Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Airport Investment Increasing Amenity & Capacity

 Australia’s major airports are delivering improved amenities to cater for a burgeoning number of passengers at no cost to the taxpayer, according to peak national industry body, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).

A new report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has found Australia’s five largest airports were all rated as satisfactory for overall quality of service in the 2011/12 financial year.

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Marriott International to Webcast its Annual Meeting on May 10, 2013

 Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) will provide a live audio webcast of its Annual Meeting of Shareholders, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time on May 10.  To access the webcast on May 10, or as a recording through the end of the year, Annual Meeting" page on the left hand navigation bar.  

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Monday, 29 April 2013

Morgans Hotel Group Reports First Quarter 2013 Results

 Morgans Hotel Group Co.  ("MHG" or the "Company") today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.  The Company will host a conference call to review the results on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:00 am.

Adjusted EBITDA was $7.5 million in the first quarter of 2013, a $6.5 million increase over the same period in 2012, due primarily to increases in EBITDA at the Company's fee-owned hotels, Delano South Beach and Hudson.

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Tourism Ireland Comment on CSO Figures Jan-Mar 2013

Commenting on the CSO figures issued today for overseas visitor numbers to Ireland for the three-month period January to March 2013, Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: “Today’s figures from the CSO showing growth of +7.4% suggest a strong start to 2013 with the best first quarter performance from North America since 2004 and the best ever first quarter from Australia and Developing markets (such as China and India).  It is encouraging to see growth from all market areas and, in particular, to see Great Britain return the best first quarter performance in four years with growth of +1.4%. 

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Wyndham Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, was named among the Top 10 Best Places to Work in New Jersey by NJBIZ. Ranked number six among large companies (250+ employees), this is the fourth consecutive year that the Company has been named to the list. The annual survey honors the top places of employment in New Jersey that benefit the state's economy, its workforce and businesses.

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Wyndham Hotel Group Names Kathy Maher SVP, Revenue Management

 Wyndham Hotel Group, the world’s largest hotel company with approximately 7,380 hotels and part of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), has appointed industry veteran Kathy Maher to the role of senior vice president, revenue management. 

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BNE ranked No.1 for customer service for 9th year by ACCC

 Brisbane Airport (BNE) retained its first place ranking as Australia’s best airport for overall Quality of Service for the ninth consecutive year in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 2011-12 Airport Monitoring Report.

BNE also received the highest rating out of five airports for Quality of Service by passengers for the fourth consecutive year, and a rating of second out of five airports for airport services and facilities by airports.

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Qantas to Invest in Darwin Lounge Upgrade

 Qantas will more than double the size of its existing Qantas Club in Darwin and upgrade the lounge facilities to cater for Business and premium leisure travel to the region.

Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce, who visited Darwin Airport to make the announcement, said the new facilities would provide Qantas customers travelling to and from Darwin with a seamless travel experience.

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Take a little piece of Liverpool with you

 For Liverpool John Lennon Airport's customers, a new store promises the best souvenir of the city: something made-here!

The Liverpool owned gift shop, ‘made-here’, is opening a branch in Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA) to ensure that when visitors head home, they can take a little piece of Liverpool with them.

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Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita Announces Once in a Blue Moon Wedding Package.

Truly magical occasions are not easy to come by, which is why Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita is offering one couple the opportunity to celebrate their wedding vows in an unforgettably spectacular wedding day that only occurs once in a blue moon. 

To celebrate the rare occurrence of four full moons in a season, the third of which is known as a "blue moon," the all-villa Resort in Mauritius has created a special Once in a Blue Moon wedding package to offer one couple an exclusive ceremony of events to celebrate their big day.

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Etihad Airways unveils first ever LinkedIn mapping tool

 Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today launched an innovative online mapping tool developed in cooperation with LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, to make it easier to message new contacts, arrange meetings and be more productive while travelling. 

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United to Add 30 New Embraer 76-Seat Aircraft to United Express Fleet

 United Airlines today announced an agreement to add 30 Embraer 175 regional jets to the United Express fleet. Under an agreement with Embraer, United will purchase the aircraft with deliveries in 2014 and 2015. These aircraft will be operated by a United Express partner to be announced later.

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Surf's Up at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico.

