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SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE IN TONGA: Communications difficult as internet and phone lines severed

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New Zealand and Australia were able to send military surveillance flights to Tonga on Monday to assess the damage caused by a huge undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday. A towering ash cloud had prevented earlier flights and communication in the Pacific Island nation is still severely limited.

New Zealand hopes to send essential supplies, including much-needed drinking water, on a military transport plane today (Tuesday).

U.N. humanitarian officials and Tonga’s government “report significant infrastructural damage around Tongatapu,” the main island in the archipelago, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“There has been no contact from the Ha’apai Group of islands, and we are particularly concerned about two small low-lying islands – Mango and Fonoi – following surveillance flights confirming substantial property damage,” Dujarric said.

The company that owns the single underwater fiber-optic cable that connects the island nation to the rest of the world said it likely was severed in the eruption and repairs could take weeks.

The loss of the cable leaves most Tongans unable to use the internet or make phone calls abroad. Those that have managed to get messages out described their country as looking like a moonscape as they began cleaning up from the tsunami waves and volcanic ash fall.

Tsunami waves of about 80 cm. crashed into Tonga’s shoreline, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described damage to boats and shops on Tonga’s shoreline. The waves crossed the Pacific, drowning two people in Peru and causing minor damage from New Zealand to Santa Cruz, California.

Scientists said they didn’t think the eruption would have a significant impact on the Earth’s climate. Huge volcanic eruptions can sometimes cause temporary global cooling as sulfur dioxide is pumped into the stratosphere. But in the case of the Tonga eruption, initial satellite measurements indicated the amount of sulfur dioxide released would only have a tiny effect of perhaps 0.01 Celsius global average cooling, said Alan Robock, a professor at Rutgers University.

Satellite image

Satellite images showed the spectacular eruption undersea Saturday evening, with a plume of ash, steam and gas rising like a giant mushroom above the South Pacific waters.

A sonic boom could be heard as far away as Alaska and sent pressure shockwaves around the planet twice, altering atmospheric pressure that may have briefly helped clear out the fog in Seattle, according to the National Weather Service. Large waves were detected as far away as the Caribbean due to pressure changes generated by the eruption.

Samiuela Fonua, who chairs the board at Tonga Cable Ltd. which owns the single cable that connects Tonga to the outside world via Fiji, said the cable appeared to have been severed about 10 to 15 minutes after the eruption. He said the cable lies atop and within coral reef, which can be sharp.

Fonua said a ship would need to pull up the cable to assess the damage and then crews would need to fix it. A single break might take a week to repair, he said, while multiple breaks could take up to three weeks. He added that it was unclear yet when it would be safe for a ship to venture near the undersea volcano to undertake the work.

A second undersea cable that connects the islands within Tonga also appeared to have been severed, Fonua said. However, a local phone network was working, allowing Tongans to call each other. But he said the lingering ash cloud was continuing to make even satellite phone calls abroad difficult.

Fonua said Tonga, home to 105,000 people, had been in discussions with New Zealand about getting a second international fiber-optic cable to ensure a more robust network but the nation’s isolated location made any long-term solution difficult.

Ardern said the capital, Nuku’alofa, was covered in a thick film of volcanic dust, contaminating water supplies and making fresh water a vital need.

Aid agencies said thick ash and smoke had prompted authorities to ask people to wear masks and drink bottled water.

One complicating factor to any international aid effort is that Tonga has so far managed to avoid any outbreaks of COVID-19. Ardern said New Zealand’s military staff were all fully vaccinated and willing to follow any protocols established by Tonga.

Dave Snider, the tsunami warning coordinator for the National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, said it was very unusual for a volcanic eruption to affect an entire ocean basin, and the spectacle was both “humbling and scary.”

The U.S. Geological Survey estimated the eruption caused the equivalent of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake. Scientists said tsunamis generated by volcanoes rather than earthquakes are relatively rare.

Rachel Afeaki-Taumoepeau, who chairs the New Zealand Tonga Business Council, said she hoped the relatively low level of the tsunami waves would have allowed most people to get to safety, although she worried about those living on islands closest to the volcano.

“We are praying that the damage is just to infrastructure and people were able to get to higher land,” she said.

The explosion of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano, about 64 km. north of Nuku’alofa, was the latest in a series of dramatic eruptions. In late 2014 and early 2015, eruptions created a small new island and disrupted international air travel to the Pacific archipelago for several days.

Earth imaging company Planet Labs PBC had watched the island in recent days after a new volcanic vent began erupting in late December. Satellite images showed how drastically the volcano had shaped the area, creating a growing island off Tonga.

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ROUND-UP:Jan. 10-14, 2021

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Remember when “wave season” meant cruising? It’s that time of year. Also in last week’s news: Lynx Air announce tickets are on sale, with a contest to celebrate; Transat enhanced check-in procedures; TICO deferred payments (again); the US conditional sailing order expired; and winter fun is cancelled.

