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Russia’s Aeroflot has been once again named the Favorite International Airline in China. The award was given to Aeroflot for the third consecutive year at the Flyer Award Ceremony 2019. The award ceremony was held today in Shanghai, the economic capital of China.
The awards are supported by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Winners are selected by the jury and by votes from frequent flyers and travelers.
The awards recognize outstanding participants in China’s dynamically developing tourism market. Previous winners include leading global airlines, including carriers that hold Skytrax 5-Star Airline status.
Aeroflot retained the title of Favorite International Airline at the competitive Flyer Awards due to its key competitive advantages: high service quality and flexible fare policy.
“The recognition of Aeroflot as the Favorite International Airline in China is confirmation of the effectiveness of our strategic efforts in China,” Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Saveliev said. “We offer our customers a wide route network and one of the youngest fleets in the world. Millions of Chinese passengers choose our airline for affordable ticket prices, convenient transit via our hub airport Sheremetyevo and high-quality service. Further development of service on Europe-Asia transit routes – one of the most competitive aviation markets globally – is one of Aeroflot’s key goals, along with the active expansion of the domestic route network.”
Aeroflot’s convenient routes encompass four key locations in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Aeroflot continuously adds new services oriented at the Chinese market. Earlier Aeroflot signed a partnership agreement with Alipay, China’s most popular payment system.
Aeroflot’s official website has a Chinese-language interface. Passengers receive menus in Chinese, and the in-flight entertainment system is available in Chinese. Onboard announcements are made in Chinese and the menu offers a special Asian set.
Aeroflot consistently enjoys wide recognition and popularity among consumers in the Chinese market. In January, Aeroflot was named Best China – Europe Transit Airline at the 2019 Stars Awards in China.
In celebration of Earth Day today, Delta is offsetting the emissions of all domestic leisure and business travel into and out of New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Raleigh-Durham and Atlanta for over 300,000 customers across the country.
Plantable seed paper cutouts shaped like airplanes will be distributed on these selected flights to let customers know the environmental impact of their flight has been offset and inspire them to offset additional travel on delta.com/co2. Once planted, this special paper airplane will sprout non-invasive wildflowers.
“Delta led the U.S. aviation industry by launching the first carbon offset program in 2007, making it easy for customers to reduce the environmental impact of their travel,” said John Laughter, Senior Vice President – Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. “Delta is also the only major airline to voluntarily cap carbon emissions at 2012 levels by purchasing carbon offsets.”
Since 2013, Delta has voluntarily purchased over 12 million carbon offsets, which is equivalent to the emissions from 1.7 million cars or electricity use for one year in nearly 2 million homes. This is more than any other U.S. airline. Today alone, Delta will buy almost 50,000 carbon offsets. To put this in perspective, 50,000 offsets will equal the emissions from more than 10,000 cars driven for one year.
Delta’s carbon offsets to benefit Conservation Coast project in Guatemala
Every offset Delta purchases today will benefit the Conservation Coast offset project, which provides environmental protection from deforestation and sustainable livelihood opportunities for communities in Guatemala. These offsets will help conserve over 400 bird species and 54,000 hectares of threatened rainforests situated along the Caribbean coastline of Guatemala.
The Conservation Coast project also supports sustainable livelihoods within local communities by teaching things like economically viable and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices that work with the environment rather than against it. To date, over 700 jobs are being supported by the project, 30 percent of which are held by women.
“At Delta, we believe connecting the world begins with caring for it,” said Laughter. “The offset projects we support are holistic, going beyond addressing the environmental impact of travel to provide resources, empowerment and financial opportunities to underserved communities like those involved in the Conservation Coast project.”
Offsetting is affordable. A roundtrip ticket from Atlanta to New York emits 0.28 metric tons of CO2, which can be offset for less than $5.
These offsetting efforts and more are why Delta was honored the Vision For America Award by Keep America Beautiful in 2017, recognized with Captain Planet Foundation’s Superhero Corporate Award in 2018, named to the FTSE4Good Index for four consecutive years, included in the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index for eight consecutive years, given an honorable mention in Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Ideas Awards and named one of America’s 100 most sustainable companies according to an in-depth Barron’s study.
The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority in a statement released urges hotels in Sri Lanka to take maximum measures to strengthen security as Hotels have been one of the main targets. Please assist us in spreading the word and let us not forget to help tourists who are currently in Sri Lanka.”
The Sri Lanka travel industry is bracing for the impact of the horrific attack Easter Sunday in the nation’s capital Colombo and in Negombo, where the airport is located.
