Author Archives: Breaking Travel News

Millennium Hotels signs Chelsea FC partnership

Millennium Hotels & Resorts has signed an exclusive three-year partnership with Chelsea Football Club ahead of the Blues’ first home game of the season. Franck Kermarrec, senior vice president, Millennium Hotels & Resorts, commented: “We are delighted to be the official hotel partner of Chelsea Football Club for the next three years. “We believe that this is a strong partnership that will not only enhance the perception of both brands on a global platform but will also add to the breadth of services we offer here at Millennium Hotels & Resorts, creating memorable guest experiences that set us apart from other hoteliers.” As the partnership develops, Millennium Hotels & Resorts will be offering a range of exciting promotions to guests including once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as; training ground meet and greet experiences with players, hospitality box access, VIP travel packages for European away matches and signed merchandise, to name a few. Chris Townsend, commercial director at Chelsea Football Club, added: “We are extremely proud to announce a significant new partnership with Millennium Hotels and Resorts, which is one of the largest of its kind in the Premier League. ADVERTISEMENT“We have built a strong relationship with the brand and their hotels close to Stamford Bridge, so to formalise this into a global partnership is very exciting. “Millennium Hotels and Resorts boast some exquisite properties around the world and we look forward to welcoming another leading brand into the Chelsea partner family.” Older Airbnb partners with Wego in Middle East Let's block ads! (Why?)

Airbnb partners with Wego in Middle East

Airbnb has signed a partnership with Wego to include properties listed on Airbnb in Wego search results. With the addition of listings on Airbnb, travellers using the Wego metasearch apps and websites will have easier access to a wide range of local homes and other unique types of accommodation in destinations worldwide. Wego is the largest online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa. Users simply have to enter their destination city and dates of travel, and to follow the recommended filters to search for a wide array of Airbnb vacation rentals. This announcement comes at a time when MENA based travellers and inbound visitors to the MENA region, have demonstrated an appetite for innovative travel experiences and cost-effective holiday options. Speaking about the collaboration with Wego, Hadi Moussa, general manager for MEA at Airbnb,  said: “We are delighted to join hands with Wego to widen travel options for Wego’s MENA-inbound and MENA-based users. ADVERTISEMENT“The high-quality range of properties on Airbnb will be a great addition for Wego customers who are seeking new accommodation options and experiences, and want to live like a local. “We are confident that this partnership will be welcomed by Wego users and will contribute to diversifying the hospitality business in the region.” Wego users will be able to view Airbnb properties across all destinations worldwide, including in perennial favourites with Wego users such as Dubai, Beirut, Istanbul, Amman, Marrakech, London, Paris and New York Anna Trushkina, director, hotels at Wego, commented: “We are excited to be entering into this partnership with Airbnb which will significantly expand the supply of alternative accommodation on Wego and which is perfectly matched with types of demand we see from Saudi Arabia and the other GCC markets. “Analysis of search and booking data from across the 60 countries worldwide that Wego operates, shows that users from GCC countries have the longest length of stay, highest spend per night and most frequent instance of multiple room bookings to accommodate family groups. “We also know that many families from the GCC place a premium on privacy when travelling. Based on all of this we think that private homes, villas and apartments are a great fit for the needs of the market.” Older Independence celebrations drive Ottawa tourism figures upward Newer Millennium Hotels signs Chelsea FC partnership Let's block ads! (Why?)

Independence celebrations drive Ottawa tourism figures upward

In 2017, the city of Ottawa was home to a year-long series of special events as it played host to the official celebrations marking 150 years of Canadian Confederation. Now Ottawa Tourism has further reason to celebrate, with official figures showing that 11 million visitors came to the capital during the period, representing a year-on-year increase of 8.8 per cent. There was an 8.7 per cent increase in the number of domestic visits to Ottawa, a 7.8 per cent increase in the number of travellers from the United States and a 10.9 per cent increase in the number of overseas holidaymakers. It has also been revealed that there was a 10.3 per cent increase in visitor spending, topping CAD$2.3 billion. Michael Crockatt, Ottawa Tourism president, said: “These numbers confirm the incredible growth our tourism industry has seen as part of the year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. ADVERTISEMENT“From the astonishing one-off Ottawa 2017 events to the numerous legacy projects, it is clear that the investment in our city paid off: Ottawa was the place to visit and we are excited to continue the momentum through 2018.” The UK is Canada’s largest overseas source market for international travel with Ottawa growing ever more popular amongst British holidaymakers. Emma Cashmore, UK director for Ottawa Tourism, added: “Last year was an incredible year for Canada’s capital and we are seeing that enthusiasm moving forward into 2018 and now for 2019 travel. “We place the UK travel trade at the heart of our growth strategy and by working with our partners we continually seek to position Ottawa as a true year-round city, with four very distinct seasons. “Through our work with our tour operator partners and through our promotional activities with UK travel media; we have seen increased interest in Ottawa both as a stand-alone city break destination and as part of Eastern Canada multi-centre itineraries.” Older CLIA reveals agenda for 2019 conference Newer Airbnb partners with Wego in Middle East Let's block ads! (Why?)

