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first_img Monday, February 13, 2017 TORONTO — Reducing the regulatory burden on the travel industry is among the top findings in the Ontario government’s first report following its initial review of the Travel Industry Act. The report, based on stakeholder consultations and including preliminary options for potential changes to the Travel Industry Act, is now available.“Some of the things we heard that should be considered are: increasing consumer protections under the Act; reducing regulatory burden on travel industry businesses; enhancing enforcement tools, including additional penalties for businesses that don’t comply with the act; reviewing the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund including what travel services consumers are able to seek compensation for and who should contribute to the fund; and evaluating the types of activities and businesses that should be regulated under the act,” reads the report. A summary of the Phase 1 Consultations is available here.The government is asking members of the public and the travel industry to review the summary report and provide input on the questions and options presented in the report during phase 2 of the review. Input can be emailed to TravelIndustryAct@ontario.ca by April 14, 2017. Interested parties can also register to attend one of the consultation sessions to discuss input in person.More news:  Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJBased on the feedback provided in phase 2 of the review, the government says it will work with stakeholders to develop a set of options and recommendations which may include potential changes to the act and/or the regulation. These options and recommendations will be detailed in a final report which will be posted for stakeholder feedback.“TICO encourages all stakeholders to participate in the Ontario Government’s comprehensive review by reviewing the Phase 1 Report and provide your input by either attending one of the public consultation sessions being held around the Province or by providing your input by email to TravelIndustryAct@ontario.ca by April 14, 2017. This is a great opportunity to contribute and provide feedback towards modernizing the consumer protection legislation, strengthen consumer protection and reduce burden on business,” says Richard Smart, TICO President and CEO.In other TICO news, TICO will be holding its AGM on June 20 at 1:30 p.m. at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre. This year TICO will be holding an election for one retail position on the TICO Board of Directors.More news:  AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsAll registrants will be sent a Nominations package. Nominations must be received at TICO no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Time on April 21. TICO would like to remind those wishing to run for election to allow sufficient time to obtain the required Criminal Record Check, which must be submitted with the Nomination Form by the deadline date. Ballots will then be sent to Member Registrants and the results will be announced at the AGM.“Industry representation on the Board of Directors is an important governance role in support of TICO’s vision, mission and mandate,” said Smart. “I would like to encourage registrants who wish to participate on the TICO Board to submit nomination forms. This is your industry, so please take this opportunity to get involved. I also want to encourage everyone to mark their calendars and to plan to attend TICO’s AGM in June. I look forward to seeing you all there.” Share Travelweek Group Registrants have until April 14 to respond to government’s Travel Industry Act reportcenter_img Tags: TICO Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_img Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Trafalgar offers ‘the ultimate Africa experience’ with brand new sub-Saharan trips Posted bycenter_img TORONTO — Trafalgar’s new 2019 Africa program was “72 years in the making”, says Trafalgar CEO Gavin Tollman. The first-ever sub-Saharan lineup for the company pairs 10 Africa itineraries in countries including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya with the power of a go-to brand.Why now? “We wanted to ensure that when we went to Africa, everything the brand stood for would be executed impeccably,” says Tollman in an exclusive interview with Travelweek.Gavin Tollman, CEO, TrafalgarIt was only after Trafalgar’s parent company The Travel Corporation 100% acquired inbound South African travel company Cullinan Holdings Ltd. that Tollman felt the stars had finally aligned.Offering sub-Saharan Africa was a long-held dream for Tollman, who is South African. Even if they live in other cities now, the entire Tollman family, who head up The Travel Corporation under the direction of TTC Chairman Stanley Tollman, call this part of the world home.The Tollman family in AfricaThe 2019 Africa launch “is incredibly exciting,” said Tollman. “This is truly a passion and we’ve been waiting for this moment.”Tollman adds that he comes from a family “with an enormous legacy” in South Africa.The rebirth of tourism to KwaZulu-Natal can be traced to The Oyster Box hotel, he says, bought by the Tollmans in 2006 and lavishly restored to join The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, headed up by Founder and President Bea Tollman.The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is also behind Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, voted one of the top three best hotels and resorts in the world just five years after it opened by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, and Cape Town’s famed The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa.More news:  Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesCan clients booking Trafalgar’s 2019 Africa program check out The Red Carnation experience for themselves? Of course, with a stay at The Oyster Box on night six of the ‘Best of South Africa’ itinerary. The 15-day tour winds its way from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park, to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park, to Durban and the Southern Drakensberg Mountains and then on to Port Elizabeth and Tsitsikamma National Park and Oudtshoorn before finishing up in beautiful Cape Town. The two-country tour includes 26 meals and starts at $6,550 per person, with early bird savings worth up to $708 per person.Other trips include the 4-day Victoria Falls Experience, the 10-day Essential South Africa, the 5-day Botswana Delta Experience, the 14-day Namibia Explorer and the 14-day African Safari Adventure.Rounding out the Africa program are trips to Trafalgar favourites Egypt (Best of Egypt and Egyptian Voyager, both 9 days, and the 12-day Wonders of Ancient Egypt) and Morocco (the 10-day Best of Morocco).Departures for the 2019 program kick off in December 2018.With the family’s history and understanding of Africa “we had to make sure we delivered,” says Tollman. “We challenged ourselves.”The timing is right on so many levels, he adds, including the centenary of the life of Nelson Mandela.“We want to give every single Canadian access to Africa in a way that is so easy,” by booking a brand and experience like Trafalgar, says Tollman.He says the program got an enthusiastic endorsement from Trafalgar Canada President Wolf Paunic, who said “this is exactly what the Canadian market has been waiting for.”The Trafalgar brand has gone through a radical transformation over the past 10 years. “The evolution began in 2008, 2009 when we started to look at how we could change the world of escorted tours,” says Tollman, adding “we are a way of travel.” For Trafalgar, it’s all about wanderlust, a common denominator for Trafalgar clients, he says.More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTOut of Canada Trafalgar is on the cusp of seeing double-digit growth for 2018, says Tollman, capping what will become a four-year run with growth in the double digits from this market. Asked how many of Trafalgar’s bookings come through travel agents, Tollman says “the vast majority”, and that’s not an understatement: the percentage tops 90%.“Agents embrace what we’re doing,” he says, adding that the most successful agents connect people to what they want out of travel. “Start with a simple, basic question. Say ‘Tell me about your last holiday and what was your most exciting memory about it?’”He recommends agents start with the aspirational questions first. “If you start with the rational questions about price and budget, the nuts and bolts, it’s impossible to then turn that into an emotional, inspirational sale”, says Tollman. And it’s the emotional sale that can often create opportunities to up-sell.He adds: “Selling a Trafalgar trip to a client is like selling an annuity.” It’s one that pays back to the agent year after year, because the client keeps coming back for more. Now with all the destinations Trafalgar offers around the world, sub-Saharan Africa is finally part of that lineup.In celebration of the new 2019 Africa program clients can save 10% on select Trafalgar trips when paid in full by Jan. 17, 2019. Tags: Africa, The Travel Corporation, Trafalgar Friday, June 15, 2018 last_img read more

