Tag Archives: tourism

Middle East shows the way in global aviation growth

The Middle East will see the strongest growth of any global region in available long-haul airline seats in September, adding 22,000 extra seats per day, according to the latest statistics from OAG.

The OAG FACTS report for September 2012 reveals an expected five per cent growth in available seats to and from the Middle East, compared to September 2011, with 13.1 million anticipated in the month.

Meanwhile, flight operations to and from the region are expected to increase by four per cent to 59,771.

Rob Shaw, director of analytics at OAG, said: “Dubai is expected to lead all major local hubs in September in terms of growth, with an eight per cent increase in flights and a 12 per cent increase in seats, a disparity partly reflecting Emirates’ adoption of the Airbus A380.

“However, Abu Dhabi is enjoying the fruits of its own expansion strategy and will remain the fastest growing hub in the Middle East, with a 16 per cent increase in seat capacity to 1,661,512 compared to September 2011.

Doha and Riyadh will also see strong growth in seat capacity of ten per cent and five per cent respectively.

“The Middle East remains at the vanguard of long-haul air traffic growth globally.

While this expansion in part reflects the ambitious growth targets of the ‘superconnector’ airlines – Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways – airport infrastructure investments across the region continue to make the Middle East attractive to other long-haul carriers.”

In contrast to the region’s long-haul growth, air traffic within the Middle East is expected to decrease in September, with a three per cent drop in both flights and seats. Low-cost carriers (LCCs) are expected to increase their share of intra-Middle Eastern seat capacity to 15 per cent, an increase of 12 per cent over September 2011.

Meanwhile, LCC flights in the region are expected to grow by 16 per cent in the month, with 856 extra flights compared to the same period in 2011.

Shaw said: “LCCs are increasing their market share in the Middle East. Not only are they achieving robust growth within regional flights and seats, but low-cost operations are also becoming more prominent in long-haul traffic.

“In September, LCCs are expected to achieve 18 per cent growth in flights and seats to and from the Middle East compared to 2011, equivalent to 1,048 extra flights and 182,139 additional seats.”

Asia Pacific on the rise

While the Middle East comes top in many key air traffic metrics today, OAG FACTS also reveals the fast-gathering strength of Asia Pacific as tomorrow’s air traffic titan.

Shaw said: “Atlanta is expected to remain the world’s largest global hub in September, with flight numbers level with September 2011 and seats up 2 per cent. However, Beijing is fast closing the gap, with a seat number deficit against Atlanta of only 248,000 in September 2012, contrasted with 544,000 in September 2011.”

According to Shaw, Asia Pacific’s rapid economic development is clearly indicated by growth in the area’s intra-regional air traffic. Asia Pacific remains the world’s largest market for regional air travel in terms of seat numbers.

“Only the Middle East and Asia Pacific will see increases in intra-regional flights and seats in September compared to 2011.

“However, while the Middle East is expected to show a healthy 16 per cent growth in seats – an extra 145,000 – Asia Pacific will add 32% more seats in the month. That’s an additional 5.8 million.”

LCC seat capacity within Asia Pacific is expected to grow by 32 per cent in September versus the previous year, representing 7.2 million extra seats (over 241,000 additional seats per day). Meanwhile, LCC intra-regional flights in Asia Pacific are due to increase by 24 per cent.

Shaw said: “The real hot spot for LCC growth is south-east Asia, which will see a huge 76 per cent increase in seats versus September 2011, a rise of 4.4 million.”

Global highlights

Worldwide, scheduled airline flights are expected to decrease by 0.4 per cent in September 2012 versus September 2011 (11,799 fewer), although seat capacity will be two per cent higher (6,088,628 more).

The total number of scheduled flights operating in September will be 2,615,534, with 340,191,374 seats offered. North America is expected to record the greatest volume decreases in intra-regional volumes in the month, with a fall of almost one million seats and 28,000 flights against the prior year, continuing the recent trend.

Seat capacity performance at the top ten global hubs will be mixed, with only half recording increases. Heathrow, Chicago, Paris and Los Angeles are all expected to show decreases. Frankfurt will be the fifth largest hub by seat capacity, up from sixth in September 2011.

