BWH Hotel Group Aiden Begins 2023 by Doubling Size of Global Portfolio

Best Western Hotels - BWH Hotel Group Aiden Begins 2023 by Doubling Size of Global Portfolio - TRAVELINDEX - TOP25HOTELS.comBangkok, Thailand, February 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / BWH Hotel Group is expanding its upscale, chic boutique brand, Aiden, as the brand is set to grow by over 200% in the years ahead with the portfolio doubling in 2023 alone. Highlights of the brand growth include the upcoming launch of Aiden in India and the launch of Aiden in Scandinavia, where 30 new hotels have been added to the portfolio, each of which offers groundbreaking hologram concierge service.

Aiden offers guests access to the pinnacle of boutique, resort and upscale lodging, and an experience as unique as the destination of each hotel. The brand currently boasts 19 hotels in key travel destinations around the world, such as Australia, France, Italy, South Korea and across the U.S in cities like Scottsdale, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Berkley, California.

“There’s no denying that travelers today are seeking distinctive experiences that embody the character of their hotel’s destination, and that’s what Aiden is all about,” said Larry Cuculic, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This brand delivers on the evolving interests of today’s travelers, giving them a boutique experience from a trusted global hotel company. Developers are recognizing the traveler interest in Aiden as well – the brand is quickly becoming the boutique hotel of choice for the next generation of developers.”

“Each Aiden hotel is a personality specially crafted to provide travelers with a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Brad LeBlanc, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “Through modern amenities and bold touches, Aiden reflects the flair and vibrancy of the world around us to deliver a reimagined travel experience. The brand has been a true success story for BWH Hotel Group, and we see a long runway ahead for Aiden.”

The projected growth includes the opening of 30 hotels in Scandinavia in partnership with CIC Hospitality, welcoming the Aiden brand to the region. Each of these 30 hotels will offer digital hologram concierge for check-in, check-out, and guest services. This groundbreaking technology marries innovation and superior guest service to bring a truly unique and modern experience.

The Scandinavian portfolio of Aiden hotels will be built in strategic locations, such as near universities, larger companies and event venues. Sustainability will be central to the Scandinavian Aiden portfolio with solar roofing and modular design driving environmental efficiencies at many of these hotels. The first hotel, Aiden by Best Western Herning, will open in February in the Danish city of Herning. This will be Denmark’s first modular built hotel and will offer 204 rooms, a gym with a sauna, conference rooms and inviting areas for socializing or working.

“We are excited about the remarkable growth we’re seeing in our global Aiden portfolio,” said Ron Pohl, President of International Operations. “There are many markets around the world that are ready for a hotel product like Aiden, and we are capitalizing on demand in key markets such as Scandinavia, India, Thailand and Australia. We look forward to continuing to bring this exceptional product to life in destinations across the globe.”

About BWH Hotel Group
BWH Hotel Group is a leading, global hospitality network comprised of three hotel companies, including WorldHotels™ Collection, Best Western® Hotels & Resorts and SureStay Hotel Group®. The global network boasts approximately 4,500 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*. With 19 brands across every chain scale segment, from economy to luxury, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market.

*Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.

China’s Outbound Tourism Is Beckoning. What’s Next?

China’s Outbound Tourism Is Beckoning. What’s Next - TRAVELINDEXBrussels, Belgium, February 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Is China back in the international market? How soon and to what degree? What does the new era look like? How should we prepare for it? Where does the sustainability piece fit in the puzzle?

The recent “China Tourists 2023 Webinar” addressed these questions and more. Presented by TourismWebinar, the event attracted high-level speakers and attendees worldwide, including former UNWTO Secretary-General, Dr. Taleb Rifai and first WTTC President, Geoffrey Lipman.

Dr. Reza Soltani organized the event. Previously engaged in international conference business, Soltani founded Tourism Webinars based in Belgium during the pandemic and has since produced over 50 webinars and symposiums with a broad range of topics.

Industry expert, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt kicked off the webinar. He is the Founder and CEO of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) based in Germany. Deeply involved in the Chinese tourism circle over a 45-year span, Arlt has seen China’s outbound tourism development from its infancy to its pinnacle and rock bottom.

