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The National Archaeological Museum of Taranto (MarTa) celebrated the return of important finds back home. Myth-Mania, rediscovered stories of men and heroes, speaks of objects taken from necropolises by grave robbers, and illegally smuggled out of the country.
Fourteen precious finds – Apulian red-figure vases, now displayed at the MarTa, have been returned to Italy by the Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan in New York, thanks to the investigative work of the Command of the Carabinieri for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, and diplomatic negotiations of the MiBAC in synergy with the State Attorney and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The vases were produced on the turn of the fourth century BC in ancient Apulia, destined to satisfy the claims of refinement of the natives, who populated the lands around the Greek cities of southern Italy.
The volute krater- a vase originally intended for the symposium – at a time when men, according to the Greek fashion, at the end of the banquet mixed wine with water, honey and spices in this container and then poured it into the cups – it was used later for grave goods and testified to the wealth and sophistication of the burial owner.
Even the subjects that decorate the sides of the vases are funerary subjects. At the center of one of the two sides there are often stelae or small temples with statues, which reproduce the funerary monuments most in use at the time in Apulia.
The images painted on the vases can go back to telling stories of men and heroes who use the language of myth not for a simple “mania”, as the title of the exhibition provocatively suggests, but as a tool for sharing values and building identities among Greeks.
The director of MarTa highlighted the work she carried out for two years for the restoration of the vessels, following their finding in the MarTa’s museum storage shortly after taking office in 2016:
“Our museum is a great tourist attraction, explains the director. It boasts an annual turnout of 80,000 visitors including Russians, English, Americans and Chinese. Thanks to European funds (2.5 million euros), we are working at the Marta 3.0 project, which concerns the digitalization of the cataloging of over 40 thousand open data and open source exhibits, which means making an archaeological and artistic heritage available to all among the largest and most valuable in the world.
A FabLab is also being set up to allow the most representative works to be reproduced in 3D prints, thus activating valuable merchandising that will be supported by our internal boutique”.
Next to the exhibition of vases is the entire museum structure which on three floors houses exhibits of rare beauty: one above all the athlete’s sarcophagus.
A tourism promotion project.
The image of Taranto, always identified as an industrial and military (Navy) city, was destroyed following the environmental disasters caused by the Ilva industry.
For the last two years, the city has been experiencing a period of rebirth, explains the director Eva Degl’Innocenti, and in the absence of a tourism plan, the need to involve local authorities and private entrepreneurship to create a system for tourist reception with the revival of itineraries of Magna Graecia, involving Paestum, Naples and Reggio Calabria has become apparent.
The MarTa, is one of the richest archaeological museums in Italy, especially with regard to finds from the Greek-Roman period, including the famous collection of gold and silver found in the province of the famous city of Magna Grecia (Taranto) between the IV and the 1st century BC.
Having remained dormant for many years, the MarTa has implemented a revival by hosting highly successful exhibitions. Today museum is a great tourist attraction and boasts an annual turnout of 80,000 visitors including Russians, English, Americans and Chinese.
Many of us traveling around the globe on business have travel stories to tell. I spend more than 100 fully-paid nights every year in Hyatt Hotels around the world. Doing this, you get to know a brand more closely.
I am collecting my own list of heroes and honoring each of them eTN Heroes. You cannot buy eTN Heroes, and this title is a publisher’s recommendation based on personal experience.
I realize there are so many heroes in the hospitality industry and even more in the rest of the travel and tourism industry, so my personal experience is only a very small token of well-deserved recognition.
Today, I would like to introduce Cordelia Igel, a senior team leader at Vox Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt, Berlin, Germany as the latest eTN Hero.
Travelers like me experience hotels as a second home. When something doesn’t make sense, I am always outspoken and hope my criticism is heard. I want the businesses that cater to my travel to do well.
Loving my espresso every day is a passion many fellow travelers share. For me, it doesn’t make sense when international hotels cannot see that good espresso is a major selling point. For me, it’s a major buying point when selecting a hotel.
For example, I stopped staying at the Marriott Newark Airport where the Starbucks in this hotel is only open from 6 am to 10 am.
It boggles my mind because people come in 24 hours a day because after all, it’s an airport hotel.
With travelers arriving or leaving this hotel don’t always go by Eastern Standard time.
A good cup of coffee becomes as important as a good bed or a hot shower.
