as close as possible to the history, but if such acts increase, we will all pay the price of a bad few and only be allowed to see these magnificent places from behind fences and from afar. It is up to all of us to ensure the preservation of these temples, wherever they are in the world so we can all enjoy them and they are maintained for future generations. Have a great June and sunny days ahead. With best regards, Caroline-Artemis Laspas editor & co-founder


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CENTRAL AMERICA FOCUS ON M.I.C.E. TRAVEL With a rapid growth in meetings and events taking place in Central America more and more improvements to its infrastructure are also taking place. Two new conference centres in Costa Rica and Panama, are under construction to enhance the region’s existing hotels and conference centres equipped with the latest hightech facilities for every event success. Costa Rica’s National Fair & Conference Centre is due to open at the end of 2013 and will offer approx 15,000sq.m of meeting and exhibition space. Panama’s Conference Centre will open in February 2014 and offer 15,000sq.m of outdoor space and 8,000sq.m of indoor meeting space. Meanwhile, several major international events have taken place in the region. Belize hosted the Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) in April. Costa Rica hosted the Medical Travel International Business Summit. Guatemala has just played host to the II Central American Conference of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association. While Honduras hosted the Central America Travel Market CATM. This year sees the MITM Americas and the CULTOUR fair being hosted cocurrently by Guadalajara, Mexico. All these events show the region’s growing focus on the M.I.C.E sector and its ability to successfully host a wide range of events and sizes in a variety of venues and destinations. GDANSK A GREAT M.I.C.E DESTINATION Unique venues, one of a kind, a oneoff, these are all phrases that many event or meeting planners are looking for when organising an event for their client. In addition you want to offer not just the venue and a successful meeting, but a true experience of your country and or city making it a truly unique experience. These days many venue offer spacious conference rooms, high quality audiovisual equipment, free wireless Internet, etc and so to offer that extras ‘something’ is the great challenge. Indeed sometimes the uniqueness of the venue can be it like a historic building or museum to host the event. For this special something look to Gdansk, Poland. It

Poseidon Fountain, Dlugi Targ, Gdansk, Poland

has many unique venues both indoor and open air. Each year the Poland Convention Bureau (PCB) prepares its catalogue and classifies unique places in Poland. The venues from Gdansk & Region like the PGE Arena, Polish Baltic Philharmonic, BHP Hall, Gdansk Shipyard Centre, Museum in Malbork, ‘Gift of Pomerania’ ship, Gdynia Sports & Show Arena and Artus Court House (Gdansk History Museum) are all listed and waiting to hear from you for your next special event! 3RD SILK ROAD TASK FORCE MEETING Delegates from over 15 countries and representatives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Federation of Tourist Guides Associations, gathered for the 3rd Task Force of the Silk Road meeting last month in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan. The Silk Road is has always has a compatible mix of sustainable tourism and the rich cultural heritage of the nations along the famous Silk Road route. This was a main point for discussion at the meeting with the agreement to of actions to strengthen the Silk Road Programme. Tourism is well established along the route but it was agreed that new sustainable tourism products, focussing on 3 pillars: marketing and promotion, capacity building, and travel facilitation are to be put in place, to further promote the route. Other activities agreed at the meeting were the creation of a Silk Road Festival, interactive portal and the concept of creating a Silk Road Tourism Partnership, aimed at promoting the world’s longest trade and culture route. The next meeting will be held in China this August. ICCA ANNOUNCES DESTINATION FOR 2016 CONGRESS The two shortlisted destinations for hosting the 2016 ICCA Congress were Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic capital Prague. The winning host bidder was Kuching, Malaysia. Bidding destinations are required to address 11 different decision-making factors in their bids, from ‘Value for money’ to ‘ICCA business development opportunities’ to ‘Creativity’, and must demonstrate the professionalism and enthusiasm to host one of the toughest groups of delegates that any destination can imagine. Kuching stood out in showing themselves as a role model and inspiration for other 2nd tier cities, based on how they have used ICCA's educational and marketing platforms to build their professionalism and creativity, so that they are now regularly winning prestigious international congresses in a wide variety of fields. ICCA's future Congress destinations are: 2013 Shanghai, China, 2014 Antalya, Turkey, 2015 Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016 Kuching, Malaysia. JERUSALEM HOSTS INTERNATIONAL TOURISM The tourism industry is an industry rapidly changing in the internet era. JITS 2013 is a summit of innovation and will host discussions on the latest technologies and trends within the tourism world. This year a special focus will be on Urban Tourism. Other topics to be discussed include: The Future of Tourism, A Private Public Partnership; Planning Models for Urban Tourism; Follow the Asian Success Story; Adaptation to the Passengers in the Aviation World; Sport and Urban Tourism; Hotel Development in Cities; The Smartphone Revolution and Urban Tourism Development. Global leaders, academics and experts in the field of hospitality will offer discussions on many issues affecting the tourism industry as well as a session on tourism-related ‘apps’. Participants will include key figures in the global tourism industry, decision makers, entrepreneurs, investors etc. The host city of Jerusalem is Israel’s most visited city attracting 3.5 million international visitors in 2012. It offers visitors stunning architecture, ranging from beautiful churches, monasteries and shrines from the Roman, Byzantine and Crusader times. 4

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TAIWAN: WORLD-CLASS M.I.C.E DESTINATION The ICCA have seen over the past 2 years an increase in the number of international conferences held in Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Hualien. These figures are now in line with figures from other internationally renowned cities, thereby acknowledging that Taiwan’s cities hold great M.I.C.E development potential. To assist the development of the M.I.C.E industry in each city, the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs Bureau of Foreign Trade's ‘Taiwan M.I.C.E Industry Pilot Programme’ is in progress for 4 years. It aims to integrate the resources of central and local governments, to assist with the establishment of the city's image and gradually form unique world-class cities mature for the development of M.I.C.E industries. Kaohsiung, Taiwan's largest southern city, owns dynamic transportation routes, including dual ports (Kaohsiung Harbor and Kaohsiung International Airport), railways, intersecting highways, and a renowned boat industry. To become a world-class M.I.C.E city, Kaohsiung is ambitious in developing its facilities which already include the International Convention Center Kaohsiung, which opened at the end of 2012 and the new Kaohsiung Exhibition Hall is expected to be completed by the end of 2013. The Kaohsiung City Government has worked well to gain opportunities to host international conferences, incentive travel groups, and urban exchanges. Following the 2009 World Games, Kaohsiung will host the ‘2013 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (APCS)’, which will be held 9-11 September at the Kaohsiung Arena and Pier 2 Art District. The theme of the event is ‘Reshaping the Urbanomics of Cities: City Challenges, City Solutions’, and convention sites will be designed according to a ‘Green Convention’ so that participants can participate in low-carbon footprint meetings which incorporate both information technology and environmental protection. The event is expected to attract more than 1,000 delegates from 100 cities. Cities in Taiwan are equipped with world-class convention facilities, plus have the ability and experience to

