American Express Global Business Travel acquires Banks Sadler

American Express Global Business Travel acquires Banks Sadler

American Express Global Business Travel acquires Banks Sadler

American Express Global Business Travel has completed the previously announced acquisition of Banks Sadler.

The international event management agency, headquartered in London, becomes part of American Express Meetings & Events, a division of American Express GBT.

As a result of the purchase, Issa Jouaneh, senior vice president and general manager of American Express Meetings & Events, says Banks Sadler customers will profit from an expanded value proposition.

He explained: “We are bringing together one of the most respected agencies in the meetings and events sector with our leading capabilities and global footprint.

“The future of the business, and the collective value we can provide customers, is very exciting – everyone involved stands to benefit.”
With the completion, nearly 250 Banks Sadler employees join GBT’s approximately 12,000 employees around the world.

Banks Sadler was founded in 1982 in London and currently has offices in York, Windsor, Paris, Dusseldorf and New York.

Leigh Jagger, chief executive, Banks Sadler, added: “We bring an independent and entrepreneurial agency mindset to the table.

“This combined with the expertise and global footprint possessed by one of the largest travel, meetings and events companies in the world will generate massive opportunities for the business and our customers.”

Facebook heads to Rwanda for Annual World Tourism Conference

Facebook heads to Rwanda for Annual World Tourism Conference

Facebook heads to Rwanda for Annual World Tourism Conference

Attending the Annual World Tourism Conference in Rwanda, Facebook and Instagram representatives were in Kigali this week to discuss and explore ways in which social media can be used to effectively drive tourism growth across Africa.

Showcasing how both platforms can be used as a tool to creatively help change the narrative of Africa as a tourist destination, the team also took part in a live panel discussion exploring the ‘Evolution of Online Travel and Lifestyle Tourism: Leveraging Africa’s Diversity’.

The event, developed by the Rwanda Development Board, the Corporate Council on Africa and the Africa Travel Association, saw government officials, tourism ministers, tourism boards and business professionals from across the world and the continent descend onto the capital.

Showcasing how tourism operators and agencies can leverage Instagram, Facebook Live and Facebook 360, the Facebook and Instagram team discussed how new technologies can be used to create a seamless experience for both the tourist and the operator; from immersive travel experiences to entice potential customers, to using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to allow tourism companies to build customer service channels and communicate with customers prior to booking, during their trip and on their return home.

Commenting on Facebook’s involvement in the World Tourism Conference Akua Gyekye, public policy manager for Africa at Facebook said: “Social platforms offer tourism agencies and companies in Rwanda and across the Continent, wonderful opportunities to put their countries firmly on the map.

“We’re excited to share ideas about how Instagram and Facebook can help Africa share its rich culture and beautiful landscapes with the world, and connect with the tourists of today and the future —an effort we’re proud to support.”

Ahead of the conference, Facebook undertook a number of training sessions including partnering with the ATA and Rwanda Development, the local business council, to train 100 tourism focused small and medium businesses in how to use Facebook platforms to promote, engage with communities, and grow their operations.

Seguin to lead Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort

Seguin to lead Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort

Seguin to lead Outrigger Mauritius Beach ResortOutrigger Enterprises Group has appointed Franck Seguin general manager of the Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort, effective September 1st, 2017.

He will report to Outrigger president and chief executive Scott Dalecio.

Seguin brings to Outrigger more than 20 years of experience in hospitality, including senior resort management roles in the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean and North Africa.

Most recently, he was general manager of the Banyan Tree Takamaka in the Seychelles.

Seguin also knows Mauritius well, having been general manager of the Angsana Balaclava, a five-star suites and villas property, and the Intercontinental Balaclava, a 210-room hotel – both in Mauritius.

Apart from his native French, Seguin speaks English and conversational Spanish.

He has a bachelor’s degree in hotel and tourism management from the Vatel Business School in Lyon, France.

“It’s my pleasure to welcome Franck to Outrigger,” said Dalecio.

“With his in-depth Indian Ocean knowledge and international hotel experience, Franck will help us grow the already acclaimed reputation of the Outrigger Mauritius Beach Resort.”

InterContinental Ljubljana opens in Slovenian capital

InterContinental Ljubljana opens in Slovenian capital

InterContinental Ljubljana opens in Slovenian capital

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts continues its trailblazing heritage by opening the doors to InterContinental Ljubljana in Slovenia’s beguiling capital.