CLIA reveals agenda for 2019 conference

CLIA UK & Ireland has announced that its 2019 conference will take place on May 15th-17th in Southampton. The three-day flagship event, the largest travel agent event in the UK, will include a trade fair, a full day of conference sessions and gala dinner including entertainment. Plus, delegates will have the chance to visit to visit two of the three ships in port for the event: Celebrity Edge which launches in Miami in December this year, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and MSC Preziosa. On Wednesday May 15th, agents will get the chance to visit Celebrity Edge, on her second visit to the UK after her launch in December 2018, or alternatively, agents can visit MSC Preziosa, the first time an MSC ship has been available on one of the main conference days.  That afternoon, all delegates will attend the cruise trade fair.ADVERTISEMENTAndy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer agents the opportunity to visit these fabulous ships at our 2019 conference.  “Ship visits play a huge role in the event and we are delighted to give agents to the chance to explore these amazing examples of modern cruising.” On Thursday May 16th, delegates will attend a full day of conference sessions, featuring high profile speakers from across the cruise industry, as well as keynotes from outside the sector. In the evening there’ll be a gala dinner with entertainment, both the conference and evening events will be held at new venues. The final day will be held onboard Queen Mary 2, and will include a special closing conference session, which last year heard from record-breaking explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Further details of the venues, theme and speakers will be announced in the build up to the event. Older VisitBritain to host ExploreGB in Harrogate Newer Independence celebrations drive Ottawa tourism figures upward Let's block ads! (Why?)

VisitBritain to host ExploreGB in Harrogate

VisitBritain has announced that its flagship annual travel trade event, ExploreGB, is to be held in Harrogate in 2019. ExploreGB is a trade-focused event with hundreds of international buyers from countries across the globe meeting travel trade suppliers from the UK to do business. Travel industry buyers and journalists from the UK’s largest and most valuable inbound visitor markets including Australia, France, Germany and the US are expected to attend, and from its high-spending markets including China as well as Brazil, Canada, India and the Gulf Co-operation Council markets. The event will be held at the Harrogate Convention Centre from May 8th-10th. VisitBritain chief executive, Sally Balcombe, said: “We are very pleased to be bringing ExploreGB to Yorkshire and the north of England in 2019.ADVERTISEMENT“From its world-renowned reputation as a spa destination to its location in the heart of north Yorkshire’s breath-taking countryside, Harrogate is a fantastic destination to showcase the quality of our tourism offer, the diversity of experiences across the north and a great base for our international buyers to begin their post-event tours across Britain.” ExploreGB gives UK tourism suppliers and local destinations a valuable opportunity to get their products and services in front of hundreds of international buyers and do business with global markets, boosting visitor numbers and spreading the economic benefits of tourism across the UK. As well as thousands of business meetings taking place across the two-day trade event, buyers and international journalists will also attend seminars and networking events to boost their knowledge of the UK as a tourist destination. Delegates will also experience tourism products and services first-hand with pre-and-post event educational trips to destinations across the country. Last year was a record-breaker for inbound tourism to the UK. There were 39.2 million inbound visits to the UK in 2017, up four per cent, with visitors spending £24.5 billion, up nine per cent. Tourism is worth more than £127 billion to the UK economy each year. Older Travelport signs distribution deal with Cobalt Air Newer CLIA reveals agenda for 2019 conference Let's block ads! (Why?)