first_img Posted by Share Travelweek Group Tuesday, April 16, 2019 VANCOUVER — To meet growing demand, Rocky Mountaineer has announced seven additional GoldLeaf Service rail cars for the 2019 season.Available on Western Canadian rail routes, the newly built, bi-level cars will be rolled out in two stages, with the first four coming in April and the remaining three cars arriving later in the season. This project marks the largest capital investment in Rocky Mountaineer’s 30-year history, and will bring its total fleet to 26 bi-level GoldLeaf rail cars and 16 single-level SilverLeaf rail cars.“These new GoldLeaf rail cars will allow us to welcome even more guests onboard our trains and offer increased availability across our most popular dates and routes,” said Steven Sammut, president and chief executive officer. “We were intentional in designing these new cars to offer the same exemplary guest comfort across the entire fleet, while also making numerous engineering enhancements behind the scenes that reflect our goal of constantly enhancing both the experience and efficiency of our service.”More news:  Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaThe new GoldLeaf rail cars, each seating 72 guests, feature:Dimmable domed windows: The upper-level windows use a suspended particle device layer, which can be dimmed to moderate the intensity of incoming sunlight. This is similar technology to what is used in luxury yachts and business jets.Redesigned galley kitchens: The galleys feature upgraded ovens and stovetops, electrical grills, eco-friendly dishwashers and optimal preparation spaces for meal preparation.Custom-designed seats: The heated composite-leather seats recline without impacting the guest seated behind and can spin 180 degrees to create more social seating.Enhanced ride quality: The cars feature other technical features that enhance the overall guest experience, including improved suspension design.The new cars will be added to the trains travelling on two of Rocky Mountaineer’s routes: First Passage to the West, a two-day rail journey between Vancouver and Lake Louise or Banff; and Journey through the Clouds, a two-day rail journey between Vancouver and Jasper.center_img Tags: Openings & Renovations, Rocky Mountaineer New luxury rail cars to increase capacity onboard Rocky Mountaineer << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:VIDEO: A morning on the Ruta de los Conquistadores ‘Free Seed Festival’ promotes empowerment and healthy living PHOTOS: More than 200 volunteers spread love to Costa Rica homeless Art auction raises funds to build teen cancer hospital Hundreds gathered outside the central post office in San José to hear speeches about autism spectrum disorder on Monday night.Services for people with autism in Costa Rica remain extremely limited, and families routinely wait years for an official diagnosis.“Light It Up Blue” is an international campaign to raise awareness in concordance with Autism Awareness Month. Past celebrations have shone a blue light on major landmarks, such as the Sphinx in Egypt and Empire State Building in New York.Instead of a blue light, the crowd in San José released a cloud of blue helium balloons into the air. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgIt’s been a long time coming, but after 10 years competing on the Costa Rican national surf circuit, Jason Torres has claimed his first national championship. And it was a nailbiter for the surfer from Jacó at the Reef Gran Finals in Playa Hermosa this weekend.Although he surfed extremely well during his heats, he fell out of the contest in the semi-finals, leaving his fate in the hands of those surfers who made the open finals. These included Carlos and Alberto Múñoz of Esterillos, Jair Pérez of Jacó and Isaac Vega of Tamarindo.For most of the heat, Pérez dominated: boom, boom, boom, wave after wave, sharp snaps. With little more than a couple of passing waves from each of the other guys, what seemed to be a less-than-spectacular end to a very exciting weekend of competition changed entirely. Carlos Múñoz came from way behind at 3rd to earn a nearly perfect score on a long right and a seemingly endless series of maneuvers within the final two minutes. Adding tension was the fact that Pérez maneuvered a barrel just after that, at the very end of the time.Torres joined Carlos Múñoz — then in 1st place — while Pérez and Alberto Múñoz waited for the final score from the judges’ booth. The overall championship would be determined by the best five scores gleaned from the other events on the circuit this year. Torres, ranked No. 1 coming into the Grand Finals, needed Alberto to fall to 3rd or 4th in this heat. Winning the event would be a great accomplishment but not enough to win the national crown.Then Pérez got his score, enough to stay in 2nd place, with Alberto Múñoz in 3rd and Vega in 4th. When all the mathematics were computed, Torres breathed a sign of relief — and joy.“This all started last year when I asked my sponsor if I could do the QS (World Surf League Qualifying Series),” Torres explained after receiving his trophy. “They said to stay in Costa Rica and try and win the national title, then they’d see what the future would be. That was the extra motivation to have this title fight.”“This win is so important to me, I worked so hard for this,” he added. “Thank God for giving me this title, and thanks to my family for supporting me while I did this. I now know I belong on the QS and I want to be there.”Meanwhile, Lisbeth Vindas of Jacó continued to make history with a 12th national women’s open championship, an astonishing feat. This season, with international superstar Leilani McGonagle of Pavones nipping at her toes at every date, the veteran still managed to maintain her pinnacle position, but not easily. Of this she was acutely aware.“I’m really happy, but super tired. I did a lot of paddling in this strong current,” Vindas said. “Leilani had such a good left, and I was a little worried. I pulled it out. You know, it was good today and it’s been good for all these years. Today was very important to me because it was the 20th anniversary of my surfing. So it was a very special fight today.”Next year, Vindas will turn 35, making her eligible for the women’s masters competition on a different circuit. But fans shouldn’t worry, she still plans to make a go at her 13th title on the Kölbi National Surf Circuit when it starts up again in 2016.McGonagle’s performance earned her a 3rd junior (17 and under) national title.Leo Calvo became the male junior national champion, the latest win in his climb through the divisions from the time he was 10. The Boca Barranca surfer, who turned 18 at the contest, attributed his focus on winning the championship as key to his victory.Aldo Chirinos of Playa Negra won the boys (15 and under) national title. Chirinos’ year was full of ups and downs, wins and losses. He even missed two contests, making his performance even more important at those dates he was able to attend.“I’m really happy for everything, this is my first national title and it’s pretty exciting,” Chirinos said.This weekend, the Costa Rica Surf Federation took into account that last year the large waves forced the cancellation of the mini-grommets (11 and under) finals and started the categories for the younger kids on the day before the bigger swell was set to arrive.Malakai Martínez of Tamarindo didn’t need this concession. He’s adept in every size swell. Yet, he made quick work of the grommets (13 and under) category — and participated in boys and juniors, as well — winning the date and the national title.“When I’m surfing I keep in mind the math, the scores of everyone and the time,” Martínez explained. “I take it step by step, heat by heat. I thank my parents for putting me in this sport, getting me to where I am, and, of course, getting me to the contests. This win was pretty much for them.”With his five best scores factored together, 11-year-old Samuel Reidy was able to become the mini-grommets national champion, even though he only placed 3rd in Hermosa. Living part time in Dominical, he also spends a lot of time surfing the famous left in Pavones which the youngster thinks made for an easier win.“I think I had an advantage here on lefts because I surf Pavones, and also because Dominical is a beach break like this one. It cannot get any better.”Valentina Resano of Nicaragua won mini-grommets girls.When all was said and done and the trophies awarded, surf federation president Randall Chaves had a moment to reflect on the seven months and seven contests of the 2015 national surf circuit.“The level of the kids is so high,” he said. “You have the mini-grommets doing cuts and airs now. The youngsters are now more competitive as they grow and climb from category to category.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican surf team honored by president Jacó gold: Chatting with Costa Rican surf champion Lisbeth Vindas Jason Torres: From bad boy to national surfing champ Puerto Viejo native Gilbert Brown wins Latin Pro surf competition in ALAS debutlast_img read more

