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LISTENING IN: The Bee Gees song I’m embarrassed to like

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After the great response we got to a recent Dolly Parton video (“Gotta love Dolly!”) it got me thinking about reluctantly liking, or at least appreciating, artists who are not part of your regular repertoire. Top of that list for me is probably The Bee Gees.

Understand that when the Brothers Gibb were hitting new heights in the disco era, I was checking in to Hotel California with The Eagles, really liking the Stones’ rock and roll, and playing some sweet air guitar along with Lynyrd Skynyrd. I didn’t have a Disco Sucks T-shirt, but it was written in marker on my forehead.

Nevertheless, I ultimately came to appreciate The Bee Gees’ capacity for reinvention and wide range of capabilities (from their own ballads of the ‘60s to writing “Islands in the Stream,” which turned into a No. 1 hit for country singers Parton and Kenny Rogers). And I recall listening to their AM Radio hits “Jive Talkin’” and “Nights on Broadway,” which in hindsight may be seen as a precursor of the disco to come.

Some years later, I acknowledged this unsettling condition of liking a song or band despite one’s inner inklings and compiled a CD I dubbed, “Songs I’m embarrassed to like.” The only disco song on that CD is “Shake Your Booty,” but there’s a Britney, a Christina, Hanson (come on, how can you not like “Mmmmbop”?), ABBA, and even “Da Da Da” by the German band Trio, of which I don’t mind outing Fort Lauderdale tourism’s Paul Mason, who I think told me it was his wedding song (just kidding, but he does like it!)

In the meantime, here’s “Jive Talkin’” The Bee Gees No. 1 hit from 1975. It’s not on my “embarrassed to like” compilation, nor was it played at my wedding, but I do really like it. And that’s no jive!

Lyrics

It’s just your jive talkin’
You’re telling me lies, yeah
Jive talkin’
You wear a disguise

Jive talkin’
So misunderstood, yeah
Jive talkin’
You’re really no good

Oh, my child
You’ll never know
Just what you mean to me

Oh, my child
You got so much
You’re gonna take away my energy
With all your jive talkin’
You’re telling me lies, yeah
Good lovin’
Still gets in my eyes

There’s nobody
Believe what you say
It’s just your jive talkin’
That gets in the way, yeah

Oh, my love, you’re so good
Treating me so cruel
There you go with your fancy lies
Leavin’ me lookin’ like a dumbstruck fool
With all your

Jive talkin’ (Oh yeah) (Oh yeah)
Your jive, jive talkin’
Jive talkin’
It’s just your jive, jive talkin’
You just ain’t no good!

It’s just your love talkin’
Is all very fine, yeah
And jive talkin’
Just isn’t a crime
There’s some-somebody
You’ll love ’till you die
Then all that jive talkin’
Just gets in your eye, yeah

Jive talkin’
You’re telling me lies, yeah
Good lovin’
Still gets in my eyes

There’s nobody
Believe what you say
It’s just your jive talkin’
That gets in the way, oh yeah

Love talkin’
Is all very fine
And jive talkin’
Just isn’t a crime

If there’s some-somebody
You’ll love ’till you die
It’s just your jive talkin’
That gets in your eye, no way

Don’t give me that jive
Don’t give me that jive
Don’t give me that jive
Don’t give me that jive

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

The Set Collection Luxury Joins Global Hotel Alliance

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The Set Collection Luxury Joins Global Hotel Alliance - TOP25HOTELS.com - TRAVELINDEXParis, France, May 20,2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Set Collection, the new carefully curated luxury hotel collection, comprising some of the world’s most exceptional, likeminded, independent hotels worldwide will be joining Dubai based Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), operator of the multi-brand loyalty programme, GHA Discovery. The Set Collection’s founding member hotels will also become members of the alliance’s Ultratravel Collection, an exclusive selection of the programme’s most luxurious properties in iconic destinations worldwide, that deliver the finest service and guest experience.