Travelport signs distribution deal with Cobalt Air

Travelport has signed a new multi-year content agreement with Cobalt Air, which includes the use of the company’s leading merchandising tool, Travelport Rich Content & Branding. From its base in Cyprus, Cobalt Air, offers regular flights to 22 destinations in Greece, UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Spain, Israel, Denmark, Lebanon and the UAE. Under the new agreement, its full content and inventory will be made available for the first time to over 68,000 Travelport-connected agencies servicing hundreds of millions of consumers around the world. Commenting on the agreement, Paul Simmons, chief commercial officer of Cobalt Air, said: “Working with Travelport will extend the availability of our flight options and better present our value to travel agencies and travel buyers globally.ADVERTISEMENT“This agreement is an important part of our distribution activity across Europe and the Middle East and Rich Content and Branding will provide us with a powerful advantage as we widen out the Cobalt Air offering in an aim to bring the world to Cyprus.” With Cobalt Air joining over 260 airlines using Travelport Rich Content & Branding, agencies and travel bookers will also be given a graphically rich experience when searching for and booking the airline’s branded fares, as well as greater access to its ancillary offers. Through delivering these benefits, Travelport’s merchandising tool will help drive increased revenue. Philip Saunders, vice president, air commerce, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Travelport, added: “We are delighted to welcome Cobalt Air to Travelport’s platform and look forward to supporting its growth objectives. “Our Rich Content and Branding solution will help promote the airline’s brand and increase revenue by facilitating upsell of branded fares, ancillaries, and special promotions while continuing to develop Travelport’s position in the Cyprus travel industry.” Older On the Beach acquires Classic Collection for £20m Newer VisitBritain to host ExploreGB in Harrogate Let's block ads! (Why?)

Expedia acquires AirAsia AAE Travel stake for $60m

Expedia Group has purchased the 25 per cent equity interest in AAE Travel held by AirAsia, the joint venture formed by the two firms in March 2011. The cash consideration is $60 million, net of AirAsia’s concurrent purchase of AirAsiaGo.com domain names and related assets from AAE Travel. AirAsiaGo.com, which offers a full suite of travel products including AirAsia flight and hotel packages featuring Expedia Group lodging content, will continue to be powered by Expedia Group. “AirAsia has been a fantastic partner for the past seven years, helping to establish Brand Expedia as a strong and increasingly locally relevant player in the Asia region,” said Mark Okerstrom, president, Expedia Group. “Acquiring full ownership of AAE Travel reflects our belief in the immense potential for us in the over $485 billion Asian travel market.ADVERTISEMENT“This transaction unlocks better integration of our Brand Expedia Asia business into our core global travel platform, giving us even greater confidence in our ability to harness the huge growth potential that Asia represents.” Expedia Group has held 75 per cent equity in the venture since 2015. “Expedia Group has been a great partner to AirAsia and we look forward to continuing to work very closely in the future, particularly regarding regional and global distribution of AirAsia flights,” said Tony Fernandes, group chief executive of AirAsia. “This sale represents the divestment of the last of our non-core investments from the previous round of joint ventures. “These proceeds will be used to develop big unicorn products such as BigPay, Travel 360, Redbox Logistics and Ourshop. “This first set of joint ventures has taught us a tremendous amount and shareholders who have seen huge returns from our first round of partnerships haven’t seen anything yet.” AirAsia is considered the World’s Leading Low-cost Airline by the World Travel Awards. Older Etihad Airways to sponsor Al Nassr FC of Saudi Arabia Newer On the Beach acquires Classic Collection for £20m Let's block ads! (Why?)

Etihad Airways to sponsor Al Nassr FC of Saudi Arabia

Etihad Airways has signed an agreement to be the official shirt and main sponsor and partner of the Riyadh-based, Saudi Stars League team, Al Nassr FC. The multi-season partnership was signed today at Etihad Airways’ Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi, and was attended by senior members of both organisations’ leadership teams. Players from the football club were also in Abu Dhabi for the announcement, including Saudi national players, Mohammed Al-Sahlawi and Ibrahim Ghaleb, as well as international stars Ahmed Musa and Noureddine Amrabat. Tony Douglas, group chief executive, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “This agreement signals the start of an exciting new partnership between Al Nassr, one of Saudi Arabia’s best-known football clubs, and Etihad Airways. “We look forward to our teams working together to promote the two brands in our home markets as well as across the region.”ADVERTISEMENTIn addition to appearing on players’ shirts on all home and away games, Etihad Airways will work closely with Al Nassr on areas of brand partnership, marketing, customer and loyalty initiatives, social media outreach, in-flight programming and travel trade support. The new Al Nassr shirt, bearing the Etihad Airways logo, will make its debut on August 30th, when the team takes on Ohod at the Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz Stadium in Medina. Commenting on the partnership, Saud Al Sweilem, chairman of Al Nassr FC, said: “We are delighted to have signed with Etihad Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines and a brand that supports football in many markets. “I believe that together we can deliver a mutually beneficial partnership as well as present something new and exclusive to Al Nassr fans.” One of Saudi Arabia’s most popular football clubs, Al Nassr was formed in 1955 and plays its matches at the King Fahd Stadium and Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium. Older Strong demand drives profits at Vietnam Airlines Newer Expedia acquires AirAsia AAE Travel stake for $60m Let's block ads! (Why?)