The 101, Taipei, Taiwan

organize large-scale activities. Making the best use of Taiwan’s industrial advantages, convenient transportation, natural scenery, and cultural features, matched with well-planned support or incentives, will be conducive to hosting international M.I.C.E events in Taiwan. KENYA 2nd IN CONFERENCE TOURISM Kenya was ranked 2nd best conference and meetings destination in Africa after South Africa during the 2011/2012 and hosted 29 conferences compared to 20 international conferences the year before. Among the cities of Africa, Nairobi was 2nd place after Cape Town having hosted 22 international meetings while the former hosted 38. Out of all the top 10 conference tourism destination cities in Africa, half are in South Africa while the rest besides Nairobi are Accra, Kampala, Marrakech and Dar-Es-Salaam. Mombasa and Naivasha tied at position 34 in the regional ranking of cities. Kenya's future growth as a M.I.C.E destination now depends on further infrastructure improvement, bed capacity increases as well as more convention and conference centres. So far for 2013-14 Kenya has secured 28 conferences to take place in the country. BALI 1st BUSINESS TO BUSINESS EVENT Bali Travel Exchange (BTX) 2013 will be the 1st ever Bali focused Business-ToBusiness travel show where 30 hospitality and tourism stakeholders get the chance to show case their products and services to the top 30 chosen quality international and domestic buyers. The event is being held at the Ramayana Resort and Spa Bali. BTX 2013 is a great opportunity to expand your network, generate qualified business leads and find new partners and optimise business revenue. Indonesia’s economy is growing at over 6% and air travel in the country is increasing by 16%, with growth in trade to rival Singapore and Hong Kong. Domestic tourism is growing quickly with 245 million domestic travels in 2012 with a UK£12, (Euro€14) billion total expenditure. Inbound tourism is set to reach 10 million tourists by 2014. Outbound tourism is also seen growth of 15% due to an increase in new airline connections. Within Indonesia, Bali in is one of the fastest growing tourism markets in the world. With good accessibility and global connections, a great infrastructure and a well known tourist destination, Bali is the ideal host venue for the inaugural BTX. The Bali Travel Exchange 2013 is a motivation to the Indonesia tourism industry and assists to increase the number of tourist arrivals to Indonesia and especially to Bali. It will establish a new benchmark for travel and tourism events in Indonesia. NEW ALLIANCE BENEFITS SOUTH AUSTRALIA The Adelaide Convention Bureau and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) have joined forces giving results well before the UK£127 (Euro€148) million health and medical research institute officially opens this year. The Adelaide Convention Bureau together with SA Cancer Service and the Convention Centre will host the 2016 International Symposium on Supportive Care in Cancer - an event worth UK£3.6, (Euro€4.2) m for South Australia. Around 1,500 of the world's top supportive care researchers and practitioners, along with patients and advocates are expected to attend the 4-day event. The Adelaide Convention Bureau has targeted medicine and science as 2 highly attractive sectors to target and pitch Adelaide as a host city for both national and international conferences. The Adelaide Convention Bureau has recently formed a ‘science alliance’ with 3 other destinations - Hyderabad in India, Daejeon in South Korea and Toulouse in France. This alliance will see the 4 cities working to assist each other with bid submissions and lead opportunities with respect to international science-based conferences. There is already a confirmed UK£39, (Euro€46) million in economic benefit to Southern Australian convention business linked to a medical sector over the next 3 years. In addition, a further UK£57, (Euro€67) million worth of business is currently in the pipeline.● 5

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Interview With… Mr. Tulani Nzima CEO of South African Tourism. At the Indaba 2013 in Durban, which was another success story for South African tourism, Pamela McCourt Francescone spoke to South African Tourism’s CEO Tulani Nzima about the future of the show and SAT’s ambitions. “Tourist arrivals to South Africa last year grew by more than 10%, making South Africa one of the most successful destinations in the world. We received 9.2 million visitors, a 10.2% increase over the previous year and two and a half times the global average of tourism arrivals. For 2013 our target is to break the 10-million ceiling,” said Tulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism. The Indaba 2013 put the country’s tourism industry in the spotlight with 2,341 local and international buyers and 1,386 exhibitors, making it the biggest and most relevant tourism trade show on the African continent. This edition of the INDABA was the most digital yet and kicked off with a Travel Bloggers conference which saw SAT host 15 of the world’s top international travel bloggers and was the culmination of South African Tourism’s successful ‘MeetSouthAfrica’ campaign. The simple yet powerful digital platform “Indaba Connect” allowed for the effective sharing of contact details, product information, marketing collateral and presentations. “By simply touching a delegate or exhibitor’s tag at a stand, presentation, event or activation, users had all the information attached to their online ‘Indaba Connect’ profile. This led to the saving of a small forest of trees thanks to the elimination of paper,” said Nzima. Another innovation was the Heritage and Culture Pavilion which put the spotlight on South Africa’s heritage and culture tourism experiences and attractions, and on the country’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites. “We are working to boost culture and heritage as important experiences, on a par with our natural beauty and wildlife. Our research is showing that more and more tourists are looking for intimate, personal connections with South Africa’s people, its history, culture and heritage attractions”. In 2012 tourist arrivals from new markets were encouraging with arrivals from Asia up by over 40%, from Central and South America by over 54% and from India by over 21%. “South African Tourism is intensifying its marketing presence in South Korea, Russia, Scandinavia, China, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania. We are also concentrating on boosting domestic tourism and, of course, increasing the number of arrivals from traditional markets like the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Last year our European markets also posted a 10% increase despite the difficulties many of them are experiencing.” “In 2014 South Africa will be celebrating 20 years of democracy. We intend reaching out to the industry by gradually increasing African participation at INDABA 2014 and beyond. Tourism minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, speaking at the inauguration the other evening, said we will be investing to transform Indaba into a pan-African trade platform and a point of reference for the entire African continent.” ●


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EUROPEAN VISITORS HEAD TO CENTRAL AMERICA In 2012 the place to go was Central America! In total Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama - received 832,567 European visitors an increase of nearly 16% on 2011 figures. German and British markets experienced the biggest growth up 9% and 7% respectively. Spain continues to be the main European outbound market for Central America with 151,202 visitors in 2012, followed by Germany -120,911 visitors and the UK with 107,101 visitors. Costa Rica is the most popular destination for British visitors, but there was a growing interest in the Maya culture and the celebration of the start of a new era based on the Maya calendar saw a huge increase in visitors to Guatemala, which received 31,286 British visitors in 2012, up 27% on 2011. Honduras attracted 4% more British visitors than in 2011. The total number of visitors from around the world to Central America in 2012 was 12,545,313, an overall increase of 1.36% compared to 2011. VENEZUELA NEW TOURISM HEIGHTS As part of a new UK£210 (Euro€246) million tourism project, the highest peaks in Venezuela are seeing the construction of the Mérida cable car; the longest and highest in the world! With construction at 5km high in the North Andes, the logistics take great planning. Working at high altitude as well as in a National Park means care must be taken with regards to the environment. The cable car aims to create environmental awareness, stimulate visitors to know nature and to enjoy high mountain activities. The Merida region is a favourite destination for Venezuelans. With a normal tropical climate, it is a novelty for visitors to have to wear hats and gloves due to the height of the destination. Due to open at the end of 2013, it is expected to attract greater international visitors to Mérida. Venezuela’s Government has recently approved a new tourism law, to promote sustainable tourism, as well as encouraging villagers to get involved, funding small businesses. Mérida’s Chamber of Tourism is calling for more flights to the region in order to help increase tourism arrivals.

The Shard, London, UK

BRITISH COMPANY TO DEVELOP CUBA GOLF RESORT The British company, Esencia Hotels and Resorts is to take part in developing a UK£229, (Euro€269) million golf resort on the island of Cuba, making it the biggest British investment on the island in over a decade, providing greater relations between the two countries. The deal was announced at Cuba's International Tourism Fair. The development is 15km from Varadero and will cover 170 hectares and include an 18-hole golf course, a luxury hotel, 650 apartments, 200 homes, a shopping mall and a club with tennis courts, spa and a yachting association. The Cuban government in giving golf a prominent place in the country's tourism industry and could led to more project ventures, especially as the Cuban government plans for 11 real estate developments associated with golf tourism around the island. Cuba received over 2.8 million foreign tourists in 2012, up 4.5% than in 2011, predictions for 2013 aim for over 3 million international visitors. VISITBRITAIN TOURISM PARTNERSHIP A new tourism partnership strategy for Britain has been launched which aims to bring together the travel industry, the Government, as well as public and private sector bodies, with a long-term aim for growth that would see Britain welcome 40 million overseas visitors by 2020, spending UK£31.5, (Euro€37) billion and supporting an additional 200,000 jobs across the country. Tourism in the UK already employs 2.6 million people a year. In the past 2 years a third of all new jobs created were in tourism. International tourism is an industry where Britain competes well. Last year Britain welcomed 31 million international visitors who spent a record UK£18.6, (Euro€22) billion. The partnership strategy would see a 29% growth in visits by 2020, with an increase of an additional UK£8.7, (Euro€10) billion in foreign exchange earnings. The growth strategy is built around 4 key objectives: building on Britain’s improved international image, increasing engagement with the travel trade, broadening the product range on offer for inbound tourists and making it easier to get to Britain. In 2013/2014 VisitBritain will build on the image of the country created by London 2012 and will target growth markets, Brazil, China, India and the Gulf along with established markets USA, France and Germany. Since 2010 VisitBritain has directly contributed UK£900 million, (Euro€1,052 billion) to the UK tourism industry and has so far secured UK£24, (Euro€28) million in match-funding from the private sector, doubling the Government investment. VisitBritain has started a UK£2, (Euro€2.35) million, 2year partnership with Emirates to promote Britain overseas. Emirates cover a vast network of routes and destinations across South East Asia, Australia, India and the GCC and offer regional gateways across Britain. The GCC region is of great potential for inbound visits to Britain. By 2016 the forecast is for 700,000 visitors, a 32% increase. VisitBritain now has a new regional hub in Dubai which will enable reach across the GCC including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Kuwait City and Qatar. VisitBritain looking to create more partnership working in source markets such as Mexico and South Korea. Tourism is worth UK£115, (Euro€135) billion to the UK economy a year and therefore it needs to keep a competitive edge and can compete with other destinations around the world. DUBAI OPENS TOURISM OFFICE IN SOUTH AMERICA Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) plans to open an office in Brazil with the aim of attracting visitors from the growing South American market. Brazil is Dubai’s primary business partner in Latin America, making it the natural location of choice for its 1st South American representative office. Trade between Brazil and the UAE is increasing hugely and with the connectivity Emirates provides, there is significant growth potential. The aim is to increase visitor numbers from Brazil from 40,000 in 2012 to 80,000 in 2014. 7

