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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

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

Turkey’s Tourism Sector to Grow at Twice the Rate of National Economy

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WTTC - Turkey's Tourism Sector to Grow at Twice the Rate of National Economy - TRAVELINDEX - EUROPETOURISM.netAnkara, Turkey, May 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel and Tourism Council latest Economic Impact Report reveals Turkey’s Travel & Tourism’s GDP is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 5.5% annually between over the next decade, more than twice the 2.5% growth rate of country’s overall economy.

The forecast from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows by 2032, the sector’s contribution to the nations GDP could reach nearly TRY 1,036 billion (US$117 billion), representing 11% of the total economy.

The sector is also expected to create more than 716,000 new jobs over the next decade.

By the end of this year, the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 15.5% to nearly TRY 607 billion (US$68.5 billion), amounting to 8.3% of the nation’s economy, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 4% to reach more than 2.5 million jobs.

Latest flight booking data from WTTC’s knowledge partner ForwardKeys shows that over the key summer period this year, Turkey is set to be the fourth most popular European hot spots amongst sun-seeking travellers, who will be heading to city destinations such as Istanbul, and the beaches of Antalya, Bodrum, and Dalaman.

The data shows that flight bookings are already overtaking pre-pandemic levels with bookings from the UK up 101%.

Other source markets are also outperforming 2019, with bookings from the U.S., Canada, and Ireland up 57%, 28% and 18% respectively.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The future looks bright for Turkey’s Travel & Tourism sector with its contribution to GDP set to outpace the national economy for the next 10 years, creating almost three quarters of a million new jobs.

“Flight booking data from our partner ForwardKeys clearly shows that this popular destination is set to enjoy a bumper summer season.

“Before the pandemic, Turkey’s economy was highly reliant on international tourism, so its recovery is critical to both the economy and jobs.”

Turkey’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP was 11% (TRY 693.3 billion or US$78.2 billion) in 2019, falling to just 5.1% (TRY 327.2 billion or US$36.9 billion) in 2020, which represented a painful 52.8% loss.

The sector also supported nearly 2.6 million jobs across the country, before suffering an 18% drop, falling to 2.1 million.

WTTC’s latest EIR report also reveals that 2021 saw the beginning of the recovery for the Turkish Travel & Tourism sector.

Last year, its contribution to GDP climbed 60.6% year on year, to reach TRY 525.5 billion (US$59.3 billion).

The sector also saw a recovery of almost 300,000 Travel & Tourism jobs, representing a 14% rise to reach more than 2.4 million.

The global tourism body says the sector’s contribution to the economy and employment could have been higher if it weren’t for the impact of the Omicron variant, which led to the recovery faltering around the world, with many countries reinstating severe travel restrictions.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

First Destination Spa at Victoria Falls to Open Soon

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First Destination Spa at Victoria Falls to Open Soon - TOP25SPAS.com - TRAVELINDEXVictoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The largest and first purpose-built spa in Victoria Falls is scheduled to open in October, following a rapid post-Covid tourism recovery, placing Zimbabwe’s top tourist attraction on the map as a wellness destination.

Victoria Falls Safari Spa is being constructed by hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism, whose accommodation portfolio is made up of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites and Lokuthula Lodges.

Construction of Victoria Falls Safari Spa resumed last month, following a two-year delay due to the uncertainties around the impact of Covid-19 on travel and tourism. It had originally been scheduled to open in September 2020.

The spa will be located along a north facing ridge in indigenous woodland in a tranquil setting on the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate. It will be built in harmony with its surrounds, under canvas, reminiscent of African safari tents and filled with ethnic fabrics and artefacts.

It will include a 280m₂ central area featuring manicure and pedicure stations, private relaxation rooms, a café serving healthy dishes, a hair salon and change rooms, including one that is wheelchair-friendly, as well as three outlying separate secluded treatment rooms (one double and two singles).

Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said this an incredibly exciting development to be able to announce on the back of what is showing to be a much more rapid resurgence of tourism post-covid than expected.

“For two years we have had to look at the foundations that we started in March 2020 and to now see the contractors back on site and the project becoming a reality once more is a testament to the tourism recovery we are witnessing and contributing to,” Kennedy said.

“Regional competition requires us to be always reinvesting in our properties and products, and this is just one of the additions we have planned. We are required to create competitive differentiators whilst at the same time enhancing the destination offerings to a wider audience,” he said.

“The health and wellness market is rapidly growing and we believe that Victoria Falls Safari Spa will allow us to fully enter this market. The layout and design allows us to add further treatments and therapies in the future.”