Hill to replace Ralenkotter as Las Vegas tourism chief

The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority board of directors has selected Steve Hill as the next chief executive of the organisation. He will take up the role in September. Hill will be the ninth leader of the LVCVA, succeeding the retiring chief executive, Rossi Ralenkotter. “I am honoured the board of directors selected me as chief executive of the LVCVA. “The authority is an integral part of the Southern Nevada economy. ADVERTISEMENT“I look forward to working with our tremendous team and our mission partners to innovate, improve access to and around the destination and drive growth to keep Las Vegas the number one choice for business and leisure travellers alike,” said Hill. A Las Vegas resident for more than 30 years, Hill founded Silver State Materials in 1987 and supplied concrete and aggregates for many projects in the community. After selling Silver State, Hill was appointed by governor Brian Sandoval to serve as the first director of the governor’s Office of Economic Development in 2011, where he guided the development of Moving Nevada Forward, the plan for diversifying Nevada’s economy. During his tenure, Hill helped create numerous programmes, including Workforce Innovations for the New Nevada, the Battle Born Venture Fund, and the Knowledge Fund, which will leave a lasting impression on higher education, workforce development, and business incubation. “As an entrepreneur, Steve Hill helped build many resorts on the Strip and as the inaugural leader of my Office of Economic Development he helped make Nevada an attractive place to build businesses, bringing some of the world’s most innovative companies to the Silver State,” said Sandoval. “I know Steve will be equally successful at the LVCVA; he is the right person, at the right time to lead the organisation.” Hill takes over the LVCVA at an exciting time for the organisation as it is about to get under way on the largest infrastructure project in its history, the expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Centre. The project will add 1.4 million square feet of new space, with at least 600,000 square feet of usable exhibit space. The project will allow the destination to attract more business and allow existing clients to continue to grow their conventions. Las Vegas itself has been recognised as the World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination for the past five years by the World Travel Awards as it continues to transition away from a gaming-led destination to a more MICE focused market. Older Saxon Hotel unveils new Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite Let's block ads! (Why?)

Saxon Hotel unveils new Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite

Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa has unveiled the new 400sqm Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite during the centenary year of the late president and philanthropist. The stylish new suite is a fitting tribute to the statesman who was closely connected with Saxon owners, the Steyn family, as well as being a regular hotel guest.  Mandela also completed his bestselling autobiography Long Walk to Freedom at the Saxon following his release from prison. Johannesburg artist Dean Simon, whose pencil sketches adorn the walls of the Saxon including several well-known pieces of the late former president, was tasked with the complete redesign and renovation of the existing Nelson Mandela Suite.  Taking inspiration from Madiba’s Xhosa heritage, Simon has created a striking new suite featuring bespoke pieces of art and furniture, with an authentically African look and feel taking the guest on a journey through Mandela’s life, from his days as a young militant through to a wiser and more mature statesman. In keeping with the distinctly African theme, dark wood features heavily along with animal skin rugs, authentic cooper lamps and geometric African patterns running through the soft furnishings.  The architraves and doors feature traditional carving with images of crocodiles, lizards and birds: symbols of protection and good luck. On launching the new Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite, Saxon managing director, George Cohen, commented: “It has always been an honour for us at the Saxon to have had this connection with Madiba, and we are delighted to be able to acknowledge this with the design of the new Mandela Suite.” The launch of the new-look Nelson Mandela Platinum Suite is part of an ongoing renovation programme throughout the Saxon, which included the new Saxon Spa in 2016, the hotel suites in 2017 as well as Grei Restaurant in 2018. The renovations at the property – recognised as the World’s Leading Boutique Hotel by the World Travel Awards - will continue into next year. Older Moussa to lead Airbnb in northern Europe Let's block ads! (Why?)