Agents can now book ACVs Go Canada and Europe with Softvoyage

first_img Posted by Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Softvoyage Share Travelweek Group Agents can now book ACV’s Go Canada and Europe with Softvoyagecenter_img MONTREAL — In response to agent feedback, Air Canada Vacations has announced that Europe and Go Canada multi-city tours are now bookable online through all external systems with Softvoyage.The move represents phase 2 of a recent initiative that saw the company’s Urban Getaways and Golf Vacations launch through all external distribution channels, including Sirev, Galileo Vacations, Amadeus Tours and Sabre Vacations.Agents simply log into Sirev and select the ‘Tours’ options from the menu. After adding a departure city, a destination and a departure date, they will gain access to a wide array of multi-city tours in Europe and Canada.To book go to complement the move, ACV is currently offering several promotions, including one for Europe. When clients book an pre-bundled air-inclusive package to Europe by June 30, they’ll save $300 per couple or $150 per adult. Travel must be completed by Dec. 31, 2018. Moreover, with this promotion, clients can earn 2,500 bonus Aeroplan Miles and get ACV’s free CareFree Plan, a value of $59 that includes seat selection, year-round Price Drop guarantee and a $50 waiver on administration change fees.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckAnother promotion for Canada runs until July 16, in partnership with Groupe Germain Hotels. ACV is offering new Urban-Chic Getaways in Canada that include a third night free and 3,000 Bonus Aeroplan per couple. This offer is applicable on select Urban Getaways packages in Canada for travel completed by Dec. 31, 2018. Offer also applies to kids. Friday, June 22, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Prosecutors Office raids 36 companies as part of border road investigation

first_imgNo related posts. Officials from the Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday raided 36 companies linked to contracts with the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) as part of an investigation into irregularities and alleged bribes during the construction of Route 1856, a border road between Costa Rica and Nicaragua.A total 150 Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) and 30 judges performed the raids, intending to seize documents related to payments made for the construction of the 160-kilometer road. No arrests were made, authorities from OIJ said.President Laura Chinchilla said in a press release that “they are very pleased with the work being done by the Prosecutor’s Office to clarify the facts and [find those responsible, who] betrayed our country in a case that has been so painful for our nation.” She also stated that “absolutely all those responsible must pay for their actions”.Two weeks ago, officials from the Prosecutor’s Office also raided the main offices of CONAVI, the National Emergency Commission and the residence of former CONAVI director, Carlos Acosta. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Ricas past and future clash over energy

first_imgFrom the print editionAccording to many energy experts, Costa Rica can achieve a power generating capacity based completely on clean and renewable sources of energy by taking a simple step: promote more private investment in the generation private of renewable energy. Both the generating potential – through water, wind, geothermal energy and sun – as well as the financial resources and interest, they say, are present. However, built into the laws that govern the generation of electricity are limits on the amount of electricity that can be produced by private sources, and the public Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) exercises near total control over power generation. While changing the law to increase the share of privately generated electricity seems like a simple solution, ICE is a powerful symbol in Costa Rican society, representing to many the government’s longstanding commitment to equitable economic development. For example, ICE built the hydroelectric dams and transmission networks that brought electricity to the entire countryside long before neighboring countries had even guaranteed electricity in their cities. Today, over 98 percent of Costa Rican homes have access to electricity, thanks largely to ICE. ICE also provides secure employment and a middle-class lifestyle to its thousands of employees. Many Costa Ricans see ICE, along with other state institutions such as the Social Security System (the Caja) and public schools and universities, as part of a system of state solidarity with citizens that is the basis for what has made Costa Rica different, and in their eyes, better. In addition, ICE, which also held a monopoly on telecommunications until the approval of the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. (CAFTA), is losing money in the face of competition from private cellphone companies. ICE’s defenders – foremost among these its unions – see a greater opening to private generation of electricity as a similar threat, one they fear could lead to the institution’s demise. They point also to the recent troubles and threatened insolvency of the Caja as another sign of the need to circle the wagons and protect state institutions.On the other hand, ever since Costa Rica’s economy almost collapsed in 1981 – a crisis caused in large part by government debt – the country has been moving steadily away from the state-led development model of ICE’s heyday, which has proven difficult to sustain over time. Over the last decades, Costa Rica’s economic development increasingly has been based on foreign investment and greater participation in a globalized economy, and private investment has replaced the state as the driving force behind economic growth. While this model has significant opposition in Costa Rica – which was behind the near defeat of CAFTA – it’s also doubtful that Costa Rica can afford to turn back the clock. In the same way, the country sooner or later will be forced to open to much greater private participation in the generation of electricity in order to meet demand, simply because it probably cannot afford not to. That doing so should also lead to a power generation system that relies completely on clean and renewable sources of energy makes this move much more attractive and difficult to oppose.Nevertheless, inviting greater private participation does not necessarily mean abandoning control. Both ICE and private energy investors and developers should search for ways to work together to ensure that sufficient incentives for private investment exist, while at the same time maintaining safeguards for the public interest. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Dollar drops after downbeat US manufacturing data