Victoria Falls’ first destination spa will be ideal for wellness weekends, Monday to Thursday breaks, couples’ and wedding packages where bridal parties can book it exclusively.

Victoria Falls Safari Spa will be managed by Michele Vickery, who has 19 years’ experience as a beauty therapist, and treatments will include manicures, pedicures, waxing, tinting, facials, reflexology, body treatments, massages and hairdressing.

The design, décor and treatment menu at the spa, which is expected to create eight jobs, will reflect Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and the spa will use all-natural African products with plant-based ingredients.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UN-Habitat and OCEANIX Unveil World’s First Floating City

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UN-Habitat and OCEANIX Unveil World's First Floating City - TRAVELINDEXBusan, South Korea, May 13, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UN-Habitat, the Busan Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea, and OCEANIX today unveiled at the UN Headquarters the design of the world’s first prototype sustainable floating city. OCEANIX Busan aims to provide breakthrough technology for coastal cities facing severe land shortages that are compounded by climatic threats.

The challenge is massive: two out of every five people in the world live within 100 kilometers of the coast, and 90 percent of mega cities worldwide are vulnerable to rising sea levels. Flooding is destroying billions of dollars worth of infrastructure and forcing millions of climate refugees to leave their homes. With nowhere to expand, rapid urban population growth is pushing people closer to the water, driving housing costs to prohibitive levels, and squeezing the poorest families out.

“Today is a pivotal milestone for all coastal cities and island nations on the frontlines of climate change. We are on track to delivering OCEANIX Busan and demonstrating that floating infrastructure can create new land for coastal cities looking for sustainable ways to expand onto the ocean, while adapting to sea level rise,” said the Chief Executive Officer of OCEANIX, Mr. Philipp Hofmann.

OCEANIX, a blue tech company based in New York, led a team of the world’s best designers, engineers, and sustainability experts in designing the flood-proof prototype. The BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and SAMOO (Samsung Group) were the lead architects of OCEANIX Busan, unveiled at the Second UN Roundtable on Sustainable Floating Cities; a follow up to the inaugural Roundtable in April 2019, where it was agreed to build a prototype with a host city. Busan signed on last year.

“As Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Busan, I take seriously our commitment to the credo ‘The First to the Future’. We joined forces with UN-Habitat and OCEANIX to be the first to prototype and scale this audacious idea because our common future is at stake in the face of sea level rise and its devastating impact on coastal cities,” said Mayor Park Heong-joon, who has set an ambitious agenda, including turning Busan into a green smart city and launching a bid for World Expo 2030.

Speaking at the Roundtable, which took place at the UN Headquarters in New York, and was attended by government ministers of housing, Mayors, Ambassadors, and high-ranking UN officials, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif said. “We cannot solve today’s problems with yesterday’s tools. We need to innovate solutions to global challenges. But in this drive for innovation, let’s be inclusive and equitable and ensure we leave no one and no place behind. I am happy this Roundtable takes place ahead of the High-Level Meeting on the New Urban Agenda, where cities and countries around the world come together to discuss sustainable urbanization.”

“In designing a solution for the most vulnerable coastal locations on the frontlines of climate change, OCEANIX’s new modular maritime neighborhoods will be a prototype for sustainable communities informed by Busan’s unique juxtaposition of old and new. Creating a connection between the city and the seaside, OCEANIX Busan will expand this spirit onto the waterfront,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

OCEANIX Busan is the world’s first prototype of a resilient and sustainable floating community. The interconnected neighborhoods total 6.3 hectares to accommodate a community of 12,000 people. Each neighborhood is designed to serve a specific purpose – living, research, and lodging. There are between 30,000 to 40,000 square meters of mixed-use programs per neighborhood. The floating platforms connect to the land with link-span bridges framing the sheltered blue lagoon of floating recreation, art, and performance outposts. The low-rise buildings on each platform, defined by their soft lines, feature terraces for indoor-outdoor living, helping to activate the network of vibrant public spaces. OCEANIX Busan will organically transform and adapt over time. Starting from a community of 3 platforms with 12,000 residents and visitors, it has the potential to expand to more than 20 platforms. The floating platforms are accompanied by dozens of productive outposts with photovoltaic panels and greenhouses that can expand and contract over time based on the needs of Busan. OCEANIX Busan has six integrated systems: zero waste and circular systems, closed loop water systems, food, net zero energy, innovative mobility, and coastal habitat regeneration. These interconnected systems will generate 100% of the required operational energy on site through floating and rooftop photovoltaic panels. Similarly, each neighborhood will treat and replenish its own water, reduce and recycle resources, and provide innovative urban agriculture.