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6 NEW GREEN TOURISM FACILITIES IN BRUSSELS Brussels has been awarded the international ‘Green Key’ eco-label, to 6 new candidates bringing their facilities to 28 in the Brussels-Capital Region with the label. Sustainability is becoming a decision making factor for holidaymakers and business travellers alike. With many different labels on offer around the world, Brussels Capital region, wants to adopt a clear, recognised label which would see Brussels positioned as a sustainable destination by 2014. The ‘Green Key label was chosen as the system they would follow. The Green Key label operates on a system of mandatory criteria and optional criteria, where candidates must achieve one third of the total points. Green Key labels are given for one year and establishments must show continuous improvement from one year to the next in environmental management. The Brussels hotel sector presently has almost 2,500 ‘Green Key’ rooms, almost 16% of hotel rooms. 80% of youth hostels and accommodation centres for young people in Brussels now have the ‘Green Key’ label. In addition 7 establishments had their accreditation renewed. HAITI-A HIDDEN BEAUTY Haiti’s dream is to be not just a tourism destination offering its music and mountains but also its Creole culture, crafts and cuisine. However at the moment Haiti’s current market is mainly business travel and humanitarian workers. Haiti has seen its tragedy, now it wants to show to the world its beauty while it continues its long recovery and rebuild. Haiti is getting technical assistance from Mexico’s National Trust for the Promotion of Tourism, in mapping out a master plan that includes the development of 3 tourist regions in the north coast, the Arcadins coast 45 minutes north of Port-au-Prince and the Caribbean coast on the south. Haiti is a big country with beautiful beaches, caves, national parks and waterfalls. Its added value is its culture: voodoo, art, food, music, festivals and people. That is what it aims to promote in a new tourism plan. The aim is for smaller hotels in each of the regions, tours that combine stays in the capital with visits to historical and scenic sites

Place de l'Albertine, Brussels, Belgium

and roadways that offer ease of getting around the country. There are also plans to launch a tour linking Puerto Plata in neighbouring Dominican Republic with Cap Haitien on Haiti’s north coast and to develop the island of Ile a Vache off Haiti’s south coast with resorts, art studios and restaurants. Hotel development is increasing following the opening of the Best Western Premier and the Royal Oasis by Occidental, both in Petion-Ville, and with the planned opening in 2014 of the 173-room Port-au-Prince Marriott. JetBlue is to operate a daily flight from New York and Fort Lauderdale joining the routes already operational by American, Delta and Spirit from various U.S. hubs. Haiti has a new airport terminal at the Port-au-Prince airport and a new 7,500ft runway at the Cap Haitien airport in the north. There are plans for smaller airports to be build throughout the country. There is still much to do before Haiti is again a top tourism destination, but with strong direction, investment and tourism at the forefront of its progress, its future is looking bright. THE ROAD THAT DESTROYED A CIVILISATION An investigation is under way as to how a road construction company nearly destroyed a 2,300 year old Mayan temple, The Nohmul Complex, in order to use the crushed rock for a road building project. The Nohmul complex is one of the largest Mayan structures in the country. The Belize Institute of Archaeology said it was both a philosophical and professional blow and it was an unforgivable act. Unfortunately it appears that destroying Mayan mounds for such projects is not uncommon in Belize as the country is scattered with thousands of small sites. TOURIST ARRIVALS TO CARIBBEAN TO REACH 30 MILLION BY 2030 It is anticipated that by 2030, international tourist arrivals to the region of the Caribbean are to reach 30 million. In 2012, the region attracted 21 million tourists. So far for 2013 tourism is performing better that the previous 2 years and that is with the Americas as a whole region seeing a 7% growth in tourism receipts in 2012. GULF INVESTMENT TO BOOST SEYCHELLES TOURISM In the 1st quarter of 2013 tourists visiting the Seychelles increased by 15%. The country now expects 2013 tourist numbers to be 10% higher than in 2012 which reached 208,000 visitors when it only expected a 3% rise. Tourism directly and indirectly accounts for more than 60% of the national economy, which was worth UK£1.01, (Euro€1.18) billion in terms of GDP in 2011. Europe remains the biggest tourism market, while increasing numbers of tourists from China, India and the Middle East have also increased. Three new hotels are to open in the next 2 years, including one built by Dubai-based airline Emirates, while the other 2 are being developed by Gulf-based companies. The national carrier Air Seychelles, partowned by Etihad Airways, has launched flights to Hong Kong and may extend its network to mainland China, but the country mainly looks to foreign airlines to increase connections. ABU DHABI TO TARGET LATIN AMERICA TOURISM Etihad, the Emirates, national carrier is about to start direct flights to Sao Paolo, Brazil. The Abu Dhabi tourism industry is also visiting Sao Paolo to build awareness of the destination. Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority took a strong delegation to the 1st World Travel Market Latin America back in April. The number of Brazilians staying in Abu Dhabi's hotels has seen a big increase. In 2012 some 3,605 Brazilians stayed in the emirate's hotels and hotel apartments delivering 14,627 guest nights and an average-length-of-stay of just over 4 nights. In the first 2 months of 2013 there has been a 46% increase for the same period in 2012 and the length of stay is 5 nights. Abu Dhabi offers a microcosm of the destination - a place of diversity of geography with beachfronts, cityscapes and desert-scapes and a place of choice for budgets and styles, which will appeal to the high-end Brazilian traveller. 8

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QATAR TARGETS CARIBBEAN RESORT INVESTMENT Qatar is ready to invest in a major tourism project in the Caribbean islands of Antigua & Barbuba with a luxury hospitality development the Azure Bay Property Project. The proposed property will include a 5 stars hotel, apartments, 18-hole champion ship golf course, a wellness clinic and spa, a deep water marina, heliport, casino, and luxury retail centre. AUSTRALIA TOURISM STILL STRONG International arrivals into Australia have grown faster than departures in 2012 for the first time in a decade mainly due to a big increase in tourists from China. The country’s tourism industry is one of the main industries not to be affected by the strength of the strong Australian dollar. NIGERIA’S WONDERS After a 3 year search the ‘7natural wonders of Nigeria’ have been chosen. This followed the creation of the ‘7 Manmade Wonders of Nigeria’ last year. The 7 Natural Wonders of Nigeria are: Ikogosi Warm and Cold Springs in Ekiti State, Ogbunike Cave in Anambra State, Mambilla Plateau (Gashaka Gumti Park) in Taraba State, Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State, Owu Falls in Kwara State, Confluence of River Niger and Benue at Lokoja, Kogi State and Farin Ruwa Falls in Nassarawa State. TRINIDAD & TOBAGO AND UNWTO Trinidad and Tobago has become UNWTO’s 156th Member State as the country rejoins the Organization after 35 years. Trinidad and Tobago was a founding member of UNWTO as it pertained to the International Union of Official Travel Organizations (IUOTO), the predecessor of UNWTO. Trinidad and Tobago sees tourism as a priority industry in its strategy to diversify the national economy and is an important tourism player in the Caribbean, a region where tourism is set to continue expanding. JORDAN NEW THEME PARK The 1st theme park to be built in Jordan has been announced. The 184 acre themed entertainment resort; the ‘Red Sea Astrarium’ will a diverse leisure destination that is themed around the entertainment attractions drawing from the past, the present and the future of the region. The resort will also host the American Museum

