Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Managing China's Inbound Growth

PATA Chairman Mr Brian Deeson (right) joined VIPs in opening the Tourism Future & Development - China Forum 2007 in Kunming, China (PRC) today.
Managing China's Inbound Growth Stimulating inbound tourism growth is not at issue for China (PRC), rather it is the need to manage and harness the growth, PATA Chairman Mr Brian Deeson told an industry forum in Kunming today. Speaking at the Tourism Future & Development - China Forum 2007, Mr Deeson said China had already become the world's fourth most popular destination and could become the number one destination within 10 years.
"However, we know that growth can be a double-edged sword, particularly when it comes to sustainability," he said. "And one of the biggest challenges facing China, and our industry as a whole, is climate change." Mr Deeson said PATA was calling on leaders of travel and tourism across Asia Pacific to join forces at the PATA CEO Challenge: Confronting Climate Change, to take place in Bangkok, April 29-30 next year.
PATA Vice President-Operations Mr Michael Yates spoke about a new report the Association is developing with the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) to identify ways China can maximise the economic, cultural and environmental benefits of inbound tourism.
Mr Deeson and Mr Yates joined CNTA Vice Chairman Mr Du Jiang and AC Nielsen senior manager Dr Grace Pan for a panel discussion moderated by noted CNN travel presenter Mr Richard Quest.

"Liberalising the rules on foreign tourism"

As reported by Nguyen Thu Hang - Vision & Associates, at the Viet Nam News, "Viet Nam attracts more and more international tourists every year, and the number of Vietnamese travelling abroad is also growing, making the tourism industry increasingly attractive to foreign investors.
However, the mass media has lately reported many cases of unlicensed foreign tourism service operators or foreigners practicing as tour guide without a licence.
To address the problem while gradually liberalising foreign participation in the tourism sector, the Prime Minister issued Decree No 92/2007/ND-CP on June 1, 2007, detailing implementation of the Law on Tourism, passed in 2005. Decree No 92 replaces previous regulations on tourism, including Decree No 45/2000/ND-CP of September 6, 2000, governing branches and representative offices of foreign tourist enterprises." Read more>>

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Tour operators welcome new tourism legislation"

From Arusha, Adam Ihucha reports, at the Guardian, that "The government has won many hearts of local tour operators for introducing legislation to restrict foreigners to involve in tourism transactions.
In their comments made separately to this paper, the operators said the proposed new legislation anticipated to be in force by early next year was much overdue. 'Now we are heading to the right direction, in fact the move by the government is highly appreciated,' said Firoz Suleiman, Director of Sunny Safaris. He proposed that taxes accruing from the tourism industry should be paid according to the law of the land.
The Managing Director of Golden Rose Travel and Tours Company, Walter Maeda commended the Government for eventually acting in a 'better late than never' style. He said neighbouring Kenya's tourism authority barred foreigners from dealing with all tourism related undertakings long ago. 'The secret behind the flourishing tourism business in Kenya is that the industry is fully run by indigenous people,' he remarked. Maeda says until the new legislation comes into force, 'Tanzania policy allows foreigners to invest in petty businesses such as restaurants and guest houses and yet be entitled with the title, investor,' Maeda noted.
Armstrong Nyaka of Jackis Tours was happy that at last the government had wakened up and seen the way it has been loosing a large chunks of cash accrued from the tourism trade. 'A lot of money has been secretly siphoned out of the country by foreign tour and travel operators who maintain offices in Tanzania and abroad at the expense of the nation and its people,' he said.
Carlos Da Silva Verela of African Rhino Safaris and Ecotourism Africa said the majority of small indigenous investors in tourism used to face stiff competition brought by the foreign investors."