The same goes for food. I select hotels where I can get my breakfast, lunch, or dinner 24/7 because my body time clock is not always synchronized with the time in the destination.
Mistakes happen, especially when you’re jetlagged. One of the worst was when I picked up a suitcase that belonged to another passenger in Tokyo after arriving from Abu Dhabi and showed up at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo with the wrong luggage. Takashi Kai, Assistant Manager at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, was my first eTN Hero that day and managed this impossible and frustrating situation for me.
Here why I am so thankful to Cordelia Igel, the senior team leader at Vox Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt Berlin, my latest eTN Hero.
In March during ITB I stayed at the hotel for 8 nights.
The hotel has a fantastic breakfast and a great pool/gym area along with a very central and exciting location close to Potsdamer Platz.
Rooms are a little small and average in Berlin, but acceptable. I may have been spoiled. I stayed at the Hyatt Haus Duesseldorf before arriving in Berlin during the same trip and also one night at the Park Hyatt Hamburg and loved my apartment and hotel suite. My apartment at Duesseldorf Hyatt Haus was over the top – washer, dryer, living room, bedroom, and an outside patio with a million dollar view, and enough space to entertain 100 people.
Here is why Cordelia at the Grand Hyatt Berlin is my hero. Attending a very busy trade show is always a challenge when managing a busy scheduled and sleep. My morning espresso is of utmost importance. In the past, when staying at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Berlin, I went to Starbucks across the street from the hotel, but this year, Starbucks was no longer there.
What were my options? As a Globalist member in the Hyatt loyalty program, my breakfast is always included. Hyatt Germany is not one of the hotels forcing Globalists to take their breakfast only in the Club lounge.
The continental breakfast at the Hyatt Grand Clun is usually not comparable with the wide variety of food found at VOX restaurant.
So everything was perfect in the morning, right? Wrong!
When trying the Club lounge espresso, I should have known it wasn’t up to my standards as it was served from a push-button machine. However, not all Grand Clubs are the same. At the Grand Hyatt Seoul, Korea the Espresso machine is the best I found in the Hyatt system so far.
At the Grand Hyatt Berlin, when dining in the hotel’s 5-star restaurant VOX, a 3-star espresso is served from a push-button machine.
When I asked the lead server, Cordelia, why they are serving such a superb breakfast and offer only a push button machine-made espresso she offered a solution.
The only good espresso machine in the hotel not using push-buttons was at the hotel bar. Cordelia went to the hotel bar and personally hand-crafted a cup of real espresso for me. She also managed to bring it back within one minute after pouring. Magical!
Every morning after that, Ms. Igel knew what to do. And for that extra touch of service and not hesitating a second to go above and beyond, Vielen Dank Frau Igel, you are my eTN Hero today.
Today, Brand USA, the destination-marketing organization for the United States, announces Marriott International across the United States as the official hotel sponsor for United Stories. The sponsorship will help expand the global reach of the United Stories campaign, which aims to inspire international travelers to visit the USA through visual storytelling efforts. This new United Stories collaboration also provides Marriott International, one of Brand USA’s founding and diamond partners, fresh localized content and innovative ways to reach international customers.
Launched earlier this year in partnership with Beautiful Destinations, United Stories utilizes mobile content creation labs to track and share relatable, human stories to inspire lasting emotional connections between international travelers and people and places across the United States. Throughout the year, accomplished content creators, storytellers, and influencers will travel to various points of interest across the country in eye-catching, buzz-worthy vehicles branded with #UnitedStories.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Marriott International on United Stories. Marriott’s strong international brand recognition and ongoing dedication to their customers makes them an ideal partner to expand the reach of this campaign,” said Tom Garzilli, chief marketing officer of Brand USA. “We believe in the power of storytelling to engage global audiences and highlight the diversity of real travel experiences in the USA. Our partnership will help deliver these inspiring stories to an even larger population of international travelers, extending the United Stories campaign to millions of people around the world.”
Marriott Bonvoy will be integrated within the United Stories campaign to generate awareness and create connectivity with its newly launched travel program. This includes branding of the mobile content creation labs and hosting influencers and content creators at hotels across the USA.
