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Posted by admin on 2013/8/19 12:00:00 (1404 reads)
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Assistant Director of TAT, Paris Office, Miss Watcharee Churugsa, congratulated Mr. Pierfrancesco Carino, Commercial Director South of France of Emirates Airline, on the opening of its Lyon Office. They discussed public relations and marketing activities to promote Thailand on 28 June, 2013. At present, Emirates Airline provides 5 scheduled flights per week on the Lyon - Dubai route. Next January, it will increase to 7 flights per week on the of Lyon - Dubai and Nice - Dubai route. French tourists can continue on Emirates flights to Bangkok from Dubai. There are 21 flights per week on the Dubai - Bangkok route and to Phuket, 7 flights per week. These will be importantly alternative channels for French tourists in the south of France to travel to Thailand.

Posted by nattanich on 2012/1/30 13:50:00 (5918 reads)
Bangkok, January 4, 2012 - Four of Thailand's top niche-market tourism segments will be featured prominently at the 2012 Thailand Travel Mart Plus Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion (TTM+2012) to be held between June 6-8 at Impact Muang Thong Thani Exhibition Centre.

Organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with the Thai tourism industry, the TTM will feature products and services related to Ecotourism, Golf, Health and Wellness, and Wedding and Honeymoon in a special dedicated pavilion. In addition to the four mentioned categories, which have always been Thailand?s strong points, there will also be a category focusing on General Leisure.

The TTM+ is the country's premier annual trade event designed to promote travel and tourism to Thailand and its neighbours in the Greater Mekong Subregion. One of its primary objectives is to provide a platform for the region's small and medium sized entrepreneurs (SMEs) to cost-effectively promote their products and services, especially as many of them cannot afford to go to foreign trade shows.

This year, over 400 booths are available for travel operators and service businesses across Thailand and the GMS countries. The business categories arranged for the event are Accommodation, Entertainment, Tourism Organization / Association, Tour Operator / Travel Agent, Transportation, and Other Travel Services.

Buyers are sourced from the major markets such as Europe, South East Asia, Eastern Asia, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as emerging ones like the CIS countries, Eastern Europe, Middle East, South America, and South Africa.

TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, "The focus on the four niche-market segments is based on the global trend for more experiential tourism, especially among repeat travellers seeking to spend more focussed time on a particular activity".

"There is direct benefit for both buyers and sellers in this product based category. It will open up opportunities for doing more business, understanding each other?s needs and improving the creativity and quality of services. This is because the buyers and the sellers could directly relate to each other?s field of expertise".

Ecotourism: The Thai travel and tourism industry is becoming increasingly conscious of its environmental responsibilities. According to TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, "The need to reconcile the economic and ecological impact of travel and tourism is critical to the Balanced Strategy that we are pursuing as part of our tourism development policies." The Governor pointed out that the TAT has for years been undertaking environmental protection activities and projects such as the Green Leaf Certification Programme, the Thailand Tourism Awards programme, and the 7 Greens Concept, with an aim to promote environmentally-friendly tourism.

Golf: Thailand boasts over 200 high standard golf courses nationwide. Many of them have been designed and created by some of the game's best-known players such as Nick Faldo, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Steve Ballesteros, Gary Player, and Greg Norman. In recent years, Thailand has hosted many major golf events such as the Thailand Golf Championship, Asia Pacific Golf Summit, PGA Conference of Asia, Honda LPGA Thailand, the 30th tournament on the tour's annual roster and the 3rd Golf PGA Royal Trophy 2009.

Health & Wellness: A surge in Health and Wellness visitors is driven by the fact that Thailand is an excellent place for both preventive and curative forms of therapies and treatments. Thailand has over 200 international-standard hospitals and clinics, state-of-the-art medical technology, reasonable medical costs and excellent hospitality. It is also a perfect place for post-treatment convalescence and recovery. Both patients and members of their family can enjoy a good post-treatment holiday in Thailand at excellent value-for-money prices. Thailand is estimated to have attracted 1.8 million foreign visitors seeking medical treatment in 2010. It is also an excellent locale for people seeking to learn how to meditate and massage, based on the country's long-standing Buddhist traditions.

Wedding & Honeymoon: In recent years, Thailand has become increasingly popular among wedding couples and honeymooners from India, China and France. Many Indian couples choose Thailand because they wish to tie the knot in a land renowned for its sense of grace and style, following customs and ceremonies with rich roots in Buddhist culture. The secluded, all-inclusive resorts are perfect for honeymoons.

Invited media and buyers will be able to avail of a range of post tours that will showcase these products as well as Thailand's world-renowned natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

Last year, TTM Plus welcomed a total of more than 1,000 participants, including 150 members of the media, from 30 countries. The 368 seller organisations included 78 agencies who were first-time sellers at this event. The 425 buyers from 54 countries included 120 first-time buyers.

Application forms for buyers and sellers and other related information are now available on the website and need to be submitted before the March 16, 2012 deadline: Also sellers can also get the benefit of the early bird price until January 31, 2012.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
Web site:

Posted by nattanich on 2012/1/30 13:40:00 (3973 reads)
Bangkok, January 27, 2012 - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the City of Sendai and the Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization are to sign a Letter of Intent (LOI) to use tourism as a means of helping to facilitate an economic and social recovery from the natural disasters that have recently struck both destinations.
The LOI will be signed on January 27, 2012 by Mr Yukimoto Ito, Deputy Mayor City of Sendai, Mr Kanji Saito, General Manager of the Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization and Mr Sansern Ngaorungsi, Deputy Governor for International Marketing of Asia and the South Pacific.

The TAT and the City of Sendai have been working with each other on tourism promotion since August 2006. While those activities worked well under normal circumstances, today they have taken on a new role and importance in view of the earthquake and tsunami that struck the Sendai region on March 2011 and the massive flooding that affected many parts of Central Thailand in October-November 2011.

Many of the industrial zones and factories affected by the floods involved significant Japanese investment.

Mr Sansern Ngaorungsi, TAT Deputy Governor said, "Both destinations are now working to rehabilitate and recover from the crisis. There are shared interests, and it is during times such as these that we really need to work together and learn from each other, especially as tourism is vital to both our economies."

The LOI will commit both parties to undertake a number of projects and activities, such as exchange programmes, to promote tourism between now and March 2017.

Sendai is a city with a population of one million and is the political and economic centre of Japan's Tohoku (northeast) Region. The TAT has three offices in Japan and has been participating in the Tohoku Senior Fair for long-stay visitors for several years now. A number of Thai travel writers have visited the region in the past to promote visits by Thai tourists.

At a broader level, Japan and Thailand have a very special relationship - at the Royal Family level, government level and people-to-people level. The people of Thailand recognise the significant role of Japanese investment, aid and development co-operation funding in creating jobs and income in the Thai economy, as well as for the development of tourism infrastructure.

"Japanese funding also played a very important role in helping Thailand upgrade the quality of our many natural and cultural heritage sites, which are very popular among Japanese visitors," Mr Sansern said.

"We are also proud that Thailand remains one of the world's most popular destinations for Japanese visitors. In 2011, Thailand attracted 1.12 million Japanese visitors, up 13.34% over 2010," Mr Sansern added. Through this LOI collaboration, it will promote two ways tourism traffic between Sendai City and Thailand.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
Web site:

Posted by nattanich on 2011/7/20 14:22:49 (6750 reads)
Imtiaz Muqbil

Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution's travel program, offers new opportunities for travelers to fulfill their lifetime "must-see" destinations. This, and several other great stories in this dispatch.


Click on the headline to go directly to the story.

1. Smithsonian Journeys Lists Top 10 Destinations and Most Popular Vacation Packages for 2011
2. TripAdvisor Announces 2011 Travelers' Choice Beaches Awards
3. U.S. Consumers Rate Corporations They Trust in the "Reputation Economy"
4. Global Cyber Security Market to Reach $80.02 Billion by 2017
5. New Research Reveals How To Connect with Active and Healthy Consumers
6. Global Cooperatives Movement Gets Boost with International Year, New Logo
7. International Trade Union Movement Launches Worldwide Jobs Pact For Young People
8. UN Forms Partnership With Mediterranean Countries To Save Region's Forests
9. Development Aid Increases, But With Worrying Trends, OECD Report Shows


Smithsonian Journeys Lists Top 10 Destinations and Most Popular Vacation Packages for 2011


Washington, DC (Vocus/PRWEB) April 05, 2011 - Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution's travel program, offers new opportunities for travelers to fulfill their lifetime "must-see" destinations. Trends show that more than ever, Americans seek greater cultural immersion when they travel, including a meaningful experience that comes with genuine insight into the culture and history of a destination. Smithsonian's focus on valuing world cultures translates into the Institution's travel program through travel experiences that feature special access and top leaders. Plus, the breadth of Smithsonian Journeys' travel collection can accommodate any style of travel, whether it is land, sea or rail, from luxury to value focus. Full details on all trips can be found at its website

Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian Coast. The Adriatic became popular years ago due to its pristine coastline of charming towns and islands, plus significant World Heritage sites. Smithsonian features two small-ship cruises in this region: "Treasures of the Adriatic" (Sept. 12-24) an in-depth luxury experience aboard the 114-guest Corinthian II, and "Splendors of Italy and the Dalmatian Coast" (May 31-June 15), an all-inclusive value cruise aboard the 350-guest Aegean Odyssey.