Arenal Volcano spews vapor and gas

August 19, 2019 | lpjxbyhj | No Comments

first_imgRising smoke from Arenal Volcano caught the attention of tourists and area residents this week, but while the volcano’s misty top might be nice to look at, experts assure that the famous colossus is not waking from its slumber.“Sometimes at Arenal water vapor and gas will combine to create these clouds,” Maria Martínez, a vulcanologist with the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) told The Tico Times. “When there are periods of heavy rain, large amounts of water will enter into parts of the volcano where there is a lot of heat and evaporate, but the clouds do not contain any magma.”In 1968 Arenal awoke from a 500-year slumber with a devastating eruption and became one of the most visibly active volcanoes in the world. The volcano’s explosions and lava flows were a premier tourist attraction in Costa Rica for more than 40 years until 2010, when the volcano suddenly stopped its dramatic displays. Though Arenal is still considered active, it has fallen into what scientists expect to be a long slumber. For five years OVSICORI has not registered any magmatic gasses or internal seismic activity.In 2013, the volcano showed vapor clouds for the first time since the lava stopped flowing. The smoke clouds set off rumors that the volcano would begin erupting again, exciting tourism operators that had relied on Arenal’s showmanship for decades. Despite optimism from many in the area, vulcanologists say there are no signs that the volcano will wake up anytime soon.Still, scientists have admitted that there’s no way to know for sure.“We don’t have any way to tell how long the volcano will be in this lower activity level,” Martínez said. “It could be days, decades or it could be centuries.” Facebook Comments Related posts:Turrialba Volcano steams Looking back: A microscopic wasp and other amazing Costa Rica wildlife stories Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson files human rights lawsuit against Costa Rica Turrialba Volcano again spews ash and vaporlast_img read more