first_imgNo related posts. NEW YORK – The dollar fell against other major currencies Monday after a U.S. manufacturing report for March came in weaker than expected, raising concerns about slowing growth in the sector.The dollar’s weakness came in a quiet market following the Easter holiday weekend while European markets were closed.The euro bought $1.2847 around 2100 GMT, up from $1.2818 at the same time late Friday.The dollar fell against the Japanese currency, to 93.27 yen from 94.20 yen late Friday, while the euro dropped to 119.82 yen from 120.68 yen.The Institute for Supply Management said its U.S. manufacturing index fell to 51.3 in March from 54.2 in February, reflecting growth for the fourth straight month but at a slower pace.“The dollar weakened against all of the major currencies after the ISM index dropped,” said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.“The deterioration was more significant than anticipated and raises concerns about the pace of recovery in the manufacturing sector.”Lien said that all eyes would be on the European Central Bank’s monetary policy meeting this week.“The ECB is widely expected to keep monetary policy unchanged but with German data weakening and Cyprus requiring a bailout, the ECB could be warming to the idea of additional stimulus,” she said.David Song of DailyFX highlighted the possibility of an interest rate cut.“As the fundamental outlook for the region turns increasingly bleak, the ECB remains poised to strike a dovish tone for monetary policy, and we may see a growing number of central bank officials show a greater willingness to push the benchmark interest rate to a fresh record-low as the recession threatens price stability,” Song said.The dollar dropped against the Swiss currency, to 0.9466 francs from 0.9488 francs late Friday, and weakened against the British pound, which fetched $1.5232 compared with $1.5191. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Costa Rican judge arrested for allegedly plotting hit on colleague

first_imgPolice in Costa Rica on Wednesday arrested a judge for allegedly plotting the murder of a fellow judge with whom he had a work-related conflict, and who was unharmed in a shooting attack.Francisco Segura, chief of the Judicial Investigation Police, told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday that the alleged mastermind behind the attempted hit was detained for targeting judge Jorge Paisano Saborío, chief at the Judicial courts in Pococí, in the Caribbean province of Limón.Paisano managed to escape unharmed on Dec. 14 when gunmen opened fire on him as he was driving to his office.Prosecutor Juan Pablo González said Paisano had asked for the suspect to be fired for failure to perform his job properly and for constantly arriving late to work.Three other men, aged 19, 20 and 24, were detained as alleged hit men. Important evidence including several documents and some 20 weapons were seized in the investigation, authorities said.Two other persons also were taken into custody as alleged witnesses for the prosecution.González said they will charge defendants with attempted homicide, which in Costa Rica carries a sentence of up to 35 years in prison. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Costa Rican boxer Tiquito Vásquez shoots for world title in Brooklyn