NEWS

The Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) advises that new provincial funding will enable it to waive registrant fees for a third year as the travel industry continues to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Travel agencies and wholesalers will receive a fee waiver for annual registration renewal fees and Travel Industry Compensation Fund payments (Form-1) owed to TICO from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. The waiver applies to all registrants registered with TICO as of March 31, 2022.

Tourism operators in British Columbia can apply for financial help from a $15-million relief fund to cover some of their losses due to COVID-19. The provincial government says BC-owned hotels or motels that employ more than 150 people, Indigenous-owned resorts on reserves with over 100 employees, and tourism operators who hold tenure or BC Parks permits can all apply for grants. The fund was suggested by a task force established in September 2020 to look at ways of helping tourism operators during the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

Effective Feb. 15 all visitors to Belize are required to apply for Belize Travel Health Insurance – a mandatory insurance that helps protect travellers against incurred medical and non-medical expenses if they test positive for COVID-19 during their stay in Belize. Cost of the policy is US$18 with coverage for up to US$50,000 in medical (including emergency assistance), accommodation, and trip cancellation expenses related to treatment of COVID-19 for a period of 21 days. Arrivals continue to be required to present a negative test.

The European Union ended travel restrictions on flights from southern Africa on Jan. 11, well over a month after imposing them to in hopes of containing the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

DELAYED/ CANCELLED

Due to public health measures, in-person Winterlude activities at the Snowflake Kingdom and elsewhere in Ottawa will not take place this year. Canadians across the country, however, are being invited to vote online in the 44th annual event’s National Ice-Carving Championship. Also cancelled is the BeaverTails Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival, which was take place as part of Winterlude from Feb. 4 to 21.

With less than 48 days to go, the 2022 Ontario Winter Games were postponed until 2023 due to surging Omicron cases in the province, the uncertainty of some events taking place and the possibility of others being cancelled due to COVID exposures. The games were slated to be a positive economic influx into the tourism sector of Renfrew County, which has been hard-hit by the pandemic. And on Saturday, it was announced that the BC Winter Games next month in Vernon would also be cancelled due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the province.

Large-scale events, such as Lunar New Year fairs, have been banned in Hong Kong as the city tries to keep a lid on the omicron outbreak. Transit passengers from 150 countries and territories were also banned effective yesterday (Jan. 16). Early this month, Hong Kong imposed a two-week ban on incoming flights from several countries, including Canada. Other restrictions have been posed as part of the Chinese city’s “zero tolerance” COVID-19 policy.

RE-OPENING/RE-START
A section of the historic Old Seven Mile Bridge, paralleling the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, reopened Wednesday (photo) in the Middle Keys so residents and visitors can once again use it for cycling, walking, running, rollerblading, watching sunrises and sunsets and to access Pigeon Key. The oft-photographed 3.5-km span of bridge near Marathon was part of a US$44-million renovation that began in 2017.

Continuing its restart, Carnival Cruise Line resumed guest operations Friday from Charleston, S.C., with Carnival Sunshine. The ship departed today on a four-day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.

The daily, public ferry service between Anguilla’s Blowing Point Ferry Terminal and the Marigot Ferry Terminal on the French side of St. Martin has recommenced.

AIR

Tickets for Lynx Air flights go on sale on Wednesday (Jan. 19) and to celebrate the Canadian low-cost carrier (formerly Enerjet) has launched a trivia contest starting today (Monday) offering Canadians a chance to win free flights for a year. Two grand prize winners will win one round-trip flight per month to any Lynx destination for 12 months and five additional winners will each receive one round-trip flight anywhere on Lynx’s network. The contest closes Jan 18 at 8 p.m. MT. For details and to enter, click https://www.flylynx.com

Air Transat customers can now upload and validate their destination health documents when checking in online. This will allow them to obtain their digital boarding pass before arriving at the airport and ensure they meet entry requirements. The tool, which uses a technology developed by Amadeus, is currently in a test phase and will be deployed in three phases. Initially it will only validate the COVID-19 test and will be available for a selection of routes. In the coming months, it will be extended to the entire Air Transat network and will also validate proof of vaccination for destinations that require it.

KLM reports that it will start adding 0.5% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for flights departing from Amsterdam and will additionally give customers the option of purchasing an extra amount of sustainable fuel. In this manner it aims to stimulate the market for SAF. “The face of travel is set to change in the future and SAF will play an essential role in this regard,” says the Dutch carrier.

RAIL

Given the impact on travel demand of tighter COVID-19 restrictions due to the rapid spreading of the omicron variant, VIA Rail will temporarily reduce frequencies in the Québec City-Windsor corridor starting Wednesday (Jan. 9).

Clients booking an eligible Canadian trip this month (through Jan. 31) on Rocky Mountaineer will receive a complimentary upgrade from SilverLeaf to Goldleaf service ($1,500 value). Bookings are also risk free with a full travel credit for use to the end of the 2023 season granted to any travellers who cancel within 60 days of their trip for any reason. GoldLeaf Service includes bi-level glass-dome coaches equipped with spacious seats and unobstructed views; exclusive outdoor viewing platform; and gourmet breakfast and lunch.