Where to eat Christmas dinner in Costa Rica

August 19, 2019 | shgcmyqk | No Comments

first_imgRelated posts:Cultural Center anniversary, vegan fair, and more events around Costa Rica International Film Festival, The Nutcracker, and other happenings around Costa Rica Star Wars Fest, Christmas activities, and other happenings around Costa Rica Coffee fair, gospel concert, and other events around Costa Rica Facebook Comments If you’ve got any room left in your belly after the delectable tamales most of us will eat this holiday season, you might find yourself searching for the perfect location for a Christmas Eve (or Day) feast – but what’s open, and what will strike the right festive note? Here are a few pics for a special meal.Grano de Oro In western San José, the Grano de Oro’s warm and cozy hotel restaurant is offering a special menu throughout all of December. The menu consists of an appetizer, which can be thinly sliced pig trotter, fennel puree, parsley pesto, lemon vinaigrette and wasabi salad; or slow braised, shredded suckling pig, grilled squash, roasted artichoke and cilantro jus. For the main course, you can chose between brown butter roasted smoked Congrio, wild mushrooms, swiss chard and suckling pig jus; or slow roasted suckling pig, blood sausage, salt-crusted vegetables and squash gratin. Top off your meal with a selection from the famous dessert menu and take in the gilt-edged holiday decor.The special menu is offered every nights throghout December at the Grano de Oro Restaurant, Paseo Colón district, San José. 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Costs vary depending on selections made. More info: 2255-3322.Intercontinental HotelThe hotel will offer different Christmas dinner options at its three restaurants:Alfredo: Traditional Italian appetizer followed by glazed baked leg of lamb in red wine or stuffed chicken. For dessert, traditional Panettone Milanese served with chocolate and vanilla sauce.Factory: A mesclun snd arugula salad with grapes, almonds, pears, apples, cottage cheese and citrus dressing, followed by roasted pork leg. For dessert, crispy coconut orange cream and chocolate truffle with black chocolate mousse and Grand Marnier, or a chocolate basket and champagne cream with macerated fruit.The Market: Appetizers will include shrimp with avocado, olive octopus, salami kebabs, and turkey with asparagus, among others. Main course options will be roasted whole turkey or pork leg. To finish the night, choose from the same dessert options offered at Factory, above.Christmas Dinner at Real Intercontinental, Escazú, takes place Dec. 24. 6:30 p.m.- 10 p.m. $40 – 48 (₡20,000 – 24,000). More info: 2208-2100 or website. The Market Restaurant (Courtesy of Intercontinental Hotel)El Patio RestaurantLocated in the heart of San José, the Balmoral Hotel’s restaurant El Patio invites you to celebrate Christmas with a varied menu.  On Dec. 24-25 El Patio will delight you with mixed salad, potato salad, and a selection of cold meats, followed by roasted pork, cranberry sauce, chicken breast with mushroom sauce, rice, mini vegetables cooked in wine, smashed sweet potatoes with marshmellows and stuffed tomato with palmito. The meal includes two glasses of wine and Brazo de Gitano for dessert.Dec. 24-25 at El Patio Restaurant in the Balmoral Hotel, Ave. Central, downtown San José. $36 (₡18,000). 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. More info: 2210-7236 or elpatio@balmoral.co.cr .Mangroove HotelThe luxurious Mangroove Hotel in Guanacaste offers a Christmas dinner on Dec. 24 set alongside the breathtaking beach scenery of the Pacific coast. The hotel’s Makoko Restaurant will serve a family-style meal that includes artichoke gratin with coriander sauce, a green leafy salad that includes dried cranberry, grapes, red onion, Parmesan cheese, brioche croutons and a raspberry dressing. The main course includes a delicious roast turkey with roasted gravy, corn bread and pecan stuffing, along with caramelized pumpkin, green beans, mushrooms and an orange-cranberry sauce. You also have the option of pork tenderloin with spiced grape sauce accompanied by ñampí, smashed potatoes, swiss chard and bacon. The dinner comes with a glass of sparkling wine.The Mangroove Hotel’s Christmas dinner takes place Dec. 24 at the hotel’s Makoko restaurant in Guanacaste. $40 (₡20,000) for adults and $20 (₡10,000) for children. Starting at 6 p.m. More info: reservations@elmangroove.net or 2291-7750. (Courtesy of Enjoy Group)Barceló San José Palacio HotelThis San José hotel will offer a wide array of choices for Christmas dinner, including pork shank with plums, lobster biscuit in whiskey, roast chicken leg with orange, gourmet filet of trout, filet mignon in port wine, chicken breast stuffed with cheese and spinach, mushroom skewers, vegetable fettucini and roasted sweet potato, among others. Dessert options include stuffed grapes, creme Catalan, a kiwi and mango frozen shot, Parisian glass of fruit with syrup, chocolate chips cookies, pistachio tiramisú, traditional Christmas cake, and more.The San José Palacio Christmas dinner takes place Dec. 24 at Barceló San José Palacio Restaurant. Starting at 6:30 p.m. Adults $40, and children $20 (₡10,000). More info: 2220-2034, ext. 715.Marriott HotelThe Marriott Hotel, located in La Ribera de Belén in Alajuela, will host its Christmas dinner Dec. 24. A fresh, varied salad bar leads the way into an appetizer of leek soup with bacon and chives, followed by main course options such as salmon fillet glazed with tamarind and pineapple sauce with chives, stuffed chicken with mushrooms, radiccio and bacon with a creamy Jamaica flower sauce, and ossobucco meat cooked in a wine sauce. On the side you have penne pasta with shrimp and cheddar cheese, smashed sweet potatoes with herbs and crispy onions, green beans with almonds and cranberries, chicken risotto with cherry tomatoes, and dried herbed pork rinds. Dinner options also include stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce and gravy, grilled ribeye with pepper and herbs, herbed bread, chimichurri aioli and radish cream. To finish off your night your dessert options include tronco navideño, chocolate bourbon, raspberry cream Genoese, apple pie with orange sauce, ginger and raspberry pie, and a Baviera plum pie.The Marriott Hotel’s Christmas dinner takes place Dec. 24 in La Ribera de Belén, Alajuela. $56 (₡28,000) per person. 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. More info: 2298-0207 or 2298-0206. (Courtesy of Marriott Hotels)last_img read more