For the year to date (January-September 2012), scheduled flights are expected to show growth of one per cent versus the same period last year, an increase of 324,842 flights. Seat capacity is expected to grow by three per cent, creating 92 million additional seats in the period.

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Indian Ocean Islands and Africa see to attract tourists from Brazil

South Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe joined some 200 international hotel companies, destination management companies (DMCs), and tour operators to promote twin-centre holidays between South Africa and its neighboring countries and its islands.

Explore South Africa was the fair taking place in Brazil and Argentina this week. South Africa is already enjoying large tourist arrival numbers from the South American countries, and they are not only after consolidating this big market, but to grow it even further. The pitch at the 2012 Explore South Africa has been twin-center holiday possibilities with the islands around Africa and with the neighboring states of South Africa.

One destination coming out strong with the twin-center approach with South Africa is the Seychelles. These mid-ocean. tourism-dependant islands have been advocating the spirit of working twin-centre approaches for the last two odd years. Their Minister responsible for Tourism was on hand to maximize the drive to the Brazil tour operators. “Twin-center holidays become a reality only when you go and find the tourism markets that could be attracted by a twin-centre possibility. For Seychelles, our belief is the sales pitch ‘from the Big Five… to the Best Five’ campaign that was being pushed. We are working to emphasize the compatibility of a South African safari holiday with a Seychelles beach holiday as its add-on. Seychelles is but some four hours on,” Minister St.Ange from the Seychelles said to the press in Brazil.

Delegations from all the other destinations present were also echoing the same messages. Victoria Falls, just next door from South Africa, was making its point strongly as was the totally private member delegation from the island of Mauritius.

Tourists from Brazil and Argentina already travel in large numbers to South Africa, which is why South African Airways and their Ministry of Tourism were the main driving bodies of this promotional fair in Brazil and Argentina. Explore South Africa is the dedicated travel trade fair for South Africa and for neighboring states and the Indian Ocean Islands.

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Posted by on 03/09/2012 in Tourism News


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Tourism makes vital contribution to economy of Argentina

The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, has underlined the importance of tourism.

“The travel and tourism industry in Argentina makes an important contribution to the national economy and is a powerful path towards territorial development, given its ability to generate decent work and wealth across the entire country,” said President Fernández.

The President pointed to “economic development with social inclusion and the conservation of heritage” as the cornerstone of Argentina’s tourism policy. “We are driven by the vision of becoming South America’s tourism destination of reference for our diversity and quality of supply, based on the balanced development of the habitats and identities of our people,” she said.

Meeting with the President on the occasion of the presentation of Argentina’s new Marketing Plan 2012-2015, UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, and WTTC President & CEO, David Scowsill, presented an Open Letter, which calls on global leaders to support tourism as a driver of economic growth and development.

“International tourist arrivals to Argentina have almost doubled over the past decade making the country the most visited destination in South America, with international tourism accounting for over US$5 billion a year in exports,” said Mr. Rifai, “This is due not only to the country’s enviable natural and cultural resources, but also thanks to the correct tourism policies and the political support awarded to the sector at the highest level. This was evidenced in 2010 when the President created the first Ministry of Tourism in Argentina, and again today on accepting the Open Letter.”

Mr. Scowsill said: “Latin America is a strong engine of growth to the global travel and tourism industry. The new Marketing Plan for Argentina will ensure that Argentina is one of the leading destinations driving this growth. It was an honor to meet with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Her acceptance of the Open Letter underlines Argentina’s commitment to support the development of the travel and tourism industry.”

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Posted by on 03/09/2012 in Tourism News


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Asia Pacific sees further increase in visitor numbers

International Visitor Arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations during May 2012 showed a collective gain of three per cent year-on-year according to preliminary results released today by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

This was the second consecutive month with a declining growth rate and heralds the impact of the various economic contagions across the globe.

For the first five months of 2012, the average growth in international visitor arrivals into Asia Pacific destinations was six per cent up year-on-year.

North America is showing a similar but more volatile growth pattern.

After registering a solid 12 per cent increase in foreign arrivals during March, the growth trend reduced to just 0.5 per cent in April and then contracted by one per cent in May 2012.

