Think Tanks Converge at Pan-beibu Gulf Summit

Posted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 3:27 PM

Think Tanks Converge at Pan-beibu Gulf Summit

The 2nd Pan-beibu Gulf Think Tank Summit, held last August 18 and 19 in Nanning, Guangxi, China, was well-attended by representatives from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam. The representatives from these countries shared their thoughts and discussed plans for regional cooperation and development.


In an effort to foster regional cooperation, the participants of the Pan-beibu Gulf Think Tank Summit has put forward a proposal established as a platform for think tanks in the Pan-beibu Gulf sub-region to discuss the strategic and long-term economic issues which can pave the way for people-to-people exchanges and visits, data and information sharing, and joint study.


PATA Deputy CEO and Head of Office of Strategy Management John Koldowski, together with PATA Regional Director for China Kate Chang, attended the event.

Qantas: Always on Time

Posted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 10:25 AM

Qantas: Always on Time

Qantas passengers are sure to always get to their destinations on time.  The Domestic Airline On-Time Performance 2010-2011 Report released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) indicated that Qantas achieved the highest level of on-time departures for 2010-2011 at 83.8%.


Qantas had the best on-time performance of domestic airlines for 10 out of the 12 months during this period. These figures include the period where Qantas aircraft were grounded during the volcanic ash cloud due to our safety before schedule approach and while other airlines continued flying.


A copy of the BITRE report can be accessed at

Russia to Build First Hotel in Space

Posted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 10:12 AM

Russia to Build First Hotel in Space

Russia has unveiled plans of building a hotel in space. The planned hotel, officially called the Commercial Space Station, will orbit 217 miles above ground and feature four cabins that can house seven guests. Each cabin will have views of the Earth below.


The Commercial Space Station, being built by Orbital Technologies, is scheduled to open in 2016. Guests will spend two days aboard a Soyuz rocket to reach the hotel. Orbital Technologies Head, Sergei Kostenko, was quoted in as having said that the hotel will be aimed at wealthy individuals and people working for private companies who want to do research in space. A five-day stay at the Commercial Space Station will cost US$580,000.

Adelaide Airport and Cathay Pacific Team Up

Posted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 9:54 AM

Adelaide Airport and Cathay Pacific Team Up

Adelaide Airport and Cathay Pacific launch non-stop services between Adelaide and Hong Kong in an effort to attract Chinese travellers. The new three times weekly service will begin on November 24.


South Australian Minister for Tourism, John Rau, was quoted in eTravel Blackboard Australia as having said that non-stop flights are always good for tourism in South Australia and that he commends Cathay Pacific for this vote of confidence in their State. Rau anticipates the new service to further boost the 20% increase in travellers from China who visited Adelaide in 2010.

Accor Pursues Indian Tourists

Posted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 9:41 AM

Accor Pursues Indian Tourists

Accor has commissioned two of its hotels in Australia to implement market-specific service initiatives targeting guests from India.


According to a report in TTG Asia, the staff at the Mercure Sydney and Menzies Sydney hotels have been trained to respect Indian cultural and religious differences, as well as include Indian dishes on F&B menus; provide welcome kits in Hindi; make Indian adaptor plugs available; feature Indian television channels and newspapers; and offer Indian snacks and drinks in the minibar.


Representatives from Accor Australia are also set to visit India on trade missions to attract more Indians to visit the country. Accor sales staff will head out to Mumbai and Hyderabad, together with the Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau and Tourism Australia, to promote Australia as a leisure and business destination.

Korea Tourism Organization Debuts in Mumbai

Posted: Tue 23 Aug, 2011 12:06 PM

Korea Tourism Organization Debuts in Mumbai

Earlier this month, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) opened their new representative office in Mumbai, India. The representative office will work to promote South Korea to the west Indian market.


KTO Mumbai Office Manager, Naomi Lobo, was quoted in TTG Asia as having said that she will work with the travel trade, consumers, media and airlines in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa to introduce and promote Korea. Lobo added that the focus will be on MICE, leisure travel and honeymooners and that they are keen on tapping the Indian film industry to shoot in Korea.