The Islamic Cultural Centre, Doha, Qatar

of Natural History's Silk Road Exhibition throughout its Hijazi Gardens. Two of the attractions will offer a 4D inverted simulation that is different on every ride; a world first! A major goal in the design of The Red Sea Astrarium is to actively engage the local communities through training with on site hospitality academies, job creation, promoting the length of a tourist's stay and encouraging repeat visitation. The entertainment resort will undeniably transform the Aqaba region and make it a high-end tourism hub for Jordan. Other developments included 4 world-class hotels, an expansive retail and dining district, a theatre, a 4D cinema, an exhilarating water park and an entertainment district that includes 16 entertainment attractions, one being based on Star Trek. Other rides expected include ‘Wonders’ an i-Ride that enable guests to visit the various crowning achievements of ancient human ingenuity and design around the world, in the time of their prime. ‘Cradle of Inspiration’ a journey through space and time, a first-of-its-kind ride system and ‘Adventure Center’ where guests can train for extreme adventures like sky diving, rock climbing, scuba diving or even piloting a submarine. EYES ON GREECE FOR INVESTMENTS With Greece still struggling to balance its financial books, opportunities have arisen for considerable foreign investment in the form of buying Greek property and land. Approximately 80% of the Greeks personal wealth is tied up in residential apartments and houses, but prices have seen a huge drop of up to 30% since 2008. China has already made some considerable investments in Greece and is in discussions regarding co-operations in property, tourism and agriculture. Already many Greek companies have tapped into the fast and ever growing Chinese market. However, tourism is a high potential sector. With 2.5 million Chinese visiting Europe each year, Greece has so far only been able to attract approximately 50,000 Chinese tourists. With new cooperation, this small number can be easily increased with the correct marketing and promotion. Other nations, like the USA and the UK are also seeing Greece as the hot spot for tourism property investment, like hotels. Investors include well known hotel chains keen to take over the operation of hotels across the country. NETHERLANDS AND VENEZUELA TOURISM LINKS Officials from the Netherlands and Venezuela have met recently to build and strengthen links between the two nations particularly in the field of Tourism. A number of proposals were suggested for the creation of multi-destination projects between Venezuela, Aruba and Curacao, to offer the chance for tourists to visit the Caribbean islands while they visit Venezuela. SOUTH AFRICA SEE POSITIVELY NIGERIAN TOURISTS The African nations of South Africa and Nigeria have signed an agreement making it necessary for nationals of both nations who have official or diplomatic passports to obtain a visa to travel to either country. The meeting and agreements signed have further strengthened the two nation’s relationship which began in 1999. They jointly agreed to promote people to people relationships, especially through tourism, which has generated huge foreign direct investments for both countries. In 2012 South Africa received a total of 73,282 Nigerian tourists, a 13.8%inc rease from 2011. LOS ANGELES GET RECORD 41 MILLION VISITORS Los Angeles in 2012 saw a record number of visitors that reached 41.4 million. It also broke its records for domestic visitors, international visitors and hotel occupancy. In order to build on this for 2013, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board and LA Tourism are aiming high with a target of 50 million tourists by 2020. It is expected that such an increase will bring an increase of UK£9, (Euro€11) billion in economic impact for Los Angeles. The destination aims to attract a total of 42 million visitors for 2013 ● 9

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LONG LIVE THE QUEEN by Caroline-Artemis Laspas, editor

On 2nd June 1953, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey in London. The ceremony was the first live television broadcast of such an occasion. The date was chosen as records showed it to be the most constantly sunny day on record; however in 1953 it rained, in true British style! The event had taken 16 months to organise. Now, 60 year on, the Queen has celebrated her Coronation Day with a special service at Westminster Abbey. Royal Coronations are not every day events and there is a great amount of history, pomp and ceremony that such an occasion carries. In the UK such traditions are strongly held and maintained as part of its cultural history and indeed part of its tourism attraction. Every King and Queen of England has been crowned in Westminster Abbey since 1066 and has been crowned on the wooden ‘St. Edwards Chair’, which was crafted in 1296 by King Edward I. There are over 1,000 years of history in the way Coronations are carried out in England. The St. Edward crown or ‘Coronation Crown’ was put on display in the Abbey for the service. It was last seen in public back in 1953 at the Queen’s Coronation. It normally lives in the Tower of London with the other Crown jewels. Made in solid gold in 1661, the Crown includes 444 precious stones and is quite a challenge to wear due to its immense weight. It is such events like this combined with the strength of tradition and the desire to maintain them within the British Royal Family, that help to bring millions of tourists to the country each year to marvel at the grand palaces and castles, to see where the royals have married and been buried, to see the wonderful collections of pictures, paintings, ornaments and furniture that fill the nations many royal homes. It is constantly debated in the UK if it is worth paying so much for the upkeep of the Royal family and all that it entails. In fact, the monarchy

costs every person in Britain just 0.69UKpence, (0.81Euro€cents) a year. The monarchy as a brand estimated to be worth UK£44.5 (Euro€52) billion and added a further UK£26, (Euro€30) billion to the UK economy in 2011. The heritage and culture of the United Kingdom is historically combined with the Monarchy and is a major incentive for tourists to visit the country. When you look at the top 10 attractions for foreign tourists, half are ‘royal’. With many palaces no longer inhabited, but still having strong royal connections like Hampton Court Palace, home to King Henry VII, many international visitors, see it as being able to get close to the royal magic. Hampton Court Palace attracts over 500,000 visitors per year. The London highlight is of course Buckingham Palace which is open to visitors for 8 weeks in the summer and sees 400,000 visitors. Just like red post boxes and Double Decker buses, the Queen’s Guards in their red jackets Hampton Court Palace. and black bearskin hats are what one thinks of as typically British. The media attention generated by any member of the royal family visiting anywhere in the world has a direct positive impact on the UK and helps to promote tourism to the UK. The past few years has seen ‘Royal mania’ hit the UK and many other places around the world. With the Royal wedding in 2011, followed by the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee last year and in 2013 the anticipation of the next heir to the throne to be born, has resulted in the red, white and blue flags flying high! The economic impact for the country from the royal wedding was huge, with an estimated travel and tourism revenue of UK£216 (Euro€2523) million and with an estimated 2 billion people worldwide watching the occasion; where else could you get such a widespread and positive tourism promotion; for free!

The popularity of the Monarchy escalated during the Royal Wedding and increased the country’s profile internationally. It showed in real life all the Queens horses and all the Queens men, with coaches, costumes and ceremony. The British Royal family is one of a number of still reigning monarchies in Europe, but if you mention the word ‘royal family’ the British Royal family would be the most immediate to come to mind. The Monarchy; The Magic; The Magnificence – Long may it continue to reign! Long Live Our Queen! 11

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PROGRESS WITH SAUDI ARABIA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AIRSPACE The United States and Saudi Arabia have signed an Open Skies agreement that will allow Saudi Airlines to fly from any point in the Kingdom to any point in the United States and that U.S. airlines may fly from any point in the USA to any airport in Saudi Arabia. In addition to permitting each nation’s airlines to provide unrestricted air service, the agreement also eliminates restrictions on how often the carriers can fly the kind of aircraft they can use and the prices they charge.

The full implementation of the Open Skies agreement will take place over 3 years. The United States has over 100 open sky agreements with foreign countries. Saudi Arabia is the last country on the Arabian Peninsula after Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, the U.A.E, and Qatar to sign an Open Skies agreement. NORWEGIAN SIGNS DREAMLINER DEAL WITH VIRGIN ATLANTIC Norwegian Long Haul has signed an agreement with Virgin Atlantic which enables Norwegian to tap into Virgin Atlantic’s expertise on long-haul operations, while Virgin Atlantic’s instructors will receive pilot training on board Norwegian’s brand new 787-8 Dreamliner. Virgin Atlantic’s most experienced instructors will continue flying on board Norwegian’s aircraft until the airline receives its first 787 Dreamliner in September 2014, just over a year after Norwest gian’s 1 Dreamliner delivery. Both parties have much in common with Norwegian having similar high quality training requirements which has allowed the partnership to take shape. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES LAUNCHES FLIGHT TO BRAZIL Philippine Airlines (PAL) plans to start daily flights to Brazil at the end of 2013 in readiness for the football World Cup in South America’s biggest country next year. Flights to Sao Paulo would be launched via Los Angeles in the United States. This follows the recent approval of new