DEALS

Through Feb. 6 Bermuda’s “Pink Sale” is offering up to 50% off on hotel bookings in the destination, with rates starting at $100/night and travel available through December. Participating properties and information can be found HERE 

Costa Cruises North America has savings of up to US$800 on select 2022 itineraries as part of Wave Season. The offer, available on bookings made by Feb. 28, applies to select Mediterranean and northern Europe itineraries in 2022. As an added bonus, guests also receive a $100 p.p. onboard credit, totalling $200 in onboard credit per cabin. Wave Sale deals are available on cruises departing from April through November. Restrictions and blackout dates apply.

HOTELS

Atlific Hotels has added four British Columbia hotels to its management portfolio, including two in Fort St. John – the Travelodge by Wyndham Fort St. John and Ramada by Wyndham Northern Grand Hotel & Conference Centre – plus two in Richmond, the Holiday Inn Vancouver Airport and Holiday Inn Express Vancouver Airport. The latter recently completed a top to bottom renovation and offers 161 guestrooms with free fiber optic high-speed WiFi, fridge and microwave, fitness centre, 24-hour airport shuttle, gated parking with electric charging and onsite restaurant. The Holiday Inn Express Vancouver Airport also recently renovated and features 107 guestrooms with a variety of in-room conveniences, fitness centre, 24-hour airport shuttle, and free breakfast.

Housed in the historic Tontine Building that originated as the city’s first Stock Exchange in 1729, the sleek, residentially inspired Wall Street Hotel will boast 180 spacious rooms and suites, a fine dining restaurant featuring a Michelin star chef, plus a stylish rooftop bar and lounge with outdoor terrace when it opens in March. The Preferred Hotels member is located at 88 Wall St. in lower Manhattan and in the heart of the global financial district, steps from Battery Park, the World Trade Center, and the Brooklyn Bridge.

RESORTS

Clients can save 45% off the price of all-inclusive spring and summer escapes at top Club Med resorts throughout Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean, and Canada. The “Your Vacation Your Way” sale is open for bookings through Feb. 23 for travel through Aug. 26. Additional perks include a free room upgrade and free stays for kids under four. Participating resorts include Punta Cana, Cancun, Miches Playa Esmeralda, Quebec, Ixtapa, Turks and Caicos, Sandpiper Bay, Caravelle, and Buccanneer’s Creek.

Due to open April 1, Dreams Karibana Cartagena Beach & Golf Resort will be the first AMR Collection resort in South America. The Colombian all-inclusive will feature 268 rooms, all with a private terrace, balcony, or swim-out suites. Other amenities include five bars and lounges with unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits; three gourmet à la carte dining choices; pool and beach service; 24-hour room and concierge services; daily activities and entertainment; access to a private beach club; 18-hole golf course; and more.

CRUISE

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says it will let its controversial conditional sailing order mandating various COVID-19 protocols aboard cruise ships sailing in US waters expire as initially intended on Jan. 15. Health and safety measures applied by individual cruise lines will then become voluntary.

Delayed a full year by the pandemic, Avalon Waterways new vessel, the Avalon View, will now debut in April in Bratislava, Slovakia. The ship will be christened by on April 12 by godmother Meredith Vieira, a 15-time Emmy Award-winning TV broadcaster. After the ceremony, the 166-passenger View will join Avalon’s Suite Ship fleet to sail the Danube River in 2022.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has unveiled the next ship in its new Prima Class category. Norwegian Viva will begin sailing Mediterranean itineraries in June 2023, homeporting in key southern European port cities Lisbon, Venice, Rome, and Athens, before sailing to the Southern Caribbean for her 2023-24 winter season (from San Juan)

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

SeaWorld Orlando says that its anticipated Ice Breaker roller coaster will make its debut on Feb. 18. The roller coaster ride has four airtime launches, as well as a 28-m.- tall spike with 100-degree angle. Although the ride doesn’t officially open until the middle of next month, those with season passes will get sneak peaks earlier.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

G-Normous, G Adventures’ biggest annual agent incentive offers $75K worth of cash and prizes to agents in Canada through April 30. The 9th annual “thank you” promotion also invites agents to compete in fun community challenges, and to vie for the $5K grand prize for the overall G-Normous top seller in Canada. In addition to the cash prizes, agents also receive one entry to win a fantastic trip each month – drawn at random – with each booking made. Agents with a G Adventures Sherpa account are automatically registered. Agents without an account can sign-up through their agency manager at https://www.gadventures.com/agents/register

EVENTS

Registration for ‘MeetGB Virtual’ 2022, VisitBritain’s free flagship business event is still open. Taking place in Feb. 15-17, the online tradeshow for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions/Events (MICE) is held in partnership with MeetEngland, Business Events Scotland, Meet In Wales, Tourism Northern Ireland, and London Convention Bureau, inviting international buyers to connect online in real time with UK destinations, venues, and suppliers. For more info and registration: https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/business

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

Two familiar faces are back with the AMR Collection in Canada. Scott Reid returns as BDM Central Canada, covering Western Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan; and after a short stint away Brian Joseph returns as BDM for the Toronto, Greater Toronto Area, Eastern Ontario, and the Niagara regions. They join Orelbys Vigoa (Quebec and Atlantic Canada) and Carlo Trinidad (Western Canada).