KTO is set to launch a programme that will promote the destination and increase awareness on the travel trade product. The programme, to be implemented this year and in 2012, includes media publicity, trade show participation, fam trips, and a food festival on a pan-India basis.

THAI to Launch THAI Smile

Posted: Tue 23 Aug, 2011 10:06 AM

THAI to Launch THAI Smile

THAI Airways International (THAI) has announced plans of launching a sub-brand airline in July 2012 called THAI Smile.


THAI President Piyasvasti Amranand was quoted in TTG Asia as having said that the new carrier would be positioned as a light-premium airline. The new airline will charge higher fares than low-cost carriers but will offer fares lower than those of the national carrier. It will also use the same flight codes as THAI. THAI Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Planning, Woranate Laprabang, has been appointed the Managing Director of the newly established affiliated business unit, THAI Smile Air, which will run THAI Smile.


On its first year, THAI Smile is set to operate four 174-seat Airbus A320 aircraft that will link Bangkok to five domestic routes, namely Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Chiang Rai, and Surat Thani. THAI will discontinue these routes to make way for THAI Smile. By 2015, THAI Smile will run international routes, focusing on key Asian destinations such as China and India, and increase its fleet to 11 A320s.

PATA Singapore Chapter Wants You to Tell Your Productivity Story

Posted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 1:54 PM

PATA Singapore Chapter Wants You to Tell Your Productivity Story

PATA Singapore Chapter is now calling for entry submissions for its Our Productivity Story competition. PATA Singapore Chapter, together with sponsor Workforce Development Agency (WDA), will reward travel and tourism organisations with the most impactful productivity story with cash prizes.


To take part in the competition, companies across Singapore’s travel and tourism industry simply need to pitch their best productivity success story through a 1,500 word essay. Winners will win cash prizes amounting to a total of six worth SGD36,000. The best two essays from each of the following three travel and tourism categories, namely Hotels, Travel Agents and Other, will then qualify for the next round. The six finalist companies are then required to work with a dedicated video production company to turn their productivity story into a motivating short video. All six videos will be made available online for voting by the tourism and travel industry as well as the general public. Voting is scheduled to take place from November 14-30, 2011.


Winners will be determined based on popularity (50%) and judges’ evaluation (50%). First prize winners are entitled to SGD8,000 and second prize winners will get SGD4,000. The winners will be awarded during the Tourism Industry Ball on December 3, 2011 at the Shangri-La, Singapore.


Visit for more information on the competition.

Digital Jungle Introduces mGuest

Posted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 11:17 AM

Digital Jungle Introduces mGuest

Digital Jungle has unveiled their new innovative hospitality mobile application, mGuest. The new mobile application is targeted for 4 and 5 star Asian hotels.


mGuest offers hotels the means to create deeper and more meaningful connections with their guests while they stay in or out of the hotel. It is a new channel that can increase brand awareness of the property and brand, offers an online functional e-concierge service, and facilitate booking and in-room services. Digital Jungle CEO, Mathew McDougall, said he is excited for the release of this new application for hotels because it not only provides functionality for hotels but also the value that it provides for guests staying at the hotel.


Other features of mGuest include social media integration, venue check-in, group buying, and add-on modules such as Events and Weddings. It is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Theme Park and Urban Tourism Symposium in Shanghai

Posted: Tue 16 Aug, 2011 10:49 AM

Theme Park and Urban Tourism Symposium in Shanghai

BES Planning & Design and East China Normal University will host the Theme Park and Urban Tourism International Symposium on November 24-26, 2011 at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.


A number of experts and scholars from universities from China and abroad as well as business representatives in the industry will be in attendance to discuss topics such as Disney and Shanghai, international theme parks’ development status and trends, Chinese theme parks’ opportunities and challenges in transition, and theme and the modern service industry. The symposium aims to study the development history and latest trends in theme parks, look into the challenges and opportunities that come with managing and developing Chinese theme parks and ultimately, enhance all levels of development.

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