Italy. Because it is on everyone's life list, Smithsonian Journeys offers a broad collection of tours and cruises to Italy, each with specific themes and styles of travel. Travelers can choose from 10 unique cruises, such as "Journey of Odysseus: A Voyage from Greece to Italy" (June 18-29). Five in-depth small-group tours focus on just one area (Florence, Venice, Siena, the Amalfi Coast or Sicily), while the comprehensive "Art Treasures of Italy" showcases the arts of Venice, Florence and Rome.

Athens. At the center of western civilization, Athens should be on everyone's life list. Smithsonian Journeys offers three choice ways to experience it, including two all-inclusive value cruises to the Mediterranean or "City Explorer: Athens" (Oct. 17-29), an in-depth yet leisurely experience.

Istanbul. The only city in the world situated on two continents, Istanbul features a fascinating history of both western and eastern cultures, as reflected by its monuments. Travelers interested in visiting Istanbul and Athens in one trip can choose from Smithsonian's all-inclusive Mediterranean cruises and its popular "Black Sea" luxury cruise (Aug. 5-16). "Legendary Turkey and the Turquoise Coast" and "Ancient Worlds of Anatolia" are two small-group, air-inclusive tours that travel to Istanbul before moving south to different regions of Turkey. Both have multiple departures in the spring and autumn.

France. Travelers who have not experienced French culture and history will enjoy the comprehensive themes and regions featured in the small-group, air-inclusive "France through the Ages" tour, which travels from Toulouse to Paris. "Sojourn in the Dordogne" provides a closer understanding of the Dordogne region, renowned for prehistoric cave paintings, charming medieval towns, gourmet cuisine and fine wines. Both tours feature multiple departures.

Canadian Rockies. Travelers are drawn worldwide to the magnificence of the Canadian Rockies, celebrated for the region's pristine alpine lakes, majestic snowcapped mountains and plentiful wildlife. During "A Canadian Rockies Adventure" (Aug. 5-12), Smithsonian travelers stay at top accommodations in Banff and Jasper as they explore the landscape, then enjoy panoramic vistas on a two-day train trip aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer before arriving in Vancouver.

The Great Lakes. Situated between Canada and the United States, the Great Lakes are the largest inland lake system in the world and retain an important history and natural beauty. During "Canadian Splendors" (July 25-Aug. 3), travelers can take a cruise in Canada that features notable cities and charming towns, engineering marvels and the history and natural beauty of Lakes Ontario, Erie and Huron.

Alaska. Alaska continues to be at the top of many life lists due to its dramatic natural wonders of calving glaciers, pods of humpback and orca whales and magnificent spruce forests. Travelers can experience it all up-close by kayak, Zodiac and hikes on "Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness" (July 30-Aug. 6), an adventure cruise to Southeast Alaska and the Inside Passage, which also features the comforts of a small-ship cruise.

Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is considered the most spectacular gorge in the world and consequently Grand Canyon National Park merits listing as a World Heritage site. Smithsonian Journeys has taken Americans to this breathtaking site for nearly 40 years. "Grand Canyon Weekend Adventure" (June 17-20 and July 15-18) offers an in-depth weekend experience of the park, which features an overnight rafting trip down the Colorado River and a day at a nearby ranch.

China. Travel to China continues to increase dramatically for many reasons and Smithsonian Journeys has helped Americans get there since the doors opened. Travelers can count on Smithsonian for an in-depth quality experience on two small-group, air-inclusive tours, "Imperial China and the Yangtze" and "Classic China and Tibet," both featuring multiple departures.

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There were approximately 30 million visits from around the world at the Smithsonian in 2009 with more than 188 million visits to the Smithsonian websites. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.

TripAdvisor Announces 2011 Travelers' Choice Beaches Awards

NEWTON, Mass., April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - TripAdvisor, which claims to be the world's largest travel site*, today announced the winners of its inaugural 2011 Travelers' Choice Beaches awards. Top beach spots were named in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Mexico, and Central and South America.

Award winners were determined based on the most highly rated beach destinations by travelers in TripAdvisor reviews. Unlike any other honors, TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice winners are based on millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions from travelers around the world.

According to a recent TripAdvisor survey of more than 2,100 U.S. respondents, 68 percent are planning a beach vacation in 2011. Fifty-four percent are planning a trip to a U.S. beach destination. Seventeen percent intend to visit the U.S. southeast coast, 13 percent expect to explore the northeast coast, 12 percent plan to go to the gulf coast and 10 percent plan to visit the west coast. Twenty-six percent are planning a beach trip to the Caribbean or Mexico in 2011.

"It's that time of year when travelers are dreaming of getaways to warm beach destinations. To provide inspiration on where to go, we've named some amazing hot spots around the world, based on millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "In addition to the outstanding beaches, these destinations also feature top-rated options for hotels, vacation rentals, attractions, and restaurants."

Travelers' Choice Beaches Award-winning World Beach Destinations:

1. Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
2. Boracay, Philippines
3. Palm/Eagle Beach, Aruba
4. Negril, Jamaica
5, Tulum, Mexico
6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
7. Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
8. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
9. Cape May, New Jersey
10. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Travelers' Choice Beaches Award-winning U.S. Beach Destinations:

1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
2. Cape May, New Jersey
3. Panama City Beach, Florida
4. Miami Beach, Florida
5. Sanibel Island, Florida
6. Clearwater, Florida
7. Honolulu, Hawaii
8. Captiva Island, Florida
9. Poipu, Hawaii
10. Siesta Key, Florida

For the complete 2011 Travelers' Choice Beaches lists, go to

U.S. Consumers Rate Corporations They Trust in the "Reputation Economy"

NEW YORK, April 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Since the global financial crisis of 2008-09, negative headlines of product recalls, government bailouts, insider-trading and CEO scandals have reinforced the importance of reputation and its ability to humble once-high flying market leaders. Despite this toxic operating environment, eight of the largest 150 companies in the U.S. were still able to earn excellent corporate reputations and drive value-creation with the general public in 2011, according to a new study by private consulting firm Reputation Institute, in partnership with Forbes Media.

For a complete list of the U.S. findings, visit:

How are companies able to gain the highest levels of trust, esteem, admiration and good feeling from consumers in such a challenging environment? Two common themes for building reputation resilience and a positive legacy with stakeholders stand out. First, companies with the strongest reputations have moved beyond products and services when communicating what the company stands for. Second, it is the CEO at these companies who is leading the reputation management strategy.

Reputation Institute's analysis of the seven dimensions of corporate reputation shows that perceptions of the enterprise (Workplace, Governance, Citizenship, Financial Performance and Leadership) trump product perceptions (Products & Services plus Innovation) when it comes to driving behaviors. The five enterprise dimensions drive 61% of purchase consideration and 58% of recommendation/advocacy behavior with consumers. This provides further proof of what Reputation Institute calls the "reputation economy" - a place where people increasingly choose among competing products and services based on their impressions of how the companies behind them behave.

"The reputation economy of 2011 is characterized by a heightened focus on three things: trust in companies and leaders rather than product brands, multiple stakeholders and their interactions, and building a connection between a company's reputation strategy and its business strategy," said Anthony Johndrow, Managing Partner at Reputation Institute. "Today's best ?'Chief Reputation Officers?' combine cognitive, analytical, process, communication and organizational skills to give voice to their companies and connect the enterprise to stakeholders."

In search of what separates weak from average and strong from excellent companies, Reputation Institute asked "Chief Reputation Officers" (either the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, or Chief Communications Officer) responsible for reputation management from these 150 companies about the challenges they face in their role. This second study found that companies who scored in the excellent range of reputation (80+) were:

2.5 times more likely to have the CEO set the strategy for their enterprise positioning

1.5 times more likely to include reputation metrics as part of their senior management "dashboard"

15 times more likely to manage corporate reputation across company functions

1.7 times more likely to use an outside partner to assist with corporate reputation management

2011 RepTrak TM Pulse Study Highlights

The Automotive (69.35/+5.75 points) and Banking (61.5/+2.03 points) industries' reputations began to rebound with the general public, while the Diversified Financial Services and Insurance industries continue to struggle in the wake of the global financial crisis.

The top three drivers of corporate reputation with the U.S. general public remain Products & Services (17.7%), Governance (15.8%), and Citizenship (14.3%).

Reputation Institute's U.S. RepTrak TM Pulse Study measures the 150 largest, by revenue, independent U.S. public and mutual companies that are at least somewhat familiar to the general public.