flight rights between Brazil and the Philippines. PAL intends to pick up passengers from Manila and drop them off in Los Angeles. PAL will then be able to pick up passengers from the American city and fly them to Brazil. The introduction of flights to Brazil is part of plans to help the ailing airline. PAL currently loses a lot of money due to not being able to use its brand-new Boeing 777 flights to the United States, which account for its highest-revenue routes. The company’s 6 Boeing 777s were delivered during the last 5 years but could not be used for flights to the United States due to the country’s standing category 2 status with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This also stops local airlines from expanding flights to the United States. It also bans local airlines from using other planes for existing US routes other than the ones already being used before the downgrade. PAL uses its Boeing 747 jumbo jets for its US flights. SAUDI AIRLINE TO FLY TO US & CANADA Saudi Arabia's national carrier, Saudia, plans to launch services to Los Angeles and Toronto after taking delivery of a 777-300ER (Extended Range) aircraft from Boeing. The airplane is the 1st of its type to be fitted with a 3-class cabin configuration for Saudia. Saudia currently has a backlog of 21 Boeing airplanes on order, including 13 777s and 8 787 Dreamliners. The Boeing 777-300ER, with its unrivalled fuel efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort, will form the backbone of Saudia’s longhaul fleet. The Boeing 777-300ER is the largest long-range twin-engine commercial airplane in the world. It carries 386 passengers up to 7,825 nautical miles (14,450km). DIRECT FLIGHT TO FRANKFURT FROM CHENGDU, CHINA Air China has started direct flights from Chengdu to Frankfurt. The 3 flights a week are served by the Airbus A330-200. The flight takes approximately 10 hours. The new route further strengthens Chengdu’s position as China’s western airport hub, providing travellers direct flights from/to Europe, with economical air-tickets and time saving. Until now passengers from Chengdu and other cities in southwest China needed to fly through Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong when travelling to Germany. This more convenient and faster air route will help promote the rapid development of south-west China’s economy and tourist industry with the rest of Europe. SINGAPORE CHANGI AIRPORT BECOMES A HUB FOR SOUTH AFRICA Singapore Airlines has signed a co-operation with South African Tourism to promote travel to South Africa. The new agreement will help tourist and trade traffic to South Africa through Singapore Airlines’ services to Cape Town and Johannesburg via Singapore. With the continued growth of the emerging markets such as Australasia Singapore is the perfect hub to connect both regions of South East Asia and South Africa, which is a hub for the rest of the African continent. Both parties will carry out joint promotion activities and have agreed to invest more than UK£520,000, (Euro€611,000) over the next year to support advertising and promotional campaigns as well as familiarisation programmes. LONDON HEATHROW T2 GETTING READY st In one year’s time the new Terminal 2 at London Heathrow Airport will open. The 1 scheduled flight to land there will be a United Airlines flight from Chicago. The New T2 LHR will serve more than 20 million passengers a year and will be the main terminal for all Star Alliance Airlines, the German Wings and Virgin Atlantic Little Red among others. The new T2 cost UK£2.4, (Euro€2.9) billion and includes a522m satellite pier, a 1,340 space car park, 52 shops and 17 bars and restaurants, which promises to be a world class customer service, reflecting the best Britain which visitors expect from the UK’s hub airports. ● 12

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INTERNATIONAL LUXURY AT WTM At this year’s World Travel Market from 4-7 November) 2013, ‘A Taste of International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM)’ will see 60 UK buyers, who buy global luxury products, hold a minimum of 30 pre-scheduled business meetings with luxury exhibitors. The 2 day event will take place during the first 2 days of WTM followed by a champagne networking reception. The event will focus UK buyers, who will not be attending ILTM in Cannes from 2-5 December 2013. ILTM in Cannes is a global invite-only event, which means many UK luxury buyers are unable to attend. WTM is offering them the unrivalled opportunity to conduct business with a large number of luxury exhibitors in the UK. Both exhibitors and buyers will have access to WTM across the full 4 days. SPA-CE: 3-5OCTOBER 2013, SARVAR, HUNGARY The Slovenian Spas Association is the initiator of the SPA-CE trade show, now in its 5th edition. It features not only Slovenian natural spas but also spas, wellness centres and providers of medical and other programmes from other Central European countries. One of the definitions of spa and wellness tourism is ‘tourism of well-being’, which is gaining importance all across Europe. The main purpose of the SPA-CE trade show is for the most important providers of spa and wellness services from European countries to meet with travel organisers, tourist agencies, representatives of insurance companies and other potential buyers of their services. The core of the SPA-CE event is a series of pre-scheduled appointments between providers and the buyers of services. The 5th edition of the event is taking place in Sarvar, Hungary. Situated almost in the geometrical centre of Europe and with the Carpathian Basin, where the Earth’s crust is an average 10km thinner than elsewhere, means that if you dig a well in any corner of the country, you are likely to find thermal water. The country’s rich traditions of thermal baths and balneotherapy, more than 1,000 hot springs, 5 deposit of mud and therapeutic caves, modern medical infrastructure combine with around 200 medical spa and wellness hotels, the excellent and

comprehensive training that medical professionals receive, and the price/value ratio of treatments have made Hungary a growing medical tourism destination. Health travel is a great significance for Hungarian tourism: In the last few years, about 10% of expenditures by foreign guests in Hungary was spent for health related services. More than one third of overnight stays in commercial accommodations in Hungary are generated through health travel; 15.7% of foreign guests state their motivation for a trip to Hungary is health tourism.

Of the Euro€36 billion plus revenue spread across European cruising destinations, Greece is the recipient of just Euro€600 million due to its lagging home porting capabilities and infrastructure challenges as only 9 of Greece’s 57 ports are capable of hosting cruise liners. But this is likely to grow once recent legislation changes become fully effective and as soon as planned infrastructure improvements are implemented. Greece has many competitive advantages as a tourism destination and the Greek government continues to evolve the legislation framework pertaining to sea tourism activities including the law for the lifting of cabotage. Representatives of the world’s two biggest cruise lines agreed that Greece is extremely popular as a destination for their companies but the country still needs to do more in order to realise its full potential. In 2012 Carnival’s 9 cruise line brands brought to Greece a total of 2.8 million international tourists mainly to Corfu, Katakolo, Pireaus, Santorini and Mykonos, but this number could be a lot higher. Royal Caribbean Cruises brings more passengers to Greece than any other cruise operator. The entire East Mediterranean and Black Sea region is the most mystical and magical in the world but Greece in particular is the only cruise hub in Europe which can offer a variety of packages and itineraries with short distance between ports which makes it good for business due to lower fuel costs. The current high price of fuel is a key challenge facing the cruise industry. Greece is currently the 3rd most popular European cruising destination and its ranking can further improve if it can introduce a birthing policy designed to reduce congestion and keep port fees and charges aligned with the competition. These were the strong positive views from the 2nd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum that took place last month in Athens Greece. LUXPERIENCE 1-4 SEPTEMBER 2013 Luxperience is a high end, experiential travel and events tradeshow for the Australasia and Pacific region that brings together the world’s most exclusive travel providers, including travel agencies, travel concierge, travel planners and meetings, events and incentives creators. Even after the 3 day business event is over, the business opportunities can be continued via the exclusive LuxConnect private platform. One to one appointments combined with networking dinners, lunches and a pre tour will allow for maximum opportunities. Tourism Australia is supporting Luxperience as they witnessed the success of the inaugural event in 2012. Luxperience 2013 will double in size this year, but will remain intimate and with a quality controlled invitation-only buyer policy has attracted leading travel brands to exhibit, including Tourism Council of Bhutan, Monaco Government Tourist Bureau, Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, Coco Collection Maldives, Viceroy Hotels, Luxury Lodges of Australia, Great Walks of Australia, Tourism Fiji, Mountain Landing New Zealand, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Berkeley River Lodge, Blanket Bay in New Zealand, State and regional tourist offices, plus many more. 14

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IT&CM CHINA 2013 - SUCCESS This year’s event was the most successful in IT&CM China’s 7-year history. IT&CM China saw an attendance of 3,000 MICE professionals from sectors including DMCs, PCOs, corporate travel and associations, including some 400 hosted delegates. Over 10,000 business appointments were conducted with more than 60 business, education and networking sessions during the 3 day event. Among the new initiatives that gave the event a significant boost was the larger mix of Chinese buyers (65% Chinese – 35% International) as well as a greater proportion of Corporate Travel buyers and Association buyers from across China and the world. In partnership with MCI Group, the inaugural Association Day and Corporate Travel Forum drew a full audience, especially the attendance of both Association and Corporate Travel buyers. The success of IT&CM China 2013 has led to positive 1-year advance booth bookings for 2014, with buyer and media registrations also being received.