 As an expert in creating unforgettable experiences, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is introducing a new program of professional surf instruction and guidance for enjoying the multiple breaks located on or near the Punta Mita peninsula. Through its partnership with luxury surf specialist Tropicsurf, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is now offering a surf program where authentic experiences meet up with pampered stays. In the Tropicsurf world, luxury surfing is defined as an attitude where the trip is all about “you.” For those searching for that perfect wave, it can be found at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita.

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Heathrow welcomes Freight Transport Association's submission to the Airports Commission

 Heathrow Airport today welcomed the Freight Transport Association (FTA’s) submission to the Airports Commission, which recognised Heathrow’s position as the most significant airport for freight in the UK and a strategically vital national asset.

In its submission ‘Aviation Connectivity and the Economy’, the FTA argued that Heathrow should be permitted to expand its operations through additional runway capacity, in order to meet existing and future demand from passengers and international trade.

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Regal Airport Hotel Showcased 20 pristine collectors cars in Collectors Car Show

The Collectors Car Show organized by Regal Airport Hotel on 14 Apr, 2013 was a great success. 20 pristine collectors cars from all eras, including 2 pre-war cars - 1914 Ford Model T Speedster and 1916 Ford Model T Speedster Race Car - were showcased at the hotel lobby and driveway. Over 150 guests attended, including members of Collectors Car Club and their families who enjoyed the sumptuous Sunday Brunch at China Coast Bar + Grill, organic farm tour, cocktail and cooking class. 

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VisitScotland Chairman discovers tourism potential of the multi-million pound Annandale Distillery development

The re-awakening of a historic distillery will ensure that fine single malt whisky will flow once more from the Annandale valley in Dumfries and Galloway.

Chairman of VisitScotland, Dr Mike Cantlay today (Tuesday 23 April) visited the Annandale Distillery, a multi-million pound development which is due to open as an inspiring new visitor attraction next year.

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Visit Scotland celebrates the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 by Giving Away 15,000 Free

 Scotland’s national tourism organisation’s biggest ever ticket giveaway has seen all 15,000 tickets handed out to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, with more than 35,000 people trying to get their hands on a free ticket.

VisitScotland in collaboration with Scotland’s major transport providers, Caledonian MacBrayne, ScotRail and NorthLink contributed to get as many Scots as possible out and about during this month.

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Fireworks Festival in Marsaxlokk going ahead as planned tonight

 The Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority would like to inform the public that the opening night of the Malta International Fireworks Festival (MIFF) is still taking place as scheduled this evening in Marsaxlokk.

The first night of the pyro-musical competitive programme starts at 21.00hrs with a display by Focs d’Artifici Europla from Spain, followed by Malta’s own Mount Carmel Fireworks Factory from Zurrieq.  The evening will come to a close with a display starting at around 22.00hrs by Lieto Fireworks from Italy.

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SFTA launches Neighborhood Partners Program, presented by Wells Fargo

 The San Francisco Travel Association is launching the Neighborhood Partners Program to provide greater connections between the 16.5 million visitors who come to San Francisco each year and businesses located throughout the city’s 49 square miles. 

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Etihad Travel Mall opens in Dubai

 The new Etihad Travel Mall located on Sheikh Zayed Road, is our premier airport check-in terminal in Dubai.

Check in, collect your boarding pass and drop off your luggage up to 24 hours in advance of your flight. Jump onboard on one of the 20 free daily coach services to and from Abu Dhabi Airport.

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CIBTM Buyers Confirm Demand For Outbound Business Into Latin

 Recent research conducted by Reed Travel Exhibitions has identified Latin American countries Argentina, Brazil and Mexico as destinations where CIBTM (www.cibtm.com) buyers are interested in placing outbound MICE business.

Jeffrey Xu, CIBTM Project Manager, Reed Travel Exhibitions commented, “In our research 25% of buyers named Brazil as a preferred destination for outbound MICE events, 18% named Argentina, and 17% Mexico. These figures demonstrate the potential business opportunities that CIBTM holds for exhibitors from this region.”

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Air Seychelles signs Historic Codeshare agreement with South African Airways

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, today announced that it has entered into a codeshare agreement with South African Airways (SAA), the national airline of the Republic of South Africa.

The first phase of the agreement will see South African Airways place its “SA” code on Air Seychelles’ non-stop flights between Johannesburg and Seychelles. South African Airways will also place its code on flights between the two largest islands of Seychelles, Mahé and Praslin, subject to approvals.