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia expelled two Syrian diplomats on Tuesday in response to last week’s massacre in Syria that left more than 100 people dead, mostly women and children.Charge d’Affaires Jawdat Ali, the most senior Syrian diplomat in Australia, and another diplomat from the Syrian Embassy were ordered to leave the country within 72 hours, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr told reporters. Carr said he expected other countries to do the same later Tuesday. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates “This is the most effective way we’ve got of sending a message of revulsion of what has happened in Syria,” Carr said.Friday’s massacre in Houla, a collection of farming villages in Homs province, was one of the deadliest single events in the 15-month-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s rule. The United Nations said 49 children and 34 women were among the 108 people killed.In a statement, Carr called the killings a “hideous and brutal crime” and said Australia would not engage with the Syrian government unless it abides by a U.N. cease-fire plan.The U.N. estimates 9,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories last_img read more

first_img Top Stories Health officials said there had been only a limited impact on services. In London, the local health authority said 90 percent of hospitals and more than 80 percent of doctors’ practices were working normally, although around 490 operations and 3,200 hospital appointments had been rescheduled.The doctors say the government has reneged on a pension deal agreed four years ago, but which the government says is no longer affordable. The government says the doctors have a good deal and are penalizing patients.Polls suggest little public support for the action. Many public sector workers are facing job cuts or pension curbs as the government strives to slash billions in spending. Private-sectors workers have also seen their pensions hit by the global financial crisis.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories LONDON (AP) – Medical appointments and minor operations were canceled across Britain Thursday, as thousands of doctors took job action for the first time in 37 years to protest changes to their pensions.Doctors’ union the British Medical Association said the 24-hour action was not a strike _ doctors showed up for work but were refusing to do non-urgent procedures or paperwork.The medical association represents 100,000 doctors, but it was unclear how many were participating in the action.center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Check your body, save your life Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more

Virgin Blue to add two A330 aircraft in 2012

August 17, 2019 | isuyyvzl | No Comments

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F Virgin Blue will welcome two new A330-200 aircraft to its domestic fleet in early 2012. Once obtained, Virgin Blue will operate four of the widebody Airbus aircraft on domestic routes. Speaking at the airlines AGM in Brisbane yesterday, Virgin Blue CEO John Borghetti said the new aircraft will be used predominantly on lengthy flights between Sydney and Perth. Mr. Borghetti went on to describe the current climate faced by Virgin Blue Holdings. “Domestically, considering the slowdown in consumer spending, we have had a successful year. “Our short-haul business performed well in 2010, an improvement from last year, even in such a tough and competitive market” said Mr. Borghetti. Mr. Borghetti was quick to apologise to customers and shareholders for the Navitaire reservations system outage earlier in the year and congratulated all staff on their ability to work around this disastrous incident. Virgin Blue Holdings Chairman, Neil Chatfield, noted the company had managed to persevere, considering the tough operating environment caused by the global financial crisis and a difficult final quarter. Mr. Chatfield said Virgin Blue were charting new courses and building on recognised strengths, whilst “aiming to establish a ‘truly global’ network for all customers.” Virgin Blue is looking to expand its presence in the booming Western Australian market and “will continue to leverage our main point of difference, which is our staff and our service” said Mr. Chatfield.Virgin Blue operates 88 aircraft, flying 18 million passengers per year.last_img read more

Jetstar unveils Pan Asia growth

August 17, 2019 | isuyyvzl | No Comments

first_imgJetstar has launched its Pan Asia growth plans, with the announcement set to increase its Singapore hub by up to 50 percent.Unveiled late last week, the airline said it would add five additional A320s and two A330s to its Singapore hub which will allow the airline to fly an extra 40 weekly flights from the country by the end of 2011.Among the new services, Jetstar said it will include daily flights between Singapore to Beijing from 24 November 2011, a three times weekly service between Singapore and Ningbo from 9 September as well as four time weekly flights between Singapore and Hanoi from 15 December.Other additional services include flights to Taipei, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta.Jetstar Asia chief executive Chong Phit Lian said the carrier’s continued growth in the region would offer business and holiday travellers increased connectivity.“Our growing Pan Asian hub in Singapore helps Jetstar customers to connect to 28 destinations from Singapore including Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Perth, Darwin, Melbourne and Auckland,” Ms Chong said.“Singapore is the gateway to a wide variety of destinations across the Jetstar network, and our low fares are making it easier for travellers to reach them.”According to the carrier’s chief executive Bruce Buchanan, the announcement will extend the carrier’s lead in Asia after it claimed the title of the largest low cost operator serving Singapore last year. The additional aircraft will increase the carrier’s A320s based in Singapore to 17 by the end of this year and its A330s up to four.While its overall operations will ride to up to 3,000 flights per week to more than 60 destinations.  Last week the carrier launched its inaugural flight between Auckland and Dunedin Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