19th MITM AMERICAS IN GUADALAJARA, MEXICO The 19th edition of MITM Americas, Meetings and Incentive Travel Market will take place in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico from 2-4 October 2013, sponsored by Guadalajara’s Convention Bureau. Guadalajara has been exhibiting in MITM Americas for many years and wanted to host 2013 edition. The city has already been the venue of MITM Americas in 2000 and 2005, so they are aware of the benefits and big promotion that the fair brings to the destination. Being Mexico’s 2nd important city, Guadalajara is a perfect venue for MITM Americas, not only because of its wide and varied M.I.C.E offering, but also because it is easily reachable from many cities worldwide. The last MITM Americas good evaluation by

its exhibitors is an assurance that the edition in Guadalajara will also be a success. Participants described it as a forum to seek and obtain potential business and they highlighted the quality of its attending buyers. IMTCE CHINA 2013 - INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL TOURISM CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION IMTCE is the 1st and only medical tourism event to be held in China. With medical tourism booming it is both the medical industry and tourism industry that are working together to meet the new demands of this rapidly growing sector. With most clients coming from Europe and the USA in order to get excellent, value for money treatment with no waiting time, the number of countries offering medical tourism is steadily increasing. One new destination is China. Not only can it offer the services and facilities but is also a growing source market of medical tourist with its rapidly increasing middle class who see preventative medicine and increasing the quality of health as a priority. IMTCE focuses on the global trends in medical tourism and the opportunities on offer in Asia, which gathers worldwide top hospitals, health care associations, medical tourism facilitators, travel agencies, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, government bodies, Chinese traditional medicine hospitals and marketing companies, among others. At the IMTCE participates will get to learn more about the latest Industry policies and development trends on medical tourism, understand the healthcare system and market potential in China, attract international patients to their country, source partners, gain 1st hand information on cutting-edge technologies on surgery, learn about the special needs of Chinese customers for medical tourism, networking with leading companies across the whole medical tourism sector. MITM EUROMED, SEVILLE, SPAIN The 17th edition of MITM Euromed, Meetings and Incentive Travel Market, will take place in the city of Seville, Spain, from December 2nd to 4th 2013, sponsored st by Seville’s Convention Bureau. Seville was the venue of MITM Euromed’s 1 nd edition, back in 1997, and for the 2 time in 2000. They are aware of the benefits and strong promotion that the fair brings to the hosting destination and therefore were interested in being MITM’s venue once again. Last MITM Euromed notarized evaluation by its exhibitors rated MITM’s buyers quality as 10% fair, 64% good and 26% excellent, which is an assurance that the edition in Seville will also be a great success.

10TH ANNIVERSARY: BEIJING INTERNATIONAL TOURISM EXPO (BITE) 21 - 23 JUNE 2013 CHINA NATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Beijing International Tourism Expo (BITE) 2013. Recognised as one of the leading expositions catering to the business and leisure tourism sectors in China, the BITE series has come a long way, opening up countless business opportunities for industry players, introducing new destinations, as well as highlighting new industry trends and future directions. Last year’s edition saw a total of 929 exhibitors and 220 trade buyers from 80 countries and regions, as well as 43,314 domestic and international visitors. This year sees the soft opening of BITE 2013’s International Hall on 20th June for trade visitors only, so as to better facilitate business discussions and meetings between international exhibitors and trade buyers. Other highlights include the Buyers and Sellers’ Meeting Sessions, PSA Programme and the Destinations’ Presentations Sessions. Partnering with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, BITE 2013 will continue to position itself as the springboard for international players to target China’s lucrative outbound tourism market.● 15

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Destination MARS Space Tourism by Caroline-Artemis Laspas, editor

In the 1960’s the world was inspired and excited about the trip into space and the climax of the moon landing. Today more and more people are still interested to know what is out there and indeed what lies beyond the moon. Space tourism is a rapidly growing niche sector. It is a super expensive one and one that still needs huge investment and has many challenges to overcome to make space travel a reality and a part of normal life. However, as we have discovered, there are many who are willing to forget planet Earth and head for the stars and beyond and some on a oneway ticket!

A Dutch company, Mars One has received applications from over 78,000 people to go on a one-way trip to Mars. The company aims to put 4 people on Mars by 2023. Each applicant has paid a UK£25 (Euro€30) deposit for the one-way trip and it has generated an extraordinary level of excitement among applicants about the chance of making the journey. Applications were received from more than 120 countries, with the USA leading with 17,324 applications. It is still not sure that enough funding can be achieved to fulfil the plan, with the hope that much would come from TV rights and corporate sponsorship, as well as creating a sustainable system for people to survive in such a harsh environment to be achieved by 2023. US astronaut Buzz Aldrin believes

that the US should make a commitment to go to Mars with the aim of a permanent human presence on Mars by the 2030-2040. Presently NASA has the ‘Curiosity’ machine on the planet in order to gather evidence of previous life. It will drill into the planet at places where evidence of microbial life could have lived on the planet. In 2016 a satellite is due to be positioned above Mars to act as a relay for live TV pictures, with companies already having been approached by Mars One. The dream could become a reality, but still there are many hurdles, challenges and obstacles which need to be addressed before we hear lift-off! But these immense challenges are not putting off researchers. Indeed space travel involves huge distances and the logistics to getting there and back and catering for the vital suppliers needed on such journeys are already being addressed. NASA is working on ideas to bring space travel closer with solar sails to power spacecraft or atomic powered instruments for navigation and laser relays for long-distance communications. Currently on the International Space Station is Commander Chris Hadfield who is calling for a new focus on a return trip to the Moon. He has become a space sensation with daily news and pictures on social media showing us what it is like out in space and what the planet earth looks like from his bedroom window! The race to get back into space is getting more competitive, with the Virgin Galactic having just broken the speed of sound record. The world’s 1st commercial spaceline has successfully tested its 1st rocket-powered flight into space with its SpaceShipTwo (SS2). The success of the flight opens the road for a rapid expansion into space travel with a full space flight expected by the end of 2013. Once the rocket reached 47,000 feet altitude, after approx. 45minutes into the flight, SS2 ignited the rocket motor and propelled the craft upwards to 55,000ft altitude and reached the supersonic speed of Mach 1.2. The whole space part of the flight lasted just 10 minutes. To date the company has accepted over UK£46, (Euro€54) million in deposits from approx 580 people for the UK£133,000, (Euro€155,000) ticket. The Russians are also hoping to put space on the tourism map with a commercial hotel, which will house paying guests as well as scientists. It is thought that as soon as 2016 construction could start with passengers reaching the hotel using the existing Soyuz and Progress spacecraft as well as other spaceships as and when they come onto the market. The Commercial Space Station as it would be called would circumnavigate the earth just 100km from the ISS in order to act as an emergency maintenance or refuge for either spacecraft. The CSS could house 7 people with numbers growing as the station expands over time and it could even offer space walks. Typical ‘vacation’ would be between 3-14 days. Down on earth we are all aspiring in one way or another to protect the environment, so where does space tourism fit into protecting the earth environment. Surely it just helps to pollute it more? It is something that has not over passed the Virgin Galactic, with the company saying that rocket-powered space tourism flights would have only a minor impact on climate change. Indeed, the comparison is that the carbon emission cost of putting someone into space has been cut from the consumption of 2 weeks of New York’s electricity supplies to less that the cost of an economy round trip flight from Singapore to London. What has helped achieve this is the advance in today’s modern and new technology that can dramatically reduce the carbon output. For example, the SS2's lightweight carbon-fibre body allows it to reduce fuel burn dramatically compared to conventional methods. It seems that despite what is happening down her on earth we are determined to venture further than before and head for the stars and outer space. Thanks to new discoveries and more advanced technology the human desire to go further into space is growing closer and closer. Beam me up Scotty! ● 16