“The United Stories mission aligns with our passion for travel, said Kieran Donahue, vice president, marketing, The Americas. “Our sponsorship of United Stories is a great extension of our ongoing partnership with Brand USA. The mobile content labs allow us to show the breadth, depth, and variety of our brands, destinations, and hotels throughout the U.S., and most importantly, connect with our members and guests in a way that showcases how good travel can enrich and unite the world.”
The Marriott Bonvoy travel program is built on the belief that all travel is good travel; it enriches the individual and connects the world. The program offers a global footprint of extraordinary hotel brands, experiences for every passion on Marriott Bonvoy Moments, and the richest rewards and benefits.
The United Stories mobile content lab launched in January and has traveled to nine U.S. states and territories: Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Vermont. At each destination, United Stories content creators spotlight first-person perspectives of American culture via locals, influencers, and travelers.
National child safety advocacy group, Stop Child Predators, called on state and local government leaders in the U.S. today to ban hidden cameras in Airbnbs and other short-term rentals, and enact regulations and criminal penalties for violators. The group says enough is enough after a string of recent news stories regarding hidden cameras found in Airbnbs, including a story last week of a mother and young daughter potentially being filmed undressing.
“Week after week Airbnb finds themselves the subject of yet another hidden camera nightmare. These horrific accounts from Airbnb guests demonstrate how unsettling it is for guests that find themselves being filmed without their knowledge or consent – a scenario especially frightening for those traveling with children,” said Stacie Rumenap, President of Stop Child Predators. “Airbnb is allowing families to become sitting ducks for potentially predatory hosts who exploit guests by filming them and their children for personal viewing, or even wider audiences on the web.”
Rumenap points to a series of recent news stories involving hidden cameras discovered in Airbnbs and says the occurrence of incidents is on the rise.
• “Airbnb Has A Hidden-Camera Problem” (The Atlantic, 3/26/19)
• “They Were Settling Into Their Airbnb. Then They Found A Hidden Camera” (The Washington Post, 4/6/2019)
• “California Couple Finds Hidden Camera Above Bed At Airbnb Rental” (ABC News Channel 7, 3/29/19)
• “Man Discovers Hidden Cameras Inside Of Miami Airbnb” (WTNH News, 1/21/19)
• “At An Airbnb? You Might Be On Camera, Whether You Like It Or Not” (NBC News, 3/7/19)
“Airbnb already poses a problem for parents by allowing strangers, and even potential sex-offenders, into short-term rentals in residential family neighborhoods. With a revolving door of strangers coming and going from short-term rental properties, tools like sex offender lists are becoming obsolete as there is no safeguard in place to stop a child predator from renting an Airbnb property next door. Now, parents need to consider the added stress of worrying that their children may be filmed and exploited while staying inside an Airbnb on vacation,” stated Rumenap.
Stop Child Predators urges government leaders, especially in states and localities with major tourism destinations, to step in and protect traveling families whose privacy and safety should be safeguarded while vacationing in their jurisdiction.”
“Airbnb’s inability to manage the users, and abusers, of their platform is unacceptable. It’s time for government leaders to step in to protect our children,” stated Rumenap.
Enchanting tourist attractions, unique diplomatic stature and a thriving airliner have placed Ethiopia, Land of Origins, on top of the world when it comes to tourism growth.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) annual review, the country saw the highest tourism growth in the world (48.6%), surpassing the global average growth rate of 3.9% and the African average of 5.6%. During the period, the sector supported 2.2 million jobs and contributed US$7.4 billion to Ethiopia’s economy, an increase of US$2.2bn on 2017.
The timeless charm of Ethiopia’s natural, cultural and historical tourist attractions has been driving an influx of tourists from far and wide. As the land where mankind, coffee and the Blue Nile trace their roots, Ethiopia has always been a fascinating destination for holidaymakers.
The country’s UNESCO-registered heritages including the majestic obelisks of Axum, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and the fortified historic town of Harar, among others, have always remained tourist magnets, drawing visitors in droves. And add to this the magnificent scenery and the unique wildlife riches, some of which are found in the country only.
As the Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing & Exhibitions (MICE) tourism blossoms around the world, Ethiopia is also uniquely positioned to reap the benefits, owing to its unique place in Africa’s diplomatic landscape. Ethiopia today the city stands among the top capitals in the world, hosting major regional and global conferences.