Global Cyber Security Market to Reach $80.02 Billion by 2017

San Jose, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) April 05, 2011 - The magnitude and latitude of cyber crime has skyrocketed in recent years and with advances in technology, the immersion factor has increased on a ridiculous scale. Today, cyber-crime costs more than $1.0 trillion to society, with billions of dollars being stolen from small, medium and large-sized enterprises, identity of millions of individuals compromised, and several governments across the world already been targets of cyber-warfare. Internet has become a primary conduit for cyber attack activities with hackers channeling threats through social-engineering attacks and legitimate websites, placing a higher risk to larger number of people than in the past. Financial fraud, phishing, pharming, malware, laptop theft, man-in-the-middle attacks and database breaches on information and identities have resulted in huge losses for consumers.

Cyber crime has witnessed a considerable rise during the economic recession, partly attributed to the decreased focus of enterprises on computer and cyber security coupled with the growing desperation of people to generate quick income. Resurgence of viruses, banker Trojans, and fake anti-virus software continue to drum up media headlines and industry concerns. Additionally, the rise of social-networking websites and smartphones has created new outlets for propagation of malware. Growing popularity of social networking sites, and increasing availability of company infrastructure 'in the cloud' have exposed global enterprises to higher levels of security threats.

As a response to customer fears, organizations are seeking various proactive strategies to prevent the brand damage resulting from data breaches and identity-related fraud. While the recent economic recession forced substantial cutbacks in IT spending across several developed nations, it has however intensified the focus of business enterprises on cyber security solutions in a bid to minimize cyber crime induced financial losses, avoid high cost of security breaches, and safeguard organization?s reputation. Concurrently, the need to comply with various industry standards and regulations has also driven organizations to invest heavily in cyber security solutions.

As stated by the new market research report, United States and Europe accounted for a major share of the global Cyber Security market. Today, the worldwide cyber security market has fast evolved into a high revenue generating industry due to the large-scale development and deployment of advanced cyber security solutions. The launch of new cyber security products and services demonstrates the overall confidence in the market, and more funds were made available for cyber security, with the landslide of recent breaches itself lending to a much improved 2010. The increased sophistication of cyber security solutions is another driver of market growth. The technology and software, which can rapidly identify anomalies and help with the prevention and detection of cyber crime, has encouraged enterprises that would otherwise not invest in cyber security to purchase systems, especially in the financial industry.

By segment, Network Security is the largest contributor to global market revenues for cyber security. Endpoint security software such as desktop anti-virus has been in the marketplace for longer than any other cyber security solution. However, in the race to win the corporate clients, the market participants are shifting away from antivirus-style products to software suites combining network access control, configuration control, anti-malware, patch management, and systems management capabilities. The ability of endpoint security vendors to offer a comprehensive endpoint security suite to protect an organization from insider threats through features such as Web filtering, DLP (data loss prevention), asset management, tracking and recovery and insider monitoring will be key to future growth. Global market revenues for Endpoint Security are expected to surpass $5.0 billion by 2017.

The research report titled "Cyber Security: A Global Strategic Business Report" announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a comprehensive review of market trends, issues, drivers, company profiles, mergers, acquisitions and other strategic industry activities. The report provides market estimates and projections (in US$ Millions) for major geographic markets including the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Rest of World. Product segments analyzed include: Application Security, Content Security, Data Security, Endpoint Security, Network Security, Identity & Access Management, Risk & Compliance Management, Consulting Services, and Security Operations.

For more details

New Research Reveals How To Connect with Active and Healthy Consumers

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) April 5, 2011 - Almost every day we hear stories about the obesity crisis. The New York Times recently published a piece on the "increase in (American) waistlines," while the Wall Street Journal ran a story proclaiming that "never have so many human mastodons bestridden the Earth." With such media focus on obesity, it can be easy to overlook the huge numbers of health-conscious, physically fit Americans.

A recent study by Williams-Helde Marketing Communications set out to uncover the attitudes and behaviors of healthy and fit Americans, dubbed Active Healthy Lifestyles (AHLs). The study showed that in addition to living an active lifestyle, AHLs are highly influential consumers, much more likely to share preferences with friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, and even total strangers via blogs and social media. AHLs are active information seekers - heavily researching products online and in magazines before making purchasing decisions.

Key AHL Statistics

63% of AHLs are willing to pay slightly more for a product that is made by a brand they trust.

AHLs are 41% more likely to use Facebook than non-AHLs.

77% of AHLs say they buy the best.

AHLs are broken down into four key segments: Young Movers (18-25), Active Parents (25-55), Booming Boomers (45-65), and Senior Jocks (65+).

AHLs are willing to pay for the best, but only after their research has helped them define what the best is. They are not easily swayed by advertising and unsubstantiated brand promises, as they like to believe their decisions are uniquely their own. This report by Williams-Helde Marketing Communications will help marketers gain a deep understanding of the Active Healthy Lifestyle audience, which will enable brands to tailor their marketing to the unique motivators of this vast and influential group.

Click here to read the report:

Global Cooperatives Movement Gets Boost with International Year, New Logo

(UN News) - Leading up to the launch of the International Year of Cooperatives in October 2011, the United Nations has released the official logo of the year based on the slogan, "Cooperative enterprises build a better world".

Cooperatives are member-owned, autonomous, self-help organizations that offer a business model that contributes to socio-economic development. The cooperative sector, with nearly a billion members in 90 countries through the International Cooperative Alliance, a membership organization, is estimated to account for more than 100 million jobs worldwide.

The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution 64/136, declared 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives, in recognition of the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, especially with regard to poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. The objectives of the Year are to expand public awareness of the role of cooperatives, particularly in relation to the fulfilment of internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals; encourage the growth of cooperatives worldwide; and establish a policy and legal environment conducive to the strength and stability of the cooperative movement.

The new logo, available for non-commercial use by civil society, Governments and private entities, features people who are central to the cooperative model working together to lift a large cube. The seven figures represent the seven principles of the cooperative movement: voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; member economic participation; autonomy and independence; education, training and information; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community.

The logo is available on the International Year of Cooperatives website at in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. To obtain permission to use the logo, please visit the website or contact the secretariat at After you have received authorization, you will be able to download the logo, free of charge.

Posted by nattanich on 2011/7/20 14:09:00 (4156 reads)
Imtiaz Muqbil

ITB BERLIN - Germany, one of the world?s largest outbound travel markets, is on its way to becoming one of world's top inbound travel nations. The country crossed 60 million overnight stays in 2010 and is targetting 80 million by 2020, with arrivals from China and India expected to figure highly.

Speaking at the ITB Berlin, Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), said: "Germany has the potential to stake out a permanent place for itself as one of the world's most popular tourist destinations."

She added, "We believe that growth of between 2 and 4 per cent is entirely realistic for inbound tourism, and the domestic market is also expected to grow by up to 2 per cent."

German domestic travel totalled more than 320 million overnight stays in 2010 and is projected at 390 million overnight stays in 2011.

While most of the projected growth in inbound arrivals will continue to come from the euro zone, with Spain and Italy offering the greatest potential, the GNTB forecasts further growth from Central and Eastern Europe, particularly Poland and the Czech Republic. "Significant increases" are expected from the BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

Said Mrs Hedofer, "As the economies of these countries grow, so does the enthusiasm for travel of their people. The number of overnight stays by visitors from India could rise by an average of 13.5 per cent up to 2020. China is close behind with a projected increase of 9.3 per cent, followed by Brazil at 8.5 per cent and Russia at around 5 per cent.

"China and India are the most important future growth markets for Germany. The GNTB expects the number of overnight stays by Chinese travellers to double by 2020 from the current level of 1.1 million. The predicted figure from India by 2020 is 1.4 million."

(Download the German Tourism Board's market research reports on Brazil, China, India and Russia).

The German tourism industry is undergoing a major revamp with much help coming from political parties because benefits are now trickling down to the small and medium sized enterprises.

Klaus Laepple, President of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) said: "With its wide range of holiday destinations and products, Germany has managed to withstand the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, to rise to the challenge of tough times, such as those during the volcanic ash cloud, and to make 2010 a record year."

Rainer Bruuderle, Federal Minister for Economics and Technology, said: "Germany's travel industry, which largely consists of small and medium-sized companies, has played its part in enabling us to overcome the crisis so successfully."

Ernst Burgbacher, Member of the German Parliament, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology says: "The tourism industry is one of the most important sectors in the German economy. Our task is to remain supportive of the key role played by Germany's incoming tourism industry and the opportunities for our economy that it provides. SMEs benefit particularly strongly from high numbers of visitors travelling to Germany."

Of the 60.3 million overnight stays recorded in 2010, visitors from other European countries accounted for more than 76 per cent. Both holiday and business travel were up strongly.