The city is one of the latest rising stars in a hot list of emerging destinations in eastern Europe.

Located in a modern 20-floor building in the centre of Ljubljana, the luxury InterContinental Ljubljana is just a short walk from the iconic Ljubljanica River, Park Tivoli and Ljubljana Castle.

The hotel has 165 guest rooms including 15 suites, most with panoramic views, and features contemporary interior design with sophisticated details reflecting Slovenian authenticity.

With its blend of culinary, design and cultural influences from neighbouring Austria, Italy and Croatia, Ljubljana sits in the heart of one of Europe’s most diverse countries.

The charming city centre is steeped in history, architecture and a hive of traditional and fusion cuisine, making it the ideal 48-hour city break for romantics and culture lovers alike.

InterContinental Ljubljana is perfectly placed to explore the city, from enjoying the local brda wine or trying the newest food markets, or to discover the neighbouring regions, from wine-tasting in the Vipava Valley, boating on Lake Bled, or skiing in the Triglav national park.

Tom Rowntree, vice president brand management, luxury & boutique brands, Europe, at InterContinental Hotels Group, commented: “InterContinental Hotels & Resorts has been pioneering luxury travel in emerging destinations around the world for more than 70 years, and InterContinental Ljubljana is a prime example of this.

“Slovenia is a country of rich diversity, fusing multiple European influences in its food, culture, design and landscape – InterContinental Ljubljana brings this together in one very sophisticated and stylish offering.”

InterContinental Ljubljana also features a bar, a patisserie, a spa with an indoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a spacious Club InterContinental lounge with a fireplace, and extensive meeting and banqueting space with capacities for up to 300 guests.

In addition, using its international know how and local insights, Club InterContinental offers an enhanced service with bespoke package experiences and rewards.

Modena by Fraser undergoes brand refresh

Modena by Fraser undergoes brand refresh

Modena by Fraser undergoes brand refresh

Frasers Hospitality is refreshing its Modena by Fraser serviced residence brand as part of its commitment to meeting the evolving needs of travellers through continuous innovation.

In conjunction with the first anniversary celebrations of Modena by Fraser Bangkok, Frasers Hospitality is rejuvenating the Modena by Fraser brand with an emphasis on simplicity, sustainability and holistic wellness in the creation of modern living spaces.

Combining functional home comforts with the convenience of state-of-the-art meeting facilities, Modena by Fraser appeals to guests seeking comprehensive amenities in a relaxed and simple environment.

Launched in 2010, the Modena by Fraser brand was created to offer affordable and stylish fully-serviced residences in fast-growing cities and it made its debut with the opening of Modena by Fraser Putuo Shanghai.

The successful launch of Modena by Fraser Putuo Shanghai was followed by four additional openings under the Modena by Fraser portfolio, including Modena by Fraser New District Wuxi and Modena by Fraser Zhuankou Wuhan in 2014, Modena by Fraser Bangkok in 2016, and Modena by Fraser Changsha in 2017.

At the heart of the revamped Modena by Fraser Brand is holistic wellness.

The service offerings are designed to help guests feel at home from the moment they arrive, allowing them to transition as smoothly as possible into their new ‘home’ so that they can focus on the task at hand.

One of the new features of the revamped Modena by Fraser brand is the provision of a carefully curated sleeping pack consisting of camomile tea, eye masks and a pillow menu, which has been specially developed to help guests feel relaxed and recharged for the day ahead.

Travellers can also unwind after a busy schedule through a diverse range of recreational amenities such as 24-hour gym, steam and sauna facilities and all-day dining options.

“As a growing global hospitality brand, we are committed to staying responsive to our guests’ travel needs by evolving with the changing consumer landscape.

“We recognise the pressures that travellers often experience in this fast-paced world, which is why Modena by Fraser has been designed to create a private sanctuary for our guests.

“To improve travellers’ quality of sleep, we have introduced a new sleep kit that includes a pillow menu, so that guests can feel prepared and recharged the next day.

“By focusing on simple, minimalist and intuitive design, the Modena by Fraser brand offers a solution that takes care of guests, the environment and the local community concurrently.

“We aim to raise awareness among today’s travellers about the positive experiences that indulging in simplicity creates for them,” Choe Peng Sum, chief executive of Frasers Hospitality said.