As the main hub of the Pan-African carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, Ethiopia also enjoys convenient air connectivity with multiple destinations in Africa and the rest of the world, making travel to the country easier than ever before. The connectivity options the airline offers to travelers has made Ethiopia ever more accessible to the whole world, and has facilitated the influx of tourists.
The airline’s catalyst role has never been more impactful, especially in promoting tourism, as alluded to by Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council concerning the exceptional growth of Ethiopia’s tourism. “Ethiopia’s Travel & Tourism boom was one of the great success stories of 2018. It has exceeded our sector’s global and regional comparisons to record the highest level of growth of any country in 2018”, Gloria Guevara notes. “This has been driven by the very strong performance of aviation in the country and the development of Addis Ababa as a dynamic and growing regional hub.” Africa’s largest carrier today spreads its wings to 120 destinations throughout the world, with half the destinations in Africa. Thanks to Addis Ababa’s strategic location at the center of the East-West lane and the ever-expanding service of Ethiopian Airlines, the city has emerged as the major gateway into Africa surpassing Dubai.
Besides its wide connectivity and multi-award winning signature services, the flag carrier’s cutting –edge technologies are adding a definite wow factor that is enabling the influx of tourists savor the beauty of the nation and designate the east Africa’s nation as a home away from home! Ethiopian Mobile App enables international travelers secure eVisa within 4 hours and elevates travelers to a high degree of personalization and end to end travel experience through mobile devices.
Global passengers can apply e-Visa and book their flights, pay online using credit or debit cards, mobile money, e- Wallet and bank transfer. They can also check-in and issue boarding pass as well as self-board. Passport and Ethiopian App suffice all the way to experience seamless travel to and from Ethiopia. The excellence of Ethiopian is also manifest in its hospitality and award winning service. The carrier has been certified by SKYTRAX as Four Star Global Airline.
As Ethiopia keeps leveraging its edge as a destination of choice for holidaymakers, and as Addis Ababa continues to augment its place as the diplomatic capital of Africa and the flourishing hub of Ethiopian Airlines, the sky will be the limit to its tourism growth in the years to come.
The Anguilla Tourist Board is pleased to announce an impressive line-up of international artists scheduled to appear at the 8th annual Anguilla Lit Fest, taking place May 16 to 19 at Paradise Cove Resort, Anguilla. Hosted by the Anguilla Literary Foundation under the theme Books, Beaches & A Better You, this Literary Jollification promises to inspire, educate, motivate and uplift audiences with its unique mix of readings, workshops and cultural performances, set against the backdrop of Anguilla’s spectacular beaches.
In her first appearance at Lit Fest, legendary novelist, essayist, poet and activist, Dame Alice Walker will explore the themes of feminism, sexuality, identity and spirituality in her prolific writing and lived experience. Dame Alice is best known for her Pulitzer Winning novel, The Colour Purple (1982), the critically acclaimed Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992), and most recently a bilingual English/Spanish anthology of poetry Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart (2018).
Dynamic author/poet Jason Reynolds will also be featured in the 2-day literary limelight. Reynolds enjoys a special appeal for those in their teens and twenties as well as for the young at heart. His first book of prose, When I Was The Greatest (2014) won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent, and most recently his acclaim skyrocketed with his New York Times best-selling Track series, Ghost (2016), Patina (2017) and Sunny (2018).
This year, the Anguilla Lit Fest also welcomes an inspiring cornucopia of Social Media Influencers and Speakers, including husband and wife team Tony A Junior and Sheri Gaskins, who will present Make it Work, 22 Time Tested Real Life Lessons for Sustaining a Happy Healthy Relationship (2019). Tony is a highly regarded life coach, author and motivational speaker who has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and TBN’s 700 Club. The distinguished roster includes Glory Edim, a literary advocate and founder of Well-Read Black Girl, a book club and online community that celebrates the uniqueness of Black literature and sisterhood, and whose first anthology, Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves, was published by Random House in 2018; Denene Millner co-writer with Steve Harvey of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and Around the Way Girl, a memoir with actress Taraji P. Henson and founder of MyBrownBaby.com, and Editor of Denene Millner Books; novelist and motivational speaker, Sadeqa Johnson, who worked with JK Rowling and Bishop TD Jakes before becoming an author of novels such as And Then There Was Me (2017); and Journalist/Blogger Sarah Greaves Gabbadon, better known as JetSetSarah, whose captivating posts on Caribbean destinations, food and shopping inspire all that ‘follow’ her to follow in her footsteps.
