Category Archives: Global

Qatar Airways voted ‘Best Long-haul Airline’ and ‘Business Airline of the Year’


Qatar Airways has been named as ‘Best Long-haul Airline’ for the second year running and ‘Business Airline of the Year’ at the high profile UK Business Travel Awards 2014 which were held in London at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

The sold out event with 1,300 industry representatives attended the 19th annual Business Travel Awards, organized by UK publication Buying Business Travel, which celebrate the achievements of the industry’s leading players. The gala evening is widely regarded as one of the highlights of the business travel calendar.   

The Judges commented; “we thought this was an outstanding entry, backed up by glowing testimonials from leading buyers and managers in the corporate sector. A dedicated business terminal at its home airport, cars that ferry first class passengers from aircraft to terminal and an impressive corporate client retention rate all made this the clear winner.”

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World tourism to grow 4-4.5 percent in 2014


Despite global economic challenges, international tourism exceeded expectations with a record 1,087 million footfalls in 2013 and would grow 4-4.5 percent this year, says the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

And it asked governments to set up national strategies supporting the sector that fuels growth and employment around the globe.

Despite global economic challenges, tourist arrivals grew by 5 percent or by 52 million last year, according to the latest UNWTO WorldTourism Barometer.

Demand for international tourism was strongest for destinations in Asia and the Pacific (+6 percent), Africa (+6 percent) and Europe (+5 percent), the report said.

The leading sub-regions were South-East Asia (+10 percent), Central and Eastern Europe (+7 percent), Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+6 percent) and NorthAfrica (+6 percent).

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TUI Travel India has commenced its retail expansion plan in Mumbai, with its first retail store in Bandra. The Mumbai store is TUI India’s sixth retail store in the country, with five stores present in Delhi/NCR region. TUI India plans to expand through retail and franchisee presence across key cities of India.

With this launch TUI India is now looking to accelerate its B2C presence in the country and looking to expand further through retail and franchisee presence across key cities of India in the coming years. Targeted cities will be Ahmedabad, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Visha Sinha, COO, TUI India said, “This one-of-a-kind store captures our commitment to serve our customers in Mumbai who we see as an evolved market by being a one-stop holiday shop.”


Maldives seeks Indian investment in tourism, hospitality sectors

maldives island

Maldives has sought Indian investment in sectors such as tourism, transport, energy and fisheries to enhance bilateral economic cooperation, as per a PTI report. “We are open to corporate India. Indian investments are welcome in Maldives. I assure Indian industry that we will provide a conducive environment for investment,” said Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, President, Maldives while addressing members of three industry chambers – Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in New Delhi yesterday.

He said the strategic location of the island nation in the Indian Ocean makes it an ideal investment destination. “Areas such as fisheries, tourism and hospitality, transport and energy were some of the sectors for investments,” he said, adding that Maldives is more suited as a hub for the services sector.

Speaking on the occasion, EMS Natchiappan, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Maldives pitched for negotiations for a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with Maldives. The agreement would help to protect Indian investments in that country. In 2012, Maldives cancelled its biggest foreign investment project, a USD 511 million deal with India’s GMR Group to develop Male international airport, raising questions about the future of Indian investment in the islands. The case is currently in arbitration.

Ambuj Chaturvedi, Member, FICCI outlined a five-point agenda to enhance economic engagement with the Maldives. He said both countries should sign BIPPA, increase exchanges of business delegations and improve air connectivity.

Subodh Bhargava, past President, CII suggested the two countries should explore new areas of cooperation such as IT, promoting Maldives as a location for Bollywood movies and the creation of warehouses, among others.


Gastronomy holidays in the Indian Ocean 2014

The islands of the Indian Ocean have long had a tradition of delicious food infused with the flavours and heat of local herbs and spices but it took the development of luxury hotels and restaurants in the area to create a gastronomic fusion of traditional and European cuisines.

It is this development which has made discovering the local flavours of countries like Mauritius, Madagascar, Maldives and the Seychelles, a fine-dining treat for the foodie traveller.

At Constance, our classically trained, world-class chefs are at the very centre of this passion for culinary adventure taking the traditional spices and flavours of the islands and merging them with European traditions of haute cuisine.