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CIBTM Hosted Buyers Confirm Demand For Asian Exhibitors

 The American Express Meetings and Events 2013 Meetings Forecast has predicted that meetings in the Asia Pacific region will grow by 5% on average this year. This research is further supported by research carried out by Reed Travel Exhibitions, which confirms that CIBTM Hosted Buyers identified Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea as key destinations of interest for placing outbound MICE business. 

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Thailand MICE on the RISE! TCEB rebranding and major new developments to drive strong growth in 2013

 Thailand’s Convention and Exhibition Bureau has come to Shanghai to participate in IT&CM and boost Thailand’s share in MICE markets in China and across the Asian region.

Thailand’s MICE industry is reaching out to China, pointing to the country’s continuing buoyant economic growth and Thailand’s advantage as a springboard for the forthcoming single market of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

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Ahhaa Science Center Moving South for Summer

 The popular Ahhaa science center will permanently close the doors on its Tallinn branch this weekend but will open a new affiliate in Pärnu for the summer months.

The Ahhaa science center, which uses interactive methods to teach science to youngsters, is set to vacate its premises underneath Tallinn's Freedom Square due to the unsuitable nature of the space as well as a disagreement with the city government, which rents out the rooms, Ahhaa said in a press release.

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Total Visitor Expenditures In March 2013 Rose 7.8 Percent and Arrivals Increased 7.6 Percent

 HONOLULU – Total expenditures by visitors who came to Hawai‘i in March 2013 rose 7.8 percent (or  $91.8 million) from March 2012, to $1.3 billion1according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Contributing to this increase was a growth in total arrivals (+7.6% to 769,047 visitors) and higher daily spending (+3.3% to $186 per person), which offset a shorter length of stay (-3% to 8.93 days).

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay Presents All American Whiskey Barbeque

 Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay announces the All American Whiskey Barbeque May 17, 2013 from 6:00-9:00 pm. Whiskey connoisseurs and beginners are invited to sip, swish and savour the art of whiskey. The highly intriguing and sometimes intimidating beverage is gaining popularity in the cocktail circuit. Master of Whiskey Dr. Thomas Turner will lead guests on an aromatic journey to distinguish the many personalities of whiskey - from sweet and citrusy to mild and smooth.

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Brazil to cash in on Jerk Fest, a known feast of St. John in Brazil to help

 A collective effort between Brazil Ministry of Tourism, Embratur, Ministry of Culture (MINC) and state and local governments will devise strategies for international promotion of the celebration of St. John during the mega events that Brazil will host in the coming years, starting with the Confederations Cup in June and July.

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Ministry of Tourism aims to place Brazil among the three largest tourism economies in the world by 2022

 Brazil tourism industry is gearing up to attain great heights with National Tourism Plan (NTP) 2013-2016 aiming to place Brazil among the three largest tourism economies in the world by 2022. Therefore, the challenge is to increase the number of foreign tourists visiting the country, to encourage domestic tourism and also increase the number of jobs in tourism sector thereby improving the quality and competitiveness of Brazilian tourism. The decree approving Brazil National Tourism Plan 2013-2016 was posted in the Official Gazette on Thursday.

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Sip and Savour America's Finest Whiskey at Four Seasons Resorts Lanai This May

 Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay announces the All American Whiskey Barbeque May 17, 2013 from 6:00-9:00 pm. Whiskey connoisseurs and beginners are invited to sip, swish and savour the art of whiskey. The highly intriguing and sometimes intimidating beverage is gaining popularity in the cocktail circuit. Master of Whiskey Dr. Thomas Turner will lead guests on an aromatic journey to distinguish the many personalities of whiskey - from sweet and citrusy to mild and smooth.

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Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico Congratulates Winners of the Third Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic

 Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, in conjunction with The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, DINE, the developer of Punta Mita, and the Riviera Nayarit Visitors and Convention Bureau, congratulates the winners of the third annual Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic.

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New Windsurfing Clinic Among November Unforgettable Events at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

 Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Maui’s only Forbes Five Star Resort, announces its fall 2013 lineup of Unforgettable Events,     a series of one-of-a-kind experiences tailored to the Resort’s active lifestyle guests, featuring the return of virtuoso violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn and her Red Violin, favourite tennis and cycling camps, and a new event, the Aloha Windsurfing Clinic with world champions Matt Pritchard and Shawna Cropas.

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Tourism Australia Launches Advocacy Campaign in India

 Indian nationals living in Australia and those who have visited the country will star in a new advocacy campaign to make Australia the holiday destination of choice amongst Indian travelers.