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BRANDENBURG: THE AREA THAT IS ALL AROUND BERLIN Brandenburg, the area that is literally, ‘all around Berlin’, hosted an event to the UK travel trade to showcase the richness and sheer diversity of the Brandenburg region. The event was run by the tourism organisation for Brandenburg, the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation BerlinBrandenburg and the city of Potsdam, together with the German National Tourist Office (GNTO). Highlights included Potsdam’s UNESCO World Heritage status, together with its 17 Palaces, which are ideal for spectacular events. 2013 also marks the 250th anniversary of The Most Beautiful Gallery, Potsdam Picture Gallery, Sanssouci Park which has been renovated to how it would have been in its original 19th century glory. Brandenburg is gardening country with the prestigious must-see Brandenburg State Horticultural Show that takes place in Prenzlau from April to October. Let’s not forget, Brandenburg is also a paradise for cycling enthusiasts, enabling visitors to discover superb cycling routes with historic Palaces along the way. And pure, clear lakes along the way invite visitors to take a refreshing dip during the summer months. Klaus Lohmann, Director of the GNTO UK and Ireland, co-hosting the event, said: “Brandenburg combines green spaces, outdoor activities, world-class art and culture, together with a wide range of hotels and accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. In addition, Brandenburg is one of Germany’s foremost regions for Barrier-Free, accessible travel, demonstrating how Germany extends a warm welcome to all, whatever your interest!” BERLIN IS 3RD MOST POPULAR CONVENTION DESTINATION IN THE WORLD Latest statistics have confirmed that Berlin has overtaken Barcelona and is in the top 3 international conference destinations. Having hosted 172 events held by international associations in the past year, the German capital moved up one position to become the 3rd most popular city for conferences and conventions in the world. The city is behind Vienna (195 events) and Paris

Berlin, Germany

(181) and ahead of Madrid (164 events) and Barcelona (154). With additional event capacities, such as the new CityCube Berlin, the city is also well-positioned for the convention business for the long term and is well able to handle the diversity of the requests. Berlin is also such an attractive city that large organisations and companies like to put on their events in the German capital. Since 2008, the number of organisations holding conferences in Berlin has steadily increased. The German capital has been successfully asserting its status as a top conference location for the past 8 years. GERMANY RANKED AS LEADING EUROPEAN CONFERENCE DESTINATION: 2ND PLACE WORLDWIDE Germany has again been confirmed as a top conference and meeting destination. For the 9th consecutive year, the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) has ranked Germany as the leading European conference location for international associations. At the same time, Germany has also maintained its outstanding 2nd place globally, behind only the USA. The ICCA’s figures show that a total of 649 international association conferences were hosted in Germany, 72 more than in the previous year. This impressive total narrows the gap with the USA, which remains out in front with 833 conferences. However, Germany is still ahead of Spain in 3rd place with 550 conferences. Berlin is the leading German city for events but there are many other German cities ranking higher than other global and European cities - including Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt am Main, Dresden, Cologne, Bonn and Leipzig. THE MOST POPULAR DESTINATION... GERMANY Over the past decade, year by year, Germany’s aim was to put the country among the most popular destinations worldwide alongside being the world’s most favourable manufacturer of products. With a federal and national dedication to succeed, Germany has become the most positively viewed nation in the world, according to the 2013 Country Ratings Poll for the BBC World Service. With an increase of 9.3% from January-March compared to the same period in 2012 in UK nd tourists visiting Germany, the UK is now ranked 2 in the world in terms of the number of international overnight stays in Germany, (only the Netherlands, with its adjoining borders, shows higher figures). Germany also scores highly on: A = an Abundance of attractive cities and destinations; B = Germany provides some of the Best value for money; hotel prices there are some of the most competitive in Europe and C = Centrally located; its central European location makes Germany highly convenient for leisure and business purposes. As a destination it consistently scores highly for quality of accommodation, food and drink, for culture - 37 of the world’s Unesco Heritage Sites are in Germany plus infrastructure, security and for the range and quality of its products and services, among other things. Klaus Lohmann, Director for the GNTO, UK and Ireland said: “Germany has traditionally been known as a country of poets and philosophers; nowadays it’s a diverse, modern, nation known not just for football and cars, but also for technology, arts, and culture, music of all types, plus creativity and design. These are just a few of the many valid reasons why people visit Germany and are not disappointed and why according to the BBC poll, Germany has been voted the ‘most popular country in the world’. Germany, dedicated to succeed! ●


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CHINESE LEAD AS HIGHEST SPENDING TOURISTS OVERTAKING GERMANY The world’s biggest spending tourists are now the Chinese, overtaking the Germans, who, along with the US tourists, were the highest spenders. Chinese tourists, have become known for their desire of luxury fashion items, spent UK£66, (Euro€78) billion on foreign trips in 2012. Chinese tourists spent 41% more on foreign travel in 2012 than in 2011, overtaking the UK£55, (Euro€64) billion both German and USA travellers spent in 2012. It is not only the Chinese who are spending Russian and Brazilian tourists also spent more in 2012. The growth in tourism expenditure from China and Russia is as a result of the growing middle class from these countries. China is the world's fastest growing tourist source market, due to higher disposable incomes and the relaxation of restrictions on foreign travel restrictions. Chinese tourists made 83 million foreign trips in 2012, compared to 10 million in 2000. This is good news for all destinations wishing to attract this highly profitable market, but it means that greater efforts need to be made by hoteliers, tour operators, restaurants, etc, to speak Chinese and to learn more about how to accommodate Chinese travellers if they are to attract them away from their preferred destinations like Hong Kong, Taiwan and the Maldives. Russians are now the 5th highest spending tourists, spending UK£28, (Euro€33) billion in 2012, and are catching up on the British tourists who spent UK£34, (Euro€40) billion in 2012. SINGAPORE IS THE ONLY ASIAN TOP 10 CONVENTION CITY Singapore has been voted one of the top ten Convention cities in the world and the only one from Asia. Singapore was ranked alongside Vienna, Madrid, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona. Singapore has remained as Asia’s top Convention City for 11 years running. In 2012, Singapore hosted a record of 150 ICCA events, the highest so far, representing a 5.6% increase from 142 in 2011, compared to the 4.4% increase from 2010 to 2011. Singapore welcomed a record high 14.4 million visitors in 2012, a 9% increase from 2011. Tourism receipts reached UK£12, (Euro€14) billion, an increase of 3% from 2011. For 2013,

Yangon Central Train Station, Myanmar

Singapore forecasts tourism receipts to grow to between UK£12.25, (Euro€14.40) – UK£13, (Euro€15) billion, and visitor arrivals to between 14.8 – 15.5 million. The M.I.C.E industry, saw visitor arrivals rise to 2.5 million from January to September 2012; a 6% increase from 2011 with expenditure by these business visitors increasing by 7% to UK£2.24, (Euro€2.70) billion. Singapore hosted 18 world congresses in 2012, including several ‘first-in-Asia’ or Singapore events. In order to keep up with its already high standards, Singapore is constantly offering new attractions including the Gardens By the Bay, new properties at Sentosa like W Singapore Sentosa Cove, Equarius Hotel and Beach Villas, as well as the River Safari and Marine Life Park, the world’s largest oceanarium. Other projects in the pipeline include a Singapore Sports Hub, River Safari, and National Art Gallery which will further expand Singapore’s already wide collection of interesting and unconventional M.I.C.E venues. BUILT BY CHINA IN BELARUS China is to build a city and industrial park in Belarus. This unique project will cost UK£3.2, (Euro€3.9) billion with the aim to create a trade bridge between the EU and Russia. The city will be able to accommodate 155,000 homes and will partially open in 2020. The 2nd phase will be completed by 2030. The city will allow Chinese businesses to be located just 300kms from the EU members of Poland and Lithuania and will offer to Chinese exports a tax-free entry into Russia and Kazakhstan, which share a customs union. The city will be located around the M1 highway that links Moscow and Berlin via Belarus and Poland. A speed-rail network will tie the airport to the centre of the city.

Malaysia Ministers of Tourism Mr. Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz and Mrs Ng Yen Yen

MALAYSIA HAS A NEW MINISTER OF TOURISM The new Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia is Mr. Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz. Outgoing minister Dr. Ng Yen Yen has contributed much to the furthering of boosting domestic tourism and putting Malaysia on the top in the international map and promoting new tourism activities.