first_imgMr Glen Moroney at the launch for the Europe River Cruising 2013 program Scenic tours has announced a bumper Europe River Cruising program for 2013, full of enhancements, new France River Cruising program and the launch of the seventh Scenic ‘Space-Ship’, Scenic Jewel.Scenic founder and managing director Glen Moroney welcomed the launch at a lunch in Sydney last week, addressing attendees with excitement for the ultimate all inclusive luxury touring company’s upcoming 2013 program.Mr Moroney was thrilled to again elevate the standard for river cruising in Europe, discussing the number of exciting enhancements to the program, including unlimited beverages, butler service for every guest and all day grazing at the new River Café.“We are redefining the term ‘all-inclusive luxury’ with the addition of unlimited complimentary beverages available at any time throughout the ship. Our relaxing new River Café is also open for all day grazing, including cakes and espresso coffee. There is basically nothing more to pay except for personal expenses,” Mr Moroney said.An exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experience of a private dinner and concert at Rastatt Palace has been added to the Scenic Enrich shore experience in 2013.  In addition to this are 18 exceptional new tours, including the Hockenheim Formula 1 Track in Heidelberg.A popular enhancement has been The Scenic Riverview, a personal GPS guided tour system device that provides commentary and enables passengers to choose from independent walks or cycling tours exploring interest areas like food and wine or history.In 2013, guest can also expect a number of innovative new technical ship upgrades including a ‘silent drive’ system, which significantly reduces noise and vibration, and the most sophisticated and powerful air conditioning system ever fitted to a river cruiser.Mr Moroney told e-Travel Blackboard that 2011 was the company’s most successful year to date for European river cruising and that 2012 is shaping up to be better than that. The founder was thrilled to announce the new France River Cruising program for 2013 including the deployment of the Scenic Emerald, extending the Scenic ‘Space-Ship’ fleet to France.The flagship itinerary is a 14 day South of France River Cruise which features no overnight sailing.  It begins in Paris, before transferring by train to Chalon-sur-Saône for the southbound cruise to Arles.  From here the stunning journey sails along the picturesque Saône and Rhône rivers on board the luxury Scenic ‘Space-Ship’ Scenic Emerald, which will be relocated from Amsterdam by special barge in late 2012.“Our 2013 forecast and pre-release sales have demanded the addition of a new Scenic ‘Space-Ship’ the Scenic Jewel , as guests look for extra special features and all-inclusive luxury.”Joining  five other Scenic ‘Space-Ships’ that operate along Europe’s main waterways, the Scenic Jewel will undertake her inaugural voyage in 2013 along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers from Amsterdam to Budapest. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

first_imgMr Robb is currently in the United Arab Emirates for a trade mission, but his trip has been overshadowed by speculation he may seek an equity bailout or other assistance from Emirates, Al-Arabiya reported. Emirates did not respond to Mr Robb’s overtures publicly, however, Emirates president Tim Clark reportedly ruled out an equity investment in Qantas last year. The Trade Minister said he would raise the prospect of assistance with Emirates’ chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed al-Maktoum. The Qantas Sale Act currently prevents majority foreign ownership of Qantas’ international or domestic arms, however Mr Robb said that the Abbott government would still push for changes. “We have said that we want to open up the opportunities for foreign investors… I think Qantas would very much welcome other foreign investors, and that would give them a much more level playing field,” Mr Robb said. “We want to create the right environment that allows that to happen.” “I am meeting with the head of Emirates, I will give him the same answer, that the new government [wants] to see viable airlines,center_img The repeal of the Qantas Sale Act is also being held up in the Senate, with a change of Senators in July not going to increase the chances of any change.  Some aviation analysts think that Qantas would has no chance in getting an equity boost from Emirates even if it benefits from regulatory changes, because Qantas is a loss making business and it is not part of Emirates strategy to make strategic equity investments. Australia’s Trade Minister, Andrew Robb, will speak to the chairman of Emirates Airways about investing in Qantas to shore up the carrier’s bottom line. “In the case of Qantas I think it requires a change in the ownership act and the potential for other entries into the ownership, Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