Emotion is today’s true luxury – Sharing Emotions at Top25World.com

The Set Collection has been capturing the hearts and minds of guests since the Conservatorium debuted in Amsterdam in 2011. Two more iconic European properties – Café Royal in London and the Lutetia in Paris, as well as the Mamilla in Jerusalem complete the founding members of the group and those joining GHA.

Chris Hartley, GHA’s CEO, notes: “Despite the impact of the pandemic, we have seen significant growth for GHA, as independent brands see the value of our collaborative approach. Now, with The Set Collection’s world-class luxury properties, the GHA Discovery platform benefits in multiple ways. Our growing database of soon 20 million travellers now has access to new iconic properties in incredibly popular destinations. The hotels will reap the rewards of cross-brand activity now that we see encouraging travel recovery.”

Jean-Luc Naret, Executive Director of The Set Collection, adds: “We have been carefully building momentum with the launch of The Set Collection, and now the next logical step is for us to add a loyalty solution for our hotels which will help them compete and will make affiliation to The Set Collection even more attractive to luxury independent hotels. The Set Discovery, as it will be known, is the perfect way for us to recognise our guests for their loyalty utilising an already established and well-executed platform, which is both affordable for us to implement and rewarding for The Set Collection’s guests.”

Emotion is today’s true luxury – Sharing Emotions at Top25World.com

The Set Collection’s integration into GHA Discovery will embrace the loyalty programme’s recent reimagination meeting the needs of modern travellers. GHA Discovery is modelled around three member-centric concepts: the industry’s first digital rewards currency, Discovery Dollars (D$); Recognition, with multiple ways to earn elite status and benefits from the first stay; and Live Local, inviting members into the hotels even without a stay, through offers and experiences from pool access to spa days to dining and more. The programme connects 40 brands with more than 800 hotels spread across 100 countries.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Plaza Premium Announces Opening of Plaza Premium Lounge at Edinburgh Airport

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Plaza Premium Announces Opening of Plaza Premium Lounge at Edinburgh Airport - TRAVELINDEXEdinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, May 20,2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Plaza Premium Group, the pioneer in global airport hospitality, is pleased to announce the opening of the new Plaza Premium Lounge at Edinburgh Airport – its first in Scotland. Typically considered the busiest airport in Scotland and the sixth busiest in the UK, the newest opening enables PPG to serve more than 14 million travellers through Edinburgh Airport.

The lounge presents an exciting new feature – the Group’s first gin bar in collaboration with Edinburgh Gin, an award-winning Premium Gin distilled in Edinburgh. Part of Ian Macleod Distillers’ family of brands, Edinburgh Gin pioneered the booming flavoured gin category in 2014 and has gained multiple leading awards for its wide range of naturally flavoured gins. Edinburgh Gin is now the number 1 selling Super Premium Gin in UK Travel Retail. The signature bar will have unique design features and accents of the Edinburgh Gin brand, to be revealed at a later date.

Spanning 670 sq. metres, the inaugural Plaza Premium Lounge in Edinburgh Airport caters to 165 pax and presents a fun space for all ages to spend the airport dwell time. The warm colours of the lounge’s interior and plush seating give travellers a cosy feeling upon entry. Subtle Scottish elements are woven into the interior design, from tartan upholstery to carefully selected local artwork referencing key Scottish landmarks and iconic imagery.

When in the lounge, travellers can choose from a variety of “zones”, then relax to enjoy stunning views of the runways and Edinburgh’s iconic surrounding countryside.

In addition to these features, the lounge caters to travellers with children in an “Interactive Area”. The family-friendly section provides shuffleboard, foosball and large screens showing live sports and entertainment. Iinteractive wall games and a small climbing wall will also keep children entertained and occupied during their wait for flights.

With sustainability in mind, furniture and materials have been sourced from local suppliers to minimize environmental impact. The lighting scheme is comprised of 100% LED lighting, and the lounge is installed with energy-efficient appliances.