Arlt gave a recount of China’s travel industry practices during the three-year pandemic. COTRI forecasts about 110 million outbound border crossings in 2023, and about 228 million in 2030; About 50% of the trips would be visiting Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan. Arlt laid out the changes and new trends in the industry and shared available resources/tools produced by COTRI.

Arlt and Gary Bowerman recently co-authored and published the book, China Outbound Tourism Handbook 2023: 88 Practical Ways to Prepare for the New Wave of Chinese Visitors. Bowerman is an Asia Travel Analyst for Phocuswright, Director of Check-in Asia, and Co-host for the South East Asia Travel Show podcast. He discussed more details of the book.

The 104-page book introduces the developmental drivers of the first 25 years of Chinese outbound tourism since 1997 and assesses the outlook up to 2030. It mainly focuses on 88 key themes that will influence the new wave of Chinese outbound travel, for example, Adventure Tourism, e-Payments, KOLs & KOCs, Metaverse and Mixed Reality, New Frugality, Patriotism and Winter Tourism. It includes citations from 48 countries/territories and 25 Chinese cities/provinces. With 264 practical tips, the book serves as “a practical handbook for applying insights into practice”. The book is now available on Amazon.

Other speakers at the Chinese Tourists 2023 Webinar included regional experts from Laos, Bhutan, Malaysia, etc. Shradha Shrestha with Nepal Tourism Board introduced the “Nepal Ready for China” initiative, which is an integrated G2G, B2B, B2C and C2C promotional approach.

Cathy Germier-Hamel, CEO of Destination Mekong, based in Cambodia, spoke on behalf of the seven countries/regions organization. She emphasized that destinations need to focus on value over volume, and quality over quantity. She shared that the Mekong region has been working on better offerings in adventure travel/ecotourism, cultural heritage tourism, community-based tourism, etc. to Chinese visitors.

China’s outbound tourism accounted for nearly 20% of global tourism spending in 2019, cited by Professor Haiyan Song of SHTM, HK Polytechnic University. He presented the analysis of China’s outbound travel to Asian countries/regions along with retail expenditures, and he brought attention to a joint research project with WTTC on global retail tourism to be released in several months.

Former Executive Director of IATA and current President of SUNx Malta Geoffrey Lipman, spoke strongly about sustainability while driving economic terms. As an Envoy for Sustainable Tourism Global Center and lead for the new Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC), Lipman urged the travel industry to ensure that predicted growth is sustainable in the sense of fitting into the SDGs and supporting the Paris 1.5 degrees maximum warming scenario.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China recently announced the opening of pilot outbound group tours for Chinese nationals to 20 countries, starting Feb. 6. While savvy travelers and young wanderlusts would opt for FIT and semi-customized travel, group tours will continue to hold a healthy market share with niche markets, such as youth groups and senior groups (55 and plus, with 280 million in China.)

In addition, the Ministry released the week-long Spring Festival holidays (Jan. 21-27) travel data: Domestic travelers totaled 308 million, an increase of 23.1% from 2022 and at 88.6% of the 2019 level; Tourism spending totaled RMB 375.84 billion, 30% increase from 2022 and at 73.1% of 2019 level. In a way, these data partially reflect China’s outbound tourism dynamics.

(To view the full Chinese Tourists Webinar:

Haybina Hao reporting for Travelindex on travel, agritourism, adventure travel, destinations, travel industry issues, etc.

Haybina is an international travel industry journalist and reports in both Chinese and English. Linkedin

Alain St.Ange Boards The World to Lecture as it Sails to Seychelles

Alain St.Ange Boards The World to Lecture as it Sails to Seychelles - TRAVELINDEXMale, Maldives, February 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who now heads his own ‘Saint Ange Tourism Consultancy’ this morning boarded the luxury Cruise Ship ‘THE WORLD’ at Patina Maldives and will be sailing on the ship back to Seychelles arriving in the afternoon of Sunday the 5th February.

Mr St.Ange was approached by the Destination Services at Head Office of ‘THE WORLD’ in the USA inviting him to lecture on the cruise ship as it sails in Seychelles.

When contacted by the press about his lecture and his 5 day stay on ‘THE WORLD’, Mr St.Ange explained that his role was to sell Seychelles as a tourism destination and to entice the passengers on board the ship to take excursions when the ship stops at Port Victoria in Mahe, in Praslin and La Digue. “Spelling out the key USPs of Seychelles and what not to be missed will be the base of my lecture as well as talking about the history of the islands” St.Ange said.