AGENTS

An annual customer contest conducted by The Travel Agent Next Door (TTAND) attracted 42,000 online entries. Designed to help build data bases and enhance social media presence, the contest offered a seven-day Caribbean cruise for two from Fort Lauderdale on Celebrity Cruises in a Verandah stateroom, with complimentary air from all major Canadian gateways. Winner of the contest was Paul Vendetti of Ontario, a client of TTAND agent Jennifer Jones (photo).

The American Marketing Group (AMG), parent company of TRAVELSAVERS, NEST and The Affluent Travel Collection, has introduced an enhanced digital platform that delivers social media content for all affiliate agencies in the US and Canada. The platform, called Social Connect, helps advisors engage their current clients and reach new clients to build their brand awareness and increase sales.

BY THE NUMBERS

Nevada casinos set a record in November, reporting a ninth straight month of US$1 billion or more in house winnings, providing another sign that business in the nation’s tourist-dependent gambling mecca has returned to pre-pandemic levels. The $1.32 billion in casino winnings reported statewide was up from $1.22 billion in October, and almost reached the record $1.36 billion figure set last July, the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported. The streak beat the previous record of eight consecutive months set before the Great Recession, from October 2006 to May 2007. Nevada sports betting also set records – reaping a record $72 million in November on sports wagers totaling $1.1 billion.

DESTINATIONS

Cuba has eliminated the need for visitors who test positive to stay in “hotel-hospitals,” instead permitting travellers to isolate in their hotel. The new measures replace previous requirements for passengers who test positive for COVID-19 to quarantine at the government designated facilities. Now, passengers can stay at their hotel in select rooms that are separated from the rest of the hotel in a different block or section and overseen by medical personnel.

From Feb 17 to July 17 the British Museum in London, in partnership with Wiltshire Museum and English Heritage, will host The World of Stonehenge, the UK’s first ever major exhibition on the history and mystery of the ancient site. There will be hundreds of objects brought together from across Britain and Europe including stone axes from the North Italian Alps, stunning metalwork from Ireland, and an extremely rare 3,000-year-old sun pendant, described by the British Museum as the most significant piece of Bronze Age gold ever found in Britain.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Inside the Opulent Penthouse at Newly Opened Bvlgari Hotel Paris

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Inside the Opulent Penthouse at Newly Opened Bvlgari Hotel Paris - TOP25HOTELS.com - TRAVELINDEXParis, France, January 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Nested on Avenue George V, at the heart of the golden triangle, the Bvlgari Hotel Paris combines Bvlgari’s timeless glamour and heritage with a contemporary design and furniture by world-renowned Italian architects Antonio Citterio & Patricia Viel.

Discover Paris and the World’s Best Luxury Hotels with Prestigious Hotel Awards at Top25Hotels.com

The crown jewel in this exceptional setting is the Bulgari Penthouse, where an extraordinary rooftop garden landscaped with Mediterranean plants and fruit trees offers a panoramic view of the French capital’s famous monuments. Blown glass light installations, wooden panels and floor-to-ceiling windows have been used cleverly to make the penthouse much more than just a hotel accommodation. The penthouse suite (with a price tag that starts at €35,000/more than $39,000) spans two floors with its own private roof garden. Views of the Eiffel Tower are included.

Its soaring dining room is layered with antique Altai carpet and lit by a sparkling glass and gold chandelier. It has two kitchens, its own bar, a very large bedroom that looks onto the Eiffel Tower, a bathroom entirely clad in bookmatched Arabescato marble, an adjoining private fitness room, a hammam, a pantry, a living room and dressing room.

Alongside the Bvlgari Penthouse, the latest Parisian gem comprises 76 luxurious residences infused with an instant Italian flair and breathtaking 360° views all over Paris. It is home to Il Ristorante – Niko Romito and an oversized Spa featuring a 25m pool.

High above the intersection of the Avenue George V and Rue Pierre Charron, the majestic terrace is set against the backdrop of Paris timeless rooftops. Oaks, magnolias and philadelphus sit next to redcurrant bushes, apple trees and pear trees, giving the space the feel of Provence in the center of Paris Golden Triangle.

Discover Paris and the World’s Best Luxury Hotels with Prestigious Hotel Awards at Top25Hotels.com

About the Bvlgari Hotel Paris
Elegantly located Avenue George V, Bvlgari Hotel Paris is the latest jewel on the Golden Triangle of the City of Lights. This neighborhood, undoubtedly the most exclusive in Paris, is formed by Avenue George V, the Champs-Elysees and Avenue Montaigne. With the Bvlgari Hotel Paris at his heart, surrounded by luxury fashion houses and the city’s iconic cultural sites it attracts the world’s most glamorous crowds. The hotel, its vibrant bar and lounge, the elegant Il Ristorante – Niko Romito and its opulent Spa represent a unique playground for emotions.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Space-Focused SPAC Completes IPO to Link with Ventures Focusing on Space

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Space-Focused SPAC Completes IPO to Link with Ventures Focusing on Space - MADEINSPACE.com - TRAVELINDEXWashington DC, United States, January 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / A blank-check company that has former Blue Origin President Rob Meyerson as its CEO has completed a $287.5 million initial public offering, furthering its plans to link up with ventures focusing on space, cybersecurity and energy innovation.