“We are thrilled to have entered into this partnership with Plaza Premium Lounge, the world’s leading airport exec lounge operator,” says Ian Macleod Distillers’ Global Travel Retail Director, William Ovens. “Edinburgh Gin enjoys a leading role in the gin category in global travel retail and the Edinburgh Gin bar will become a stand-out showcase for the brand at its home city airport. This installation recognises Edinburgh Gin’s status in the world of gin and will become an iconic destination and major talking point in the months and years to come.”

“We know there is a pent-up demand for travel as people optimistically eye the beginning of the end of the pandemic. There is an overwhelming desire to reunite with family and friends, take that well-earned holiday, or reconnect with clients and we are confident that 2022 will be a key year in travel’s recovery” said Gail Taylor, Director of Retail and Property at Edinburgh Airport. “We want to be able to offer them the opportunity to get their trip off to the perfect start by relaxing in one of our lounges, which is why we are excited to be welcoming Plaza Premium Group to Edinburgh Airport – its first Scottish location,” he added.

“We are pleased to offer all these unique features to our travellers at our first Plaza Premium Lounge at Edinburgh Airport. Our latest offerings prove that we are constantly improving our products and services to cater to the different market needs whilst incorporating local touches to the experience. We are excited to be able to provide our award-winning, best-in-class signature hospitality in our third location in the UK and to introduce more travellers to the Plaza Premium Group. We look forward to expanding to more locations at major airports in Europe and in the UK in the months to follow,” shares Mr. Okan Kufeci, Regional General Manager, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Plaza Premium Group.

The lounge is open daily to all travellers regardless of airline or class of travel, and without pre-booking. Travellers can enjoy Plaza Premium Lounge’s opening offer of 10% for walk-in and 20% discount with their Smart Traveller membership. All services are available for reservation on the Plaza Premium Lounge official website.

Recently awarded Skytrax “World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge” for the fifth consecutive year for, Plaza Premium Lounge’s expansion is a key component in the company’s global “Build Back Better” business transformation strategy.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Accelerate Asia Pacific Aviation Recovery Sustainably

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Accelerate Asia Pacific Aviation Recovery Sustainably - AIRLINEHUB.com - TRAVELINDEXSingapore, Singapore, May 19, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged Asia-Pacific states to further ease border measures to accelerate the region’s recovery from COVID-19.

“Asia-Pacific is playing catch-up on restarting travel after COVID-19, but there is growing momentum with governments lifting many travel restrictions. The demand for people to travel is clear. As soon as measures are relaxed there is an immediate positive reaction from travelers. So it is critical that all stakeholders, including governments are well-prepared for the restart. We cannot delay. Jobs are at stake and people want to travel,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, in his keynote address at the Changi Aviation Summit.

The Asia-Pacific region’s international passenger demand for March reached 17% of pre-COVID levels, after having hovered at below 10% for most of the last two years. “This is far below the global trend where markets have recovered to 60% of pre-crisis levels. The lag is because of government restrictions. The sooner they are lifted, the sooner we will see a recovery in the region’s travel and tourism sector, and all the economic benefits that will bring,” said Walsh.

Walsh urged Asia-Pacific governments to continue easing measures and bring normalcy to air travel by:

– Removing all restrictions for vaccinated travelers.
– Removing quarantine and COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated travelers where there are high levels of population immunity, which is the case in most parts of Asia.
– Lift the mask mandate for air travel when it is no longer required in other indoor environments and public transport.

“Supporting and more importantly accelerating the recovery will need a whole of industry and government approach. Airlines are bringing back the flights. Airports need to be able to handle the demand. And governments need to be able to process security clearances and other documentation for key personnel efficiently,” said Walsh.

China and Japan

Walsh noted that there are two big gaps in the Asia-Pacific recovery story: China and Japan.

“So long as the Chinese government continues to maintain their zero-COVID approach, it is hard to see the country’s borders reopening. This will hold back the region’s full recovery.