Former Minister St.Ange said that he was thankful to the PS for Tourism for the destination promotional posters, the History of Seychelles book and the promotional clips which he received.

“My time on the ship especially in one to one with passengers should go a long way to help with the Seychelles Tourism drive” said Alain St.Ange

Deborah Rothe Takes Over as Head of ITB Berlin

Deborah Rothe Takes Over as Head of ITB Berlin - TRAVELINDEXBerlin, Germany, February 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Deborah Rothe follows in the footsteps of David Ruetz as exhibition director of ITB Berlin, the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. In December 2022, Ruetz became senior vice president of Travel + Logistics at Messe Berlin, in which role he oversees the ILA Berlin Airshow as well as the global ITB brand family, along with its strategic development.

As with immediate effect Deborah Rothe is taking over as exhibition director and project manager of ITB Berlin. The event will take place live in Berlin from 7 to 9 March 2023 as an exclusive B2B event. She replaces David Ruetz, who as head of ITB Berlin took over the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show in 2002. He was instrumental in building the global brand that is ITB and also contributed significantly to establishing ITB Asia in Singapore and ITB China in Shanghai. He also identified the potential of the Indian travel market and supported developing ITB India which, after two virtual editions, this year will for the first time be taking place as an in-person event in Mumbai and will further strengthen ITB’s position as a global marketplace for the travel industry.

Rothe has been employed at Messe Berlin since 2011 and joined ITB Berlin in 2014. From August 2019, as head of Business Development & Sales, her focus was on developing ITB Berlin and marketing exhibitor and visitor business for the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. She was also instrumental in driving the B2B networking event series TRVLX by ITB in European markets, which in future will continue to be an established part of the ITB portfolio.

“With Deborah Rothe, I am delighted to be appointing an experienced colleague for this important task at ITB Berlin. With her long years of experience at ITB Berlin, not only does she know the event extremely well, she also has in-depth industry knowledge”, said David Ruetz, senior vice president, Messe Berlin.

“As exhibitor director of the World’s Largest Tourism Trade Show, I look forward to the tasks and challenges ahead. Together with our global ITB brand family and ITB Berlin we provide an impetus for many areas of the travel and tourism industry. That is why new concepts, innovation and ongoing development are essential. I look forward to driving this effort with the team“, said Deborah Rothe, exhibition director, ITB Berlin.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2023 will take place from Tuesday, 7 March, to Thursday, 9 March, as a pure B2B event. Since 1966, ITB Berlin has been the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. The internationally renowned ITB Berlin Convention will take place parallel to the show and will be held live on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds – selected sessions will be streamed on ITBxplore. The ITB Berlin convention is the world’s largest travel industry event of its kind. In 2022 it took place as a virtual event on the brand’s website and registered 60,700 attendees from 125 countries who took part in more than 100 sessions featuring 223 speakers. In 2022, under the heading ’TRVLX by ITB’, ITB Berlin has planned a series of B2B networking events in European markets – the kick-off event took place in May in Georgia. Before the pandemic at ITB Berlin 2019, around 10,000 exhibitors from 181 countries displayed their products and services to some 160,000 visitors, including 113,500 trade visitors.

Anantara Heralds French Debut with Opening of Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel

Anantara Heralds French Debut with Opening of Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel - - TRAVELINDEXNice, France, January 31, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / The arrival of Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel in a rejuvenated 19th century architectural jewel on Nice’s boardwalk, marks a triumphant return of one of the most storied hotels on Côte d’Azur and a continuation of Anantara’s European expansion. The heritage property overlooking the Promenade des Anglais is now open following an extensive two-year renovation to its Belle Époque era glory.

Centrally located at the entrance to Nice’s Golden Square, Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel overlooks Albert 1er gardens and the glittering Promenade des Anglais – the most famous stretch of seafront in Nice. Reopening with 151 rooms including 38 suites, many with sea-facing terraces and balconies, the remarkable 175-year-old building features a new Anantara Spa, a seminar space with six meeting rooms and a ballroom, as well as a stylish rooftop restaurant and bar with a 360-degree panoramic view of the Baie des Anges and Old Nice.