For a better understanding of Space and to join the economic and industrial development of space. Contributors welcome at MadeInSpace.com

C5 Acquisition Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), announced the closing of its initial public offering of 28,750,000 units at a price of $10.00 per unit, including 3,750,000 units issued pursuant to the exercise by the underwriters of their over-allotment option in full, on January 11, 2022. The units were listed on the New York Stock Exchange and began trading under the ticker symbol “CXAC.U” on January 7, 2022. Each unit consists of one share of Class A common stock of the Company and one-half of one redeemable public warrant. Each whole public warrant entitles the holder thereof to purchase one share of Class A common stock of the Company at a price of $11.50 per share. Once the securities comprising the units begin separate trading, the shares of Class A common stock and public warrants are expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols “CXAC” and “CXAC WS,” respectively.

The Company is led by CEO Robert Meyerson, former president of Blue Origin. Steve Demetriou, Chair and CEO of Jacobs Engineering (NYSE:J), will be the company’s Non-Executive Chair of the Board of Directors. The Company is a newly organized blank check company incorporated as a Delaware corporation for the purpose of effecting a merger, consolidation, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses or companies. While the Company may pursue an initial business combination with any company in any industry, the Company intends to focus on businesses at the leading edge of national security innovation in three key sectors: Space, Cybersecurity and Energy Transition.

Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. and Moelis & Company LLC served as the joint book-running managers for this offering. The offering was made only by means of a prospectus, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., Attention Capital Markets, c/o Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., 499 Park Avenue, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10022.

For a better understanding of Space and to join the economic and industrial development of space. Contributors welcome at MadeInSpace.com

The registration statement relating to the securities became effective on January 6, 2022. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

National Geographic Society Achieving Gender Parity with Board Appointments

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National Geographic Society Achieving Gender Parity with Board Appointments - WEBOFWOMEN.com - TRAVELINDEXWashington DC, United States, January 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The 134-year-old nonprofit makes history by achieving gender parity and introducing the new role of Explorer Trustee. The National Geographic Society announced the appointment of Ash Carter, Claudia Madrazo, Deborah Lehr, Dina Powell McCormick, and Paula Kahumbu to its board of trustees. Carter is the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. Madrazo is the founder of La Vaca Independiente and Transformation through Art and Education, as well as the founding member of the Academy for Systemic Change. Lehr is the chief executive officer of Edelman Global Advisory, a strategic business consulting firm. McCormick is the global head of sovereign institution coverage as well as the global head of sustainability and inclusive growth at Goldman Sachs. Kahumbu is the chief executive officer of WildlifeDirect and a National Geographic Explorer.

“On behalf of the entire board, I am delighted to welcome these five distinguished leaders to the National Geographic Society’s board of trustees,” said board chair Jean Case. “Collectively, their global expertise and knowledge will prove invaluable as we continue our ambitious mission to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world by using the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling.”

This announcement marks two milestones for the 134-year-old organization.

For the first time, the board has reached gender parity, building on the Society’s continued commitment to advance its work around diversity, equity, and inclusion, including improving representation of women in leadership positions. In 2016, Case became the Society’s first woman to serve as chair, and in August 2020, the organization appointed Jill Tiefenthaler as the first woman to serve as its CEO.

The organization also created the new role of Explorer Trustee, a position to be held by a National Geographic Explorer. The organization invests in a global community of Explorers composed of scientists, conservationists, educators, storytellers, and technologists. Wildlife conservationist and National Geographic Explorer Paula Kahumbu, who has dedicated her career to protecting threatened wildlife and habitats in Kenya, will become the first Explorer to hold the role. Kahumbu has been part of the National Geographic community for 12 years; in June 2021 she was named the Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year.

“To illuminate and protect the wonder of our world, we greatly benefit from having diverse perspectives in the boardroom and across our organization. I am thrilled to welcome Ash, Claudia, Deborah, Dina, and Paula, whose range of perspectives, deep expertise, and wisdom will strengthen our mission and vision,” said Jill Tiefenthaler, CEO of the National Geographic Society. “Together, we have a clear vision to drive significant impact—and Explorers are the key. Paula is an extraordinary ambassador for our Explorer community, and her insights add a critical new voice to our board to ensure we remain at the forefront of exploration and discovery.”

Madrazo, Lehr, McCormick, and Kahumbu assumed their roles on January 1, 2022. Carter will join the board in January 2023.