first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rica’s world boxing champions win fights on the same night TV exec made Mayweather-Pacquiao bout possible Dominican Javier Fortuna knocks Tiquito Vásquez’s hopes for world title Boxing: Nicaragua’s ‘Chocolatito’ González, from garbage collector to flyweight champ Facebook Comments Costa Rica’s former world champion boxer, Bryan “Tiquito” Vásquez, is set to face Dominican Javier “Abejón” Fortuna on Friday for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) junior lightweight title.The 12-round fight is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET (7 p.m. Costa Rica time) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, and will lead into the night’s main contest between former world champions Amir Khan and Chris Algieri.Despite beating Mexican Sergio “Yeyo” Thompson in December, Tiquito lost his interim junior lightweight belt because he missed the weight of 130 pounds.Vásquez enters the fight with a 34-1 record and 18 knockouts. He won his last five fights, and at the age of 27, he is ranked as WBA’s No. 2. His only loss came against Takashi Uchiyama back in 2012.Fortuna, ranked third in the WBA, is currenlty undefeated in 27 professional fights with 20 wins by knockout, the last in December when he beat Puerto Rican Abner Cotto in just five rounds.On Tuesday evening the boxers faced off near Brooklyn Bridge Park, where they participated in a promotional photo shoot.At a press conference on Wednesday, Fortuna said he is extremely confident and predicted a knockout. But Tiquito said he also is confident that he will return to Costa Rica as a world champion.last_img read more

Cold front brings heavy rains winds through Costa Rica

first_imgImagen 1.45 pm. Nubosidad en la Zona Norte y Caribe generando lluvias— IMN, Costa Rica (@IMNCR) January 9, 2017 Facebook Comments Costa Rica’s bad weather blues just won’t quit. Still reeling from a deadly hurricane and seeing an uptick in ashfall from Turrialba Volcano, the country is now being threatened by a large cold front that’s brought heavy rains and winds with it.The front that is entering on the Caribbean side has already led to some flooding and trees falling throughout Costa Rica. According to the National Emergency Commission (CNE), there have been 18 cases of houses damaged by fallen trees and heavy winds. Nine more incidents of flooding have also been reported to the CNE across the country.Route 32, which connects San José to the Caribbean coast, has been closed since early Monday morning after fallen trees and other debris blocked off different sections of the road. It is expected to be open again by Tuesday morning, although no official announcement has yet been made. The National Meteorological Institute (IMN) has reported heavy winds in the Central Valley, noting that strong winds reaching up to 110 kilometers per hour (60 mph) are expected to continue Tuesday throughout parts of the country, especially mountainous areas and volcanic zones.Turrialba, home of the eponymous volcano that has seen increased activity lately, will continue receiving heavy rainfall, along with the Central Caribbean and Northern Zone. Already, more than 180 millimeters, or half a foot, of rainfall has accumulated in Turrialba over a span of 24 hours, the IMN report said.IMN officials have recommended that people take special precautions if they are living in or traveling through the following areas: Sarapiquí, El Ángel, Río Frío, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Guápiles, Guácimo, Siquirres, and Matina.Follow the progress of the cold front over Costa Rica below in WindyTV’s interactive graphic: Related posts:Water rationing in Central Valley to continue for two more weeks Costa Rica reports first baby born with Zika-linked microcephaly Strong earthquake off El Salvador felt in Costa Rica U.S. family works to set up Costa Rican halfway house in wake of son’s deathlast_img read more

Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court gives tax reform bill the goahead

first_imgThe Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court declared on Friday that Costa Rica’s tax reform bill is constitutional. The bill will now go back to congress, where enough legislators have announced their support for the bill for it to pass.The court ruled on three issues put forward by legislators who claimed the bill violated the constitution. One of the main issues put forward was that the bill affected the judiciary’s independence. Costa Rica’s Plenary Court made that ruling in mid-October. This caused doubt about the bill’s chances of passing, since the ruling meant it would need a supermajority of 38 votes to pass a second congressional debate.This uncertainty surrounding the proposed bill caused Costa Rica’s credit rating to drop and the currency passed 600 colones per U.S. dollar for the first time in history in early November.Friday’s ruling means that the bill now needs a simple majority to pass. Enough legislators from multiple parties have already declared they will vote to approve the bill.To find out more about what’s in the tax reform bill, check out our episode of The Tico Times Dispatch on the topic: The bill is meant to address Costa Rica’s growing public deficit. The country finished 2017 with a deficit of 6.2 percent of GDP in 2017 and is expected to grow to 7.2 percent at the end of this year. The Central Bank of Costa Rica warned that if the deficit isn’t contained and some type of tax reform isn’t passed, the country would face an economic downturn.The bill also sparked a nationwide strike that started on Sept. 10. The strike was organized by public-sector unions and caused major disruptions throughout the country. There were sparks of violence between protesters and police, and President Carlos Alvarado was violently confronted by protesters.Albino Vargas, secretary general of the Union of Public and Private employees and one of the main architects of the strike, announced on Twitter that he was still planning to oppose the bill: Parece que, próximamente, tendremos que apelar, fuertemente, a la DEMOCRACIA DE LAS CALLES, con mayor intensidad y profundidad.— Albino Vargas (@AlbinoVargasB) November 23, 2018The bill will now return to congress for a second debate. If it passes, it will go to President Alvarado’s desk for final approval, marking his first major legislative victory since he took office in May.Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years. Support the Tico Times Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Supreme Court bans use of national symbols in liquor ads Costa Rica’s Supreme Court orders release of Nicaraguan unjustly imprisoned for 17 months Refusing to hire obese man is not discrimination, Costa Rican court finds Costa Rican government seeks agreement with unions to end strikelast_img read more