Monday, October 29, 2007

"The ten best European rural tourist destinations"

According to the EU Press Room, "Vice President Günter Verheugen awarded the 'European Destinations of Excellence' (EDEN) to the ten best emerging rural destinations at the European Annual Tourism Forum in Portugal on 26th of October. The aim of EDEN is twofold: to draw attention to the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European tourist destinations and to promote destinations where commercial success goes hand in hand with social, cultural and environmental sustainability. It also creates awareness of Europe’s tourist diversity and quality, besides promoting Europe as the foremost tourism destination in the world."

This Press Release is available in full text.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mexico: consumer protection agency fines grounded local airline

Budget airline Lineas Aereas Azteca, grounded six months ago for safety problems, has been fined 4.5 million pesos (US$417,000; €293,000) for failing to correct the problems or refund airfares for canceled flights to consumers. If the company refunds airfares to consumers the fine could be reduced.
Azteca is the second low-cost carrier the government has grounded in the past 18 months. Aerocalifornia's service was suspended in April 2006 for safety reasons, but the airline resumed some operations four months later.

Source: International Herald Tribune; read full article here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Airlines need better European law-making procedures"

"Two Resolutions agreed by members of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) at last Friday’s AGM (19 October 2007) in Athens have highlighted inconsistencies in the European Parliament’s law-making procedures. In the first Resolution, concerning the establishment of a European emissions trading regime for air transport, ERA calls upon MEPs to reject the recent amendments proposed by the Environment Committee (ENVI) which, according to the Association, would add €20 billion per year to the costs of European air transport, and to accept many of the amendments proposed by the Transport and Tourism Committee, which it says will improve the practical procedures to implement the European Commission’s original proposal." Read more>>

Source: InternationalTravelDailyNews

"Competitive and sustainable destinations discussed at European Tourism Forum"

As stated by the EU Press Room, "Strategies to make EU tourism destinations competitive by embracing sustainability will be the focal point of discussions at the 6th European Tourism Forum, which takes place tomorrow in Portimao, Algarve in Portugal. At the occasion of this conference, European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen will present the awards to the winners of the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) tomorrow. At the forum the European Commission will also present its new communication launching a strategy to foster sustainable and competitive tourism in Europe. It invites all stakeholders to strengthen the contribution of sustainable practices to making Europe the most attractive tourism destination."

This Press Release is available in full text.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Almulla Launches World’s First International Sharia Compliant Hotel Chain"

"Dubai-based hospitality group Almulla, today launched the world’s first Sharia compliant hotel brand portfolio under three core brand names of Cliftonwood, Adham and Wings. The hotel group strategic plan calls for 30 properties by the end of 2008.
'There are plenty of individual Sharia compliant hotels throughout the world. However their positioning is usually dictated by the owner, either as an independent hotel, one within a chain or due to the Sharia law of country where they are situated,' commented Abdulla M Almulla, Chairman of Almulla Hospitality. 'Our brand proposition is so distinct that guests will be confident that our brand values have universal consistency.'." Read more>>

Source: Middle East Business News.

IATA: Passenger numbers to reach 2.75 billion by 2011

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released passenger and freight traffic forecasts projecting that in 2011 the air transport industry will handle 2.75 billion passengers (620 million more passengers than in 2006) and 36 million tonnes of international freight (7.5 million tonnes more than in 2006).
International passenger demand is expected to rise from 760 million passengers in 2006 to 980 million in 2011 at an annual average growth rate (AAGR) of 5.1%. This will be lower than the 7.4% AAGR recorded during 2002-2006, largely due to slightly slower global economic growth.
Domestic passenger demand is expected grow from 1.37 billion passengers in 2006 to 1.77 billion in 2011, an AAGR of 5.3%, fuelled by expansion in the Indian and Chinese domestic markets.
International freight volumes are expected to grow at an AAGR of 4.8% over the forecast period, supported by economic growth, globalisation and trade. Strong price competition from other modes of transport is expected to keep freight demand growth below the 6.2% AAGR recorded for 2002-2006.