A consortium of interior designers and architects including award-winning David Collins Studio, local architect Jean-Paul Gomis and TBC Studio delivered elegant interiors that blend old-world elegance with contemporary luxuries. The design honours the neo-classical style of the original hotel, first opened in 1848, as Nice’s very first luxury hotel, bringing the heritage building on Nice’s Avenue de Verdun up to date with modern tastes.

Inspired by the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and the golden era of Côte d’Azur, Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel’s guest rooms and suites combine comfortable sophistication with exclusive Anantara touches. Offering views of the sea or manicured gardens, the marble-clad interiors feature pastel tones and rich Mediterranean textures to create a tranquil atmosphere, with subtle accents of wood and gold to stimulate the senses.

To experience Nice in the ultimate French Riviera style, guests can book the 54-square-metre Baie des Anges Signature Suite which comes with a spacious living area, a kitchenette and a panoramic terrace overlooking the world famous Baie. Even grander is the 75-square-metre Presidential Suite located on the 5th floor, an elegant space with breathtaking views of Baie des Anges from an inviting terrace designed for sunbathing and private celebrations.

Situated on the iconic rooftop, SEEN by Olivier, the hotel’s signature restaurant, offers a taste of glamorous city life and contemporary Mediterranean fare from Portuguese chef-entrepreneur Olivier da Costa. Like his trendy eateries in Lisbon, Sao Paulo and Bangkok, the new SEEN in Nice blends striking views, imaginative mixology and gastronomic discoveries ranging from Niçoise specialties subtly scented with black truffles from the nearby village of Le Rouret to briny sea urchins and plump oysters from local waters. The breezy setting is seductive, offering 360° views of the city and Baie des Anges from indoor and outdoor tables.

At Les Colonnades, a glamorous Caviar and Champagne lounge with indigenous flavours and interiors inspired by the visual synergy of Nice’s tropical gardens and the sea will serve fresh seafood alongside light bites, local fare and wine by the glass. In the afternoon, a signature Afternoon Tea à la Niçoise, will transport guests to a glamorous bygone era.

Being a year-round destination, Nice and the nearby French Riviera resorts of St Tropez, Monaco, Cannes and Alpes-Maritimes have no shortage of exciting activities. Making the most of its central location, Anantara Plaza Nice offers a rich programme of private guest experiences inviting travellers to explore hilltop villages, vineyards dating back to Roman times and little-known architectural gems.

With a full-day ‘In the Footsteps of Coco Chanel’ tour, guests will not only get insights into the creative life of the iconic French designer but will also have a chance to tour one of France’s oldest wineries at Château de Cremat. Enjoy a wine tasting experience of Anantara’s private cuvées, lunch in the hills high above Nice and a visit to Coco Chanel’s official residence in Nice.

Meanwhile, to discover the fascinating art of glass blowing in the French countryside, guests will be picked up at the hotel in a classic Citroën 2 CV and whisked to the picturesque medieval village of Biot to learn the basics of the craft and create their own small glass object – a figurine, pendant, or a small vessel – to bring home. The experience concludes with a delicious meal in a typical village restaurant for a taste of the elusive French way of life.

With five treatment rooms, a hammam and a sauna, Anantara Spa at Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel offers a serene retreat for the senses. Top-range marine skincare products, natural essential oils from the Grasse region and Asian therapies combine with transformative pedicures from celebrity pedicurist Bastien Gonzalez known for his playful approach to foot care. Turning to nature’s restorative powers yet again, the spa carries a bespoke collection of exclusive massage oils, made with essential oils from the perfume capital of Grasse. The collection features Anantara Nice’s signature “Coucher de Soleil” oil formulated with locally sourced mimosa, ginger and other aromatic botanicals. Guests can also work out at the 24-hour fitness centre, enjoy running sessions along the seafront Promenade, or reach new goals under the guidance of personal trainers.

The city of Nice itself has recently been classified by UNESCO as a winter resort town of the French Riviera. Off-property, Anantara Plaza Nice will offer a selection of bespoke local adventures and off-the-beaten track experiences to immerse guests in its myriad charms. Nice offers a vibrant nightlife on the Promenade des Anglais, a local farmers market at Cours Saleya, spectacular museums honouring the city’s rich artistic history, and annual cultural events such as the legendary Nice Jazz Festival.