CHINESE TO BUILD NICARAGUA CANAL Chine is shaping the world, promoting, supporting, building new cities, new projects, new routes, in all terms, either trade or tourism, apparently, the development of the world, is clearly shifting from one side to the other, opportunities never have stopped, regardless of any ‘’financial crises’’, the development will continue and the latest mega project is the new canal to be build across Nicaragua linking the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea/Atlantic Ocean. The UK£26, (Euro€30) billion project will be built by a Chinese company. The Nicaraguan government is to grant the Chinese company a concession for 100 years. The alternative to the Panama Canal will reinforce China's growing influence globally and also weaken the current dominance over the key shipping route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The new channel would be built in the north Lake Nicaragua. It would allow for a much highercapacity alternative to the Panama Canal, which is currently being widened. Megacontainer ships with a dead weight of up to 250,000 tonnes would be able to have passage, which is over double the size of vessels able to pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal. Nicaragua's canal will be 22m deep, 20m wide and 286km long - bigger than both Panama and Suez in all ways. Construction is expected to take 10 years with the 1st ship passing through the canal within 6 years. Beside trade, leisure cruises companies will benefit and tourism will expand and will connect both side of the world, faster and cheaper. 18

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SHARJAH TO ATTRACT ASIAN TOURISTS The UAE Emirate of Sharjah is wishing to attract more visitors from Asia as part of a new tourism incentive. To assist with this goal, the 3rd UAE-Korea Economic Partnership Forum in Seoul encouraged further direct investment from Korea and other Asian countries into its hospitality sector. Sharjah attracted more than 227,000 tourists from Asia in 2012, representing 13% of its total number of international guests. Sharjah has been actively promoting itself as an attractive tourism destination for Asian visitors via a number of exhibitions in Beijing and Singapore recently. Sharjah is investing heavily in its tourism sector with a 15-year ‘Heart of Sharjah’ scheme which aims at restoring and improving the city's traditional areas. Scheduled for completion in 2025, the scheme will feature diverse commercial, cultural and residential projects, including a boutique hotel, restaurants, retail shops, art galleries, traditional and contemporary markets, archaeological sites, museums, play areas and commercial offices.

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

latest thinking on harmonious living in nature and other advanced therapies as part of its unique offerings. Koh Krabeay is one of a chain of emerald islands accessible from the seaside town of Sihanoukville by luxury speedboat in less than 20 minutes. There will also be a featured meditation cave, walking meditation practice, and a venerable guru of meditation will be invited to teach on week-long learning. This is in addition to the organic garden that will feature raw and healthy produce that thrives on the island and environs. Founded in 2003, the hotel group has three fully owned resorts in Koh Samui, Phuket and Hua Hin - as well as the ‘adults only’ akyra Chura Samui. RED RIVER DELTA TARGETS 5 MILLION FOREIGN VISITORS BY 2020 Tourism is to be a key industry for the Red River Delta with the aim of attracting 2425 million domestic visitors and 4.5-5 million foreigners by 2020.The Red River Delta, comprising Hanoi, Haiphong, Hai Duong, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc, Hung Yen, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh and Quang Ninh provinces, will be an eastern gateway to the world and be a direct connection between the 2 dynamic economic areas of Southeast and Northeast Asia. Priority will be given to developing high quality transportation, consulting, design, finance and banking services. Innovation in telecommunications, education, training and health care will be encouraged, while trade, tourism, and science and technology will be promoted. Focus will be placed on upgrading and modernizing the railway system towards forming high-speed rail routes from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Lao Cai, Haiphong and Lang Son.

EXOTISSIMO TRAVEL TO WORK WITH TUI NORDIC IN MYANMAR Myanmar is one of Asia’s most beautiful yet undiscovered destinations. Now with new ground services offered by Exotissimo, the jewel of Asia is accessible to more. The recent partnership means TUI Nordic will manage hotel contracts, and has previously opened up regions such as Ngapali to travellers that may not have previously considered Myanmar for their holiday. After visiting Yangon and Ngapali tourists are keen to see more of Myanmar. Exotissimo can provide extensive travel options to really experience the authentic Myanmar. Both Exotissimo and TUI Nordic are excited by this new venture and anticipate Myanmar growing from a touring destination to also catering for classic beach holidays.

SANYA FARM TOURISM ATTRACTS FOREIGN INVESTMENT Sanya, island continues to offer great investment prospects in the tourism industry in its agricultural areas, which have already attracted foreign investment over the past few years. The Hainan State Farms Bureau has just agreed 9 tourism industry projects, all located in the Sanya Nantian and Nanxin farms as well as surrounding farms. Since 2004, the bureau has attracted and developed 33 investment projects, 22 of which are in farms in Sanya. Other projects include the Tropical Xiangbala Resort in Sanya Sandaowang Ecological Diversity Protection and High Efficiency Agricultural District, the Sanya Phoenix Waterside Town and Nantian Hotspring Apartment Hotel-resorts. ●

AHMS TO OPEN PRIVATE ISLAND SPA IN CAMBODIA Thailand-based Akaryn Hospitality Management Services (AHMS) plans to open a destination spa and retreat on Koh Krabeay, a private island in Cambodia, in 2015. The resort will feature anti-aging treatments, advanced meditation techniques, yoga for connoisseurs of the practice,

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。

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 airlines 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. 19

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FLYING HIGH THE BEST AIRPORTS by Dimitri Laspas, publisher

What makes a good airport? Well, it is a combination of many factors which all help to get you from A to B as quickly and safely as possible in a pleasant environment and without unnecessary, red tape or delays while offering you everything you could need during your short or sometimes longer stays at the terminal building.

BML International-UK

Marketing, consulting & representation company in tourism, convention bureaus and exhibitions

We BML International-UK bring growth to your doorstep!

The TOURISM AROUND THE WORLD Monthly team spend plenty of time travelling around the world throughout the year and over time have experienced firsthand many of the airports of the world. We of course have our favourites, but here we see what the industry thinks as the best in the world of airports.

Singapore’s Changi Airport

Every year, new airports and terminals open and see new infrastructure, facilities and procedures and so each year at the annual World Airport Awards, the competition to be at the top remains high. These highly anticipated awards are key to letting airports know how they are doing in their performance to meet the needs and desires of their passengers as it is these passengers who are the judges and place a vote in each category. At the recent World Airport Awards, for the 4th time, the top award went to Singapore’s Changi Airport, which it last took in 2010. The awards are voted by airport customers and this year saw 12.1 million replies in order to compile the award results. Changi airport continues to be a leader and innovator within the industry and this is a key reason why it has remained ranked amongst the top 3 airports for the past 14 years. Focusing on the needs of its passengers and providing them with only the best of airport experience, a wide variety of leisure and entertainment facilities really standout at Changi airport to ensuring maximum passenger satisfaction. Changi served more than 50 million passengers for the 1st time during 2012, proving that it continues to attract customers and is one of the world's leading hub airports. The 2012 winner of Best Airport, Incheon International Airport came 2nd this year and it also won awards for ‘Best Airport Staff Service - Asia’ and ‘Best International Transfer Airport’. st For the 1 time in 6 years, there was a change to the top-3 global airports with Amsterdam Schiphol Airport reaching an excellent 3rd place. Hong Kong International Airport achieved 4th position this year which is the 1st time in 12 years it has not been in the top 3! Beijing Capital International Airport took the award for ‘Best Airport in China’. Passenger traffic continues to increase since the airport opened in 2008. Munich Airport won ‘Best Airport in Central Europe’ and also ‘Best Airport Dining Experience’. With 45 food outlets around the airport, passengers are offered cuisine from around the world as well as having the chance to try traditional Bavarian specialities. Zurich Airport won ‘Best Airport Baggage Delivery’ and ‘Best Airport Staff Service in Europe’. Vancouver International Airport retained its award for ‘Best Airport in North America’. Vancouver International Airport offers passengers a good all-round experience and scores well for both staff service and terminal ambience. Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) moved up 5 places into 9th position this year and won the award for the ‘World's Best Domestic Airport’ and ‘Best Airport Terminal Cleanliness’, followed by Incheon International Airport, Singapore Changi, Hong Kong International Airport and Narita International Airport. London Heathrow at No.10 was its best ever result, as the ‘World's Best Airport Terminal’ for Terminal 5 as well as the ‘Best Airport Shopping’ award for the 3rd time. Frankfurt Airport won the title for the ‘World's Most Improved Airport in 2013’ which is awarded based on several criteria, Istanbul Atatürk Airport came 2nd in this category and London Gatwick Airport came 3rd. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was 4th with Moscow Vnukovo International Airport in 5th place. As for Africa, the Best award went to Cape Town International Airport. Best Airport in the Middle East was Abu Dhabi International. Best Airport in South America was Lima Jorg Chavez International and the Best airport in Central America/Caribbean was Panama Tocumen International. Airports are changing; travellers are increasing and requesting more facilities and services, the impact of the World Airport Awards, gives the chance for airports to improve their facilities, based on user experience. For the 2013 awards 395 airports were rated in 39 categories like comfort, efficiency, signage and passenger facilities. So, next time you are checking in, shopping, having coffee, walking to your departure gate, take in all that is going on around you as a lot of work has gone into making your brief transit as good as it can be. ● 20

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Tatw monthly June 2013 edition  

Travel, Tourism, Exhibitions, MICE, Aviation, Tourism Boards, Asia, Germany, interviews