Additional authors include: Patricia Marie “Pat” Cummings, esteemed writer and illustrator of over 30 books for children; Ira Sumner Simmonds, a native of St Kitts who has written From Siberia to St Kitts: A Teacher’s Journey; and Stephanie Stokes Oliver, author, editor and member of the Anguilla Literary Foundation, introducing her critically acclaimed anthology Black Ink, and notables from the publishing world such as Dawn Davis Publisher and Vice President of 37 INK, and Yona Des Hommes Associate Director of Publicity for Atria Books.
“We are intent on showcasing the richness and diversity of the Anguilla experience,” said Cardigan Connor, Anguilla’s Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism. “Anguilla LitFest is a perfect example of the depth and sophistication of our product, and the lure that Anguilla presents to leading literary icons. I congratulate the members of the Anguilla Literary Foundation on what promises to be their best event ever, and look forward to another amazing event,” he concluded.
The 2019 Anguilla Litfest: A Literary Jollification is an unrivalled opportunity for meeting authors, attending book signings and writing workshops. Special vacation packages for the event will be offered by a number of Anguilla’s leading properties, including the host venue, Paradise Cove Resort, and sponsor hotel, The Reef by CuisinArt.
For more information on the Anguilla Lit Fest 2019 or to register for this year’s event, go to www.anguillalitfest.com, email email@example.com, or follow the Anguilla Litfest on Facebook or Instagram. For information on Anguilla, please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board: www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.
Tucked away in the northern Caribbean, Anguilla is a shy beauty with a warm smile. A slender length of coral and limestone fringed with green, the island is ringed with 33 beaches, considered by savvy travelers and top travel magazines, to be the most beautiful in the world.
Anguilla lies just off the beaten path, so it has retained a charming character and appeal. Yet because it can be conveniently reached from two major gateways: Puerto Rico and St. Martin, and by private air, it’s a hop and a skip away.
Romance? Barefoot elegance? Unfussy chic? And untrammeled bliss? Anguilla is Beyond Extraordinary.
Tourists in Thailand visiting Ko Khao Yai at Ban Bo Chet Luk, which is part of the Ko Phetra National Park of Satun province, will be greeted by a mass of nearly a thousand bizarre-looking spire-like rocks. This spectacular site is like a bridge connecting us to the pre-human evolutionary age. During the summer low tides, the seawater recedes below the sandy ground revealing gigantic tunnel-like cavities. To the locals, this mass of rocks is known as ‘The 1,000-Spire Pagoda’.
The presence of reddish Cambrian sedimentary rocks and grey Ordovician limestone has convinced geologists to speculate that this area could have been the first landmass of Thailand. Thanks to this unique feature, Ko Khao Yai became Thailand’s first geological site to be declared a UNESCO World Geological Site.
Ko Khao Yai’s tourism is community-managed. Local residents proposed ideas, implemented them and designed tourism programmes that conform to their original way of life. Today, the ‘1,000-Spire Pagoda’ is amongst Thailand’s most perfectly conserved natural attractions. An ideal site for studies in geology, natural history and cultural anthropology, Ko Khao Yai is a piece of well-recorded evidence of sub-oceanic conditions of 500 million years ago.
“The Seasons Episode 6: The Ancient Stone” is part of the 12- episode travel documentary series that reveal the untold stories of the unique way of life of the Thai people and the amazing scenery of natural attractions in different regions. There are four episodes for each of the three seasons that Thailand has in a year: rainy, cool and summer.
A Panel discussion is ongoing and a packed program are planned today for delegates in Sai Island, Cabo Verde attending the First UNWTO/ ICAO Ministerial Conference Tourism and Air Transport.
Air Transport and Tourism Policies: Regulatory convergence to maximize and balance their benefits
Air Transport and tourism depend heavily on each other and are essential engines of trade and economic growth for both developed and developing countries.
Despite the synergies, there can be conflicts between aviation and tourism policies due to the difficulties of States in balancing the interests of their airlines and the optimum development of their tourism industries. Separate sectorial policies result in a fundamental disconnect, which constitutes a severe deterrent towards the development of both sectors. How do we enhance policy coherence between the two sectors, harmonize the regulatory frameworks, and prevent separate sectoral policies? How can we strike a balance to maximize the overall benefits of tourism and air transport in the national economy?