While Japan has taken steps to allow travel, there is no clear plan for the reopening of Japan for all inbound visitors or tourists. More needs to be done to further ease travel restrictions, starting with lifting quarantine for all vaccinated travelers, and removing both the on-arrival airport testing and daily arrival cap. I urge the government of Japan to take bolder steps towards recovery and opening of the country’s borders,” said Walsh.

Sustainability

Walsh also called on Asia-Pacific governments to support the industry’s sustainability efforts.

“Airlines have committed to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. A key to our success will be governments sharing the same vision. There are high expectations for governments to agree a long-term goal at the ICAO Assembly later this year. Achieving net zero requires everyone to shoulder their responsibility. And among the most important things that governments should do is incentivizing the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Airlines have bought every drop of SAF that is available. Projects are underway that will see a rapid increase in SAF production over the next years. We see SAF contributing to 65% of the mitigation needed to achieve net zero in 2050. That will require governments to be much more proactive,” said Walsh.

Walsh acknowledged that there have been positive developments in Asia-Pacific. Japan has committed considerable funds for green aviation initiatives. New Zealand and Singapore have agreed to cooperate on green flights. “Singapore’s cross industry International Advisory Panel on a sustainable aviation air hub is a positive example for other states to adopt,” said Walsh. He also called on ASEAN and its partners to do more, particularly looking for opportunities in the region to expand SAF production.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Wine Survey Delivers Great Insights into Wine Consumer Behaviour

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Big Wine Survey Delivers Great Insights into Wine Consumer Behaviour - TOP25VINEYARDS.com - TRAVELINDEXSomerset West, South Africa, May 19, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The results of the inaugural Great BIG Wine Survey brought to you by Hollard, which were released in 2020, elicited an overwhelming response from the wine industry. In a continued show of support for an industry which has been incredibly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Hollard Insurance Group has once again come on board as a sponsor of the 2021 Great BIG Wine Survey.

The Great BIG Wine Survey, initially planned as a lockdown project, has now become an annual event to benchmark and track trends, note shifts in behaviour, and measure progress, thanks to the sponsorship of Hollard Insurance Group as presenting partner.

Hollard National Business Development Manager, Andries Wiese says: “Hollard is delighted to help make available these valuable insights to the South African wine industry. Hollard’s investment in the Great BIG Wine Survey demonstrates our ongoing commitment to business improvement underpinned by our overarching company purpose of ‘securing a better future for all’.”

Much like the Great BIG Wine Survey was a project born in lockdown, a new company transitioned which resulted in Southern Skies launching Vintelligence. This independently owned business is dedicated exclusively to serving the consumer research needs of the South African wine industry with Agri-economist, Pieter van Niekerk appointed to lead this new SA wine intelligence firm.

Pieter had this to say of the insights gained through the 2021 Great BIG Wine Survey (GBWS):

“The wine journey describes how long consumers have been drinking wine, helping to distinguish newer versus more experienced wine drinkers. The consumers’ position on the wine journey has been shown to influence purchasing behaviour and preference which directly impacts wine style preference. The data from the 2021 GBWS has shown that greater volumes of wine are purchased by longer term wine drinkers, with consumers who have been drinking wine for 10+ years purchasing more wine monthly and keeping a larger stock at home. Conversely, newer wine drinkers spend the most per bottle for at home consumption, with young independent singles spending the most per bottle.”

As per the findings in the first GBWS, wine is seen as accessible to everyone, marking a distinct break from historic thinking which categorised wine as a more exclusive beverage. As consumers progress along their wine journey, perceptions of wine being ‘for everyone’ increase. Pricing and recommendation are the strongest drivers, followed by producer when consumers decide on their purchase.

From a packaging perspective, it is interesting to note that while the standard 750ml glass bottle remains the most preferred packaging for wine consumers, it appears that openness to alternative pack types is growing. Bag in box and cans are now available in premium brands which has opened the wine market – another benefit of the pandemic to the industry. Natural cork is still the most preferred seal of a bottle, followed by screw caps, with a preference for natural cork alternatives over synthetic corks.