Costa Rica to host PreCOP 25 in October

first_imgThe Costa Rican government hopes to continue to establish itself as a global climate leader when the country hosts PreCOP25, an international meeting preceding the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25), in October.PreCOP25 will be held Oct. 8-10 at the National Convention Center. COP25 will be held in December in Chile.The meetings will “promote the work that Chile and Costa Rica have done for decarbonization, and to consolidate Latin American leadership in the global agenda of Climate Change,” according to Casa Presidencial.“Costa Rica is convinced that the PreCOP should be part of the global climate milestones of 2019 to assist in the achievement of positive results at COP25 and, above all, to increase the ambition of climate action, allowing us to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement agreed in 2015 and respond to the greatest challenge facing humanity,” President Carlos Alvarado said in a statement.The Costa Rican government is urging COP25 participants to “strengthen actions and solutions,” particularly relating to ongoing discussions about carbon market mechanisms.“Costa Rica’s intention with the PreCOP is to concentrate on promoting conversations on climate actions and not only on political negotiations, as is traditionally the case in the PreCOPs,” said Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Minister of the Environment and Energy. “The idea is to innovate and have a non-conventional PreCOP.”Costa Rica and Chile became PreCOP and COP25 hosts, respectively, after Brazil withdrew from the role in November 2018. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica votes to ratify Paris agreement on climate change Germany grants Costa Rica €15 million to mitigate climate change impact Bamboo biker seeks to raise environmental awareness on trip through South America Costa Rican researchers develop new climate change-resistant beanslast_img read more

Libyan alQaida suspects convicted in Tunisia

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Sponsored Stories The Libyans are suspected members of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, an Algeria-based offshoot known as AQIM.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – A Tunisian military tribunal has convicted two Libyans accused of belonging to al-Qaida’s north African division of being accomplices in the murder of two Tunisian soldiers in May 2011, and sentenced them to 20 years in prison.Imed Ben Meftah Youssef and Hafedh Ben Meftah Dh’baa also were convicted on Sunday of possession of illegal weapons and ammunition, explosives and other charges. Comments   Share   Quick workouts for men Top Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

Palestinian shot after opening fire at Israeli army

first_imgJERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli army says it has shot a Palestinian after he opened fire at Israeli soldiers at a military checkpoint in the West Bank.According to the army, a Palestinian car approached the checkpoint in the Jordan Valley and a gunman from inside the car opened fire at soldiers. The army says soldiers returned fire and “a hit was identified.”The army had no immediate comment on the gunman’s condition. It says no soldiers were injured in the incident Friday. The Jordan Valley is an area in the West Bank bordering Jordan.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

NYC the rage this Fourth of July survey

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Despite being the costliest city in the United States, New York jumped from its position as the fourth most popular US destination for Fourth of July travel in 2011 to the number one spot this year, a Travelocity survey found.According to the Fourth of July Booking Barometer, based on reservations, the top ten hottest US destinations for Independence Day holiday travel this year are: New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Los Angeles, Denver, South Florida, Washington DC, Seattle, Boston and San Francisco.As well as ranking the country’s most popular regions, the Travelocity study revealed that the average domestic airfare for Fourth of July travel this year was US$391, an increase of nearly six per cent compared to $369 a year ago.Analyzing five years (2007-2011) of historical data, the Fourth of July Booking Barometer also found that airfares would rise by more than 20 per cent as the holiday period (June 27 – July 7) drew nearer.   Based on this data, domestic airfares this year averaged $342 three weeks out from the holidays, $367 two weeks out, and $412 per ticket from a week out. To help consumers get the most bang for their buck, Travelocity suggests booking early and knowing the best days to travel, especially since Independence Day this year falls between two weekends. Expect even more crowds in NYC this Fourth of Julylast_img read more