AFTA announces initial agents under ATAS

August 17, 2019 | rfunaawx | No Comments

first_imgThe Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has announced the first travel intermediaries to secure accreditation under the new AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS), marking the event a key milestone in the important reforms. The initial successful applicants are About You Travel, Broadway Travel & Cruise Centre, Corporate Travel Management, Ellandale Travel, Epping Travel, H.I.S. Australia Pty Ltd, Landmark Travel, Main Beach Travel, Moss Vale Cruise and Travel, Northern Beaches Travel, Northline Travel, TTFN Travel, and Venture Holidays, Wentworth Travel Pty Ltd, and Young At Heart Travel. “ATAS is about elevating travel industry standards and I truly believe that the benchmark standards that ATAS sets will ensure the professionalism, integrity and credibility of Australian Travel Intermediaries and their attractiveness to the consumer now and into the future,” Westbury said. “These agents have not only met and surpassed the criteria to become accredited, they have publicly backed the new industry led scheme,” ATAS general manager Gary O’Riordan said. These initial applicants been evaluated by ATAS’s quality assessment criteria on key areas, meaning consumers will have peace of mind knowing that they are dealing with agencies that are recognised as upholding a level of quality and reliability. AFTA chief executive Jayson Westbury is especially satisfied with the diversity of the group of intermediaries, which include retail travel agents, wholesalers, inbound tour operators and corporate travel management companies that have found the online process easy, which was a major goal of the organisation. Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

JAL signs Amadeus on as strategic IT partner

August 17, 2019 | gzfrmzwx | No Comments

first_imgAmadeus and Japan Airlines (JAL) have announced an agreement that will see Amadeus provide the airline with its full Altéa Suite of IT solutions.JAL will become the latest oneworld alliance airline to adopt Amadeus’ Altéa Suite, allowing the airline to replace its existing passenger service system, which it has been operating with since 1969, and delivering a modern, customer-centric IT foundation across both its domestic and international routes.JAL’s decision to modernise its IT approach is part of a wider corporate transformation programme, and to ensure a smooth migration to the Altéa Suite, the process will be supported by the local Amadeus Airline IT team based in Tokyo.“Our aim is to deliver a high quality, full service offering for international flights whilst delivering convenience and simplicity for domestic flights and the latest approaches to customer management and IT are fundamental to this strategy and we have found a partner in Amadeus willing to invest in only the most modern, future-looking and cutting-edge solutions,”Japan Airlines senior managing executive officer management division route marketing, Hideki Kikuyama said.“This agreement follows a period of sustained growth for our suite of products and services across the entire Asia Pacific region in particular and we are currently working with a number of leading airlines across the region, and our commitment to Asia has never been higher,” Amadeus senior vice president airline IT Julia Sattel said.“We are confident that our technology will deliver the flexibility, responsiveness and scalability required to cater to JAL’s evolving commercial requirements.”More than 120 airlines have contracted for Amadeus Altéa to date and based on existing contracts, Amadeus estimates that by 2015 the number of Passengers Boarded (PBs) managed by Altéa will be around 800 million.Source = ETB News: Lana Bogunovichlast_img read more

first_imgThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced a new initiative to optimise the accommodation of carry-on bags given differing carry-on bag sizes and airline policies.Working with airline members of IATA and aircraft manufacturers, an optimum size guideline for carry-on bags has been agreed that will make the best use of cabin storage space.A size of 55 x 35 x 20 cm (or 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches) means that theoretically everyone should have a chance to store their carry-on bags on board aircraft of 120 seats or larger.An “IATA Cabin OK” logo to signify to airline staff that a bag meets the agreed size guidelines has been developed.A number of major international airlines have signaled their interest to join the initiative and will soon be introducing the guidelines into their operations.“The development of an agreed optimal cabin bag size will bring common sense and order to the problem of differing sizes for carry-on bags. We know the current situation can be frustrating for passengers. This work will help to iron out inconsistencies and lead to an improved passenger experience,” said Tom Windmuller, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.IATA is working with baggage tracking solutions provider Okoban to manage the approval process of bag manufacturers.Each bag meeting the dimensions of the specifications will carry a special joint label featuring IATA and Okoban as well as a unique identification code that signals to airline staff that the bag complies with the optimum size guidelines.Several major baggage manufacturers have developed products in line with the optimum size guidelines, and it is expected bags carrying the identifying label will start to reach retail shops later this year.Recognition of the IATA Cabin OK logo is expected to grow with time as more airlines opt-in to this IATA initiative.Source = International Air Transport Associationlast_img read more

first_imgSingapore Airlines today announced a fourth flight connecting Brisbane to the world will commence operations in late May.From 28 May SQ265/266 will operate three times a week and will be serviced by a two class A330-300 aircraft. 06:55 Days of operation Departs Singapore Arrives Brisbane SQ 265 Monday, Thursday, Saturday Arrives Singapore Flight Number 18:00center_img Flight Number 16:45 Days of operation SQ 266 Monday, Thursday, Saturday 00:20 +1 The addition of the fourth flight, which will see another 285 seats servicing Brisbane, 30 Business class and 255 Economy class, represents an almost 15% increase in capacity for the Queensland city.Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President South West Pacific, Mr. Tiow Kor Tan said the addition of the fourth flight was due to the strength of the Brisbane market over the past 12 months.“Across the South West Pacific region we have experienced good loads and Brisbane has certainly been one of the stronger performers,” Mr Tan said.“Previously we have only operated a fourth flight into Brisbane on a temporary basis to cater for the peak seasons.“The decision to install a scheduled fourth flight is a reflection of our commitment to Queensland and will ensure we are providing more options for our passengers.“We are also investing in upgrading our SilverKris Lounge at Brisbane airport, which will be open by the time our fourth flight begins in May.“While the fourth flight will operate three times a week from May there is every chance, if Brisbane continues to perform as expected, that we would increase the frequency to daily later in the year.”The addition of the fourth flight into Brisbane is the second increase in capacity for the South West Pacific region in as many weeks after it was announced last week that Melbourne will welcome back the A380 for three months during the June –September peak. Fly Singapore AirlinesSource = Singapore Airlines Departs Brisbanelast_img read more