Qatar Airways adds new flights to Kathmandu, Nepal

Qatar Airways adds new flights to Kathmandu, Nepal

Qatar Airways adds new flights to Kathmandu, Nepal

Qatar Airways will add an additional daily flight on its Doha-Kathmandu route from September 1st, to meet high demand during Nepal’s festival season, which takes place every year in September and October.

The additional frequency will be served by an Airbus A320, departing Doha at 01:25 and arriving in Kathmandu at 08:55.

The added flight will accommodate passengers travelling to Nepal for its annual festival season, which features many large parades and outdoor fairs offering traditional Nepalese music and a colourful atmosphere.

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is an expanding metropolis filled with ancient temples, beautiful walled gardens and many markets offering an assortment of local crafts, pieces of jewellery and traditional clothing.

Visitors to Kathmandu can spend the day wandering among the famed temples and relics of this ancient city, soaking up its atmosphere and enjoying an exhilarating feast for the senses.

Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to add an additional frequency to Kathmandu, in anticipation of increased demand for passengers travelling to Nepal for the festival season.

“This additional daily flight will allow our passengers even more opportunity to experience Kathmandu, a captivating city that draws travellers from all over the globe.”

With the additional daily flight starting on September 1st, Qatar Airways will offer four daily flights between Doha and Kathmandu, providing its passengers even more flexibility when travelling to Nepal.

The award-winning airline recently added additional flights to Colombo and Dhaka, to accommodate increased demand to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Final touches put in place for World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony

Final touches put in place for World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony

Final touches put in place for World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony

World Travel Awards Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony is almost here, with the final preparations being put in place.

Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa will welcome hospitality leaders from across the region on Saturday, September 16th, as they gather to see who among them has been voted the pinnacle of the travel industry.

This will be the fifth time World Travel Awards has visited Turks & Caicos, following dazzling ceremonies at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa back in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2012.

The highly anticipated WTA Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony will kick off with a cocktail reception at 19:00 while the gala ceremony and dinner commences at 20:00 and will, this year, be compered by Anastagia Pierre.

An international model, actress and television host, Anastagia has graced the pages of esteemed publications such as Sports Illustrated and GQ and walked the catwalk for designers including Chloe, Roberto Cavalli and Herve Leger.

Her television credits include co-hosting The Morning Show for NBC Miami, in addition to featuring on major television networks such as HBO, MTV and TLC.

Delegates attending the World Travel Awards event will also be dazzled by a collection of island entertainment including the “We Funk” junkanoo group, delivering a traditional parade of masks, costumes and instruments led by Kitchener Penn, and a live sampling of Beaches Turks & Caicos’ new cinematic entertainment series, Voilà, which will showcase excerpts from its Dolce Vita and Treasure Island.

Looking ahead to the glittering event, World Travel Awards president Graham Cooke, said: “It will be an absolute pleasure for us to return to Turks & Caicos for our annual Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony.

“We have had a long and fruitful relationship with Sandals Resorts International and I can think of no better partner for this event.

“I can’t wait to welcome all of our nominees to Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa in just a couple of weeks.”

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Gordon “Butch” Stewart, said: “We are delighted to once again play host to the World Travel Awards Caribbean & North American Gala and to welcome the region’s hospitality stars to Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa.”

Stewart continued: “It is an honour and privilege, especially during Beaches’ 20th anniversary year, to celebrate this industry which brings joy to our guests and is so critical to the success and well-being of the Caribbean and its people.”

Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.

World Travel Awards Gala Ceremonies are widely regarded as the best networking opportunities in the travel industry, attended by government and industry leaders, luminaries and international print and broadcast media.

Finnair to launch flights to Nanjing, China, from May 2018

Finnair to launch flights to Nanjing, China, from May 2018

Finnair to launch flights to Nanjing, China, from May 2018

In line with its growth strategy, Finnair is opening a new year-round route to Nanjing, China.

In addition the airline is also increasing capacity to several of its popular short haul destinations and to many long haul destinations such as Tokyo, Bangkok and Delhi during the summer 2018 season.

Further strengthening its solid presence in China, Finnair will commence a new year-round route between Helsinki and Nanjing, China.

Located along Yangtze River, Nanjing is one of the four ancient capitals of China, and a vibrant centre for culture and economy.

With a population of over eight million people, Nanjing is an important commercial hub and leisure destination with growing passenger and cargo demand.