JL launches new Sky Project

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Looking to refresh the onboard experience, Japan Airlines has launched the Sky Project, a new initiative that will see the carrier revamp its in-flight products and services.Unveiled this morning, the airline said the Project will be rolled out in a series of phases, commencing with a sweeping change to seat designs in every cabin class on board 13 of its Boeing 777-300ER.Describing it as a “comprehensive overall renewal”, the Project will also include new menus onboard flights to Europe, North America, Australia and South East Asia created by four Japanese star chefs.”JAL is now standing at a new beginning and we have been able to come this far solely with your support and understanding,” Japan Airlines president Yoshiharu Ueki said.”In expression of our deepest gratitude, and in pursuing the promise stated in our current Mid-Term Plan, we hope to bring our customers a totally refreshing onboard experience like no other, with Welcome! JAL New Sky.”last_img read more

Flight Centre has data scare

first_imgFlight Centre was recently fined AUD $11 million for price fixing. A Flight Centre spokesperson said that the problem was only centred on the last 24 hours. Flight Centre has been forced into crisis management after potentially commercially sensitive data was sent to the wrong companies because of a computer problem. The problem affected Flight Centre’s corporate travel clients FCM Travel Solutions and was caused by a “scheduled system upgrade”, the Australian reported. “Unfortunately this upgrade caused a temporary issue with our itinerary functionality late last night and early this morning,” the spokesperson said. Flight Centre has contacted FCM to manage the situation and return it to normal. Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img

Kenya Airways wins Best Business Class Airline in Africa

first_imgSource = Kenya Airways Fly Kenya Airways Global Aviation Services Kenya Airways has been recognised as the Best Business Class in this year’s Africa World Travel Award, for the third year running.The airline scooped the top award in the ‘Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class 2015’ category of the WTA Gala Ceremony held on Saturday, June 20th, 2015, at the Kempinski Hotel in Seychelles.Kenya Airways beat Egypt Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Air Moroc and South African Airways.Kenya Airways Chief Executive and Managing Director Mbuvi Ngunze welcomed the award and attributed the success to the recent investment by the airline on its product offering.“We have been investing heavily on our product in a bid to improve the customers experience. This award, the third year in a row, is a testament of the investments that we have made in the past couple of years in terms of our aircrafts and the service we offer our customers,” said Mr. Ngunze.Adding the airline was committed to consistently delivering world-class service to its guests.The recognition comes at a time Kenya Airways is continuously investing in its product offering from its equipment to new lounges at Jogo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). The airline currently boasts the youngest fleet in the region having invested in new equipment including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The airline has already received seven of the nine ordered Dreamliners with the last one expected next month.The airlines business class, dubbed Premier World, offers exciting features including full flatbed seats, laptop stowage, armrests that also act as privacy dividers, high quality in-flight entertainment, USB port, power sockets and a wide range of in-flight catering.The World Travel Awards (WTA) is dubbed the ‘Oscars of the travel industry’ and is held annually. The awards were established in 1993 and reward outstanding achievements within the global travel industry.last_img read more