Source: IATA News No. 37 of 24 October 2007. For more detailed information on Passenger or Freight Traffic forecasts visit

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"Two SARs plan closer cooperation on tourism"

From Macau, Nickkita Lau reports, at The Standard, that "Hong Kong and Macau have agreed to negotiate with the mainland government on combining into one the current separate visas for mainland tourists visiting the two cities.
The aim is for mainland tourists, under the Individual Visit Scheme, to travel to both places in one trip, according to Hong Kong Tourism Board chairman James Tien Pei-chun who revealed the plan yesterday.
Hong Kong and Macau are not competitors but partners in tourism promotion, Tien said after meeting with Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah and Macau tourism officials in the neighboring SAR. He said increasingly severe international competition has driven them to embrace their partnership.
The two cities are only separated by water, Tien said.
Hong Kong, he said, should position itself as a sight-seeing, shopping and dining capital while Macau will continue to attract tourists with its World Heritage, gaming and entertainment facilities." Read more>>

Monday, October 22, 2007

"Dar locks foreign investors out of tourism sector"

As reported by Mike Mande, at The EastAfrican, "In a move that confirms the growing resentment of foreign investors in Tanzania’s tourism sector, the government plans to introduce legislation to bar foreigners from engaging in tourism related businesses in the country.
The new legislation — expected to come into effect as early as next year — proposes to restrict the participation of foreign investors in areas such as travel agency business, mountain climbing, trekking or owning tour and travel operations in the country.
While the minister in charge of tourism will retain powers and discretion to grant exemptions, especially with regard to existing business, the expectation is that some of the business people will be asked to leave." Read more>>

"Vice-President Barrot meets India's Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr. Patel to strengthen cooperation in civil aviation"

According to the EU Press Room, "As a follow-up to the successful first EU-India Aviation Summit held in New Delhi in November 2006, Mr. Praful Patel, Minister for Civil Aviation of India is visiting several European institutions on 22-23 October 2007. The visit is being hosted by Mr. Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for transport. The two sides expressed their shared aspirations driven by their respective policies of promoting safe, open and sustainable aviation relations for the benefit of industry and consumers."

This Press Release is available in full text.

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Antitrust: Commission market tests commitments from eight members of SkyTeam concerning their alliance cooperation"

As stated by the EU Press Room, "The European Commission has invited comments from interested parties on commitments proposed by eight members of the SkyTeam airline alliance, namely Aeromexico, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air, Northwest Airlines and Air France. These commitments are designed to meet concerns under the EC Treaty's ban on restrictive business practices (Article 81), raised in the Commission's Statement of Objections of 15 June 2006. The Commission is concerned that the cooperation in passenger air transport services between these SkyTeam members may have negative effects for passengers on routes where they enjoy a strong market position and where barriers to entry are significant. To address these concerns, the parties have offered commitments designed to facilitate new entry on the routes in question. The parties mainly offer to make slots available at appropriate EU airports to allow competitors to operate new or additional services and to share their frequent flyer programs. A notice summarising the commitments and requesting comments from interested parties within one month, has been published in the EU Official Journal C245 of 19.10.2007."

This Press Release is also available in full text.

19th IFTTA Conference (PAPERS)

Almost all the papers presented at the Conference are now available.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Are Hotels Breaking Competition Law?"

"When the leaders of the European inbound travel industry meet this coming 9th November at The Global European Marketplace at Earls Court, London, they will be considering some questions that could have a dramatic impact on the way the tourism market operates. One of these is the vexed issue of price collusion.