OCEANIX is a blue tech company founded by Itai Madamombe and Marc Collins Chen in 2018 to design and build floating cities for people to live sustainably on the ocean. OCEANIX design and engineering partners on the Busan prototype include: Prime Movers Lab, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, SAMOO Architects and Engineers, Arup, Bouygues Construction, Helena, the MIT Center for Ocean Engineering, the Korea Maritime and Ocean University, top environmental artist Olafur Eliasson and Studio Other Spaces, Wartsila, Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Mobility in Chain, Sherwood Design Engineers, Agritecture, the Center for Zero Waste Design, Greenwave, and the Global Coral Reef Alliance.

UN-Habitat, works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable cities and human settlements. UN-Habitat’s vision is to achieve “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world”. It works in over 90 countries to promote transformative change through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance and demonstration projects.

Busan, a city of 3.4 million residents, is the second largest city in the Republic of Korea. It is home to the biggest industrial complex in the Southeast Economic Region of Korea. Busan is one of the most important maritime cities of the 21st century, making it a natural choice to deploy the sustainable floating city prototype with its marine engineering capabilities.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Tourism to Create 14 Million Jobs in Africa within the Next Decade

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Tourism to Create 14 Million Jobs in Africa within the Next Decade - VISITKENYA.com - TRAVELINDEXNairobi, Kenya, May 14, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council’s latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) reveals the African Travel & Tourism sector is expected to create almost 14 million new jobs over the next decade.

The positive forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which shows an average of 1.4 million new jobs every year, also reveals the sector will lead the economic recovery in the region, with its annual GDP growth set to outpace the overall economy for the next 10 years.

According to the report, Travel & Tourism’s GDP is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 6.8% annually between 2022-2032, more than twice the 3.3% growth rate of region’s overall economy, to reach nearly US$ 279 billion (7.2% of the total economy).

The sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 20.5% to US$ 144 billion by the end of 2022, amounting to 5.1% of the total economic GDP, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 3.1% this year to reach nearly 22 million jobs.

The global tourism body’s annual report also shows further optimism for the region’s Travel & Tourism GDP, which could approach pre-pandemic levels by 2023 – just 9% below 2019 levels.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Africa is clearly bouncing back and is set to experience a significant recovery over the couple of years and looking ahead over the next 10 years, the sector could create almost 14 million jobs.

“However, last year the recovery was significantly impacted by Omicron, which saw many countries reinstating severe and unjustified travel restrictions on several key African destinations.”

Before the pandemic, the Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP was 6.8% (US$182.4 billion) in 2019, falling to just 3.8% (US$96.5 billion) in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height, nearly halving the contribution of such a crucial sector to the economy with a 47.1% decline.

The sector also supported more than 25 million jobs across the region, which after a 22.9% drop, fell to just 19.6 million in 2020.

However, looking back at 2021, WTTC’s latest EIR report reveals a year in which we saw the beginning of the recovery for the region’s Travel & Tourism sector, Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP increased 23.5% year on year, to reach more than US$119 billion.

It also saw a recovery of 1.6 million Travel & Tourism jobs, representing a positive 8.2% rise to reach more than 21 million.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Jamaica Can Now Be Booked on Emirates Airline System

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Jamaica Can Now Be Booked on Emirates Airline - TRAVELINDEXDubai, United Arab Emirates, May 12, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Kingston and Montego Bay now available for booking in Emirates Airline System. A major outcome of Jamaica’s debut participation at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai is that Emirates Airlines, the largest airline in the Gulf Coast Countries (GCC) is now selling Jamaica.

Two meetings held on Tuesday May 10 saw an immediate entry of Jamaica in the airline system. Minister of Tourism, the Hon Edmund Bartlett, met with His Highness Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates Group to formalize the decision, then Director of Tourism, Mr Donovan White met with the Emirates operational teams to work out the details for Jamaica to be entered into the system.

Both Norman Manley and Sangster International Airports are now listed in the airline system, with ticket pricing available. Flights are offered with options over JFK, New York, Newark, Boston and Orlando. One option goes through Malpensa Italy, allowing access to the European market as well. Importantly, this is being sold by Emirates Holidays.

According to Minister Bartlett, “This is a major initiative for Jamaica as it is opens the middle eastern gateway from Asia and North Africa. It is the first time that Destination Jamaica is entered into the ticketing system of a GCC airline and gives the JTB significant leverage to negotiate direct flights to the destination.” Discussions began in October 2021 when Minister Bartlett and Director White made their first visit to Expo 2020.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News