Carnival Corporation granted US approval for travel to Cuba

first_imgCarnival Corporation granted US approval for travel to CubaCarnival Corporation & plc today announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Commerce granted approval for the company to begin travel to Cuba. Carnival Corporation intends to take travellers to Cuba beginning in May 2016 via its newly launched fathom brand – a new social impact travel brand providing purpose-oriented, social impact experiences, initially in the Dominican Republic.Carnival Corporation intends to operate fathom travel itineraries directly to Cuba for the purpose of providing cultural, artistic, faith-based and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens. Authorised under current U.S.-to-Cuba travel guidelines, the new Cuban itineraries on fathom will strictly comply with U.S. Department of Treasury rules that allow licensed travel companies to transport approved travellers to Cuba to engage in activities that support the Cuban people. Carnival Corporation is in active discussions and plans to work with the appropriate authorities in Cuba so that Cuban approval is granted.Launched June 4 as Carnival Corporation’s 10th global brand, fathom is designed as a purpose-driven brand to enrich the lives of its travellers and in the case of the Dominican Republic, drive sustainable social impact on a significant scale. The brand expects to attract 37,000 annual travellers who collectively could spend a total of more than 100,000 days a year either volunteering or immersing in educational and cultural exchanges in local communities.Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on weekly seven-day voyages from Port Miami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK) brand. fathom’s first impact destination will be the northern region of the Dominican Republic, where Carnival Corporation’s new port of call, Amber Cove, will serve as home base.Following the inaugural April month of voyages to the Dominican Republic, fathom intends to offer both Dominican and Cuban itineraries on a systematic and regular basis, giving travellers the opportunity to choose from two destinations and a range of activities from social impact in the Dominican Republic and educational and cultural exchanges in both countries designed to have a positive, transformative effect on the lives of the travellers.“We are excited about receiving U.S. approval as the very important first step to ultimately take travellers to Cuba under the existing 12 criteria for authorised travel. We look forward to working with the Cuban authorities for their approval to help make the social, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between U.S. citizens and the people of Cuba a reality,” President and CEO of Carnival Corporation Arnold Donald said.Source = Carnival Corporationlast_img read more

Next big thing in health tourism unveiled in Thailand

first_imgH.E. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul presided over the Thailand Health and Wellness Tourism Showcase 2015 yesterday, which unveiled the latest anti-aging and aesthetic innovation in Thailand.H.E. Kobkarn said, “Thailand is the premier medical tourism destination with our wealth of internationally-recognised medical facilities.“Health and medical tourists are among the lucrative visitor markets for Thailand due to their high-spending power and demand for upscale tourism products and services, which is in line with our policy to focus on promoting Thailand as a Quality Leisure Destination through Thainess.”The Thailand Health and Wellness Tourism Showcase 2015 under the concept of Anti-Aging: The Next Big Thing in Health Tourism is being held from 14 to 17 September, 2015.The event kicked off with a trade conference and business matching day on 14 September, bringing 56 medical tourism facilitators and travel agencies as well as international press and social media influencers from 20 countries up to speed with Thailand’s capabilities as the premier destination for health and wellness tourism.The day was filled with informative presentations on various interesting topics, especially anti-aging innovation in Thailand; endotherapia discovering your body’s inner cell; revitalise your life with hormone replacement therapy; nutraceutical: the anti-aging pill, and cell therapy a breakthrough in anti-aging.The 56 buyers also had the opportunity to discuss prospective business deals with the top 36 anti-aging and aesthetic providers in Thailand, including hospitals, anti-aging clinics, aesthetic clinics, plastic surgery clinics, medical spas, sport medicine centres, and health resorts.Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngsonasa, TAT’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe, Africa, Middle East and Americas) said, “The average expenditure of the health and medical tourists in Thailand is about 50,000 – 300,000 Baht per trip, and they prefer to stay in five-star accommodation.“During the Thailand Health and Wellness Tourism Showcase 2015, we hope that the business matching sessions would materialise into solid businesses and help generate more than 500 million Baht to the Thai economy.”On 15-16 September, TAT is organising an educational trip bringing the medical tourism facilitators and travel agencies as well as VIPs and member of the press to visit top anti-aging and aesthetic centres and test the services in Bangkok, Phuket, and Pattaya. Discover ThainessSource = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