Hotels often seek to ensure that their published rates are not undercut. They have been known to insist on a guarantee that the price the operator sells to the public does not differ from their own advertised price.
  • Do such agreements constitute price fixing?
  • What are the penalties for agreeing to this?
  • How can agreements be made without falling foul of competition law?
These questions go to the heart of the way the market for hotel accommodation operates, as many hotels seek to ensure the prices to consumers on their own web sites are the lowest in the market.
Neil Baylis, an expert in European competition law from the law firm K&L Gates, will explore these issues in depth and explain what is and what is not lawful." Read more>>

Source: ForImmediateRelease.Net

19th IFTTA Conference

BEJA (11/10/2007). At the Table: Phil Cameron (USA), João Vidal e Afonso Café (Portugal) and Michael Tanti-Dougall (Malta). On the right: Antonia Paniza (Spain) and Manuel David Masseno (Portugal). From the back: Harry Manuel (Nedherlands), Henriette Cordeiro Guérios (Brazil), Gianluca Rossoni (Italy) and Maria Goretti Sanches Lima (Brazil).

Monday, October 15, 2007

"IATA: Dutch ticket tax proposal is ineffective and inappopriate"

"The International Air Transport Association (IATA) condemned the Dutch Government's plans to impose further taxes on air passengers. The government is planning to tax passengers departing the Netherlands by air as much as € 45 citing environmental reasons.
The passenger tax also breaches resolutions of the International Civil Organisation (ICAO) and Article 15 of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation. 'I am surprised that the Netherlands, as an ICAO Contracting State, chooses to ignore its obligations and trample over international agreements', Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO, commented."

Source: Avionews.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

USA: airline data available on the Web

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the International Center for Air Transportation have created a comprehensive Web collection of airline data.
The Airline Data Project features an online databank that provides details and analysis of airline data since 1995. The resource allows users to compare 15 U.S. airlines on a wide variety of measures, including fleet utilization, labor costs, cash flow and profitability.
The Airline Data Project (ADP) was established by the MIT Global Airline Industry Program to better understand the opportunities, risks and challenges facing this vital industry. The ADP presents the most important airline industry data in one location in an easy-to-understand, user-friendly format. The data has been selected and analyzed to present a view of the industry and its important trends, as well as to identify fundamental drivers of success – and in some cases, the early signs of potential failure.

Find the database here.

Friday, October 05, 2007

"Eight African leaders speak on continent's travel opportunities"

"The Africa Travel Association (ATA), a 33-year old global travel trade association promoting tourism to Africa, held its Second Annual Presidential Forum on Tourism in New York City on Friday, September 28 at New York University’s Law School in Greenwich Village. Hosted by New York University’s Africa House, the theme of the event was 'positive news on Africa.'
The forum provided African leaders with the opportunity to present the continent’s rich travel opportunities to almost 200 leaders from government, non-government and business communities, the tourism industry, travel trade media, and education. Each leader spoke of the need to market 'Destination Africa' in a way that benefits both the continent as a whole and each individual country." Read more>>

Source: Travel Daily News International.

Monday, October 01, 2007

"Governments Endorse Global Strategy for Aviation and Climate Change - Europe Out-of-touch on Emissions Trading"...

On another hand, "The International Air Transport Association (IATA) applauded the comprehensive strategy for aviation and climate change agreed at the Triennial Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), subject to confirmation by today's [Friday's] Plenary. At the same time, IATA expressed deep disappointment in Europe's failure to accept a global approach to emissions trading, based on mutual consent."

This Press Release is also available in full text.

"Europe stands firm on ambitious action to cut Aviation Emissions"

As stated by the EU Press Room, "The 36th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ended on Friday without clear agreement on a way forward to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation. Europe pressed for a more ambitious outcome, but safeguarded its ability to introduce an aviation emissions trading scheme.
Speaking for Europe at the end of the talks in Montreal, Luis Fonseca de Almeida, Director General of Civil Aviation for Portugal [Portugal speaks as President of the European Union (EU) and of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC)], said 'We strongly believe that it would be best if the international community could reach an effective mechanism on tackling aviation emissions. We are disappointed by the outcome and believe ICAO has abdicated the leadership role given to it in the Kyoto Protocol. That is a very great failing that should concern us all.'"

This Press Release is available in full text.