Offering convenient transfers to Finnair’s network of over 100 destinations via its hub, Helsinki Airport, the new route between Helsinki and Nanjing will be operated three times per week during the summer season and two times per week during the winter season.

The opening of the Nanjing route will increase Finnair’s growing footprint in north-east Asia, with the Finnish carrier flying to seven destinations in China during the 2018 summer season.

Altogether, Finnair will fly 38 weekly flights to Greater China, flying daily flights to both Beijing and Shanghai, four weekly flights to both Chongqing and Guangzhou, three weekly flights to both Nanjing and Xi’an as well as ten weekly flights to Hong Kong.

“We are very pleased to be expanding our growing network in China with the addition of Nanjing, our seventh destination in Greater China,” said Juha Järvinen, chief commercial officer at Finnair.

“Finnair is fast becoming one of the biggest and most preferred European carriers operating between Europe and China.

“Next year will also mark a very important milestone in our history as we will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Finnair’s inaugural flight to Beijing and China.”

The inaugural flight to Nanjing will take place on May 13th, 2018 and the new route will be operated by an Airbus A330 aircraft.

Antigua & Barbuda reports uptick in UK bookings following campaign

Antigua & Barbuda reports uptick in UK bookings following campaign

Antigua & Barbuda reports uptick in UK bookings following campaign

The Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority’s recent marketing campaign has contributed to the growth in revenue being reported by UK tour operators, despite Brexit.

Luxury tour operator, the Inspiring Travel Company (part of the ITC Travel Group, which also owns the Western & Oriental brand) has reported growth in Antigua bookings with the island becoming one of its strongest destinations in the Caribbean.

The revenue for Antigua bookings for 2017 is up three per cent year on year, despite a drop in room nights.

This shows that the destination can earn more income with lower numbers.
Revenue for 2018 is soaring.

Jean-Marc Flambert, vice president sales and marketing UK & Europe, at the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority said: “The idea behind the campaign in June 2017 was to increase awareness of the destination beyond the beach, proactively push last minute summer and autumn sales to Antigua as well as bookings for 2018.

“We are delighted to see that tour operators are reporting not only strong bookings, but increased revenue.

“It showcases the strength of brand marketing and how despite the economic challenges in the UK, there is an appetite for exclusive destinations like Antigua and Barbuda.

“We look forward to continuing to support our tour operator partners by engaging with the UK consumer.”

More Information

Breaking Travel News recently caught up with Antiguan cricketing legends Andy Roberts, Curtly Ambrose, and Viv Richards as they dropped into the UK to promote tourism in the destination Antigua & Barbuda.

Cathay Pacific expands Europe connections for summer 2018

Cathay Pacific expands Europe connections for summer 2018

Cathay Pacific expands Europe connections for summer 2018

Cathay Pacific continues to grow Hong Kong’s connections to the world.

From summer 2018, the airline will launch pioneering non-stop routes linking Hong Kong with Brussels, Dublin and Copenhagen, further strengthening the airline’s network and providing new trade and tourism opportunities between Asia and Europe.

Cathay Pacific chief executive, Rupert Hogg, said that the announced services will meet customer demand for non-stop travel to these vibrant cities, while at the same time providing Europe-based passengers with more convenient access to key destinations in Asia and south-west Pacific through the airline’s home in Hong Kong.

He added: “We’re excited to offer the only direct flights between Hong Kong and Brussels, Dublin and Copenhagen.

“These are all fantastic destinations and attract business and leisure travellers from the world over.

“We listened to our customers’ demands for more options and greater flexibility and have responded by building direct air links with these great cities.”

Following the recent launch of services to Gatwick, Madrid and Barcelona, Cathay Pacific’s European expansion continues.

With the commencement of the new routes, the airline’s network will cover 15 European destinations served direct from Hong Kong.

James Ginns, Cathay Pacific regional general manager, Europe, added: “These three fantastic additions to our ever-expanding European network are as a result of our response to growing customer demand for more travel choices and greater flexibility.

“European-based business and leisure travellers will now be able to enjoy an even more seamless connection via Hong Kong to other key destinations in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

“The vibrant cites of Brussels, Dublin, and Copenhagen enable Cathay Pacific to tap into some of the largest unserved markets between Europe and Hong Kong.

“No doubt these new destinations will attract customers from the world over, who will soon be able to experience Cathay Pacific’s signature heartfelt service on-board our state-of-the-art A350 aircraft.”