Offering seamless event experiences, Anantara Plaza Nice is conveniently connected to the airport and Acropolis Congress Centre by tram or a 20-minute drive. With a total of five brand-new multifunctional venues ranging from 25 to 309 square metres – most of them with natural light – the hotel can accommodate up to 300 people for large corporate or social gatherings. Small creative sessions, bespoke private dinners and rooftop weddings and celebrations all benefit from direct access to the exterior and spectacular views of the bay.

Rates at Anantara Plaza Nice Hotel start from €350.00 for a Deluxe City View room including breakfast for two people.

About Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences. From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travellers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise. The portfolio currently boasts over 40 stunning hotels and resorts located in Thailand, Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Seychelles, Mozambique, Zambia, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia, Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Italy, with a pipeline of future properties across Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Real Club de Golf El Prat to Host the Barcelona Open by Pablo Larrazábal

Real Club de Golf El Prat to Host the Barcelona Open by Pablo Larrazábal - - TRAVELINDEXTerrassa, Barcelona, Spain, January 31, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / The Real Club de Golf El Prat will host the second edition of the Barcelona Open by Pablo Larrazábal, which will take place during the week of the Masters, from 6th to 9th of April. The historic Barcelona club has already hosted the first edition of this PGA Spain golf tournament with great success. The previous edition of this tournament promoted by the professional player Pablo Larrazábal was won by the andalusian Ángel Hidalgo, who this season is taking part in the DP World Tour.

The II Open de Barcelona will be held at the Club where Pablo Larrazábal has been a part of since his beginnings in golf. The president of the PGA of Spain, Ander Martínez, has thanked Pablo Larrazábal and Álvaro Velasco, also a professional player and member of the Club, “for their effort and commitment in moving forward with this tournament and their support for the national circuit”.

The RCG El Prat, founded in 1912, has a field and perfect facilities to host this type of competition. Many players on the European circuit, including Larrazábal himself, choose El Prat to train throughout the season.

The RCG El Prat course is made up of 45 holes designed by former golf number 1 Greg Norman. Throughout its more than 110 years of history, the RCG El Prat has hosted 10 editions of the Spanish Open (1959, 1963, 1971, 1978, 1981, 1998, 1999, 2011 and 2015).

JonoX Phuket Celebrates Pleasures of Great Food and Cultural Interaction

JonoX Phuket Celebrates Pleasures of Great Food and Cultural Interaction - TOP25RESTAURANTSPHUKET - TRAVELINDEXPhuket, Thailand, January 30, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Chef Joe Dabagh invites like-minded travelers to savor the flavors of his fascinating international dishes with a mouth-watering Thai, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern-inspired menu. JonoX Phuket Karon, the world’s first Jono branded lifestyle hotel, is where savvy travelers from all around the world come together to share stories and tear down cultural boundaries. Nestled in the cosmopolitan coastal enclave of Karon Beach, this contemporary hideaway celebrates the timeless joys of travel, social interaction, exploration, and delectable fine cuisine, all essential pillars of a satisfying travel experience.

“We share food the same way we share stories, to let people into our hearts.”
– Joe Dabagh, Executive Chef, JonoX Phuket Karon

Understanding that the flavors of a vacation are just as important as the sights and sounds, a meal with friends, family, or fellow nomads can be the most memorable moment of any trip. At 360 Restaurant, JonoX Phuket Karon’s vibrant dining destination, the multi-national menu showcases delicious and fuss-free dishes from around the world, focusing on the modern fusion of traditional Thai elements with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with indoor and outdoor seating, 360 Restaurant lets guests drop in, chill out and enjoy tasty, simple grub that can put a smile on any face. Skilfully and lovingly prepared by the hotel’s talented team of chefs led by Joe Dabagh, every plate features the finest locally sourced produce crafted into unique and charming dishes.

“Food should bring people together and make them happy. We share food the same way we share stories, to let people into our hearts. At 360 Restaurant, we want to help our guests come together, enjoy social experiences, and make new memories inspired by the joy of home-cooked cuisine. Like every aspect of Jono Hotels, our food is not fussy or complicated, but prepared with love,” said Joe Dabagh, Executive Chef at JonoX Phuket Karon.

