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Emirates adds two weekly flights to Seychelles


In a move to support the tourism sector of the Seychelles, Emirates, one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world, will introduce two additional flights to the archipelago in December and February, thus increasing the service to thirteen weekly flights.

The airline, known to have contributed to the development of new tourism markets for the Seychelles, will enhance its promotional efforts across its network to sustain the awareness around the idyllic destination.

“As a partner of the Seychelles, we actively support the tourism industry of the archipelago. The increase in frequencies will provide even more travel options and flexibility to visitors from across our network,” said Ahmed Hashim Khoory, Emirates’ Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, West Asia and Indian Ocean.

“Working with the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and the Seychelles Tourism Board has been very fruitful. We thank the government of the Republic of Seychelles for their trust in Emirates,” he added.

On his part, Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, said: “We welcome the confirmation by Emirates for its 13th weekly flight linking Seychelles to the world. This is an added boost for our tourism industry, because it helps to reconfirm that we are, more than ever before, but one stop from anywhere in the world traveling in First Class, in Business Class, or in Economy from start to finish. The continued support by Emirates to our tourism marketing drive, we hope, will be reinforced with these extra flights for the benefit of Seychelles and the airline itself.”

The 12th flight starts on December 3. EK707 will depart Dubai at 0845 hours, arriving in Seychelles at 1325 hours. The return journey from Seychelles, EK708, will depart at 2350 hours, arriving in Dubai at 0420 hours, the following day. The 13th flight will be operational from February 5, 2013.

From the start of its operations to Seychelles in January 2005, Emirates has promoted the island destination throughout its network. Every year, Emirates Holidays’ brochure – A World of Choice – dedicates a prominent part to the destination.

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World Travel Awards winners revealed in Turks & Caicos


Leading travel brands from across the region have shared top honours at the World Travel Awards (WTA) Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony 2012 hosted at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa this evening.

A packed delegation of VIPs, senior tourism figures and international media travelled from more than 30 nations to attend the event, which was supported by Turks & Caicos Tourist Board and Scotiabank.

It was an evening of travel triumph for nations across the region.

St Lucia won the coveted title of “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination”, Coco Reef Resort (Tobago) picked up “Caribbean’s Leading Hotel”, while Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island (British Virgin Islands) was voted “Caribbean Leading Private Island”.

Buccament Bay Spa & Resort (St Vincent) nudged ahead of The Hotel Chocolat (St Lucia), Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro (Dominican Republic), The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort (Tobago) and Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort (Dominican Republic) to win “Caribbean’s Leading New Hotel”.

Jamaica’s continuing rise up the global tourism order was acknowledged after it was named “Caribbean’s Leading Destination”.

In North America, Las Vegas saw off competition from New York, Miami, San Francisco, Montreal and Vancouver to win the coveted title of “North America’s Leading Destination”.

New York won the “North America’s Leading City Break Destination” title, while American Airlines was voted “North America’s Leading Airline”.

Meanwhile, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) was voted “South America’s Leading Destination”, beating off stiff competition from the likes of Easter Island (Chile), Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) and Machu Picchu (Peru).

The WTA awards programme, hailed as the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ by the global media, highlights and rewards those travel brands that have made the greatest contribution to the industry over the past year.

WTA president Graham Cooke underlined the depth and quality of the travel and tourism sector across the region.

He said: “Our winners are also drawn from the breadth of the Caribbean & The Americans and , reflecting the strength and depth of the region’s travel and tourism sector.

“I am sure these organisations will fare strongly in our Grand Final, which takes place in New Delhi, India on December 12th 2012.

“The ceremony has also served as a glittering spotlight for Turks & Caicos – a paradise nation that has welcomed a record number of tourist visitors over the past year.

“This is testament to its overwhelming natural attractions, its luxury hospitality facilities and its rich local heritage.”

Rising Caribbean star and the reigning Miss Bahamas, Anastagia Pierre hosted the show with American actor and comedian Walt Willey.

Some of the Caribbean’s finest vocalists, including Shawn Campbell and Elroy Simmons, performed to the packed audience.

Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International, added: “We are honoured to receive the highest number of awards in Sandals Resorts’ history.

“We always strive for excellence, and continue to invest in our product so that each year we can be proud to say we are the Caribbean’s Leading Hotel Brand.”

Other WTA Grand Tour 2012 regional heats include Dubai (UAE), Algarve (Portugal), and Singapore.

The winners of these legs will go head-to-head in WTA’s Grand Final, which takes place at The Oberoi, Gurgaon on December 12th 2012.