An Indian restaurant owner living in Sydney and a married Indian couple who travelled to Australia for their honeymoon will share their own personal views of Australia in a series of television, print and online adverts which launches this week across India.

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Strong industry backing for 'Best Jobs' contest

 More than 60 industry partners have backed Tourism Australia’s ‘Best Jobs in the World’ campaign, which has attracted applications from almost 200 countries around the world.

The competition is part of Tourism Australia's multi award winning There's Nothing Like Australia campaign - with Best Jobs specifically focussed on youth travel and working holiday makers.

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Assocham Survey Incorrect Says Chiranjeevi

 Union Tourism Minister Shri K. Chiranjeevi has said that the conclusion of the quick random survey undertaken by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation are incorrect. The survey has concluded that there has been a decrease of 25% in foreign tourist inflow and a decrease of 35% in women foreign tourist inflow in India since December 2012. 

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Embarking/Disembarking Card to be Made Tourist Friendly

Union Tourism Minister Shri K. Chiranjeevi has said that as a tourist friendly initiative of the Government, the Embarkation and Disembarkation Cards are proposed to be made smaller by reducing the information to be filled up. In the new procedure, Embarkation and Disembarkation Cards will be required to be filled up by arriving foreign nationals and departing Indian nationals only. 

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JetBlue Adds its Southernmost Destination: Lima, Peru!

 JetBlue Airways today announced new daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in Lima, subject to receipt of government operating authority. Lima will be JetBlue's 81st BlueCity and its fourth destination in South America. Sale fares for U.S.-originating flights to Lima are available today and until May 3, 2013, at www.jetblue.com/new for as low as $139 one-way from Fort Lauderdale and $199 one-way from the New York Metros and Boston, for travel between November 21 and December 19, 2013 (b).

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JetBlue Announces First Quarter Results

 JetBlue Airways Corporation today reported its results for the first quarter 2013:

Operating income for the quarter was $59 million, resulting in a 4.5% operating margin, compared to operating income of $89 million and a 7.4% operating margin in the first quarter of 2012.

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New technology to revolutionise Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is seeking to revolutionise its passenger experience through the better use of technology.

In a Scottish first, Scotland's busiest airport met with local technology companies and asked them to examine the passengers' journey from car to plane and look at how their technology could improve it.

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Accreditation opens for travel agencies and tour operators to receive Chinese tourists

 The process for accreditation of travel agencies and tour operators to receive Chinese tourists has been opened. The Chinese government requires that nations interested in receiving tourist groups from that country sign an agreement titled Approved Destination Status (ADS). The goal is to protect the rights of Chinese tourists during international travel, as well as control the flow of people and resources sent by China to the outside.

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Air travel map is being redrawn as global economy evolves, new markets emerge, says Etihad Airways CEO

 The global air travel map is being redrawn as growth rates slow in traditional markets and surge in evolving economies including India, Africa and Latin America, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, Mr James Hogan, said today.

His comments coincided with the announcement by Etihad Airways of a 24 per cent strategic equity investment in Jet Airways, the second largest airline in India.

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US Business Events workshops a hit

 San Francisco and New York based incentive and meeting planners got to experience the diversity of New Zealand and Australian Business Events at two workshops held earlier this month.

Run in conjunction with Air New Zealand and Tourism Australia, the workshops aimed to leverage off Australia's established presence in the long-haul meetings sector as TNZ works to broaden its approach to include the meetings and association sector.

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Etihad Airways and Air Canada to introduce codeshare services

 Etihad Airways and Air Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a commercial cooperation agreement that will enhance travel services between the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

While the two carriers currently have interline agreements in place for passenger and cargo services, Etihad Airways and Air Canada intend to offer customers through-checked bags, reciprocal codeshare services and frequent flyer benefits. 

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Vacationers Trade Sun and Surf for Art and Culture

 The 2013 SpringHill Suites Annual Travel Survey reveals that most Americans today are ready to go off the beaten path and explore unexpected destinations. According to the recent survey conducted by Kelton, vacation is no longer just about getting away. It’s about discovering the country from a local, cultural and artistic perspective. Ninety-four percent of Americans would like to experience local art and culture while on vacation and look to local galleries, museums and theaters to provide a rich vacation experience.

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US Airways to Upgrade International Experience for Customers

 US Airways is making international travel more comfortable and convenient with several in-flight enhancements starting this spring and summer.