As consumer engagement increases, the price paid per bottle also increases, with a higher proportion of wine bought in the R100+ category. As engagement increases, volume of wine purchased by month also increases. All these are positive indicators for the local wine industry.

2021 Great BIG Wine Survey Results Webinar

All the 2021 Great BIG Wine Survey results and insights will be presented during a webinar hosted by Pieter van Niekerk who will be joined by panellists Peter McAtamney, founding Principal of Wine Business Solutions (WBS) along with representatives from leading independent consumer insights agency, KLA, Caitlin Bauristhene (Research Director and KLA Partner) and Josie Matterson (Senior Research Manager).

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

MIKE HANNAH: A loss to the industry

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Mike Hannah had a long and distinguished career in travel. He was a senior executive at P.Lawson Travel, Sears Travel and President of UFTA. He was a longtime highly valued member of the Skal Toronto Club and a member of the executive board. He was a familiar presence at the monthly meetings and his experience and expertise proved invaluable over the years.

Mike suffered a massive heart attack three weeks ago and died on Saturday at St. Mike’s Hospital in Toronto. It was the second tragedy for his family as Ann, his wife of 50 years, died just last September.

Mike and Ann Hannah

Mike loved the industry he served so well and for so long. He had a fine sense of humour, loved a round or two of golf with his friends, and enjoyed a glass of red wine. He was especially devoted to his family especially his grandchildren.

Mike and the Skal executive

In a thoughtful gesture that Mike, an avid golfer and a member of the Lambton Golf Club for many years, would surely have loved, in his memory and to honour his long membership and service, Skal Toronto and Skal Toronto North’s annual Golf Tournament taking place this year on August 23rd at the Royal Ontario Golf Course will be named the ‘Mike Hannah Memorial Golf Tournament.’

Funeral details:
Date: Thursday May 26th, 2022
Time: 2:00pm
Location: All Saints Church Kingsway
Address: 2850 Bloor St. West, Etobicoke, Ontario M8X 1B2

Memories of Mike Hannah





First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

A FIRST FOR TRANSAT: Airline lands in California for the first time

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Air Transat began non-stop service to Los Angeles from Montreal this week. This first flight to the City of Angels — famous for its Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sunset Boulevard, countless film studios and Malibu Beach — marks the start of the carrier’s operations in sunny California.

The first TS240 flight to Los Angeles landed on May 16, with passengers and crew greeted with excitement by the airport team.

“We are thrilled to be operating this route and flying passengers to a multifaceted city that is known for its many tourist attractions, but that also represents an excellent gateway to the rest of California,” said Joseph Adamo, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Transat. “The new flight shows our commitment to developing the transborder market and offering new destinations to travellers seeking discovery and experiences,” he added.

“After recently consolidating its position in the transatlantic market with its first flight from Montreal to Amsterdam, Air Transat continues to develop its services, this time to the United States with a new route to Los Angeles. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, our passengers will be happy to enjoy the sunshine of the Pacific Coast. Nothing makes us happier than to see our partners enrich their services. In the end, the entire community benefits from its international airport, and after two difficult years, YUL is well positioned to resume its role as a major air traffic hub,” said Stéphane Lapierre, Vice President, Airport Operations and Air Services Development at ADM.

“The addition of Air Transat at LAX will enhance the economic and tourism ties between Los Angeles and Montreal and give Angelenos a new option when it comes to exploring all that Canada has to offer,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports. “We welcome Air Transat to beautiful Southern California just in time for travellers to head north for fun and vacations this spring and summer.”

Flights to Los Angeles will be operated until the end of October three times weekly, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On May 19, Air Transat will also inaugurate its non-stop service between Montreal and San Francisco, which will run twice a week.