What is the current status of Africa’s regulatory framework and what is its impact on tourism and air transport (the Lomé Declaration and the related Action plans both for Air Transport and for Tourism?
How can Africa benefit from and implement the joint UNWTO and ICAO Medellín Statement on Tourism and Air Transport for Development? How can the African Governments promote cooperation and compatible decision-making among transport and tourism authorities and other ministries in charge of related portfolios, including finance, economic planning, energy, environment and trade?
What are the challenges encountered by tourism stakeholders in reflecting tourism business interests in national and regional air transport policies?
Connectivity and Seamless Travel: Best practices to serve tourists and passengers
Aviation and tourism are a customer-focused economic sector.
While there is no single definition of air connectivity, it can be viewed as the ability of a network to move passengers involving the minimum of transit points, which makes the trip as short as possible with optimal passenger satisfaction at the minimum price possible. The realization of seamless travel can improve overall travel experience, which in turn fuels tourism demand.
With the recent launching of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM), open skies over Africa may soon be a reality, building the necessary regulatory framework to increase international intra-Africa travel.
How do we optimize the flow of passenger traffic through the air transport system? How can we generate sufficient demand for direct air services between African sub-regions, especially between the East-West coasts?
How well do current air service agreements (ASAs) contribute to connectivity and what are the prospects of air transport liberalization? What constitute the bottlenecks and slowdowns of seamless travel in the air transport system? What regulatory schemes can be used or developed to assure essential air services to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)?
What are the existing best practices and how could they be extended and adapted to other regions? What are the factors influencing airline choices for different market segments (the intercultural dimension)?
Funding and Financing for Development: Pragmatic measures to build a transparent, stable and predictable investment climate
Infrastructure deficiencies in the aviation and tourism sectors have long been an issue in Africa. While plans are in place to develop and modernize aviation infrastructure, relief is years away at best.
In the meantime, there will be lost opportunities for creating jobs and spurring economic growth. Another issue is the proliferation of taxes on tourism and air transport despite the fact that the industry recovers a vast majority of its own infrastructure costs through payments of user charges, rather than being financed through taxation.
Revenue raised by taxes can often be outweighed by the relinquished economic benefits as a result of dampened demand for air travel.
This Session will focus on
a) the creation of good governance and enabling the environment to build business confidence and encourage investments, and
b) the consolidation of planning and development efforts for aviation and tourism infrastructure in multi-modal and urban planning initiatives. What are the challenges of financing development projects related to the tourism and air transport sectors, particularly in LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS?
What are the success stories in financing tourism and air transport projects? How do consumers perceive taxes, charges, and others levies and how to ensure transparency of taxes and charges to passengers and tourists?
Why is the limited volume of international public finance and assistance for development currently available for aviation and tourism infrastructure projects?
Travel Facilitation: Advancing visa facilitation in supporting economic growth
Travel facilitation aims at maximizing the efficiency of border clearance formalities while achieving and maintaining high-quality security and effective law enforcement. Allowing passengers/tourists to cross international borders safely and efficiently contributes significantly to stimulating demand, enhancing the competitiveness of States, creating jobs and fostering international understanding.
In spite of the great strides made in recent decades in facilitating tourist travel in Africa, there is still room for considerable progress. For example, electronic visa processes and delivery could make travel more accessible, convenient, and more efficient without a diminution of national security.
States should also look into increasing cooperation on bilateral, regional and international travel facilitation regimes. How can new technologies be used to make travel more accessible, convenient and efficient? How to define and implement policies which facilitate international travel and tourism while ensuring the security and integrity of traveler identification and border controls?
How well do e-passports, e-visas and other documentation deal with emergent threats to security? How could the African States learn from other effective best practices?
Princess Cruises and Fincantieri announced today the signing of the final contracts for the construction of two next-generation 175,000-ton cruise ships, which will be the largest ships ever built so far in Italy, with deliveries scheduled in Monfalcone in late 2023 and in spring 2025. This announcement follows the initial signing of a memorandum of agreement between the two parties in July 2018.