Star Alliance launches Connecting Partner Model

first_imgMango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout and Star Alliance CEO Mark Schwab.Star Alliance is set to expand its network reach with the launch of its Connecting Partner Model. Under this new concept, routes operated by “low-cost” and “hybrid” airlines will be able to connect to the Alliance network. This will allow customers of Star Alliance member carriers to select from an even wider choice of destinations and flights.“With this innovative concept, we are breaking new ground. We see a definite trend of convergence between the ‘traditional full service’ and ‘low-cost’ business models in the airline industry,” said Mark Schwab, CEO Star Alliance.“At the same time, our customers are telling us that they need access to markets where we do not yet provide ideal coverage. In many cases network carriers are not in a position to fill this gap and hence working with future Connecting Partners will allow us to provide an extended network to our travellers.”Connecting Partners will be carefully assessed for their fit into the existing Star Alliance network. While these selected airlines need to comply and adhere to the high operating standard required by the Alliance, they will not become a member of the Alliance itself.Customers travelling on an itinerary which includes a transfer between a Star Alliance member airline and a Connecting Partner will be offered Alliance benefits such as passenger and baggage through check-in. Moreover, Star Alliance Gold Card holders will enjoy a tailored set of privileges in line with the different product offerings of the individual Connecting Partner.Connecting Partners will enter into bilateral commercial agreements with selected Star Alliance member airlines, which may include additional Frequent Flyer Programme based privileges.Innovative and multi-award winning South African low-cost airline Mango has been selected as the first airline with which Star Alliance will be implementing the new concept.“We are delighted to be working with Mango as we marry traditional and low-cost or hybrid airlines for the first time in our Alliance’s history. The airline’s innovative and progressive style makes it an ideal candidate for launching our new Connecting Partner concept. We aim to have first customers using this new offer as of the third quarter of 2016,” adds Schwab.Mango’s first flight took to the skies on November 15th, 2006. Since then, the airline has grown its fleet from four to 10 Boeing 737-800 aircraft, operating between South Africa’s key domestic points as well as between Johannesburg and Zanzibar. The carrier remains the only African airline to offer on-board Wi-Fi.“Innovation and a relentless pursuit of excellence are the cornerstones of Mango and fundamental to our culture as a business,” says Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout.“Participation in the development of, and ultimately becoming the launch Star Alliance Connecting Partner airline, wedges-in with our medium to long term business objectives,” he added.Bezuidenhout said that while the Connecting Partner product flies in the face of convention, the common ground for the concept relates directly to the bottom line. “Becoming a Connecting Partner will give any low-cost or hybrid airline a competitive advantage that immediately grows market share while creating greater choice for travellers,” he said. Star AllianceSource = Star Alliancelast_img read more

Malaysia Airlines launches codeshare agreement with Emirates

first_imgMalaysia Airlines launches codeshare agreement with EmiratesMalaysia Airlines marked the start of its codeshare agreement with Emirates last week, with both carriers placing its codes on the Kuala Lumpur-Dubai route, as well as other routes under the codeshare agreement. The service to Dubai will be operated three times a day on the Boeing 777 and once a day on the Airbus 380.The agreement, which was announced early December 2015, is one of Malaysia Airlines’ largest codeshare agreements and opens up a host of new destinations for customers by providing unprecedented access to Emirates’ network and Emirates access to Malaysia Airlines’ network in Malaysia, South East Asia and Asia Pacific. For Malaysia Airlines’ customers, this will include over 30 South American and European destinations including Rome, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Stockholm, Madrid, Barcelona and others, which will be introduced progressively over the next few weeks as regulatory approvals are obtained.According to Malaysia Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer Paul Simmons, “The Malaysia Airlines and Emirates codeshare is an integral part of our future network plan as we focus on getting our customers connected globally. It will ensure seamless travel for our passengers, enabling strong connectivity to Malaysia Airlines’ network to Malaysia / South East Asia and the Emirates network to Europe, Middle East, Canada, and Africa.We are pleased to launch the collaboration and we are confident that our customers will benefit from this agreement.”Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates, said “The codeshare agreement in place with Malaysia Airlines will provide more options for travellers from Malaysia and Southeast Asia to explore over 90 destinations covering Europe, Middle East and Africa. Travelling from Malaysia to Europe has never been more convenient, with just a single stop in Dubai and seamless connections onwards to 39 European destinations.”“At the same time, the agreement will offer travellers from across Emirates’ global network convenient access into Malaysia and to a number of destinations within Malaysia Airlines’ extensive Asia Pacific network. In addition to seamless connectivity to an extensive combined destination network, customers will also enjoy greater benefits and combined rewards that come with our loyalty programmes. Malaysia is a key market for Emirates and the agreement reiterates our commitment to its growth and also our support of the tourism industry as we celebrate 20 years operating in this country.” Fly Malaysia AirlinesSource = Malaysia Airlineslast_img read more