Said Mrs Hedorfer: "Since 2004, Germany has continuously outperformed the rest of Europe in terms of growth, and on the popularity scale now ranks second, behind Spain and ahead of France. Italy and Austria are fourth and fifth."

This year, Germany is projecting another boom thanks to international events such as the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011 and the celebrations surrounding the 125th anniversary of the motor car.

Domestic travel is also booming. Said Mrs Hedorfer, "In 2010 the number of overnight stays by domestic travellers in hotels and guesthouses with more than nine beds and on campsites increased by 2 per cent year on year. In total, the German Federal Statistical Office registered more than 320 million overnight stays in Germany by domestic visitors - a record number.

According to EUROSTAT, this makes Germany the biggest internal tourism market in Europe, with an average of four overnight stays per head of population in their own country.

Another research company IPK International reports that major cities were the biggest winners, particularly Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Germany's capital recorded an increase in overnight stays of 7.7 percent, while Hamburg managed a rise of 8.6 per cent. Munich did slightly better with growth of 8.7 per cent. Frankfurt also recorded a significant increase (12.2 per cent) in overnight stays by German visitors.

Several culturally and historically important cities with a population of less than 500,000, also recorded growth. Munster, for example, recorded more than 1.1 million overnight stays by domestic visitors in 2010 (+7.7 per cent). Heidelberg was up by just under 6 per cent to around 600,000 overnight stays.

The positive trend in the towns and cities also rippled out into the neighbouring regions, some of which recorded double-digit growth figures.

In 2013, the GNTB plans to target younger groups with its theme of 'Germany for young people - vibrant, fashionable, innovative'. It will also mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the music composer Richard Wagner by promoting Germany's classical music heritage in selected source markets.

Posted by nattanich on 2011/7/20 13:40:24 (5379 reads)
Imtiaz Muqbil

Prof Dr Manfred Busche, chairman of Messe Berlin, launched the ITB Berlin in 1966 and watched it grow into the world?s largest trade show. In this interview with Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil he indulges in a little nostalgia, discusses the secrets of ITB's success and his plans after retirement in June 1999.


A tribute to Prof Dr Manfred Busche, Chairman of the Board, Messe Berlin, home of ITB Berlin, the world?s largest trade show. Dr Busche will be retiring at the end of June after 33 years of close involvement with an exhibition that has had the greatest influence on the global Travel & Tourism industry. In this interview, he recounts the ITB's origins and the secrets of its success.

Born in 1934 in Aschersleben, eastern Germany, Dr Busche studied economics at Hamburg and Berlin Universities and completed his Ph.D. at Berlin university. Joining the Goethe Institute immediately after, he was posted as deputy director in Cairo between 1962-65.

In 1965, he joined Messe Berlin as deputy director and in 1966, drawing on the experience of his travels through the Middle East and North Africa, launched the ITB. In 1968, he was promoted to managing director and in 1977 to Chairman.

Like a sequoia tree, the ITB has grown from humble beginnings to a mammoth show that nearly anyone who is someone in the Travel & Tourism industry visits at least once in their professional lifetime. Now bursting at over 80 halls and rooms over 149,000 square metres, the 1999 ITB was attended by 7,434 companies and organisations from 190 countries and territories. Foreign exhibitors totalled 5,887 this year. About 7,000 journalists from more than 90 countries and territories registered.

Seeing this growth and the impact the ITB has had on global Travel & Tourism has been a source of some satisfaction. In this interview at the PATA conference in Nagoya, Dr Busche took a trip down memory lane with Travel Impact Newswire.


Imtiaz Muqbil: You are known as the father and founder of ITB.

Dr MB: Founder yes. Father I don't know, maybe grandfather might be better now.

Q: What is the secret of the success of the ITB?

A: Giving it a new dimension every year. No one ITB is the same as the other one. We have to create every ITB like a unique one each year. That is one of the secrets. Every year, an event like that has to be kept new, modern. We have to be close to the new developments which are coming up. Or even those developments that pretend to be 'new' - some are not as new as they pretend to be. But we have to follow developments like everyone and lead ITB to a new and successful dimension every year.

Q: You said that is 'one of the secrets.' Any others?

A: Its very simple. All success stories are very simple. The success story of the ITB is the same. We wanted to create a real international event, a real worldwide-accepted event for and by the industry. It's the only event in the world of tourism that is really international. It is not purely European, airline- or travel agent-dominated or government-dictated or under any other association or grouping. It is not a regional event. It is an event which has no limit. We are open for developments in Latin America, Pacific, and the US and everywhere. We have to serve the world of tourism, those who are part of the world of tourism.

We are really worldwide-orientated. And that is because we are independent. I wanted it to be independent from the very beginning, absolutely independent from the German government, from the European Commission (if it existed at the time), independent from national tourism offices. This is a very simple, primitive, basic idea of the ITB. To keep it open for everybody. This may sound very simple, but it can be sometimes difficult.

Many enterprises and companies have come to us and said they would like to be of assistance. We accepted offers of those kinds only partially, we said 'yes, okay, but we want to remain independent, and serve all parts of the tourism industry. We will not accept being dominated by anyone or any continent or any branch of the industry.'

Q. Do you think the mystique of Berlin had anything to do with it?

A. I don't think it had anything to do with it. On the contrary, one of the wonders is that we are successful inspite of being in Berlin. In the first decade, we had the communist bloc against us. I remember very well when we had to convince the tourism organisations (why they SHOULD participate even though) the event was in this divided city, in the fortress of the western world. The basic idea was not accepted. We had to convince the industry that it would be to their advantage in having a worldwide event dominated by no-one but the tourism industry itself, a totally neutral event. We had to convince even the Germans.

In the beginning they (the Germans) said, 'What are you doing? We do not understand!!' I remember one of the discussions I had with the founders of TUI (Touristik Union International, the giant German tour operator) about 1968 or 1969. He said, 'Give up. It's senseless, you are trying to establish a trade fair for an industry which has nothing to exhibit. A trade fair needs something to exhibit, some product, some machinery. You only have leaflets.' Nevertheless, I convinced him to buy a booth.

Q. How many halls was the first ITB?

A. (laughs) How many halls?!? It was more like how many square metres, only in one hall!! Probably just half of one hall today. Just recently, I discovered by chance a paper describing the aims and philosophies of ITB, which I had written for the second ITB. This was where I described what we should do next after the first ITB. I am very proud to see that until today, the principles of the ITB as it developed are 80-90% unchanged since I wrote that description of the second ITB.

Q.What did it say?

A. What it said - I have it in my home, I treasure it - is that one of the principles is that the trade visitor is the heart of the whole thing. We have to aim at the wishes of the trade visitor, not the travelling public. The general public is the final consumer of everything. But the key person is not the exhibitor, not the tourist, not the journalist, but the trade visitor.

Q. But the trade visitor will only come if the exhibitors are good?

A. Yes, but if you offer one side one thing, the other side will follow. If growth rates are equal on both sides, everybody will be happy. You have to take care of the equilibrium, to create the feeling that there is a strong representation by the important side, and if it is not sufficient, that it will grow to be sufficient. When we had first 10-15 visitors from India, we all knew that that this was not enough. But the fact was: We had 10-15 visitors from India - this was a surprise!! And we said, 'next year we will have 30.' And this was the attention we paid to it and this brought us greater acceptance, and gave hope both to us and to other participants who could now go back and tell their colleagues.

Q. You've had a great personal affinity with the Asia-Pacific. Why?

A. I really don't know. I've had a great respect for the culture and history of this great part of the world. I could imagine myself living in these countries someday. I have had the opportunity to visit nearly every country. I've also been to all the European countries and many other parts of the world, but there?s something special about Asia, about all the PATA countries.

Q: Messe Berlin never discloses financial figures on the performance of the ITB. How profitable is the show?

A: It has been profitable for about last 20 years. But we had to invest a lot of money in the first decade of the ITB. At that time we were small. We had to go to Australia, North America, and many other places to convince the tourism industry that they would need something like the ITB.

Q. How profitable is it compared to other shows at the Messe Berlin.

A. We have four shows which are equal standards - the other three are consumer electronics, green week (for the agricultural and food industry), and a building fair for the construction industry. There is also the Berlin Air show, but there is no profit it, which is now changing.

Q. How much support do you get from the Berlin government?

A. Today, I have no complaints about the acceptance of the ITB, including from the Berlin city government, but I remember going to see one of the senators (city councillors) and explaining to him how important it would be to bring the world to Berlin, and I showed him on a map where the various countries were and what I wanted to achieve. And he hummed and muttered and then remarked, 'Yes this ITB is a very interesting thing and I can see it has some importance but I am not listening and will listen only when it is the size of the Green Week.'

Q. What does he say today?

A. Unfortunately, he's not with us any more.

Q. Which of the profitable shows is the fastest growing?

A. The growth of ITB has been bigger as it started from zero. Consumer electronics and green week are traditional shows that started before ITB. Now we have two new trade fairs of that size.