Sri Lanka received 2.1 million tourists in 2017 and had set a target to double that number this year. Free visas to visitors from 30 countries including the U.S.,UK, EU and Thailand are part of this strategy.
Currently, Sri Lanka is quiet. It’s a curfew and all roads are closed.
The U.S. embassy raised the level of travel advisory for Sri Lanka to level 2: The embassy warned terrorist groups to continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
The White House issued a statement, that the United States condemns in the strongest terms the outrageous terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka that have claimed so many precious lives on this Easter Sunday. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the more than 200 killed and hundreds of others wounded. We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they bring to justice the perpetrators of these despicable and senseless acts.
In the meantime, Sri Lanka arrested 13 alleged suspects. Another attack on the airport was prevented. 215 people including foreign tourists were killed, more than 500 injured in a series of planned and coordinated attacks on Easter Sunday.
The UK Foreign Department is telling British Citizens:
On 21 April 2019 bombs were used to attack three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka, in central Colombo; in the northern suburb of Colombo Kochchikade, and in Negombo roughly twenty miles north of Colombo; and in the east of the country in Batticaloa. There have been significant casualties. If you are in Sri Lanka and you are safe, we advise that you contact family and friends to let them know that you are safe.
If you are in Sri Lanka and have been directly affected by the attacks, please call the British High Commission in Colombo: +94 11 5390639, and select the emergency option from where you will be connected to one of our consular staff. If you’re in the UK and worried about British friends or family in Sri Lanka caught up in the incidents, please call the FCO switchboard number: 020 7008 1500 and follow the same steps.
Security has been stepped up across the island and there are reports of ongoing security operations. if you are in Sri Lanka, please follow the advice of local security authorities, hotel security staff or your tour company. The airport is operating, but with increased security checks. Some airlines are advising their passengers to arrive early for check-in, in light of increased security screening.
The Sri Lankan authorities have declared a nationwide curfew. You should limit movements until this has been lifted, following the instructions of the local authorities and your hotel/tour operator.
The Sri Lankan authorities have confirmed that, if you need to catch a flight from Colombo airport, you are able to travel to the airport provided you have both passport and ticket valid for travel that day. They have also confirmed that arrangements have been put in place for arriving passengers.
Consumer rights advocacy group released the results of a new study showing that United States airlines wrongfully reject more than 25% of compensation claims, indicating that more than one in five travelers are being denied up to $700 they are owed by Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and American Airlines following flight disruptions.
Each year, more and more travelers flying out of the U.S. are eligible to claim compensation under European law EC 261 which covers travelers on European flights. AirHelp found more than 25% of valid claims filed against U.S. airlines for disrupted flights in 2016, 2017 and 2018 were turned away on wrongful grounds by airlines trying to avoid their obligation to travelers.
The travel experience is continuously getting worse due to overtourism. In the U.S., 407,000 travelers are eligible to claim compensation under EC 261 following flight delays and cancellations experienced last year, up from 370,000 the previous year. During the first three months of 2019, more than 75,000 passengers experienced disruptions due to the fault of the airlines that have made them eligible for compensation.
This trend is a small part of the larger issue of airlines mistreating passengers. A survey of travelers found 75% of U.S. travelers feel uninformed about their air passenger rights, and less than 25% of travelers who were on a disrupted flight actually file a claim, despite airlines being required by law to inform passengers of their rights.
How the U.S. Airlines Stack Up
Of the U.S. airlines, Delta Air Lines wrongfully rejects the most claims at a rate of one in three. United Airlines wrongfully rejects nearly one in four claims, and American Airlines rejects one in every five. According to an annual ranking of global airlines and airports, U.S. airlines’ unsurprisingly perform poorly, with each major carrier earning less than seven out of 10 for quality of service.
The most popular U.S. airlines ranked on wrongfully rejected claims rate
United States ranking Global ranking for wrongfully rejected claims rate
Airline Wrongfully rejected claim rate
1 32 Delta Air Lines 32%
2 42 United Airlines 23%
3 44 American Airlines 22%
Data from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018
“The bleak picture in the U.S. is just the tip of the iceberg. The volume of legitimate passenger claims being wrongfully rejected by airlines is appalling. Flight delays and cancellations are increasingly heaping chaos on passengers, and travelers are forced to fight airlines for compensation they’re rightfully owed,” says Henrik Zillmer, CEO of AirHelp. “It’s all very well for airlines to say they will compensate passengers who make their claim directly. The reality is that thousands of passengers are continuing to face an impossible struggle to claim the money they’re entitled to. If they are embroiled in a legal battle with an airline, passengers may face costs to hire a lawyer to push through their claim, which can make fighting for compensation virtually impossible.”