first_imgSource = Hong Kong Airlines Kids explore the world through “Sweeten You Up” ProgrammeKids explore the world through “Sweeten You Up” ProgrammeHong Kong Airlines, an internationally acclaimed full-service airline, held the “Triumph Sky High” Junior Programme during summer holidays exclusively for child passengers who have successfully enrolled through the “Sweeten You Up” in-flight service program.The aviation experience tour started with a visit to Hong Kong Airlines’ check-in counter at the Hong Kong International Airport. Participants were brought behind the scenes the daily operation of ground services. Travelling by the airport’s Automated People Mover, they reached the newly built Midfield Concourse and went onboard a Hong Kong Airlines A330 aircraft where captains and cabin crew shared their aviation knowledge and flight experiences with the kids. They also learnt the structure of cockpit and cabin, experienced Business Class facilities and tried on life jackets. One of the participants was surprised by the birthday celebration organized by captains and cabin crew.Hong Kong Airlines inflight service “Sweeten You Up”, offering newlyweds or couples celebrating their anniversaries, birthday and children passengers to experience a sweet and enjoyable journey with their beloved in the sky. The service was upgraded in August 2016 with “Happy Angels” assigned on each flight to provide extra care to kids, ensuring a carefree journey for parents.About Hong Kong Airlines Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines is a full-service airline firmly rooted in Hong Kong with a wide destination network covering over 30 major cities across the Asia Pacific region, including Gold Coast, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Sapporo, Bangkok, Bali and Okinawa. The current operating fleet is made up of 32 Airbus aircraft with an average age of around 3.9 years, consisting of 27 passenger aircraft and five freighters, being one of the youngest fleet in the world. Hong Kong Airlines has been awarded the internationally acclaimed 4-star rating from Skytrax since 2011. Adhering to the concept of “Fresh and Very Hong Kong”, Hong Kong Airlines is committed to “Bringing Greater Journeys Sky High”, and is dedicated to providing a pleasant and enjoyable journey to all passengers. Hong Kong Airlinesbook your flits herelast_img read more

first_imgThe World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recently announced the appointment of Gloria Guevara Manzo as their new President and CEO.Previously, she had served as Secretary Tourism for Mexico and CEO of the Mexican Tourism Board from 2010 to 2012, Minister in the cabinet of President Calderón. Prior to that, she worked for global distribution system Sabre where most recently she was CEO of Sabre Mexico, reporting to the board of directors of a joint venture between Aeroméxico, Mexicana and Sabre Holdings.Currently, she is Special Advisor on Government Affairs for the Centre on Health and the Global Environment at the School of Public Health, Harvard.Announcing Guevara’s appointment, Gerald Lawless, WTTC Chairman, said, “Gloria is a proven leader who is well known and well respected within the global Travel & Tourism sector. I am delighted that she will lead WTTC into the next phase of its development. With a career encompassing senior roles across the private sector, government and academia, she brings a unique combination of experience and expertise.”last_img read more

first_imgJet Airways launched its first daily, nonstop service between Pune and Singapore from December 1, 2018, making it the first and only airline in India to connect the vibrant city of Pune with the financial hub of the East.Singapore saw over 36,000 visitor arrivals from Pune in 2017 – the highest for an Indian city without a direct service. Recognising Pune’s potential as a leading business and commerce centre, Jet Airways’ new flight will further help expand the scope of traffic between Pune and the neighbouring regions to Singapore.Travellers from Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Sholapur, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, and Karad will find this flight convenient and an attractive option to connect on this flight to Singapore and to several cities beyond.The flight from Pune to Singapore, 9W 22 will depart Pune at 05:10 hrs (IST) with an arrival time of 13:15 hrs (local time) in the city-state of Singapore. On the return leg, flight 9W 21 is scheduled to depart from Singapore at 21:00 hrs (LT) and will arrive in Pune at 00:05 hrs (IST).On the eve of the launch of this inaugural service from Pune International Airport, Jet Airways conducted a multi-faith prayer followed by a ceremonial lamp lighting to mark the launch of flight 9W 22 Pune to Singapore. This inaugural lamp lighting function was led by Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways, and participating in the proceedings were esteemed guests, Anil Shirole, Member of Parliament Pune; Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, MP Rajya Sabha; Valsa Nair Singh, Civil Aviation Secretary, Government of Maharashtra; Ajay Kumar, AAI Airport Director, and G.B. Srithar, Regional Director, Singapore Tourism Board. A host of dignitaries and special invitees graced the occasion with their presence.On this occasion, Dube said, “The launch of the maiden flight between Pune and Singapore is a proud moment for us. Jet Airways is the first and the only carrier to provide direct connectivity between Pune and Singapore. With our existing six daily services over our hubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, we will soon launch additional frequencies over the next week, which will help increase our reach into Singapore with nine daily direct services, making Jet Airways the largest Indian operator of flights to and from Singapore.”Jet Airways recently entered global record books for the highest uplift of cargo by an Indian carrier in a single flight. The airline uplifted 45 tonnes of cargo on one of its flights on the Mumbai-London sector operated by a B777-300ER aircraft.The record is globally significant as only two other international carriers have previously operated a flight each with a cargo complement of over 40 tonnes on a Boeing 777-300 aircraft.last_img read more