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Friday, June 28, 2019

First co-branded hotel of Jin Jiang International and Radisson Hotel Group

Following the Group's acquisition by Jin Jiang International and Sino-Cee Fund late last year, Radisson Hotel Group and its shareholders have together identified several opportunities to realize the true potential of the Chinese market. Key initiatives have been defined, with the launch of co-branded hotels being a critical element of the project. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt in Germany is the first property to be co-branded with Jin Jiang International.

Federico J. Gonz├ílez Tejera, President & CEO of Radisson Hospitality AB and Chairman of the Global Steering Committee for Radisson Hotel Group, said: "We are keen on offering the leading hotel brands from Radisson Hotel Group to guests, owners and talent around the world. The launch of the first co-branded hotel with Jin Jiang International is an important milestone in reaching this goal. The co-branded hotels have a bright future, with the potential to extend to more than 30 properties across EMEA – including five Radisson Collection hotels in key destinations for Chinese travelers."

Chen Liming, Vice Chairman of the Board for Jin Jiang International, said: "We are thrilled that we will now take the next step in our journey together after the acquisition. China has become the world's largest travel market, offering a wealth of opportunity and potential. Co-branded hotels are positioned to not only improve awareness of our Chinese and Radisson brands in EMEA and China respectively, but also promote people-to-people exchanges between China and the rest of the world. We very much look forward to making the most of the available potential together."

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt in Germany is the first hotel from Radisson Hotel Group's portfolio of more than 1,100 hotels to become a co-branded hotel with Jin Jiang International. The choice of Frankfurt was an obvious one: for years Frankfurt has been the number one destination within Germany for Chinese tourists. The presence of the international airport ensures that many Chinese visitors start or end their trips in Frankfurt. And what's more, no other region in Europe offers more direct flights to China – something that is particularly valued by Chinese investors. It also gives the hotel a chance to showcase the renovation project it completed recently, making now the ideal time to welcome Chinese-speaking guests.

At the newly co-branded hotel, Chinese-speaking guests and travelers will find a range of features designed and curated to provide them with an excellent experience and make them feel at home. New hotel offerings cover all the key moments of the stay, from collateral such as menus and welcome cards being available in Chinese to guests having the ability to pay for anything with Chinese Union pay cards. In the guest rooms, small touches like the provision of tea kettles and a choice of Chinese teas make a big difference. Guests can also relax while watching Chinese television channels or by reading Chinese newspapers, available via the Radisson Blu One Touch app.

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt also features a range of new Food & Beverage options created for Chinese-speaking travelers. It has added traditional dishes like congee, noodles and wontons to the selection available as part of the daily breakfast service. There are now Chinese meals in the hotel's restaurant, Welcome Corner and on its room service menus – including Shanghai noodles, Hainanese chicken rice and Singapore Laksa. Guests can also enjoy a special welcome ceremony upon check-in.

As part of preparation for co-branded hotel opening, a talent exchange program was rolled out earlier this year. A team of employees – featuring chefs, reservation managers and others – from Radisson Hotel Group's hotels and corporate offices spent three months in Shanghai with the aim of providing a true Chinese experience in European hotels. In return, a Chinese team is spending time in Europe to gain a greater understanding of European hospitality.

To facilitate the booking process for Chinese-speaking travelers, as of 30 June 2019, 53 Radisson Hotel Group properties will be featured on the WeHotel Platform, Jin Jiang International's global hotel booking platform. The remaining properties will be available by the end of the year as well. As part of this collaboration, Radisson Rewards and WeHotel Prime, Jin Jiang's high-end hotels loyalty program, are working together to provide localized, in-hotel benefits to members of both programs.

For more information, visit:

www.radissonhotels.com
www.radissonhotelgroup.com/media
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/radisson-hotel-group/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/radissonhotels/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/radissonhotels
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/radissonhotels
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/radissonhotelgroup


 

Family villas a new haven for guests at White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa



'A sanctuary of luxurious accommodation, first class service and idyllic surrounds to unwind in following a day hiking up a volcano or diving the Blue Cave.'

June 2019:  Grass Ocean Resort & Spa on Tanna Island, Vanuatu has recently introduced three new family villas to its range of guest accommodation. The two bedroom, two ensuite, plantation-style villas also include a kitchenette, dining area, lounge and large verandahs. Designed with every creature comfort for a family of up to four, the new villas feature furniture crafted from local hardwood, designer soft furnishings, ceiling fans, ceramic tile floors, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi and more.

White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa is home to the only PADI certified diving operation, Volcano Island Divers, on Tanna Island.  Local dive spots are renowned for their coral and lava formations, abundant marine life (including Caverns turtles, whales  and dugong) and exceptional water quality.

Tanna Island is one of the southernmost islands of the Vanuatu archipelago and is blessed with some of the South Pacific's most beautiful beaches.  White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa has direct access to reef edge and inner reef pool snorkelling. Resort facilities also include a swimming pool, pitch 'n putt golf course, petanque (bocce) field, bicycles, guest library, and the Nabisa Day Spa. Housed in an open bure with uninterrupted coastal views, the Nabisa Day Spa offers a range of indulgent treatments, including its signature Volcanic Hot Stone Massage, using natural products such as the local organic coconut oil.

