Norwegian Star made her first call to Tampa

Norwegian Star arrived for the first time in Tampa, her new homeport through April 2012. This is also the first time Norwegian Cruise Line has based a ship in Tampa.  The 2,348-passenger ship is sailing a series of seven-day Western Caribbean cruises through April 8, 2012 with stops in Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; along with two relaxing days at sea.

Source:- travelandtourworld

ITB Asia 2011-Day 2

Why business travel matters more than ever in Asia 

The second day of ITB Asia’s conference panel kicked off with the Business Travel Plenary session. Adam Sacks, Managing Director of Tourism Economics, presented key research findings commissioned by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on the economic impact of business travel (BT) in Asia Pacific.

The research sought answers to two main issues: what role business travel plays in driving corporate performance in the development of the global economy and if this is more or less true in Asia than the rest of the world.

The main conclusions to draw from the study are:
•    BT and economic performance are interlinked
•    Sales, customer retention, partnerships, and innovation all benefit from investments in BT
•    BT is particularly effective at driving international trade, which yields broad economic benefits
•    Among world regions, Asian companies and economies generate the highest ROI per dollar invested in BT
•    Asia is most susceptible to reductions in BT

Source:- travelandtourworld

ENGINEERS’ UNION CONFLICT AFFECTS 60,000 PASSENGERS

Qantas passengers experiences third day of severe disturbances to their holiday and business travel plans with the strike on Friday by licensed engineers’ union to affect over 7,600 passengers from 17 flight cancellations and 32 flight delays.
Few Rugby fans travelling from Sydney to New Zealand for the World Cup semi-final will face delays of more than three hours.

The strike will take place between 4pm-8pm in Sydney. It came after the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) pulled a distrustful stunt on Monday cancelling strike just hours before it was to begin and causing chaos to the travel plans of 11,000 people.

Qantas Group Executive Government and Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth said the strike is due to an ongoing dispute over pay and the union’s attempt to run the airline.

“It is clear by the timing of these strikes that they are trying to cause maximum damage to Qantas and our passengers,” Ms Wirth said.

“We are extremely disappointed with the action being taken by this union. It is the same union that warned customers not to fly with Qantas before Christmas, trying to destroy the business that employs its members.”

Source: Qantas Airlines

ARTSCIENCE MUSEUM AT MARINA BAY SANDS TO HOST THE FIRST CARTIER TIME ART EXHIBITION IN ASIA

The largest public exhibition of the most prestigious historical and contemporary Cartier timepiece designs arrives in Singapore in December

From 14 December 2011 to 12 February 2012, the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands will present “Cartier Time Art”, an exceptional exhibition that will take visitors on a journey to the heart of Cartier watchmaking. The ArtScience Museum is the first venue in Asia to host this exhibition, which is the largest collection of Cartier timepieces ever displayed in public.

Mr Christopher Kilaniotis, Managing Director of Cartier Singapore states, “We are pleased that the first museum in Asia to host the “Cartier Time Art” exhibition is the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. It is an important exhibition, never seen before in Asia or, as a matter of fact, outside Switzerland. We are happy that the exhibition is held in a country famous for being a watch hub and within an iconic and new Singapore landmark.”

Source: Marinabaysands

AIRBUS RELEASES CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES’ FIRST A380

Airbus has delivered the first A380 to China Southern Airlines. During a very special celebration ceremony at the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France, the first out of five aircraft ordered was handed over from Airbus President and CEO, Tom Enders to China Southern Airlines Chairman, Si Xianmin.

China Southern Airlines becomes the first operator of the world’s most eco-efficient aircraft in China and the 7th globally.

At the ceremony, China Southern Airlines unveiled its spacious and comfortable A380 cabin, featuring a total of 506 seats in a typical three class configuration, including eight luxury first-class suites, 70 lie-flat business-class seats and 428 economy-class seats. Passengers’ well–being will be enhanced through innovative mood lighting including several different lighting scenarios to create a relaxing atmosphere and environment.

“We are proud to become the first A380 operator in China,” said Si Xianmin, Chairman of China Southern Airlines. “The introduction of the A380 in our fleet is a very important step for the development of China Southern. This most spacious and modern aircraft enables us, to offer our passengers world-standard comfort on our flights. The economics offered by the A380 will undoubtedly improve our competitiveness on international routes and is the perfect asset to make China Southern Airlines achieve its goal of becoming a leading global carrier.”

Source: Airbus

HILTON WORLDWIDE AND AL HABTOOR GROUP SIGN NEW AGREEMENT FOR THREE HOTELS ACROSS TWO COUNTRIES

Hotel NewsHilton Worldwide has teamed up with the Al Habtoor Group to convert two hotels in Beirut to the Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand and to develop the very first Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts property in Dubai, UAE. The agreement will enable Hilton Worldwide to enter Lebanon by converting the 195-room Habtoor Grand and the 183-room Metropolitan Palace to the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand and Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace. Both hotels, located in the heart of the dynamic city of Beirut, are expected to open in early 2012.

The companies also signed an agreement to develop the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, the first luxury resort by the Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts brand in Dubai. Located on the iconic Palm Jumeirah, with unrivalled views of the coastline and some of the Emirate’s most famous landmarks, the 324-room hotel will feature signature restaurants, a luxury health club, and spa. The resort is due to open at the end of 2013.

“Beirut is one of the liveliest cities in the world and a leading gateway destination between the east and west. We have been looking forward to entering Lebanon and are very pleased that we are able to do so with this calibre of properties,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton Worldwide. Khalaf Al Habtoor, chairman and founder of Al Habtoor Group said: “Hilton Worldwide and Al Habtoor Group are two of Dubai’s biggest corporate names, and our capabilities as hotel developers combine perfectly with Hilton Worldwide’s expertise as hotel operators.”

Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand will boast a number of quality business facilities including a business centre, four large meeting rooms and the largest, modern function and conference room in the city with capacity for 2400 people, a health club, two swimming pools, three restaurants, and two bars. At 3500sqm, the hotel’s spa facility is one of the largest in the region.

Source: Hilton

Rak Airways Celebrates Its First Anniversary with AED1 Special Fare Promotion

RAK Airways is celebrating the first anniversary of its re-launch on 10.10.11 with a special seat sale promotion. A limited number of tickets at just AED1 to all RAK Airways destinations will be on offer on Monday October 10th to mark RAK Airways 1st anniversary on 10.10.11.

RAK Airways CEO, Omar Jahameh said: “Over the last twelve months, RAK Airways has enjoyed considerable success, due to the support of its loyal customers. We very much wanted to share our success with them and our AED1 special fare promotion is our way of saying thank you.”

The promotional fare will be available for booking from midnight on Sunday October 9th to midnight on Monday October 10th and will be valid for travel from October 10th to March 28th 2012.
“Such high demand confirms that we are consistently delivering what our passengers want – small fares and big deals,” added Jahameh. “This is an important milestone in the making of our our history, and a major stepping stone to more exciting developments – including new routes – which we will be announcing very soon.  We are confident our first year anniversary marks the beginning of the airline’s continued, long-term success which will also see us play a pivotal role in the development of Ras Al Khaimah as a major, global tourist destination.”

Source: Rak Airways