Conveniently situated just a short stroll from Karon Beach on Phuket’s sunset coast, JonoX Phuket Karon is the ideal option for every type of traveler, including digital nomads, curious couples, freewheeling families, fun-seeking friends, and ageless adventurers. This contemporary lifestyle hotel features 121 rooms, a rooftop infinity pool and children’s splash pool, a colorful kids’ playroom, and a co-working space. 360 Restaurant is the perfect setting for casual all-day dining, and Altitude Rooftop Bar sets the scene for daytime refreshments and sunset drinks.

Emirates Completes Engine Ground Testing with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Emirates Completes Engine Ground Testing with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel - - TRAVELINDEXDubai, United Arab Emirates, January 28, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Emirates has successfully completed the ground engine testing for one of its GE90 engines on a Boeing 777-300ER using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The objective of the ground testing and analysis is to demonstrate the capability of the GE90 engine to run on the specially blended 100% SAF without affecting its performance, requiring no modifications to the aircraft systems, or special maintenance procedures on the Boeing 777-300ER or GE90 engine to operate. SAF reduces carbon emissions over the fuel’s life cycle by up to 80%.

The ground test results will now pave the way for the airline’s first experimental test flight using 100% SAF in one engine, which is due for take-off this week. The testing activities involved running one engine on 100% SAF and the other on conventional jet fuel to better analyse the fuel system´s behaviour and performance under each fuel type, compare specific outputs of each engine, and ensure seamless operation of the aircraft’s engine and airframe fuel systems during the planned test flight.

During the ground testing at the state-of-the-art Emirates Engineering Centre in Dubai, the aircraft first went through its standard pre-inspection activities. After that, the stationary operating testing began by first running the Honeywell 331-500 auxiliary power unit (APU) on 100% SAF. The APU was then put under full load with SAF to start the engines. The left engine was exercised through its full power range, utilising the same settings that will be used for the experimental flight. This included idle, ‘take-off’ and ‘climb settings’ at full flight profile durations, running at maximum speed and intensity. Engines were then run at ‘cruise’ settings for 15 minutes. After the simulation ended, the engines were cooled down. Fuels were isolated in separate fuel tanks to maintain segregation of test fuels. Upon completion of the ground test, engine data was downloaded for review, comparison, and analysis.

At the Dubai Airshow 2021, Emirates, GE Aerospace and Boeing signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a programme for conducting a test flight using 100% SAF on an Emirates 777-300ER powered by GE90 engines.

Emirates has been working with its partners GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, Neste and Virent Inc., a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corp throughout 2022 on SAF fuel blend testing. The partners have developed a blend with the same qualities and performance characteristics of conventional jet fuel and have collaborated on the technical analysis and operational requirements surrounding ground testing and experimental flight activities. The results of this initiative will provide additional data and research around synthetic fuel blend components and biofuels, supporting standardization and future approval of 100% drop-in SAF. Following the successful trial on one engine, Emirates will then continue to develop these initiatives with the engine airframe manufacturers as well as SAF providers with the goal of certifying these blends for commercial use. Currently, SAF is approved for use in blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel.

Emirates has long been a supporter of industry and government efforts to encourage the development of the SAF industry, and regularly participates in initiatives to contribute to SAF deployment. Its first flight powered by SAF blended with jet fuel was in 2017, operating from Chicago O’Hare airport on a Boeing 777. Emirates received its first A380 powered by SAF in December 2020, and uplifted 32 tonnes of SAF for its flights from Stockholm earlier that year, with the support of Swedavia’s Biofuel Incentive Programme. Flights from Oslo have also begun operating on SAF.

Emirates is on the Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Clean Skies for Tomorrow initiative, which seeks to promote SAF deployment worldwide. The airline has also contributed to the UAE government’s work on a SAF roadmap and the WEF-supported Power-to-Liquids Roadmap for the UAE.

Unchecked Cyberattacks Are Growing Threat to Global Economy

Unchecked Cyberattacks Are Growing Threat to Global Economy - TRAVELINDEX - WORLD ECONOMIC FORUMDavos-Klosters, Switzerland, January 27, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Adoption of connected devices during the pandemic led to a dramatic increase in cyberattacks. According to a new report launched today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, if left unchecked, the cost of cyberattacks will continue to rise, threatening a fragile global economy.

The report, The State of the Connected World 2023 edition, a collaboration of the World Economic Forum with the Council on the Connected World, says the immediate threats can be mitigated through robust security protocols and governance through public-private cooperation.