Food at White Grass is fresh, seasonal and sustainable. The restaurant serves seafood, including lobster, wahu, yellow fin tuna, poulet, marlin and mahi mahi, pulled from the ocean in front of the resort. Fresh Locally farmed prawns and Vanuatu beef are flown in several times each week. Local markets and growers supply organic vegetables, fruit and nuts grown in the island's rich volcanic soil. Whitegrass chefs are local Ni-Vanuatu people who are passionate about the local produce and use their skills and expertise to create memorable meals every day.

Once in a lifetime adventures are a wonderful way to work up an appetite. For example, the resort's Blue Cave experience begins with a 20-minute coastal journey. Once at the Blue Cave, visitors are invited to duck dive through an opening where the cliff meets the sea and emerge into a magical cave, illuminated only by a shaft of light from a hole in the cave ceiling.  

Guests can also experience the world's most accessible active volcano. After a 1.5 hour 4WD journey through dense jungle, mountain villages and ash plains to the base of the volcano, guests walk up the face of Mount Yasur to the volcano rim while witnessing its frequent eruptions.  

Euan Marsh, owner of White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa, says: 'White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa provides our guests with rare access to Tanna Island's unique village culture and raw, once in a life time, adventure experiences.  Our resort has been designed in response to this, and provides a sanctuary of luxurious accommodation, first class service and idyllic surrounds to unwind in following a day hiking up a volcano or diving the blue cave.'    

White Grass Ocean Resort & Spa is located just 2km from Tanna Airport, which is a short flight from Port Vila. Resort staff welcome every guest at the airport before whisking them away to their holiday island home.

Accommodation (including tropical breakfast) in the new family villas starts from around $400 AUD per night (42000VUV per night for a villa)

For more information visit: https://www.whitegrasstanna.com/

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

AirAsia unveils the future of long-haul air travel at Paris Air Show



AirAsia, the Asia Pacific launch customer for the Airbus A330neo, today unveiled the first of its new generation long-haul fleet at the Paris International Air Show.

The aircraft will be based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport in Thailand, facilitating growth and network expansion plans to key markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea.

The aircraft unveiling was attended by AirAsia X Chairman Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri, AirAsia Deputy Group CEO (Airlines) Bo Lingam, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer, Rolls-Royce President Civil Aerospace Chris Cholerton and Avolon CEO Domhnal Slattery, alongside invited industry and international media.

AirAsia X Group CEO Nadda Buranasiri said, “This is a significant milestone for the aviation industry - and importantly, for our guests - which will revolutionise the long-haul, value air travel market. AirAsia is thrilled to lead the way once again, as the first airline in Asia Pacific to operate the technologically advanced, new generation A330neo aircraft.

“With 66 aircraft on direct order and 2 on lease, the A330neo is the future of our long-haul operations delivering an enhanced guest experience including the latest design features and new modifications to make medium - long haul value air travel more comfortable than ever.

“Guests will be able to see and feel the difference with more personal space, larger cabin bag storage space, ambient mood lighting throughout, power sockets in every seat and the quietest cabin in its class.”

Buranasiri added: “AirAsia X continues to focus on delivering the best value fares for medium- to long-haul air travel. The arrival of the A330neo increases our ability to bring new destinations into play. Direct flights to Europe and the US are now possible, and we are working on many exciting network and product plans to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by this aircraft’s extended range and significant cost efficiencies, which will be announced in due course.”

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer said, “Operational efficiency, latest product innovations and growth are core to AirAsia… and to the A330neo too! As the newest, lowest seat mile cost mid-size widebody, the A330neo will bring a step change in fuel efficiency, and its increased range will open new opportunities for AirAsia X Thailand’s long-haul network expansion.”

Rolls-Royce President Civil Aerospace Chris Cholerton said, “Today is a special day for the Rolls-Royce team. We are thrilled to see the A330neo unveiled at the Paris Air Show with the AirAsia livery. We are excited to see the aircraft grace the skies in Asia. The Trent 7000 is critical to the delivery of the 14% improvement in fuel burn reduction per seat of the A330neo, compared to its predecessor the Trent 700, which is a key factor in this aircraft’s success.”

The AirAsia A330neo unveiled today will be available for viewing at the Airbus static display from 17-19 June 2019 and will be open to Paris Air Show visitors and media between 9.00am and 10.00am. The aircraft will enter service in Bangkok early next month.

Sri Lankan Travel Advisory Lowered



The Australian Travel Advisory for Sri Lanka has officially been lowered yesterday from a Level 3 (Reconsider your need to travel) to a Level 2 (Exercise a high degree of caution), indicating that the country is progressing towards a state of normalcy and whilst still cautious with high levels of security in place. The lowering follows the UK’s lifting of its travel ban last week, with the German, Swiss and Austrian governments relaxing their advice against Sri Lankan travel the week prior.