Q. How much of a competitive threat do you expect the growing number of other travel trade shows to pose to the ITB?

A. I have nothing against all these other trade shows, and they have their aims and responsibilities, and they will exist. I think there is a need for a trade show in Latin America and for a trade fair of similar character in Asia, and perhaps there is a need for three or four of them, including a trade event in North America. These do not mean competition for ITB, but are kind of complementing the ITB. They are part of the bigger picture of the tourism industry. We have to recognise and respect that they are very specific developments in Latin America and North America and nobody within the ITB organisation has anything against it. However, there is a need for one global event, just as when we founded it.

Q. Will the other trade shows hurt the ITB in terms of attendance and financially?

A. They won't hurt attendance at ITB. Financial problems would be a minor issue. The main issue (with trade shows) is that you have to be relevant. You have to maintain your relevance to the industry. The tourism industry has to say that 'this belongs to us and it is our main event.' The ITB is not only big but important because all the decision-makers are there. When the delegates from Australia or any other country come, they come not to see Berlin but to meet these decision-makers.

Q. Has the growth of outbound travel from Germany helped the ITB?

A. Yes it has helped, and it is very important, but by no means is it responsible for creating the importance of ITB. Yes, if German outbound diminished it would create some problems for us. But the majority of the delegates come because they know that they can and will meet the leading people from the tourism industry in all parts of the world. Although some journalists do not realise that.

Q. Will you be applying the same philosophy to International Travel Asia (ITA, the new trade show to be launched in Hong Kong in September)?

A. The ITA's philosophy has to be developed. We have to try, with our dear partner Miller Freeman and see which kind of philosophy will be successful. We are beginning with the tourism ministries in the Asia-Pacific, and rely on the capability and strength of Miller Freeman. They rely on our knowledge of and acceptance in the industry. But in some respects we both have to find what the successful philosophy could be. We are newcomers in the field (of Asian travel trade shows). Other travel events are already taking place - the PATA Travel Mart, the travel show in Shanghai which the Chinese own and support heavily. Let's wait and see.

It is also a sign of our confidence in Hong Kong. We are convinced that Hong Kong is the right place. We had and still have offers from other places in the neighourhood. Even at ITB 1999 somebody said, 'why not take it to our country and we will support you,' and I said 'perhaps one day we may.' But I am personally convinced of the future of Hong Kong. It has a very specific atmosphere for international business and a certain open-mindedness. I know it for many, many years and admire it.

Q. Do the tax advantages of Hong Kong help?

A. In order to make money you have to spend money. ITA is an investment - we have a 50-50 shareholding in ITA. Tax advantages have nothing to do with it. Its just the history, the mentality, the overall situation of Hong Kong in that area. A kind of neutral place to hold a major trade show.

Q. Has any dream of yours gone unfulfilled?

A. We should have at least one major hotel close to the ITB fair ground. This is a very practical problem. We are looking for investors to build a property in conjunction with the fair grounds. The designs are ready, and I know many companies who are interested in managing it. But we need an investor. The plans are for a 140-metre-high hotel, four-stars, about 400 rooms. If I had money, I would invest. We are negotiating with an investor. Hopefully it will be ready by ITB 2002.

Q. What about direct flights?

A. You mean from outside Europe? Yes, this will come, too. This year, Berlin is regaining the status of the capital of Germany. Parliament is coming back and government is back and the importance of Berlin will grow. It is the centre of central Europe, so it will help to convince everyone to create the conditions and establish more non-stop flights from outside.

Q. What are you going to do after retirement?

A. My wife and I have bought a boat, and as our house is located along one of the rivers, we now plan to take a tour through the rivers and canals which can be done any month of the year. Anyway, I'm not completely out of business. I will retain links with Messe Berlin. Last year I was elected President of the world association of trade fairs, which is based in Paris, so I will still be involved with the convention and trade fair industry.

Posted by nattanich on 2011/7/20 10:47:51 (5146 reads)
Imtiaz Muqbil

The second of a two-part report on the two technological and geopolitical revolutions set to dominate the agenda at the ITB Berlin between March 9-13. This part focusses on the geopolitical revolution.

On March 9, the ITB Berlin will break new ground in the annals of travel & tourism with a public discussion on the impact of the Middle East crisis on the global tourism industry. Classified as a "Hot Topic" on the programme of the ITB Convention, the panel will be addressed by Hebatallah Ismail Hafez, Middle East Expert, Deutsche Welle, Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Samih Sawiris, Chairman & CEO, Orascom Development.

To be moderated by Prof. Dr. Gudrun Kr?mer, Director of the Berlin Graduate School, Muslim Cultures and Societies, the panel's subject title is appropriately framed as a question: "Middle East Crisis - Flash in the Pan or Permanent Crisis for Tourism?" Asserting that "Political unrest in the Middle East is threatening recovery of tourism after the financial crisis," the preamble sets the agenda for the discussion thus: "How big is the risk that tourism in the region will come to a standstill? Or does the emerging democratic process provide new opportunities for tourism?"

The answers to those questions may actually come from another event. The partner country for this year's ITB is Poland. Amongst the Polish delegation at the ITB opening ceremony will be Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize. Many of today's generation in the travel & tourism industry are probably too young to remember, but Lech Walesa is the former leader of the "Solidarity" trade union at the Gdansk shipyard, where a series of strikes in the late 1970s and early 1980s forced regime change in Poland and triggered a chain of pro-democracy movements in other Iron Curtain countries, leading to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Empire, and the end of the Cold War. Today, similar revolutions will either unfold across the Arab and Islamic worlds and possibly beyond, or strong efforts will be made to suppress them. Either way, the impact on global peace, stability and security and, by extension, travel & tourism, will be substantial.

The timing is perfect for these issues to be aired at the ITB Berlin, the first ITB of the second decade of the 21st century. As the first decade was dominated by discussions of the impact on travel tourism of pandemics, natural disasters, financial and crises, and climate change, it is long overdue for the geopolitics of regime change to be factored into the mainstream agenda. Indeed, global geopolitics, as manifested by one of its primary outcomes, the so-called "war on terror", has impacted on travel & tourism all through the first decade. The industry has been remiss in ignoring it, except in terms of its impact on "safety and security." Now, that taboo is set to be well & truly broken.

Although likely to be controversial, a rationale and fact-based discussion will be healthy for the industry as a whole. The path to health and wellness, as any practitioner of this rapidly growing industry sector knows, lies in asking the right questions, correctly diagnosing the symptoms in order to identify the cause, and then prescribing the correct solution. Recovery can often be a painful process, require behavioural changes, a lot of patience and, quite often, a second opinion. But nothing can be achieved by living in denial, or without recognising that many ailments are self-inflicted. Sweeping issues under the carpet is suicidal.

The questions awaiting the panel at the ITB Convention are only a fraction of the many more that need to be asked. Hence, this essay will do just that. As a born-and-brought-up Asian, a Muslim of Indian origin, now living in Bangkok, I feel myself to be well-placed to pose them. Professionally, it is my competitive advantage as a journalist to have covered some of the most tumultuous events in recent history in both the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Each of those events leaves a legacy of lessons and mistakes that need to be avoided if history is not to repeat itself.

One lesson that stands out in this new world order is that it is not possible to fool all the people all the time. Hence, accountability is set to become a two-way street. A dominant feature of this resurgence of the Arab/Islamic worlds is the increasing assertiveness of its opinion-shapers and zero tolerance for attempts to insult our intelligence. Just two examples can be cited:

<> On February 18, the United States vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning all Israeli settlements established in occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 as illegal, saying that while it agreed that the settlements are illegitimate the resolution harmed chances for peace talks. As an example of the outrage that followed, and the subsequent impact on the image of the U.S. in the Arab/Islamic worlds, I invite readers to the following commentary in Arab News.

<> On 23 February, the Council on American-Islamic Relations of the Greater Los Angeles Area, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, and the law firm Hadsell Stormer Keeny Richardson & Renick LLP announced that they have filed a federal class action lawsuit against the FBI for infiltrating mainstream mosques in Southern California and targeting Muslim Americans for surveillance solely because of their religion. In its deposition, it said, "For over 14 months between 2006 and 2007, FBI agents planted an informant in Orange County mosques who posed as a convert to Islam and through whom the FBI collected names, telephone numbers, e-mails, and other information on hundreds of California Muslims."

At the ITB Convention, diplomatic niceties may require the panellists to mince their words. But Travel Impact Newswire faces no such inhibition. Here are a range of questions on issues that will influence the geopolitics of the new world order, including events in the Middle East. Their impact on travel & tourism is obvious.

1. How much money is being consumed by the world's militaries on a daily basis? How can a world so dominated by the merchants of death ever be able to live in peace?

2. The first decade of the 21st century was plagued by numerous "sicknesses". At least two major ones were man-made: climate change and the financial crisis. Who was primarily responsible for both? Who should be held accountable? Are the prescribed solutions really going to work?