Beginning May 1, passengers traveling in the Economy cabin will receive complimentary headsets and complimentary wine with their main meal on flights to and from Europe, the Middle East and South America.

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IHG Announces Plans for a New Hotel Indigo Hotel in Downtown Chicago

 ATLANTA - Hotel Indigo®, IHG’s (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG, NYSE: IHG (ADRs)] upscale boutique brand, is continuing its expansion in major U.S. cities with plans for its third hotel in the Chicago market. The hotel, which will be located in the historic downtown area’s Atlantic Bank Building, is expected to open in spring 2014.

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Flying start for SAS app

 On April 9, SAS launched its new app which can be used to book trips to all its destinations directly on a smart phone or tablet device. SAS customers can now easily book, check in, choose a seat on board and receive their mobile boarding pass on their phone or device. The SAS app has already been downloaded nearly 100,000 times and is ranked as the no 1 free app in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.  This is just one of the ways in which SAS is continuing to create innovative solutions that make traveling easier for its customers.

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Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai Celebrates Opening With Artistic Flair And Two Tempting Offers

 Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is delighted to announce the opening of its second city hotel in China, Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai. In celebration, the hotel is offering guests two tantalizing packages both priced from CNY 3,600 and available from 25 April to 30 September 2013.

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UAL Reports $325 Million First-Quarter 2013 Loss Excluding Special Charges; $417 Million Loss Including Special Charges

 United Airlines today reported a first-quarter 2013 net loss of $325 million, or $0.98 per share, excluding $92 million of special charges. Including special charges, UAL reported a first-quarter 2013 net loss of $417 million, or $1.26 per share.

- The company achieved its best first-quarter on-time performance in a decade, with 81.0 percent of mainline flights, including both domestic and international flights, arriving within 14 minutes of scheduled arrival time.

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RCI Welcomes Travel Smart Vacation Club Resorts to Affiliate Network

 RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN), today announced an affiliation agreement with Travel Smart Vacation Club. The affiliation agreement includes two resorts, which will offer a more luxurious vacation experience for members through several resort upgrades: Royalton Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, and Royalton White Sands in Jamaica.

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US Airways Outlines Case For Brazil Routes With U.S. Department Of Transportation

US Airways has filed a supplement to its March 4 application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for the rights to operate daily, year-round service between Sao Paulo, Brazil and the airline's hubs in Charlotte, N.C. and Philadelphia.

"US Airways' application injects important new competition into a highly regulated market," said Senior Vice President, Marketing and Planning Andrew Nocella.

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CottoCrudo Restaurant, Bar and Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel Prague Introduces Wine Flights.

 Tomas Donev, sommelier at CottoCrudo restaurant, bar and lounge of Four Seasons Hotel Prague, introduces a unique tasting session with a selection of wines from the most renowned Italian wineries allowing guests to "fly" around Italy with CottoCrudo’s wine flights.

CottoCrudo offers wine lovers a unique opportunity to become an expert on selected wines by tasting three types at the same time, together with a tasting commentary on the qualities of the wine, vintage and wine region.

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Acclaimed Sunday Brunch Returns to Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires at Elena.

 Each year, all of Buenos Aires awaits the return of the famous Sunday Brunch at Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires. This year, the season brings an exciting new setting for the acclaimed weekly feast: the new Elena Restaurant.

Opened just a few months ago after a multi-million dollar renovation, critics and guests alike have called Elena "outstanding," quickly turning it into the city's hottest place to meet, dine and drink.

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The 8 Wonders of Shenzhen: Four Seasons Unlocks the Secrets of China's Most Dynamic City.

 Opening in mid 2013, Four Seasons Hotel Shenzhen is the company’s eighth hotel in China, and in honour of that distinction, the Hotel's Concierge has curated a list of the 8 Wonders of Shenzhen.
The Concierge team can create a customized itinerary that meets any interest, helping guests discover the hidden gems of this wonderful city. From shopping to golf, one-of-a-kind theme parks, memorable dining experiences, cultural excursions or a night on the town, Shenzhen has something for everyone.

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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Regional Victoria Living Expo 2013 hailed a huge success

 With 15 per cent more visitors than last year’s inaugural event, the weekend’s 2013 Regional Victoria Living Expo has been hailed a huge success.

Victoria Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said feedback from visitors and from the 138 exhibitors was extremely positive.

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