Canada and the USA managed to sustain positive growth of two per cent and one per cent respectively during the month but a contraction in international arrivals into Mexico for both April and May (down six per cent each month) has affected the overall sub-regional performance.

A slowing of intra-regional travel demand was the major negative factor along with a four per cent drop in UK arrivals.

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Posted by on 31/08/2012 in Tourism News


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American Airlines adds nonstop service between Miami and Roatan, Honduras

American Airlines announces it will offer nonstop service between Miami International Airport (MIA) and Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport (RTB) in Roatan, Honduras beginning Nov. 17. The new service will operate every Saturday using a Boeing 737 aircraft with 16 seats in Business Class and 144 seats in the Main Cabin.

“This new service to Roatan highlights our commitment to provide our customers the premier network in Latin America,” said Art Torno, American’s Vice President – Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. “Our customers now have even more destinations to choose from in this growing region.”

“The new American Airlines nonstop flight between Roatan and Miami will offer more options for local passengers as well as strengthen Honduras’ economy,” said Dr. Nelly Jerez, Minister of Tourism in Honduras.“Roatan is an important tourism destination and this flight will further showcase Honduras as a world-class destination for diving, ecotourism and adventure.”

“Roatan becomes the 114th destination served by American and our regional partner American Eagle® from Miami,” said Marilyn DeVoe, American’s Vice President – Miami. “And, it demonstrates our commitment to continue growing our Miami hub. This is the fifth new destination this year from Miami. We have already started service to Barcelona, Manaus and Seattle, and in November will begin service to both Asuncion, Paraguay and Roatan.”

Roatan will be American’s third destination in Honduras and the 10th in Central America. American currently offers seven flights per week between Miami and Tegucigalpa and 13 flights per week between Miami and San Pedro Sula.

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JetBlue Airways launches Puerto Rico services

JetBlue Airways, Puerto Rico’s largest carrier has launched its new nonstop “capital-to-capital” service from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico today.

JetBlue was granted a pair of beyond-perimeter slot exemptions from the United States Department of Transportation to launch this new long-distance flight in May. JetBlue’s flights are the only nonstop service between D.C.‘s downtown airport and San Juan. This route is JetBlue’s 14th destination from San Juan and will operate from JetBlue’s exclusive new ‘home’ in Terminal A at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.

“Today’s new flight represents JetBlue’s continued growth at National Airport, having grown from an initial nine flights in 2010, to our 18 daily non-stop, low fare departures today,” said Rob Land, senior vice president of government affairs and associate general counsel at JetBlue.

“It was gratifying to see the overwhelming community support that made this flight happen and this support represents exactly what JetBlue is about: listening to our customers. We’d like to thank both Secretary LaHood and his team at the Department of Transportation and Governor Fortuño and his administration for their support.”

Compare Car Hire“San Juan’s new capital to capital direct service on JetBlue is a major step in our effort to be the premier U.S. hub in the Caribbean, giving travelers new, low-cost fare options that will boost Puerto Rico’s standing as the best destination for business and tourism in the region,” Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño said.

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Posted by on 26/08/2012 in Airlines


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Following an impressive marketing campaign across the continent by Tourism Ireland, can reveal a surge in European interest for the Emerald Isle in 2012. This year has seen a real spotlight shone on Ireland, with international media attention around Titanic’s milestone anniversary as well as the ever-popular traditional St Patricks Day celebrations and the country still thriving from 2011’s high profile visitors Queen Elizabeth and President Obama. search data indicates Ireland is set for an influx of European visitors this year as it reveals a huge increase in searches to the Emerald Isle versus the same period last year from tourists across Europe.*

The largest increase in interest comes from the Netherlands, with a 77% rise in searches versus last year. Interest in Ireland is also booming in Belgium (64% rise), Sweden (60% rise) and Denmark (57% rise) as they have also seen significant increases in searches for holidays to the country.

Ireland as a destination has increased in popularity right across the continent with other year-on-year rises in searches including:

Austria (26%)
France (24%)
Germany (20%)
Switzerland (21%)
UK (12%)

Jen Quinlan, Marketing Manager,, says “This year has seen Ireland thrown into the European spotlight with various high profile occasions and events. It’s great to see Ireland is moving to the forefront of European holidaymaker’s minds as they realise just what this country has to offer.”