3. What results have been achieved by the "war on terror?" How much has it cost the world in terms of lives lost, as well as time, money and effort? How has it impacted travel & tourism? Where is the end-game? Who is to be held accountable for the failure?

4. When will the current generation muster the courage to accept responsibility for the shameful legacy of environmental and economic debt, geopolitical mayhem and financial crises it is set to leave behind for the future generation to inherit and clean up? When will the future generation start demanding such accountability from the current generation?

5. What has the West learnt from its days of colonisation? The French, Dutch, British, Spaniards, Portuguese and others at some stage or another of their histories colonised large swathes of land mass in Africa, Asia and Latin America? All those empires faded and receded. What lessons did the former colonisers learn from those eras?

6. As no empires last forever, what is the future of the United States? What will be implications of its slow but steady decline in the power, prestige, influence? Will it accept this ageing process gracefully? In many economic and political forums, there is widespread concern about the country's ability to sustain such a large military expenditure, trade and budget deficits. When will the American street start asking serious questions about what it is getting in return for its tax dollars, and rise up in the same way as the Arab street?

7. Is the United States the same country it once was? Whatever happened to the country of the Vietnam and Watergate eras when a robust media and the Woodstock generation could end wars and bring down lying presidents? How much damage has been done by the replacement of yesterday's crusading journalists with today's embedded journalists, who are in bed with the U.S. government, lobbyists, the defence establishment and private companies?

8. Does the West seriously think it can dominate and control the aspirations of 1.2 billion Muslims with all their geographical, cultural, demographic, political and economic diversity?

9. Will the debate to come be approached from a "west is best" or "might is right" attitude? Or will it be a dialogue between equals based on mutual respect?

10. No discussion about the changing geopolitics of the Middle East and future relations between Arab/Islamic worlds and West can avoid the issue of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. What can the travel & tourism industry do to help provide statehood and independence and freedom of movement for the people of Palestine, and uphold the right of all people to visit Palestine as an independent state, not as an occupied territory of Israel?

11. Are Western values what they used to be? Why are right-wing parties and extremist movements with xenophobic agendas on the rise in the West? If Western societies are becoming less tolerant, less democratic and less passionate about their long-cherished love for justice and human rights, then can it be denied that the fanatics of all ilks are really winning?

12. If the world is seeing the rise of Brazil, India, Russia and China, and now the Arab/Islamic worlds, why are more forums not devoted to hearing the views of the people of these countries, especially contrarian views that challenge the conventional wisdoms coming from the capitals of the West? Why do most international conferences and events continue to be dominated by largely Western companies and institutions?

13. How can the Arab and Islamic-majority countries? autocrats, royal families and leaders start creating truly representative forums that will unleash the creativity of their peoples, especially the young? How can the Arab/Islamic worlds avoid being continuously divided and ruled, or becoming victim of a new form of colonialism? How can it confront the blatant racial profiling and targetting of Muslims in the West?

14. What is being done to ensure transparency, accountability at a global level? Just like the 1997 Asian financial crisis showed, the recent global financial crisis was the result of cronyism between speculators, hedge fund operators, private equity funds, agenda-driven think tanks and their connections to corrupt Western politicians and government officials. As one of the Oscar Academy Award winners told the world last week, not a single one of these crooks has been sent to jail.

15. Are multinational companies becoming much too powerful and unaccountable? What can be done to ensure more transparency, accountability and checks and balances in their operations?

16. Is the existing world order really democratic? Or are international forums and institutions much too heavily dominated by the rich and powerful?

17. What checks and balances are in place to monitor the activities of intelligence and security agencies which often act as laws unto themselves?

18. Does the world need to seek a new development model? Does it need to rethink the way it does business in order to create a fair, balanced and just system? How can the travel & tourism industry contribute to this?

19. Does the travel & tourism industry need to adopt a bottoms-up approach, and listen more to the views and concerns of the people at the grassroots of society and communities? Why hasn't it done so so far?

20. And the mother-lode questions: Why has not a single western leader been held accountable for the war in Iraq and the lies told to the world about the non-existent weapons of mass destruction? And why, inspite of billions spent on the best intelligence money can buy, is Osama bin Laden still on the run 10 years after the 9/11 attacks?


These are difficult and challenging questions on the future of global geopolitical landscape. Yes, this process of flux will have a deep and lasting impact on travel & tourism. As an industry of peace, devoted to respecting cultures and building friendships, travel & tourism can be a part of the solution. The ITB Berlin 2011 has taken a bold and courageous step forward by becoming the first to initiate a long overdue discussion.

If the global situation today is not what global leaders would have wanted to see when planning the future 10 years ago, then it is imperative for everyone to assess what went wrong, whether the prescribed solutions are working and if not, whether the medical procedure needs to be changed or a new medical team consulted, or both. Clearly, business as usual is not an option.

One thing for sure, the Arab/Muslim street is on the rise. And accountability will prove to be a two-way street.And accountability will prove to be a two-way street.

Posted by nattanich on 2011/7/20 9:04:56 (4743 reads)
Imtiaz Muqbil

The 45th ITB Berlin due to open in the German capital on March 9 will be dominated by two ongoing revolutions:

- The technological revolution which is transforming the way the industry does business; and
- The global geopolitical revolution which will see the emergence of a new world order.

Both revolutions are fraught with dangers, challenges and opportunities for the travel & tourism industry.

In this first curtain-raiser for the ITB Berlin, Travel Impact Newswire begins with a focus on the technological revolution. Although the ITB Berlin will see numerous exhibits of technological products and services, the real innovations are on display this week at the CeBIT 2011 in Hannover. They are designed to provide "solutions" to everything from assessing the damage from natural disasters to helping shoppers "shop" even when the shops are closed.

The following list of new technologies to come have been compiled from the press releases posted on the CeBIT website. As a snapshot indicator of trends to come, the listing is intended purely as a valuable time-saving service for my readers. Travel Impact Newswire accepts no responsibility for the veracity of the claims made by the individual vendors.

A report on the second (geopolitical) revolution will appear on 3 March 2011.

With this dispatch, Travel Impact Newswire is proud to welcome its first sponsor, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and its spectacular website For readers planning a vacation, MICE event or anything from a meditation retreat to a golf holiday, pls click on the sidebar alongside to check out the fabulous range of Thai products and services, options and special deals.

ITB 2011 Curtain Raiser 1: The Technological Revolution

Shop till you drop

There's nothing better than a bit of window shopping. After closing time, rather than just browsing window displays, customers can now also get information on the products and even make purchases "through" the window. This is possible thanks to the Interactive Shop Window. Developed by the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute in Berlin. Scientists will be demonstrating how passersby can select and buy products via a screen installed behind the shop window using only simple gestures. Four small cameras attached to the window use interactive gesture recognition to continuously record the positions of the potential customer's hands and eyes.

Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute

Thieves don't stand a chance with the security agent for laptops

Laptops store a lot of sensitive data, such as contact details, holiday snaps, important correspondence and private e-mails. Many people are scared by the thought that their computer could fall into the wrong hands. Computrace Agent from the U.S. company Absolute Software significantly increases the chance that a stolen laptop will be recovered. Installed on the computer, Computrace Agent maintains daily contact with Absolute Software?s monitoring centers around the world. This close contact makes it possible to obtain specific details, such as the physical location of the stolen laptop and any activities that occur post-theft. Absolute Software works closely with local police agencies, providing them with the information they need to help recover the stolen property and catch the thief.

Absolute Software / brainworks

Staying in control with social media monitoring

An innovation originally intended for private communication is now an attractive option for companies, too. The vast majority of businesses now use social medial platforms such as Facebook, Xing, Twitter and YouTube for marketing purposes. The Dresden-based company Social Media Evolution (SME) is exhibiting its social media monitoring tool which enables businesses to keep a check on exactly when their company and products have been talked about on social networks, which platform has been used and how they have been rated.

Social Media Evolution

Talk to your PC more - Voice operated controls make it happen

Afinion is taking the project management tool Microsoft Project to a whole new level with its latest offering - ProVokale. This low-cost software enhancement provides the world?s first voice-operated project management solution. ProVokale allows users to issue key commands to manage their project data using nothing but their own voice. Users simply say what they want to do instead of having to click their way through endless menus or type instructions on keyboards. This voice input option makes even complex commands far easier to issue. As a result, project managers will be able to look after their schedule quickly and efficiently.


Netviewer shows how to hold the perfect web conference

Visual real-time communication is the latest must-have technology. Web conference solutions enable Internet users to share screen views. As a result, they are able to work on documents together without sitting next to each other at the computer. Web conferences save time and money because there is less need for staff to travel. This also helps the environment and raises productivity. Karlsruhe-based Netviewer AG is showcasing its web conference technologies. More than 18,000 businesses - including Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens and BMW - use Netviewer solutions. Lectures, examples and discussions will highlight the full range of cutting-edge web conference solutions.