The State of the Connected World is the only global report that tracks and quantifies governance gaps for the universe of connected devices, known as the internet of things (IoT). The report surveyed 270 experts around the world to understand the state of play and establish clear priorities for technology governance.

“At a time when the global economy is fragile, we have the necessary tools to reduce at least one of the major threats to the global economy – cyberattacks,” said Jeff Merritt, Head of Urban Transformation, World Economic Forum. “The State of the Connected World report is a call to action for protecting against cybercrimes, which would also improve individual security and protect small and medium-sized business, transit systems, utilities – everything that relies on connected devices.”

“Our increasingly connected existence brings with it vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors,” said Akshay Joshi, Head of Industry and Partnerships, Centre for Cybersecurity, World Economic Forum. “Despite calls for embedding cybersecurity by design, the low level of confidence in the security of connected devices expressed by experts in this report is a testament to the fact that we still have a long way to go in terms of realizing trust in the technology we use.”

The report calls for increased consumer education through digital literacy campaigns, standardization practices of cybersecurity measures, prioritizing security by design and default (as opposed to reacting after the fact) and developing more agile policies to better address the quick-changing landscape of cybersecurity.

“We find ourselves at an inflection point this year with a number of global forces putting downward pressure on the economy,” said Madeline Carr, Professor of Global Politics and Cyber Security, Department of Computer Science, University College London. “It is essential that cybersecurity challenges are not left unchecked to further exacerbate this but are taken seriously as an integrated element of a thriving global economy.”

What other experts are saying:

“Open standards in technology have always led to greater innovation and greater consumer confidence. This year’s report from the Forum really emphasizes the importance of that direction. We’re very pleased to see the focus on privacy and security as a key priority. Solving for these ensures the greatest adoption of IoT, and the greatest likelihood of landing on valuable solutions for consumers in the ever-growing connected world.”
Tobin Richardson, President and CEO, Connectivity Standards Alliance

“Planned spending on a security programme costs less than unplanned spending by 10 to 100 times, so it really makes sense now to evaluate and redouble your efforts to attain and maintain a mature programme. The year 2023 is predicted to deliver a perfect storm – from expected challenging economic conditions, ransomware up over 30% from last year, cyber insurance rates dramatically rising, coverage lowering, a severe skill and staff shortage, massive growth in vulnerable IoT connected devices and security products becoming the breach vector. Now is the time to redouble your focus on your security posture.”
Peter Nicoletti, Field Chief Information Security Officer of the Americas, Check Point Software Technologies

“At Schneider Electric, we envision a fully connected, net-zero world which is more electrified, digitized and sustainable for future generations. To realize this future, businesses, organizations and governments must work together to address challenges such as cybersecurity, open standards and accessibility. I’m proud of our work with these stakeholders and the World Economic Forum and commit to continued vigilance to make the needed progress.”
Scott Harden, Chief Technology Officer, Innovation, Schneider Electric

“As the world gets more connected, complex and at times unpredictable, it is critical to drive and govern the change in a way that we not only address and mitigate risks but also emphasize the positive impact that connected technology brings.”
Anton Kotov, Chief Digital and Strategy Officer, ABB Electrification, ABB

“The ongoing advancement of emerging technologies highlights the importance of establishing strong governance to ensure safe and secure use of the technology. Security, privacy, trust and interoperability among IoT devices are serious issues that need to be addressed to accelerate IoT adoption and embrace a connected world. This can be achieved through collective action from the international community and by establishment of public-private partnerships. The 2023 report on the state of the connected world highlights the current gaps in governance and paves the path to address the associated risks for the benefit of humankind.”
Mariam Nouh, Vice-President of Economies of the Future Sector, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST)

“In order to ensure that connected devices and related technologies are accessible and beneficial for all members of society, adaptive and sustainable governance is needed for multistakeholders to expand the boundaries of their respective scope of works, to share risk and co-invest in the digital infrastructure together.”
Fanyu Lin, CEO, Fluxus

About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme Cooperation in a Fragmented World. It calls on world leaders to address immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world.