The crew of the very first TS240 flight from Montreal to Los Angeles

This will allow Canadian travellers to book a multi-destination flight; for example, passengers can land in Los Angeles, venture along the scenic Route 1 and return home from San Francisco.

Air Transat passengers flying to California will do so on board the new-generation Airbus A321neoLR which is 15% more fuel efficient, 50% less noisy and lowers emissions of the greenhouse gas NOx by 50% compared to previous generation aircraft. In addition, its modern cabin provides more personal space and larger individual entertainment screens in both Economy and Club Class.

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ANYBODY UP THERE: Congress looks into UFOs, but no signs of extraterrestrials

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Congress held its first hearing in half a century Tuesday on unidentified flying objects. And no, there is still no government confirmation of extraterrestrial life. Testifying before a House Intelligence subcommittee, Pentagon officials did not disclose additional information from their ongoing investigation of hundreds of unexplained sightings in the sky. But they said they had picked a director for a new task force to coordinate data collection efforts on what the government has officially labeled “unidentified aerial phenomena.”

Ronald Moultrie, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, said the Pentagon was also trying to destigmatize the issue and encourage pilots and other military personnel to report anything unusual they see.

“We want to know what’s out there as much as you want to know what’s out there,” Moultrie told lawmakers, adding that he was a fan of science fiction himself. “We get the questions not just from you. We get it from family and we get them night and day.”

Lawmakers from both parties say UFOs are a national security concern. Sightings of what appear to be aircraft flying without discernible means of propulsion have been reported near military bases and coastlines, raising the prospect that witnesses have spotted undiscovered or secret Chinese or Russian technology.

But the sightings are usually fleeting. Some appear for no more than an instant on camera – and then sometimes end up distorted by the camera lens. The US government is believed to hold additional technical information on the sightings that it has not disclosed publicly.

This file video grab image obtained April 28, 2020 courtesy of the US Department of Defense shows part of an unclassified video taken by Navy pilots that have circulated for years showing interactions with “unidentified aerial phenomena”.

An interim report released by intelligence officials last year counted 144 sightings of aircraft or other devices apparently flying at mysterious speeds or trajectories. In all but one of the sightings investigated, there was too little information for investigators to even broadly characterize the nature of the incident.

A top Pentagon official on Tuesday briefly demonstrated the challenge. Scott Bray, deputy director of naval intelligence, stood next to a television to show a short video taken from an F-18 military plane. The video shows a blue sky with passing clouds. In a single frame – which it took several minutes for staff in the room to queue up – there is an image of one balloon-like shape.

“As you can see, finding UAP is harder than you may think,” Bray said, using the acronym for “unidentified aerial phenomena.”

Rep. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat who chaired the hearing, called on investigators to show they “are willing to follow the facts where they lead.”

Rep. Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican, noted that the investigations were not “about finding alien spacecraft but about delivering dominant intelligence.”

“The inability to understand objects in our sensitive operating areas is tantamount to intelligence failure that we certainly want to avoid,” he said.

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Urgent Action Needed to Ensure a Resilient Energy Transition

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Urgent Action Needed to Ensure a Resilient Energy Transition - TRAVELINDEX - ACCENTUREGeneva, Switzerland, May 18, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / A special report on the state of the global energy transition, released today by the World Economic Forum indicates that urgent action is required by both private and public sectors to ensure a resilient transition as the world faces the most severe energy crisis since the 1970s. According to the report, Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022, the urgency for countries to accelerate a holistic energy transition is reinforced by high fuel prices, commodities’ shortages, insufficient headway on achieving the climate goals and slow progress on energy justice and access.

Building on 10 years of the Energy Transition Index, an annual country benchmarking report, this special edition report, launched in collaboration with Accenture, details key recommendations for governments, companies, consumers and other stakeholders on how to progress the energy transition.

Prioritizing a resilient energy transition and diversification of the energy mix is crucial in responding to energy market volatility. To accelerate the transition to cleaner energy supply and demand, the report notes that more countries need to make binding climate commitments, create long-term visions for domestic and regional energy systems, attract private sector investors for decarbonization projects and help consumers and the workforce adjust.