State-of-the-art digital pen conquers the classroom

Interactive teaching technologies are still in short supply, but now students and teachers can benefit from BenQ's innovative PointDraw technology. The IT manufacturer is exhibiting the MP780ST, a projector that beams texts and images onto any surface. The really clever feature is the digital pen that enables teachers to make freehand additions to lesson notes and subsequently process this information.

Thanks to an integrated USB reader, it is even possible to give presentations without a computer. The BenQ MP780ST offers a flexible alternative to permanent whiteboards. The package includes a short-distance projector, a PointDraw pen and the requisite interactive software. The great thing about the pen is that teachers and lecturers can write on the projection surface or make changes to a PowerPoint presentation from a distance of up to eight meters. An integrated button on the pen works in the same way as the left mouse button.


Security for biometrically recorded data

Gait, body size, handprint, facial structure - there are any number of biometric characteristics that can be recorded. However, archived biometric reference data is incredibly sensitive - and can even be irrelevant to actual identification. This makes it all the more important to ensure biometric data is protected efficiently. The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) in Darmstadt will be exhibiting Template Protection, a process that protects biometric data by preventing users from making inferences about biometric information.

Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD)

The motivational personal trainer for your living room

Everyone knows how important it is to get enough exercise and keep fit. The ideal thing, of course, would be for personal trainers always to be on hand to ensure that exercises are geared to the user?s needs and are performed correctly. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) in Erlangen are presenting an electronic fitness trainer that, in addition to motivating users, also keeps a close eye on the exercises they perform. The Fitness Assistant takes the form of a sensor suit that records movements and transmits the results to a computer or smartphone where the data is analyzed.

Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS)

Practical, light and reliable: The new slate tablet PC from Fujitsu

Slate tablet PCs are very practical devices thanks to their compact and lightweight design. They fit easily in your pocket and even allow you to work for long periods standing up. Also, you can pop it in a docking station and expand your slate tablet PC with a keyboard, printer, mouse and disk drive. Fujitsu will be presenting a slate tablet PC primarily aimed at business customers. It has a touchscreen as well as a camera on the front and one on the back for scanning barcodes or holding video conferences. And there?s no need to worry about security because this device has an integrated fingerprint scanner too.


Scavenger hunts in the 21st century

Scavenger hunts have long since arrived in the new millennium - in the form of geocaching. The University of Osnabr?ck will be presenting a position-based smartphone game. Students have developed this app for smartphones with the Android operating system and iPhones. The game uses all the technologies available with the latest smartphone generation, such as GPS, compass, position sensors, camera, Internet connection and the OpenGL graphic interface. What really sets this game apart is that player reactions in the real world can be combined with elements from the virtual world. For example, a treasure can be integrated into a real camera image.

University of Osnabruck

Security for biometrically recorded data
Gait, body size, handprint, facial structure - there are any number of biometric characteristics that can be recorded. However, archived biometric reference data is incredibly sensitive - and can even be irrelevant to actual identification. This makes it all the more important to ensure biometric data is protected efficiently. During CeBIT 2011, the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD) in Darmstadt will be exhibiting Template Protection, a process that protects biometric data by preventing users from making inferences about biometric information.

Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research (IGD)

Mirror mirror on the wall...

Ladies confront no shortage of choice: To go with the red or pink lipstick, eye shadow with a pearl effect or just mascara and a little eyeliner? And which shade of powder or foundation best suits skin tone? Questions upon questions that show it is not always easy to find the make-up best suited to a particular type. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbrucken will be on hand to help. They have developed a program that selects make-up to suit the photograph of a face and shows the results on screen. It uses a database of made-up faces to generate suggestions to bring out the best in eyes, lips and skin color. The computer is said to recommend make-up designed to complement different facial features because, as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

Max Planck Institut fur Informatik MPII

My chip and I - new range of ID cards

The new electronic ID card stores data on a chip, which makes it Internet-compatible. This opens up new opportunities but also creates security risks. With this in mind, IT security specialist KOBIL is unveiling its new range of ID cards. KOBIL PA enables contact-free communication thanks to state-of-the-art chip card technologies. The electronic card and the new KOBIL products, which the company has developed in collaboration with its subsidiary FlexSecure GmbH, open up a whole host of applications including access control, time recording, eGovernment and patient admissions.


My robot will be deputizing for me today

The new Jazz robot series from the French manufacturer Gostai will be on show. Europe?s No. 1 provider of service robots and AI solutions will be demonstrating what makes its mini robots stand out from the crowd. Standing just one meter tall, these mobile machines are equipped with a camera and connected to the Internet via WLAN, enabling them, for example, to stand in at a meeting for an employee who is off sick or to act as the eyes of a boss who is based in Paris but wants to inspect a construction site in New York. The secret behind these technical all-rounders is telepresence. With the ability to work at night, these robots are also a real asset to security teams. Prices for a Jazz robot start at 7,900 EURO.


Posted by nattanich on 2011/7/19 16:30:42 (5587 reads)
Imtiaz Muqbil

BUDAPEST, (Europa Press Release) - The findings of a new Eurobarometer survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism confirm other indicators that tourism has recovered from economic crisis. Travel preference for 2011 still inclines towards traditional tourist destinations (58%), while 28% would like to discover emerging destinations.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani presented the Eurobarometer on May 13 at the European Tourism Stakeholders Conference organised by the Hungarian Presidency and the European Commission in Budapest. Tajani, responsible for industry and entrepreneurship said: "The fact that 58% of EU residents are opting to enjoy their holidays in Europe highlights that, generally, the tourism industry is on its way to recovery and becoming a growth industry once again." Among the most relevant findings of the new Eurobarometer survey are:

The most popular choices: Italy was the most frequently mentioned planned holiday destination for 2011 (11.5%). Spain came second with 8.6% followed by France (8.2%). 23% of EU residents have not decided yet where to spend their holidays.

Continuing trend towards discovering Europe and the home country: In 2011 58% of Europeans plan to spend their holidays in their own country or in another EU country..

Increasing appetite for travelling: Almost three-quarters of (73% vs 69% last year) EU citizens travelled for leisure or business in 2010. The top five travellers are the residents of Finland (89%), Denmark (87%), the Netherlands, Sweden (both 87%), Luxembourg (85%) and Norway (84%).

"Local attractiveness" matters: 32% named it as the major consideration when choosing holiday destinations, followed by "cultural heritage" (27%) and "entertainment possibilities" (14 %).

Seeking "rest and recreation" was the main motivation for over a third of the leisure travellers (36%), followed by "sun and beach" (18%) and "visiting friends and relatives" (17%).

Arranging their holidays individually: over half of EU citizens organised their main holidays themselves in 2010 (57%); this is even more popular in the candidate countries Turkey (80%), Iceland (79%) and Croatia (78%)!

Over 30,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 and over, were interviewed in February 2011 in the 27 EU Member States as well as in Norway, Iceland, Croatia, Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It is the third consecutive year that the Commission has done such an extensive survey, which offers a wealth of comparable information to all tourism stakeholders, presented analytically in country specific and demographic categories.

The European Commission has conducted this kind of survey once a year since 2008 in order to monitor the short and medium term travel and tourism trends of European citizens. This allows both the Commission and its stakeholders to react to changes in tourism demand, thus being an important instrument for tourism policy making as well as for tourism industry planning, in particular on types of tourism and on prevailing destinations.


Travel trends in 2010

- Almost three-quarters (73%) of EU citizens said they had travelled, either for business or private purposes, at least once in 2010; 32% had made at least one holiday trip and at least one "short private" trip, 24% had made at least one holiday trip but no "short private" trips and 12% had made at least one "short private" trip but no holiday trips. Slightly less than 3 in 10 (29%) EU citizens had not travelled for leisure purposes in 2010.

- Respondents in Turkey and Hungary were the most likely to say that they had not travelled for private purposes (68% and 60%, respectively). In another four countries, at least 4 in 10 respondents had not made short private trips or holiday trips: Slovakia (40%), Estonia (41%), Portugal (43%) and Romania (46%).

- Comparing travel for leisure purposes in 2008, 2009 and 2010, it could be seen that, in the current wave, respondents were somewhat less likely to say that they had not travelled for leisure purposes (29% in 2010 vs. 32%-33% in 2008/2009). Furthermore, last year's survey results had shown a decrease in the proportion of EU citizens who had made at least one "short private" trip and at least one holiday trip (from 39% in 2008 to 27% in 2009; -12 points); respondents in the current wave, however, were - once again - more likely to have made at least one holiday trip and at least one "short private" trip (from 27% in 2009 to 32% in 2010; +5 points).

- About a quarter (24%) of respondents who had travelled for leisure purposes had made just one holiday or "short private" trip. About a fifth (21%) had been on two holidays or ?short private? trips, 16% had been on three leisure trips and 17% had made between four and five such trips. Finally, one in five respondents, who had travelled for leisure purposes in 2010, had made more than five leisure trips in that year.