About Ash Carter
Carter is the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, where he leads the Technology and Public Purpose project. Previously, he served as the 25th Secretary of Defense after serving as the COO and weapons czar in the Pentagon. For more than three decades, Carter has leveraged his experience in national security, technology, and innovation to spearhead and enhance technological capabilities for the U.S. government and investment firms. He launched the “Force of the Future” initiatives that improved the DOD’s recruitment, training, and retention of staff, which included the mandate that all military positions be opened to women. Currently, Carter is a member of The MIT Corporation and Delta Air Line’s Board of Directors, and he also advises the MITRE Corporation and Lincoln Laboratories on technology matters. Carter earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale University and his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

About Claudia Madrazo
Madrazo has been interested in learning and exploring the world since her childhood. She founded La Vaca Independiente, a social enterprise focused on innovative education and the promotion of human development through art. She also developed the education methodology dia (development of intelligence through art), which has trained more than 25,000 teachers and benefited more than 500,000 students in Mexico. Madrazo serves on the boards of The Nature Conservancy and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Council. Madrazo is the author of nine books as well as many essays and articles. She received her bachelor’s degree from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, and her master’s degree from Essex University.

About Deborah Lehr
Lehr is the chief executive officer of Edelman Global Advisory, a strategic business consulting firm. In addition, she is the executive director of the Paulson Institute, a think tank founded by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Lehr previously supported leading Western and Chinese organizations to grow their presence in the world’s most complex markets. In addition, she is the founder and chairman of the Antiquities Coalition, which works with governments across the world to fight against antiquities trafficking. Lehr serves on the International Advisory Board of the London School of Economics, the World Monuments Fund Board, and the Middle East Institute Board. Lehr is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She received her bachelor’s from Trinity University and her master’s from George Washington University.

About Dina Powell McCormick
McCormick is a member of the management committee at Goldman Sachs, where she serves as global head of Sovereign Institution Coverage and as Global Head of Sustainability and Inclusive Growth. McCormick held various roles with the firm from 2007 to 2017 before she served as the U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy from 2017 to 2018. McCormick has also served in the United States government across two administrations. Most recently, as the deputy national security advisor and previously as assistant secretary of state and as a senior White House advisor to the President. McCormick is currently a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas.

About Paula Kahumbu
Kahumbu is a National Geographic Explorer and the chief executive officer of WildlifeDirect, a Kenyan conservation NGO. She spearheaded the Hands Off Our Elephants campaign, which is widely recognized for its singular successes in advocacy and the engagement of the people of Kenya to support the protection of elephants. Through her work, Kahumbu has reduced elephant poaching by 80 percent over five years. Kahumbu is the winner of many awards and accolades, including the 2021 Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year and the 2021 Whitley Gold Award. She is a trustee of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Maun Science Park Botswana. Kahumbu received her Ph.D. in ecology from Princeton University. Kahumbu will become the first National Geographic Explorer to join the Society’s board of trustees.

About National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Golf Clubs Are Using Technology for Members Safety and Income Boost

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Golf Clubs Are Using Technology for Members Safety and Income Boost - TOP25GOLFCOURSES.com - TRAVELINDEXBucks, United Kingdom, January 16, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Technology is helping golf clubs connect and recover. It wasn’t too long ago when the words “our members won’t/don’t use apps” came from the lips of many a club manager. But now it is a different story. With the advent of COVID-19 and social distancing being the norm, at least for the time being, many managers are turning to technology to help them do more with their precious resources.

Discover the World’s Best Golf Courses at TOP25 Golf Courses.

With limited time and staff, general managers need to be able to quickly reconnect to their members, efficiently communicate and start the process of recovery. And they need to be able to all three quickly.

This where the technology we all have in our pockets becomes a very valuable resource to clubs:

Communications

In this rapidly changing environment where rules are being adjust almost daily, traditional methods – email, club notice board (defunct atm), letter – is either too slow, out of reach or they just plain don’t read them.

Even the new option of social media has its limits as it still requires your members to actively go and check.

As the general manager, this makes you and your team’s lives harder as your members don’t all know the new rules, what’s happening and how to behaviour (distancing, where to park, etc) and have to spend time painstakingly explaining this to them – from a safe distance of course!

This is where mobile app technology can remove this burden by allowing managers, even from the comfort of their own homes, to quickly and easily communicate directly to their members giving them instant updates, pointing them in right direction and keeping their members abreast of the club’s news and new rules.

Online Bookings

It is essential that you have your players turn up appropriately and not be queued in the pro shop/reception!

Via a club app, like CourseMate, allowing members to access your online bookings allow you to organise the number of available slots in any given day, reduce bottlenecks and minimise “misunderstandings” without having members popping into your office.

Have a last minute slot available? Then sending out a push notification will soon get that place filled!

It also makes it very easy and convenient for your members & visitors, especially if you have more than one booking system (or a member system plus a booking system) because you can centralise these in one place and not get your golfers to download half a dozen different apps or scour your website to find the correct page.

This applies to booking in matches or checking out their personal golfing accounts with systems like Handicapmaster, Master Scorecard, HDID, Golf Genius, etc.

Technology is now the new norm, isn’t it time you made your life (and your member’s life’s) easier to book, set up games and to check out your playing history?

Keeping Golfers Safe Out On The Course

Paper scorecards are the traditional method of keeping your scores but now with social distancing and transference of the virus digital scorecards are now the way forward.