“Tourism is the most significant part of our economy, supporting one in 10 families in Sri Lanka, so the relaxation of the advisory is excellent news. We have a close connection with Australia as one of our fastest growing inbound markets and look forward to welcoming visitors back with open arms. We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support over the past month.” said Malik Fernando, Owner of tour company Resplendent Ceylon

With one in 10 families relying on tourism to make a living, it is a vital part of the country’s economy so the warning’s reduction is a welcome note as the country is dependent on the likes of Australians to visit.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Where are Australian travellers heading to next?



As the globetrotting habits of Australian travellers continue to evolve - from venturing to far-flung destinations such as Rwanda or Costa Rica, to visiting destinations based on how “Instagram friendly” they appear – keeping up with Australian travellers is no easy feat.

Australia’s premier luxury travel advisors, the Goldman Group, who turn travel dreams into reality, affirm that the Australian traveller is seeking unconventional destinations, in lesser-known and remote parts of the world. Increasingly among Australian travellers, the perfect getaway is no longer a city escape or a flop and drop holiday, but discovering new and unique experiences.

So, where to next? According to Anthony and David Goldman, joint managing directors of the Goldman Group, Australian travellers are heading to the following remote locations…

The Caribbean has become popular in recent months with increasing numbers jetting to Cuba and Costa Rica, thanks largely to the new US stopover cities of Houston and Dallas. Qantas now flies direct to Dallas and United Airlines flies direct to Houston from Sydney, both in under 16 hours, making Caribbean destinations much more accessible to Australian travellers. As the Caribbean island continues to court tourists, Cuba is expected to welcome a record high of five million visitors in 2019 alone.[1]

Venturing further south, and boasting a coastline on both the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is the ultimate nature-based holiday, with a backdrop of rugged rainforests, diverse wildlife, beaches, hot springs and volcanos to discover.

Adventure trips to pristine destinations such as the Galapagos Islands, Iceland, and Antarctica are also trending, with active experiences high on the bucket list of Australian travellers.  A multitude of cruise lines have made it more accessible than ever to get to these previously remote areas of the globe, contributing to the surge in popularity.

The desire for authenticity and cultural interactions is also driving Australian travellers to places such as Morocco, a popular European destination over the warmer months. The north African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea is a heaving melting pot of Berber, Arabian, and European cultural influences. From souks (marketplaces) where fragrant and colourful bags of spices beckon, to cultural tours that answer all your Lawrence of Arabia fantasies, the country offers an off-the-beaten-path experience with every turn.

Travelling in pursuit of memories and experiences, Australian travellers are increasingly heading to the landlocked East African country of Rwanda. Known as “the land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda is blessed with extraordinary biodiversity and incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, rainforests and sweeping plains. The extraordinarily beautiful country is home to more than one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas and remains one of the best places in the world to see both mountain gorillas and golden monkeys in their natural habitat. In late 2019, Singita will open Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House on the border of Volcanoes National Park, where visitors can come face to face with the forest’s gentle giants - selfie with a gorilla anyone?

Anthony Goldman
Social media and the rise of the selfie has made a significant impact on the way Australians travel, according to Anthony Goldman.

“The Goldman Group Australian Luxury Traveller 2019 Report revealed that more than one third of Aussie travellers enjoy posting about their holidays online, and get holiday inspiration from social media feeds. Notably, it’s Instagram fuelling the travel appetites of Australians, and with the hashtag #holiday obtaining 124 million mentions on Instagram alone – you can see why.”

“Many of our client’s message us directly on Instagram and ask to book hotels featured in our posts, or ask about the destinations visited by our travel advisors. In turn, we have witnessed hotels around the world strive to be the most photogenic and Instagrammable accommodation providers in 2019,” says Anthony Goldman.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Massive turnout for 51st IPW in Anaheim

U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow
More than 6,000 attendees from over 70 countries gathered in Anaheim, CA, June 1-5 for this year’s IPW—the travel industry's premier international marketplace and the largest generator of travel to the U.S.

IPW gathers travel professionals—including U.S. destinations, hotels, attractions, sports teams and transportation companies, and international tour operators, buyers and wholesalers from around the world—to meet in one place to help bring the world to America.

At this year’s IPW, there were 110,000 prescheduled business appointments between suppliers and buyers, which is estimated to result in $5.5 billion in future international travel to the U.S. over the next three years. This has been revised upward from the $4.7 billion in future international travel to the U.S. estimated in past years.

Additionally, more than 500 members of the media attended IPW. These journalists covered the event itself, and also met with business and destination leaders to generate stories encouraging travel to the U.S.



While IPW is only a few short days, its impact will be felt in Anaheim and the Orange County region for years to come. According to Rockport Analytics, hosting IPW is anticipated to bring hundreds of thousands of additional international visitors to Anaheim and the Orange County region over the next three years, generating a significant local economic impact.

This is the 10th time IPW has been held in California and the second time it has been held in Anaheim since the city last hosted in 2007.

“IPW brings the world to America and presents travel buyers, suppliers and media the phenomenal opportunity to connect under one roof,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “We are thrilled to once again bring IPW to Anaheim, and we are so grateful for the work of Visit Anaheim and Visit California to help us produce this important event.”

The 52nd IPW will be held in Las Vegas from May 30-June 3, 2020.

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