Compare Car HireFinola O’Mahony, Head of Europe, Tourism Ireland, says “Tourism Ireland’s extensive programme of promotions is in full swing across Europe and we are working closely with our tourism partners to deliver growth in 2012. We will shortly roll out our autumn campaign, targeting millions of potential holidaymakers for city breaks and rural holidays with enticing messages about upcoming festivals, our world-class food and the wealth of things to see and do here.”

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Tourism Australia unveils new marketing push in Asia

Compare Car HireTourism Australia has confirmed plans to accelerate its marketing activities in Asia, with four key strategic projects to be funded this year under the Australian Government’s new Asia Marketing Fund.

The new funding, worth up to A$48.5million over the next four years, aims to generate higher visitor numbers and improved economic returns from Australia’s fastest growing tourism region. It is expected to deliver A$19 billion in annualised tourism spending by the end of the decade.

The fund is in addition to Tourism Australia’s total annual marketing effort that sees Australia competitively positioned in 18 markets overseas, including the fast growth countries like China, India, Indonesia and South America as well as traditional markets such as the UK, Europe, and the Americas.

The first year’s funding of A$8.5 million will be in addition to A$37.5 million already allocated to Asia within Tourism Australia’s marketing budget for 2012/13.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said the new resources would go towards new or further extended marketing initiatives as well as targeted research.

The first year of the new Fund will focus on four strategic projects:

  • Accelerating Tourism Australia’s existing China 2020 Geographic Strategy to target China’s secondary cities, to include emerging cities of Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing;
  • Strengthening its ongoing efforts to rebuild the Japanese inbound market;
  • Increased aviation cooperative partnerships between Tourism Australia and airlines serving Australia from Asia; and
  • New Tourism Research Australia (TRA) research, designed to help the industry better understand and engage with Asia.

Mr McEvoy said visitor numbers from Asia had tripled since 1990 while spending by Asian visitors in Australia had grown by 64 per cent since 2000, further highlighting the continued importance of Asia as the key driver of Australia’s immediate future international tourism growth.

This new fund provides an unprecedented opportunity to further drive existing and new marketing initiatives in our fastest growing and most valuable inbound visitor markets, McEvoy said.

“Based on Tourism Australia’s long term commitment to Asia and the positive response we’re getting to our marketing activities, this new fund will help bolster the growth and remain competitive with the more than 100 destinations trying to get the same business.”

Tourism Australia will target three new secondary cities in China – Qingdao, Chengdu and Chongqing – in a move which will accelerate its existing geographic strategy of targeting that country’s fast growing secondary cities.

“Working alongside our State and Territory tourism partners, our initial focus will be to establish a solid distribution platform, including educating and training up a qualified base of travel agents, airlines and operators able to confidently sell Australia. Once this is in place, we will roll out our There’s nothing like Australia campaign, which is already performing strongly in other cities in China where we have already established a stronger presence,” Mr McEvoy said.

The new campaign creative launched in Shanghai in June has been viewed online more than 20 million times in Greater China alone.

Part of the Fund will also go towards strengthening Tourism Australia’s ongoing efforts to rebuild the Japanese market, which is showing signs of a return to growth off the back of strong marketing and an improved aviation environment. Plans include developing a There’s nothing like Australia-themed broadcast initiative to engage with Japanese consumers and encourage them to travel to choose a holiday in Australia.

In line with its ongoing commitment to market Australia with ‘one voice’, Tourism Australia will seek to partner with third parties, including State and Territory Governments and private tourism enterprises to maximise the impact of Fund.

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Posted by on 20/08/2012 in Tourism News


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Mongolia looks to tourism to diversify its economy

The President of Mongolia, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, has pinpointed tourism as a means to diversify the Mongolian economy and outlined plans to increase international tourist arrivals to the country . “Not only should we focus on our mining industry, which is booming, we should also diversify our country’s economy through sectors such as tourism,” said President Tsakhia.

Compare Car HireThe President further expressed his intention to boost tourism related infrastructure, raise public awareness of the importance of tourism and build “a dedicated and stronger administration for the sector”.