By using digital scorecards along with online booking, it promotes car park golf in the short term, where players turn up, change their shoes, get on the course and play.

Organisers can run events and competitions remotely via the cloud and players can enter their scores via apps, taking the whole process away from physical scorecards and points of contact. There are a number of established companies that will help you do just this.

Again you don’t have to get your members to download a dozen different apps either, with a good club app like CourseMate, you can centralise them making convenient and easy for all.

Food & Beverage

With digital F&B menus it is easy to create temporary menus to suit the current situation and to update them as the season continues (not to mention the cost saving and time required on the printed versions)

Like scorecards, removing the paper element from the equation ensures that members are kept safe from any transference, no matter how small the risk is, and maintains social distancing keeping both staff and golfers safe.

It is not just the ease of creating a reduced menu and updating it, but using the technology that comes as standard with mobile phones, members can call for their food in advance ensuring it is ready for their arrival; reducing waiting times, unnecessary contact and providing another source of revenue. If your POS system allows online ordering, again this can be used for the same purpose.

For clubs that have a halfway house players can call in advance for “grab and go”. Allowing staff to put out drinks/quick food options in advance.

Offer take home meals – Members can place order prior to finishing their round so everything is ready by the time they finish their golf allowing them to take home a delicious meal for the entire family.

Discover the World’s Best Golf Courses at TOP25 Golf Courses.

About CourseMate Golf Club App
CourseMate keeps your members happy with clear club communications, centralisation of current systems and allows you to stay easily connected to them whilst still allowing you to market to visitors, grow your data base and increase revenues across the venue.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Climate Failure and Social Crisis Top Global Risks 2022

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Climate Failure and Social Crisis Top Global Risks 2022 - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, January 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Climate risks dominate global concerns as the world enters the third year of the pandemic. According to the Global Risks Report 2022, while the top long-term risks relate to climate, the top shorter-term global concerns include societal divides, livelihood crises and mental health deterioration.

Additionally, most experts believe a global economic recovery will be volatile and uneven over the next three years.

Now in its 17th edition, the report encourages leaders to think outside the quarterly reporting cycle and create policies that manage risks and shape the agenda for the coming years. It explores four areas of emerging risk: cybersecurity; competition in space; a disorderly climate transition; and migration pressures, each requiring global coordination for successful management.

“Health and economic disruptions are compounding social cleavages. This is creating tensions at a time when collaboration within societies and among the international community will be fundamental to ensure a more even and rapid global recovery. Global leaders must come together and adopt a coordinated multistakeholder approach to tackle unrelenting global challenges and build resilience ahead of the next crisis,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.

Carolina Klint, Risk Management Leader, Continental Europe, Marsh, said: “As companies recover from the pandemic, they are rightly sharpening their focus on organizational resilience and ESG credentials. With cyber threats now growing faster than our ability to eradicate them permanently, it is clear that neither resilience nor governance are possible without credible and sophisticated cyber risk management plans. Similarly, organizations need to start understanding their space risks, particularly the risk to satellites on which we have become increasingly reliant, given the rise in geopolitical ambitions and tensions.”

Peter Giger, Group Chief Risk Officer, Zurich Insurance Group, said: “The climate crisis remains the biggest long-term threat facing humanity. Failure to act on climate change could shrink global GDP by one-sixth and the commitments taken at COP26 are still not enough to achieve the 1.5 C goal. It is not too late for governments and businesses to act on the risks they face and to drive an innovative, determined and inclusive transition that protects economies and people.”

The report closes with reflections on year two of the COVID-19 pandemic, yielding fresh insights on national-level resilience. The chapter also draws on the World Economic Forum’s communities of risk experts – the Chief Risk Officers Community and Global Future Council on Frontier Risks – to offer practical advice for implementing resilience for organizations.

The Global Risks Report 2022 has been developed with the invaluable support of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Advisory Board. It also benefits from ongoing collaboration with its Strategic Partners, Marsh McLennan, SK Group and Zurich Insurance Group, and its academic advisers at the Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford), the National University of Singapore and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center (University of Pennsylvania).

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Passenger Traffic Improved but Omicron Restrictions to Affect Times Ahead

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Passenger Traffic Improved but Omicron Restrictions to Affect Times Ahead - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, January 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the recovery in air travel continued in November 2021, prior to the emergence of Omicron. International demand sustained its steady upward trend as more markets reopened. Domestic traffic, however, weakened, largely owing to strengthened travel restrictions in China.

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to November 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.

– Total demand for air travel in November 2021 (measured in revenue passenger-kilometers or RPKs) was down 47.0% compared to November 2019. This marked an uptick compared to October’s 48.9% contraction from October 2019.

– Domestic air travel deteriorated slightly in November after two consecutive monthly improvements. Domestic RPKs fell by 24.9% versus 2019 compared with a 21.3% decline in October. Primarily this was driven by China, where traffic fell 50.9% compared to 2019, after several cities introduced stricter travel restrictions to contain (pre-Omicron) COVID outbreaks.