At ITB Berlin Technology, Tours and Activities Platform for Fastest-Growing Markets

At ITB Berlin Technology, Tours and Activities Platform for Fastest-Growing Markets - - TRAVELINDEXBerlin, Germany, January 26, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / For the second time, the Technology, Tours and Activities (TTA) segment is represented live at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show. The TTA marketplace and TTA Forum augment a wide-ranging programme with networking events and convention sessions for trade visitors and exhibitors.

Four years ago the Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment was the first of its kind in Europe to successfully debut at ITB Berlin. In 2019 already, exhibitors, trade visitors, speakers and several hundred participants were able to build contacts, exchange experiences and discuss forward-looking topics surrounding one of the fastest-growing markets of the travel industry. From 7 to 9 March at ITB Berlin 2023, the TTA segment will again gather the relevant players of the tourism industry.

Inside the display area in Hall 4.1, the TTA segment is the main platform for three of the tourism industry’s most important markets, which all have one goal: to promote and sell in-destination services. The TTA marketplace at ITB is an important meeting place for tour managers, operators, technology specialists, travel destinations and agencies. This is where trade visitors will find startups as well as established companies exhibiting their products.

eTravel Track – TTA Forum focuses on trends, discussions and innovations

At the ITB Berlin Convention at the TTA Forum of the eTravel track, informative sessions on Tours & Activities featuring the latest survey findings, trends, numerous insights and discussions await trade visitors. Industry experts will provide first-hand information on specialist topics. Ahead of Wednesday’s TTA Forum, on Tuesday, 7 March 2023 on the Orange Stage in Hall 7.1, Johannes Reck, CEO of GetYourGuide, and Douglas Quinby, co-founder and CEO of Arival, will kick off themed events.

Charlotte Lamp Davies of A Bright Approach, the moderator at the TTA Forum, said: “I am really delighted to be able to moderate a live TTA Forum again. In 2019, when the event was launched, we witnessed one of the busiest days at ITB Berlin. The industry is desperately awaiting its return. We have prepared a wide-ranging programme and look forward to live participation from the audience. The afternoon session will provide insights and specific tips for travel and tour operators.”

On the afternoon of Wednesday, 8 March 2023, industry experts will take a look at the future and discuss changing consumer behaviour, sustainability, corporate partnerships and the use of new technologies. The ITB Berlin Convention slogan ’Mastering transformation’ is particularly relevant to the Tours & Activities industry. Recent events and profound challenges have changed consumer behaviour, the focus and booking patterns in this sector.

At several interactive sessions on the ITB eTravel Stage in Hall 6.1, TTA specialists will have information on the latest trends, look to the future and offer practical tips. Douglas Quinby, co-founder and CEO of Arival and moderator of a C-Suite panel hosted by TourRadar, Tiqets and Viator, will highlight how adjusting to new technologies has changed consumer behaviour. Travel Curious, Hyatt, G Adventures and Planeterra will present case studies illustrating successful partnerships. Layered Reality will demonstrate the potential AR has for the industry and explain how this technology can augment traditional tour products.

ITB Berlin in partnership with Arival and Bookingkit

ITB Berlin, Arival and Bookingkit have established a closed partnership that extends beyond activities at ITB Berlin 2023. Over the coming weeks the two companies will host some fascinating events for the TTA community: at a conference, Arival 360 | Berlin will provide the setting for travel and adventure tour operators to network and engage with other companies, distributors and prospective partners. Exclusive research findings will also be available, highlighting the most important industry trends. Experiences Connect 2023, a free event hosted by Bookingkit, will take place on 2 February online from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional information is available at online event: Experiences Connect 2023. ITB Berlin is also a partner of this event.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2023 will take place from Tuesday, 7 March, to Thursday, 9 March, as a pure B2B event. Since 1966, ITB Berlin has been the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. The internationally renowned ITB Berlin Convention will take place parallel to the show and will be held live on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds – selected sessions will be streamed on ITBxplore. The ITB Berlin convention is the world’s largest travel industry event of its kind. In 2022 it took place as a virtual event on the brand’s website and registered 60,700 attendees from 125 countries who took part in more than 100 sessions featuring 223 speakers. In 2022, under the heading ’TRVLX by ITB’, ITB Berlin has planned a series of B2B networking events in European markets – the kick-off event took place in May in Georgia. Before the pandemic at ITB Berlin 2019, around 10,000 exhibitors from 181 countries displayed their products and services to some 160,000 visitors, including 113,500 trade visitors.