Ralph Higgs, director of tourism, Turks & Caicos Tourist Board, concluded: “The Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board congratulates the winners and the nominees for this year’s World Travel Awards.

“With another 30 nations represented at these awards, we hope that each of you will take a piece of our islands home with you, etched in your memory forever.

“Congratulations again and we do hope to see you here in the future as we celebrate and acknowledge the brightest and best in the global hospitality industry.”

World Travel Awards

WTA was launched in 1993 to acknowledge and recognise excellence in the global travel and tourism industry.

Now celebrating its 19th anniversary, it is regarded as the very highest achievement that a travel product could hope to receive.

WTA’s global media partner network includes International Herald Tribune, CNBC Arabiya, Newsweek, ASTA Network, National Geographic Traveller, Access New York, Travel & Leisure China, Khaleej Times, Trade Arabia, TTN, Trav Talk India, Publituris, ABTA Magazine, Outlook Traveller, Breaking Travel News, eTurboNews and Travel Daily News International.

 

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Plans for a Thomas Cook and easyJet tie up


Thomas Cook is on the verge of signing a deal to book thousands of seats on low-cost airline easyJet. The tour operator said the move was imminent and will cover about 80,000 trips, representing 3% of Thomas Cook’s capacity.

easyJet confirmed it had entered into an agreement with Thomas Cook to provide a ‘limited’ number of seats for its summer 2013 packages.

A spokesman said: “This is a normal commercial business arrangement for easyJet and is similar to other contracts the airline has entered into in the past.

“As with any commercial contracts of this nature we will not comment on the detail.”

Rob Thompson, director of aviation and capacity planning for Thomas Cook UK & Ireland said: “This is great news for our customers; by bringing together the overseas expertise of Thomas Cook, with easyJet’s flexibility as a truly scheduled airline, we’re taking the modern package holiday to a new level.

“Together, we’re offering a range of flight options to 21 destinations from nine regional UK airports, throughout the summer season in 2013. Many of our holidaymakers will now be able to choose from even more flight options, combining Thomas Cook, the best known name in travel and Easyjet, an excellent European airline, safe in the knowledge that their holiday is fully protected.”

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Dominica Tourism Campaign for World Creole Music Festival and Carnival


The campaign is geared towards encouraging the Dominican community abroad to “bring a friend” when they travel to Dominica for the World Creole Music Festival and Carnival. The DDA has partnered with hotels, restaurants, car rentals, tour operators and other companies to provide discounts on their services for 2 weeks during the festive season.

The campaign seeks to urge the diaspora community in the Caribbean region, the USA, Canada, UK and other parts of the world to “Bring a Friend” when they travel to Dominica and in return receive a coupon book for discounts at participating service providers. The coupon book is an incentive to allow returning Dominicans and their visiting friends to spend and contribute to the local economy.

“It is believed that Dominicans living abroad travel to the island largely during the festivals and thus this is the perfect opportunity for them to explore the island and experience some of the cuisine, tours, and activities that the island has to offer. Dominica is not just about partying during the WCMF and Carnival but about experiencing the island” added Mr. Colin Piper, Director of Tourism. “Many returning Dominicans attend the festivities and do not explore the island and its activities but with discounts in hand and a friend to show around, we hope that this will drive them to do the activities knowing that they can save.”

The Discover Dominica Authority continues to work with the local service providers and in particular would like to thank the Fort Young Hotel, Anchorage group of companies – Dominica Tours, Helen Shenandoah, The Glam, Old Stone Grill & Bar, Pearl’s Cuisine, Cobra Tours, Castle Comfort Lodge, Rainforest Riding, KHATTS, Irie Safari, Sunset Bay Club, Island Car Rental and Tao Restaurant for supporting us in this campaign and we hope that the persons visiting the island will benefit from their discounts and activities offered.

For the World Creole Music Festival 2012, the campaign will be valid from October 12 – November 4, 2012. Persons planning to visit the island during this time are asked to register on-line on http://www.DiscoverDominica.com to reserve their coupon books as they are available while supplies last. When you arrive at the port of entry, visit our Tourism Information office/desk and fill out your form to stamp your arrival and collect your coupon books at our office at the Financial Centre. Compare Car HireThe DDA would like to reach out to the diaspora communities and ask that they continue to be ambassadors to the Nature Island by inviting their friends and colleagues to the island to experience the excitement that the island has to offer.

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Posted by on 08/09/2012 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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Average Briton spends 24 hours researching their holiday prior to booking


A study by one of the UK’s leading online independent travel agencies has revealed that the average Briton spends more than 24 hours looking for and researching holidays on the internet before they actually book anything; regardless of whether they book online or in a travel agency in the end.