So at Constance Moofushi in the Maldives our chefs took the traditional Maldivian fisherman’s dish of tuna curryand gave it a Constance twist . Our passion for creating the very best dishes begins with the sourcing of fresh ingredients and, where possible, this means sourcing things locally from the vibrant markets or direct from local fishermen.

At Constance Halaveli’s   fine-dining Jing restaurant East meets West in sumptuous style as chefs create fusion dishes such as Red Thai Curry Cappuccino, coffee and anise spiced duck and the delicious desert of mango sticky rice. Experience local food, prepared in a traditional way by our world-class chefs and you’ll discover the very best of local island cuisine. Our head chef describes the preparation of the national dish  as being like a ritual which no one is allowed to disturb and he is proud to share it with guests of all nationalities.


AirAsia named “Best Managed Airline in Asia”

AirAsia Berhad, parent company of AirAsia Philippines, has been named the “Best Managed Company in Asia for the Airlines and Aviation sector” for the second consecutive year.

“It is great to be voted best managed company as it typifies our strength in ensuring cost is lowered, and at the same time, finding innovative ways to increase revenues,” said Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s Group CEO. “Our focus is really to ensure that analyst and investors fully understand the strength of the company in overcoming challenges by being innovative and cost disciplined in our business.”

The award is part of Euromoney’s annual “Best Managed and Governed Companies – Asia Poll.” AirAsia won the same award in 2013 for the airline’s focus on integration and expansion as well as excellent corporate foresight of the aviation industry. The poll is based on the results of surveys submitted to 93 of the leading equity analysts at the largest investment banks and research houses in the Asia Pacific region covering nominations of 214 different companies. Companies are ranked by analysts on a number of factors such as accounting transparency, corporate governance procedures, and management accessibility.

Hotel openings 2014

Hotel construction boom continues – 1,300 hotel openings in 2013 and the worldwide hotel construction boom will continue in 2014.  According to TOPHOTELPROJECTS the worldwide leading provider of global b2b hotel data, more than 1,900 first class and luxury hotels with about 480,000 rooms will open their doors in 2014. One of the most sensational openings will take place in Jerusalem in August – the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (right) – 226 rooms and suites - will be inaugurated.

The most and largest hotel openings in 2014 will take place in Asia – which illustrates the hotel investors’ focus. A part of the “Sanya Beauty Crown 7 Hotel” operated by among other Marriott will open in Sanya/China. In Europe more than 590 top hotels will be inaugurated in 2014, thereof the new 25hours hotel in Berlin. The design hotel with 149 rooms and suites in the prime location near the Zoo station will open late January. At the Baltic Sea in Scharbeutz (near Luebeck) the Bayside Hotel & Spa will open its doors in April, the resort offers 132 rooms.
Hotel openings 2014 (by continent)

  • Asia: 869 new hotels
  • Africa; 93 new hotels
  • Europe: 583 new hotels
  • North America: 307 new hotels
  • Central and South America: 81 new hotels

Top 10 Hotel Openings 2013 (new buildings/ by number of rooms)

  • Arkhyz Ski Resort, Northern Caucasus /Russia – 11,880 rooms
  • Angsana Lang Co, Lang Co/Vietnam – 2,000 rooms
  • Doubletree by Hilton Tropicana, Las Vegas/USA – 1,600 rooms
  • MGM Grand Ho Tram, Vietnam – 1,100 rooms
  • Lagoon Hotel & Resort, Amman/Jordan – 1,000 rooms
  • Radisson Blu, Sharm El Sheikh/Egypt – 913 rooms
  • Crystal Waterworld Resort & Spa, Belek/Turkey – 840 rooms
  • Elaf Bakkah Hotel, Mecca/Saudi Arabia – 810 rooms
  • The Omni Hotel, Nashville/USA – 800 rooms
  • Breathless Resort & Spa, Punta Cana/Dominikanische Republik – 750 Zimmer

Starwood Hotels global growth report

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced it opened 74 new hotels in 2013, representing approximately 16,200 rooms in 22 countries, strengthening its global lead and expanding its footprint particularly in developing markets. The company signed 152 new hotel agreements in 2013, marking the fourth consecutive year of increased signings and the highest number of new hotel deals signed since 2007. Starwood expects another strong year of global growth in 2014, with hotel openings and deal signings across all nine brands in more countries than ever before through organic growth.