Financial aspects

- Across almost all countries included in this survey, the largest proportion of respondents " who had not taken a holiday in 2010 " said this was because of financial reasons; such reasons were cited by more than 6 in 10 respondents in Hungary (68%), Bulgaria (65%) and Romania (62%).

- When asked which holiday leisure activities EU citizens would give up first if savings were needed while they were actually on holiday, the largest proportions of interviewees selected "beauty or wellness treatments" (27%; + 3 percentage points compared to 2009) and shopping (21%; unchanged compared to 2009).

Holiday focus and attractions

- The largest proportion of holidaymakers across the EU (36%) said that the major motivation for their main holiday in 2010 had been "rest and recreation". Just under one in five (18%) had wanted a sun/beach holiday and 17% said the main objective had been to visit friends or relatives.

- In almost all countries surveyed, respondents who preferred to spend their holidays in "traditional" tourist destinations outnumbered those who favoured visiting "alternative or emerging" destinations. Countries with a high proportion of respondents who preferred "emerging" tourist destinations were Iceland (43%), Norway and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (both 44%).

- More than a third (36%) of EU citizens answered that a non-traditional destination would allow them to explore local cultures and lifestyles. As in the previous waves of this survey, financial considerations also played a role: 21% mentioned "better value for money" and 17% selected "cheaper costs/lower prices".

- When deciding on a holiday destination, the largest proportions (32%) of EU citizens named the location's environment (e.g. its overall attractiveness) as the key consideration. Cultural heritage (27%) and options for entertainment (14%) were the second and third most widespread responses in regard to factors that influenced a choice of destination.

Arranging a holiday

- A share of 44% of holidaymakers across the EU had travelled to their main holiday destination by car or motorbike; this is the lowest proportion measured since the first wave of this survey (47%- 48% in 2008/2009). At the same time, taking a flight to go on holiday had never been as popular as in 2010 (39%; +4 points compared to 2009).

- In most countries surveyed (25 out of 32), more than half of holidaymakers had organised their holiday individually. The proportions of respondents who had made at least one holiday trip in 2010 and had booked their main holiday themselves were highest in Turkey (80%), Iceland (79%), Croatia (78%), Romania (77%), Hungary (76%), Latvia (74%), Greece (74%), Lithuania (73%) and Poland (72%).

- About one in seven (14%) had booked travel tickets or accommodation through a travel agency and 10% had booked a package tour or all-inclusive holiday through a travel agency. A somewhat higher proportion (13%) had opted for a package tour or all-inclusive holiday booked via the Internet.

- Fifty-eight percent of EU citizens said that the views of friends and colleagues were the (first or second) most important sources of information when making decisions about travel and holiday plans. The Internet was considered to be the main source of information by 45% of respondents, and a lower proportion (29%) mentioned personal experience.

- Respondents who had been on a "cultural" holiday were less inclined than their counterparts to rely on personal experience (25% compared to, for example, 30% of holidaymakers who had wanted sun/beach) and more likely to rely on guidebooks and magazines (19% compared to, for example, 11% of holidaymakers who had wanted a sun/beach holiday).

- As in previous waves, the largest difference in terms of information sources when comparing respondents with a preference for "off the beaten track" holidays and those who preferred more "traditional" holiday destinations was seen when looking at the importance of the Internet: 54% of the former respondents said that the Internet was an important source of information when planning a holiday compared to 42% of the latter.

Vacation plans for 2011

- When asked about their holiday destination in 2011, almost 4 in 10 (38%) EU citizens answered that they were planning a holiday in their home country. One in five interviewees said they were planning to take a holiday within the EU and a somewhat lower proportion (16%) indicated that a non-EU country would be their main holiday destination in 2011.

- Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents did not know yet where they would spend their main holiday in 2011 or preferred not to answer this question; roughly 1 in 20 (4%) interviewees spontaneously said they would not go on holiday in 2011.

- In 15 countries, a majority of these respondents were planning to spend their holiday in their own country; the highest shares were found in Turkey (88%), Croatia (86%), Greece (85%) and Bulgaria (82%). In nine countries, the largest proportion of respondents, who were planning a holiday in 2011, had chosen a destination elsewhere in the EU; respondents in Luxembourg were the most likely to have made such a choice (62%). Finally, in two countries, about half of respondents were planning a holiday outside the EU: Slovenia (51%) and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (50%).

Posted by nattanich on 2011/7/19 16:20:00 (3834 reads)
Imtiaz Muqbil

The first set of figures released after the tsunami-caused Fukushima nuclear crisis show a 9% decline in outbound Japanese travellers in both March and April, and much higher levels of decline in inbound travellers. Both declines have had a huge impact on Japanese tour companies, travel agencies and hotels.

According to figures compiled by the Japan Tourism Marketing Company (JTMC), the number of Japanese overseas travellers in March 2011 was estimated at 1,732,000, down 12.2% over March 2010. Inbound arrivals in March are estimated at 353,000, (down 50%), and in April 295,800 (down 62.5%).

Although most of the figures draw upon preliminary estimates by the Japanese National Tourism Organisation (JNTO), they are usually accurate to within a few percentage points.

Said JTMC in its monthly report issued last week, "The March 11 earthquake and tsunami, coupled with the radiation issues at Fukushima nuclear power plant, have spread a nation-wide reluctance to enjoy leisure activities including traveling. The outbound passenger traffic was further constrained by the temporary suspension of the international flights serving Japan and downsizing of the aircrafts."

Long haul destinations appear to have been more badly hit. In March, Japanese outbound to Canada was down 30%, New Zealand -35% and Bali -23%. By contrast, outbound to Korea was down by a comparatively less 12% and China 17%.

Surprisingly, in March, Japanese outbound travel to Taiwan was up by 1.9%, Thailand +3.1%, and Viet Nam +10.0% over March 2010. JTMC attributed this to an increase in air seat capacity from Tokyo-Haneda. However, the increase in arrivals to Thailand is somewhat of a statistical illusion; Japanese arrivals plunged in April 2010 when the political riots were going on in Thailand. Hence the "growth" is due to its calculation off a low base figure.

According to JTMC, Narita International Airport reported that the number of Japanese departures in March 2011 was 584,351, down 27.9% over March 2010. However, Haneda Airport recorded 201,293 (+121.7%), a nearly threefold increase. Departures from Kansai International Airport totalled 312,810, (-3.2%), and Central Japan International Airport 153,587, (-4.2%) in March.

INBOUND TRAVEL: According to the JNTO, the number of international visitors to Japan for March 2011 dropped to 352,800 (-50.3%), and fell again in April 2011 by a much higher 62.5% to 295,800. In March, the total number of travelers to Japan was down to half of that in March 2010, with particularly sharp declines in arrivals from Hong Kong (-61.2%), Germany (-64.6%), and Thailand (58.7%).

Most of the countries and regions still have travel advisories to Japan, warning their citizens to postpone or refrain from visiting Japan for a non-essential trip. The radiation issue in Fukushima is the main deterrent for the potential visitors to Japan, even after the frequency of aftershock has dropped and the life in the cities in Japan is back to normal, JTMC reported.

However, it said that that the situation is stabilising. "Following the Hong Kong's major tour operators resuming the operation of tours to Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and China have begun sending the tourists and familiarization tour groups to Japan."

Gross Sales of Major Companies (Outbound): Gross sales in outbound travel of the top 50 travel companies were approximately 174 billion yen in March 2011, down 10.2% over March 2010, the JTMC report said. Gross sales of outbound package tours in March 2011 were 52.5 billion yen, down by 8.5% from the year ago, while total number of tourists on package tours fell by 13.0%.

HOTELS: Data from STR Global, a provider of market data to the global hotel industry, shows that hotels in Sendai, the city nearest the earthquake's epicentre, Sapporo and Tokyo have borne the brunt of the impact of the disaster. Cities further from the centre of the catastrophe were generally impacted less.

Occupancy in Japan was down 21.3 percent for March 2011 and 27.6 percent for April 2011 compared with the same months in 2010. Tokyo and Sendai showed greater falls in occupancy of 33.6 percent and 36.7 percent for March, respectively, compared to the nationwide occupancy decrease, according to STR Global.

Sendai's RevPAR declined 22.7 percent in March 2011 before increasing by 77.2 percent in April 2011. The data company said that demand is expected to remain firm with, firstly, the resumption of the normal operation of the Tohoku Shinkansen express train helping volunteers, relief and reconstruction teams get to the affected area and, secondly, with insurance companies sending plenty of staff to the Sendai area to assess claims.

By comparison Tokyo, some 300 kilometres to the south of Sendai, saw plummeting occupancies that fell from 83 percent in March 2010 to 55 percent in March 2011, as people sought to move away from the threat of radiation exposure. Further south, Osaka saw only a small reduction in occupancy (-2.8 percent) whilst Kobe actually experienced a rise of 6 percent.

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