President Tsakhia made the remarks at a meeting with UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, who applauded the President’s recognition of tourism’s contribution to economic growth, job creation and development.

“Tourism is the oil that never runs out,” said Mr. Rifai. “While other economic sectors generate short and medium-term gains, tourism, when sustainably planned and managed, has proven to stimulate economies over the long-term.”

“By placing sustainable tourism higher in its national agenda, Mongolia looks set to continue benefiting from the income generated by visitors for years to come,” he added.

On the occasion of his visit, Mr. Rifai presented President Tsakhia with an Open Letter from UNWTO and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on the importance of tourism to global growth and development. The Letter calls on Heads of State and Government to prioritize the sector higher in national policies in order to maximize its full potential.

Mr. David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “Mongolia has a rich culture, offering a unique and powerful experience to travellers. Mongolia has truly arisen as a destination and I am delighted that the country’s leadership fully recognises the importance of Travel & Tourism as a vehicle for job creation and sustainable economic growth.  In 2011, the industry directly employed 34,500 jobs (3% of total employment) and sustained, both directly and indirectly, 9% of GDP in Mongolia.  Long term growth forecasts are extremely positive with Travel & Tourism’s contribution to the country’s GDP set to rise by 6% per annum over the next ten years.  With government support this figure could be boosted even further and today’s acceptance of the Open Letter by President Tsakhia sends a strong signal of support to the Travel & Tourism industry, both within Mongolia and internationally.”

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Posted by on 20/08/2012 in Tourism News


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Taking action to help prevent balcony incidents in popular overseas resorts

Compare Car HireThere have been 13 incidents of young people falling from balconies so far this year. Three of these cases resulted in death while others have been seriously injured. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and ABTA – The Travel Association, have joined forces on a campaign to help prevent balcony incidents among young people in popular holiday resorts.

In Majorca and Ibiza, for instance,  two of UK’s top tourist destinations, there have been 9 cases – already matching figures for 2011, despite only being half way through the season. Most incidents involve young people between the ages of 18 and 35 and whilst not always the case, alcohol often plays a part.

Paul Abrey, Consul in the Balearics, said: “We’ve already seen some tragic cases this summer which have had devastating consequences for the individuals and families concerned.  This year there’s been a particular spike early on in the holiday season with figures already matching last year’s. Some people have fallen whilst climbing to a friend’s apartment, others have simply lost their footing after a few too many drinks and a few have deliberately jumped off aiming for the pool below. It should go without saying these practices are extremely dangerous and can cost them their life or leave them permanently disabled. Many young people also arrive without travel insurance. The FCO can’t pay medical bills and holidaymakers may end up paying out thousands for medical bills and flights back to the UK.”

ABTA predicts around 3 million young holidaymakers will head overseas this summer with Spain, Greece and Turkey favourite destinations. Young people travelling out to resorts will be handed leaflets which include the story of Jake Evans, 18, from Liverpool, who narrowly survived a fall from a 7th floor balcony last year after a few too many drinks. Jake also tells his story in a video, which can be viewed on the FCO’s website and on YouTube, in an attempt to get young people to think twice before they engage in risky behaviours. The video accompanies a short radio feature which will go out today across radio stations in the UK and on buses which transfer holiday-makers to resorts. To see Jake’s story go to

Nikki White ABTA Head of Destinations and Sustainability said “Each year too many young people are permanently injured or worse because they’ve tried to climb over or dive off their hotel balcony. ABTA, the Foreign Office and tourist authorities are all working together to help raise awareness of the dangers and prevent these incidents. The after-effects are often made even worse through holidaymakers travelling uninsured and parents having to raise large amounts of money to get their children home. Our advice aims to help holidaymakers to use their balconies safely and prevent more of these tragic and avoidable incidents.”

Travel InsuranceThis summer, the FCO and ABTA are urging young people:
• Understand the risks – climbing over or jumping off balconies can have serious consequences
• Know your limit – alcohol can impair your judgement and hotter climates can often increase the effect of drinking
• Get comprehensive travel insurance – be prepared for if something does go wrong. Figures released in July this year showed that Spain is the country where most Britons require consular assistance, including 1105 hospitalisations.

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Posted by on 18/08/2012 in Travel Advice


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