“There is a global travel revolution underway, and the secular trends of rising wealth, rapid urbanization and increasing digital interconnectivity make us as confident as ever about demand for high-end travel,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “As the largest high-end hotel company in the world, with a penchant for innovation, an unmatched portfolio of design-led brands, global properties, and a valuable pipeline, Starwood is well positioned to benefit disproportionately from these seemingly unstoppable growth trends.”

Starwood signed more new hotel deals in 2013 since before the global economic crisis

In 2013, Starwood signed a total of 152 new hotel management and franchise agreements, which represents an increase of 16 percent over 2012 signings levels. The company also signed 75 contract renewals, up nearly 34 percent from the previous year.

“Consistent, sustainable high-quality portfolio growth in both mature and emerging markets led to another strong year of openings, incremental hotel agreements and the highest number of contract renewals in our company’s history,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood has the largest high-end hotel portfolio of any of its competitors outside the United States, with nearly twice as many rooms as Marriott or Hilton, and nearly four times as many rooms as Hyatt in emerging markets. In line with macroeconomic trends, nearly 75 percent of the company’s development pipeline and 60% of the 2013 signings were in fast-growing markets, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Colombia and Saudi Arabia.

Approximately 40% of Starwood’s 2013 signings were in developed markets, with 13 conversions that signed and opened within the year. Conversions will continue to fuel growth in North America with increased momentum in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Europe.


Commercial aviation entered its second century

Commercial aviation has entered its second century, New Year’s Day having marked the 100th anniversary of the first flight with a fare-paying passenger. To celebrate, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has established 2014 as a year to reflect on the “contribution of aviation to modern life.” St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line flew the 23-minute first service across Florida’s Tampa Bay, using a Benoist Model XIV airboat with St. Petersburg mayor Abram Pheil in the only passenger seat. To mark the centennial, a Hoffman X-4 Mullet Skiff airboat retraced the route on January 1.

It marked the birth of an industry that now flies more than 8 million people a day. IATA expects 3.1 billion passengers–equivalent to 44 percent of the global population–to fly this year. Meanwhile, airlines and freight haulers carry approximately 50 million metric tons of air cargo worth $6.4 trillion each year. IATA predicts the global airline industry will register a profit of $743 billion, support 57 million jobs and generate $2.2 trillion in economic activity on more than 50 million miles of air routes connecting some 40,000 cities.

IATA’s centennial websitehas established an historical and economic reference hub depicting the personal, economic and other values provided by commercial aviation.IATA co-sponsors Flight2014, the First Airline Centennial celebrations in Florida.

Tourism Report Russia 2014

BMI’s Russia tourism report examines a range of key market indicators, including expected growth in inbound and outbound travel, tourism-related expenditure and growth in the hotel and accommodation market. With several high-profile sporting events coming up, and infrastructure investment coming in, the future is looking very positive for tourism in the burgeoning Russian market.

Inbound tourism to Russia has been increasing steadily since 2010 and we expect the number of annual arrivals to continue to increase throughout our forecast period to 2017.  Throughout this period we will the Asia Pacific region an increasingly important source market for tourism in Russia.

Outbound travel from Russia, thanks to its gradually improving domestic economy, is also expected to show strong growth, at a rate of around 9% per year. By 2017, therefore, we expect the number of departures to reach more than 54mn – an enormous potential market.

Tourism infrastructure outside Russia’s main tourist destinations of Moscow and St Petersburg is in need of extensive expansion and modernisation with the accommodation sector in particular in need of development in order to bring it up to Western standards. Progress is being aided by preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 World Cup, which are boosting investment in Russia’s transport infrastructure and investment of RUB13.5trn in transport infrastructure by 2015 will go a long way towards improving the industry’s current limitations.

Russia is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination; however, this is reliant on the government maintaining safety and security for both residents and visitors, with ongoing security concerns likely to impact on industry growth. Russia will be in the international spotlight during the Winter Olympics and World Cup, and it is essential the country maintains a safe travel environment.