The vessels will each accommodate approximately 4,300 guests and will be based on a next-generation platform design, being the first Princess Cruises ships to be dual-fuel powered primarily by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). LNG is the marine industry’s most environmentally friendly advanced fuel technology and the world’s cleanest fossil fuel, which will significantly reduce air emissions and marine gasoil usage.
“Princess Cruises continues to grow globally — adding new ships to our fleet built by our long-time trusted ship building partner, Fincantieri, who brings decades of expertise to these next-generation cruise ships,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises President. “Even more exciting is that these two ships are being designed to include our MedallionClass platform, powered by OceanMedallion, the most advanced wearable device available within the global hospitality industry.”
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, commented on the announcement: “This result proves, once again, the trust we receive from the market, which allows us to look to the future with ambition. It honors our great work focused on innovation thanks to which we have been able to offer to the client a record-breaking proposal not only in terms of size. Besides we firmly believe that a new class of Princess Cruises’ ships, one of Carnival Group’s top brands, can stem from this promising project. In fact, for Princess Cruises, we have received orders for 21 ships, another unprecedented result in this industry.”
Considered a breakthrough in the vacation industry and recently honored with a CES® 2019 Innovation Award, the OceanMedallion is leading-edge technology that delivers personalized service on a large scale through enhanced guest-crew interaction, as well as enabling interactive entertainment. Guests are currently experiencing Princess MedallionClass vacations onboard Caribbean Princess and Regal Princess. By the end of the year, MedallionClass vacations will be activated on three additional ships, Royal Princess, Crown Princess and Sky Princess.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and United Nations reported that growth in the number of people cruising between 2004 and 2014 outpaced land-based vacations by over 20 percent, and CLIA projects 30 million people will take an ocean cruise in 2019, an all-time record. These stats signal a bright future for the cruise industry, as well as for professional travel advisor partners enthusiastic for more inventory to meet the growing demands for cruising.
With five ships being built over the next six years, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing premium cruise line in the world.
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the fastest growing international premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England, Antarctica and World Cruises. A team of professional destination experts have curated 170 itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days and Princess Cruises is continuously recognized as “Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.”
In 2017 Princess Cruises, with parent company Carnival Corporation, introduced MedallionClass Vacations enabled by the OceanMedallion, the vacation industry’s most advanced wearable device, provided free to each guest sailing on a MedallionClass ship. The award-winning innovation offers the fastest way to a hassle-free, personalized vacation giving guests more time to do the things they love most. MedallionClass Vacations will be activated on five ships by the end of 2019. An activation plan will continue across the global fleet in 2020 and beyond.
Princess Cruises continues its multi-year, “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million-dollar product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements result in more moments of awe, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise vacation. The product innovations include partnerships with award-winning Chef Curtis Stone; engaging entertainment inspired shows with Broadway-legend Stephen Schwartz; immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities; the ultimate sleep at sea with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed and more.
Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship under construction, Sky Princess, scheduled for delivery in October 2019, followed by Enchanted Princess in June 2020. Princess has announced two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests are planned for delivery in 2023 and 2025. Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 and 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).
Fincantieri is one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and number one for diversification and innovation. It is leader in cruise ship design and construction and a reference player in all high-tech shipbuilding industry sectors, from naval to offshore vessels, from high-complexity special vessels and ferries to mega yachts, as well as in ship repairs and conversions, production of systems and mechanical and electrical component equipment and after-sales services.
With over 230 years of history and more than 7,000 vessels built, Fincantieri has always kept its management offices, as well as all the engineering and production skills, in Italy. With over 8,600 employees in Italy and a supplier network that employs nearly 50,000 people, Fincantieri has enhanced a fragmented production capacity over several shipyards into a strength, acquiring the widest portfolio of clients and products in the cruise segment. To hold its own in relation to competition and assert itself at global level, Fincantieri has broadened its product portfolio becoming world leader in the sectors in which it operates.
With globalization, the Group has around 20 shipyards in 4 continents, over 19,000 employees and is the leading Western shipbuilder. It has among its clients the world’s major cruise operators, the Italian and the US Navy, in addition to several foreign navies, and it is partner of some of the main European defense companies within supranational programs.
Fincantieri’s business is widely diversified by end markets, geographical exposure and by client base, with revenue mainly generated from cruise ship, naval and offshore vessel construction. Compared with less diversified players, such diversification allows it to mitigate the effects of any fluctuations in demand on the end markets served.