“Countries are at risk of future events compounding the disruption of their energy supply chain at a time when the window to prevent the worst consequences of climate change is closing fast,” said Roberto Bocca, Head of Energy, Materials and Infrastructure, World Economic Forum. “While there are difficult decisions to be taken to align the imperatives of energy security, sustainability and affordability in the short term, now is the time to double down on action.”

The report also reveals the structural barriers to balancing energy affordability, security and availability with sustainability. This is due to compounded shocks to the energy system from a post-pandemic surge in energy demand, fuel supply bottlenecks, inflationary pressures and reconfigured energy supply chains as a result of the war in Ukraine.

To navigate this challenging situation, countries must pursue diversification on two fronts – not only in the domestic energy mix in the long term but also in considering their fuels and energy suppliers in the shorter term. Most countries rely on just a handful of trade partners to meet their energy requirements and have a deficient diversification of energy sources, providing limited flexibility to deal with disruptions. The report notes that of 34 countries with advanced economies, 11 rely on only three trade partners for over 70% of their fuel imports.

“The current energy crisis reveals just how important energy is to people and the economy,” said Espen Mehlum, Head of Energy, Materials and Infrastructure Programme for Benchmarking, World Economic Forum. “It is now critical to tackle the structural risks that have become evident while also increasing momentum on climate action. Success will largely hinge on policy and investments. Prioritizing energy efficiency and ramping up investment in clean energy infrastructure, renewables, clean hydrogen and new nuclear capacity can strengthen energy system resilience and will be a win-win for reducing emissions.”

Muqsit Ashraf, a Senior Managing Director and Global Energy Business Lead, Accenture, said: “Governments need to invest in decarbonizing their energy systems while securing affordable energy supply and companies should look to adopt low-carbon technologies and energy-efficient processes. A key area of focus should be value chain and industrial decarbonization initiatives, which hold great promise for emissions reductions, particularly when they involve collaboration across multiple stakeholders, including customers, suppliers and regulators, on initiatives like circular supply networks and CO2 handling infrastructure.”

There’s also a need to protect consumers and ensure affordable access to energy.

“While navigating this challenging energy and materials landscape, companies have to help protect against rising costs of living for consumers, including in transportation, utilities and electricity,” said Kathleen O’Reilly, Global Lead, Accenture Strategy. “Vulnerable populations in particular, who most feel the impact of volatile energy prices and their impact on other basic goods and services, must be a strategic focus in a transition to sustainability that is equitable in value and scalable in impact. A key facet of this involves defining financial mechanisms to help vulnerable consumers cope with economic shocks, while not reducing incentives for companies to focus on energy efficiency and adoption of sustainability services”.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO Launches Digital Futures Programme for SMEs

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UNWTO Launches Digital Futures Programme for SMEs - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, May 18, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO has announced the launch of the Digital Futures Programme, designed to accelerate the adoption of new technology among tourism enterprises.

Developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading technology, finance and business companies as Mastercard the initiative is focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which make up 80% of all tourism businesses. UNWTO aims to reach at least 1 million tourism SMEs over the lifetime of the Programme, providing them with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to harness the power of new and emerging technologies.

The Digital Futures Programme will help them to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and drive the sector forward, powered by innovation and new technology
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “Small businesses are the backbone of tourism. The Digital Futures Programme will help them to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and drive the sector forward, powered by innovation and new technology.”

In order to provide SMEs with tailored guidance and and tools, the Programme is built on a Digital Readiness Diagnostic Tool that benchmarks SMEs across five key digital dimensions – Connectivity, Business Growth, E-Commerce, Big Data and Analytics, and Payments and Security. The launch event, held at IE Tower in Madrid, was attened by around 200 participants including the Ambassadors to Spain of UNWTO’s Member States, as well as invstement and promotion Agencies, and SMEs themselves.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News