It would appear that Britons put a lot of thought and research into their annual summer holiday, as research by a leading online independent travel agency has revealed that the average UK holidaymaker spends 24 entire hours trawling the internet to research and look for holidays in the run up to booking.

A poll from online travel agency http://www.sunshine.co.uk formed part of ongoing research into the holiday habits and preferences of people around the UK; with this study having a specific focus on the research process before a holiday is booked. 1,049 UK adults took part in the poll and all of them had been abroad in the past year.

When asked to estimate how much time they spent per week researching holiday destinations and hotels online before they finally got around to booking their last holiday, the average answer was ‘4.5 hours’ per week.

They were then asked how many weeks it had taken them to decide on and book a holiday destination and accommodation for their stay, to which the average answer was ‘6 weeks’. When taking into account that the average respondent researched holiday destinations and hotels for 4.5 hours per week for 6 weeks before making a final decision; that equates to 27 entire hours sat in front of a computer screen searching for somewhere to go on holiday.

When asked what their most important requirements were for accommodation when carrying out their research, the top 5 answers were as follows:

·      Air conditioning – 77%
·      Sea View – 64%
·      Pool – 61%
·      Good food – 58%
·      Child-friendly – 53%

Chris Clarkson, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, said the following:

“Of course it’s important to make sure you’ve booked a holiday that’s right for you and that you know you’d enjoy, but you shouldn’t over-think things when searching for your next destination or hotel to visit. You can end up overcomplicating things by being too picky and then you just end up going round in circles.Compare Car Hire

“If you aren’t just returning to a destination that you know and love and are searching for somewhere new, ask family and friends for their recommendations and use that as inspiration. The most important thing is that you are getting the best deal, so it’s important to shop around or look for agents with a low price guarantee.”

Fortunately, when it comes to booking a rental car, there is no need to spend 24 hours trying to find the best deals. The Car Rental Search and Booking Engine employed by Car Hire Assistant includes 550 suppliers, in 175 countries with 30,000 locations. And, these can be searched in less than a minute. The best deals are summarised and booking is a simple 3 step process.

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Seychelles leads the way in eco-tourism and conservation.


Eco is the buzz word in world tourism travels, and expectations are intensifying on destinations expected to be considered serious in that area. The Seychelles leads the pack in many areas in the field of eco-tourism and conservation.

Mr. James Michel, the President of the Seychelles Republic, has been one of the strong advocates for protection of the environment, and he has been personally involved in having over 50% of the total land area of Seychelles declared as protected reserves. This is no easy feat for a small island nation, but the island’s President has said that his government will be seen as good custodians for the natural wonders the mid-ocean islands of the Seychelles has been blessed with.

President Michel has recently named Prof. Rolph Payet as the island’s Minister responsible for the Environment. The enthusiasm of this new Minister as an environmentalist will help ensure that the Seychelles remains the jewel it is today. Prof. Payet is an expert in climate change and the problems of small islands states and sea level rise. He is a frequent speaker at international forums and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for some of his works.

The Seychelles conservation approach was highlighted by their Tourism Minister in discussions with the press in Brazil. He went as far as to explain the importance being placed on not only protecting the environment, but also on the new regulations being implemented to right areas where the islands had moved in the field of development. The island of La Digue in the Seychelles group was cited as an example by Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture.

“The Seychelles government wants the islands to not only retain the spectacular natural beauty it has, but wants to also regain grounds of areas we allowed development to gain an upper hand,” the Seychelles Minister said.

Minister Alain St.Ange explained that one area that is now the focus of attention on La Digue is transport, and this includes cars and pickup trucks. He said that President James Michel of Seychelles is personally monitoring progress in this area, as the island would lose its charm if the number of petrol vehicles on the island were not tackled to make way for eco-friendly, battery-operated vehicles. The Seychelles government has already made necessary arrangements through Minister Pierre Laporte, the island’s Minister responsible for Finance, to encourage the La Digue island inhabitants to move to eco-friendly vehicles by removing all duty on such imports.

“The Minister responsible for Transport, Minister Joel Morgan is working on the details and time tables for this move, and it is believed that this move is set to make La Digue island even more eco-friendly than it is today,” the island’s Tourism Minister said when answering questions from the press.Compare Car Hire

Seychelles believes that such moves as will be taking place with petrol vehicles on La Digue will enhance the island’s tourism industry and safeguard the investments in tourism made by La Digue islanders themselves.

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Posted by on 28/08/2012 in Tourism News

 

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