– International passenger demand in November was 60.5% below November 2019, bettering the 64.8% decline recorded in October.

International Passenger Markets

– European carriers’ November international traffic declined 43.7% versus November 2019, much improved compared to the 49.4%% decrease in October versus the same month in 2019. Capacity dropped 36.3% and load factor fell 9.7 percentage points to 74.3%.

– Asia-Pacific airlines saw their November international traffic fall 89.5% compared to November 2019, slightly improved from the 92.0% drop registered in October 2021 versus October 2019. Capacity dropped 80.0% and the load factor was down 37.8 percentage points to 42.2%, the lowest among regions.

– Middle Eastern airlines had a 54.4% demand drop in November compared to November 2019, well up compared to the 60.9% decrease in October, versus the same month in 2019. Capacity declined 45.5%, and load factor slipped 11.9 percentage points to 61.3%.

– North American carriers experienced a 44.8% traffic drop in November versus the 2019 period, significantly improved over the 56.7% decline in October compared to October 2019. Capacity dropped 35.6%, and load factor fell 11.6 percentage points to 69.6%.

– Latin American airlines saw a 47.2% drop in November traffic, compared to the same month in 2019, a marked upturn over the 54.6% decline in October compared to October 2019. November capacity fell 46.6% and load factor dropped 0.9 percentage points to 81.3%, which was the highest load factor among the regions for the 14th consecutive month.

– African airlines’ traffic fell 56.8% in November versus two years’ ago, improved over the 59.8% decline in October compared to October 2019. November capacity was down 49.6% and load factor declined 10.1 percentage points to 60.3%.

– Australia remained at the bottom of the domestic RPK chart for the fifth consecutive month with RPKs 71.6% below 2019, albeit this was improved from a 78.5% decline in October, owing to the reopening of some internal borders.

– US domestic traffic was down just 6.0% compared November 2019 – improved from an 11.1% fall in October, thanks in part to strong Thanksgiving holiday traffic.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

WTTC Response to France Re-Opening Borders to UK Travellers

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WTTC Response to France Re-Opening Borders to UK Travellers - TRAVELINDEXLondon, United Kingdom, January 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “WTTC welcomes the reopening of French borders to UK travellers. Once a variant is endemic closing borders is pointless and only damages livelihoods especially in travel and tourism one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic.

“France is one of the biggest markets for UK tourists who, according to WTTC’s 2021 Economic Impact Report, account for 14% of overseas visitors. Total international visitor spend in France was worth more than €60BN pre-pandemic.”

About WTTC
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is an organisation that has developed enormously since its inception, yet it still holds the same core values and purpose. The three main messages are in keeping with the vision of the CEOs who founded the Council in 1990:

– Governments recognising Travel & Tourism as a top priority
– Business balancing economics with people, culture and environment
– A shared pursuit of long-term growth and prosperity

WTTC’s Members remain the driving force behind its activities and policies. Membership now includes the entire spectrum of the Travel & Tourism industry – from airlines and airports to hotels and hospitality groups, tour operators and retail travel agents, online distributors, cruise lines, investment companies, insurance groups, and the technology industry.

As a voluntary organisation, WTTC provides an important example of business leaders spending time and money to move their global activity forward while playing a pivotal role in ensuring sustainable development in our ever-changing world.

WTTC’s research, which quantifies the direct and total impact of Travel & Tourism on our economies in terms of GDP and employment growth, has helped to raise awareness of the economic contribution of our industry and continues to feature heavily in the media and in Governments.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Secretary-General Welcomes Ambassador Yavuz Selim Yükselir

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UNWTO Secretary-General Welcomes Ambassador Yavuz Selim Yükselir

Madrid, Spain, January 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / As UNWTO gets set to return to the FITUR tourism trade fair in Madrid (19-23 January), the United Nations specialized agency is drawing on the influence of its growing team of Ambassadors to highlight the role the sector will play in driving recovery and providing opportunity in 2022 and beyond.

Ahead of the official opening of FITUR, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili met with entrepreneur and hotelier Yavuz Selim Yükselir. Visiting the Organization’s headquarters in Madrid, the Turkish national, who joined last year as UNWTO Tourism Ambassador, discussed opportunities for further collaboration, with a particular focus on hotels and tourism accommodation.

Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “I thank Yavuz Selim Yükselir for his enthusiastic support for UNWTO at the start of a year of great challenge and great opportunity for tourism. Now is the time for our esteemed Ambassadors for Sustainable Tourism to be the faces of our sector, using their status and influence to showcase its unique power to drive recovery and transform lives.”

Reflecting the need for diverse voices, UNWTO counts on the generous support of its Ambassadors for Sustainable Tourism to amplify its messages and promote its work to audiences around the world. Yavuz Selim Yükselir serves as Chairman of the Board of Yükselir Group, which is active in 12 different sectors, most notably in tourism accommodation, aviation and innovation and technology, and has a presence in 24 countries. He was named a UNWTO Ambassador in January 2021, joining leading figures from the worlds of sport, entertainment, gastronomy, business and more.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News