U.S. Passenger Rights
U.S. passengers are protected under EC 261 for flights to the EU on an EU airline, and any flight departing from the EU. Cancelled flights, delays of more than three hours, and incidents of denied boarding are covered under EC 261, as long as the disruption was not caused by extraordinary circumstances such as weather, sabotage or political unrest. Eligible passengers may be entitled to financial compensation of up to $700 per person, and can file claims up to three years after the incident occurs.
Travelers have fewer protections on domestic U.S. flights, but can claim up to $1,350 in compensation for denied boarding due to overbooking, depending on the value of the ticket fare and ultimate delay in arrival to their final destination
Vietjet today opens ticket sales for its new international route connecting the biggest city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City with Bali (Indonesia). Vietjet is the first and only airline to operate this route, which will better link the two tourist-attraction cities to meet the increasing travel demands of local people and tourists as well as boosting the regional trade promotion and integration. Hongkognese will be more convenient to travel these two cities.
The Ho Chi Minh City– Bali route will operate five return flights per week, on every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday starting from May 29, 2019. Flying time is around 4 hours per leg. The flight departs from Ho Chi Minh City at 08:05 and arrives in Bali at 13:05. The return flight takes off from Bali at 14:05 and lands in Ho Chi Minh City at 17:05 (All in local times).
Vietjet Vice President Nguyen Thanh Son said: “Vietjet has the advantages of an expanding flight network and comfortable, friendly aviation services; therefore, I believe that the new route will not only create opportunities for people to travel by safe, civilized and modern air transport, but also connect two cities as known as two economic, cultural centers of Vietnam and Indonesia. The route will contribute to promoting tourism and economic integration in the region as well as introduce the images of Vietnam to the world.”
Bali – the popular tourist island of Indonesia and Asia is often called among travelholics as ––“Island of the Gods”, “Tropical Paradise” or “Dawn of the World”. Voted as the best tourist island in the world, Bali is a wonderful blend between the pristine, beautiful landscape with the local cultural, artistic and religious quintessence. Besides visiting Ubud Palace, discovering the famous town Bedugul with large Bratan lake, tourists can go surfing, ‘snorkeling’ diving or visiting endless terraced fields.
Vietnam, the country of thousand years of culture was always a favorite destination of many international tourists. If Hanoi capital is a representative of ancient culture, bold identity; Hue ancient capital is dreaming or Da Nang, Quang Binh are impressive wonders, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest economic, financial central, vibrant and modern travel destination. The culture exchange trend and retaining characteristics make image and beauty of one of the most dynamic cities of the S-shaped country.
On March 27, all roads led to Mombasa, Kenya, for a joint business meeting organized by Uganda and Kenya and the two Presidents of both countries actually attended. The meeting gathered ministers, key business persons from both countries to discussing topics of mutual interest for the growth. I was personally hesitated to go because my wife and daughter were traveling same week and did not want them to leave without me saying a goodbye.
I also do not like meetings where people talk and do not come up with real solutions for the existing problems. I only made the journey after my family blessed it. I took a morning flight aboard Kenya Airways to join two Kenya friends (Shivam Vanayak and wife) out of Nairobi to Mombasa and thankfully, they had managed to secure three tickets on Madaraka train. Securing seats on the train from Nairobi to Mombasa is an uphill task because of high traffic.
I had been to Nairobi a number of times with an aim of securing seats and failed because of the demand. The business class is even worse because the tickets are booked out first way in advance.
The staff of Madaraka train dress more like air hostesses with a proper Kenyan hospitality. The train carries about 1,500 people each way and there are two trains departing Nairobi daily for Mombasa and vice versa which means 3,000 individuals are dropped into Mombasa daily which is a massive business opportunity for the Mombasa service providers such as hotels, restaurants, taxi drivers, entertainment joints, boats, bars, etc.
The train goes through Tsavo National Park which is Kenya’s largest and oldest standing at 13,747 square kilometers. While on the train, we also saw the 300 kilometer long Yatta Plateau, the longest lava flow in the world. Tsavo is home to the larger mammals, vast herds of elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, lions, leopard, pods of hippo, crocodiles, water bucks, lesser kudu, genenuk and the prolific bird life.
At the business forum in Mombasa, I was given an opportunity to address the audience which included President Museveni and President Uhuru Kenyatta on behavior Uganda and Kenyan tourism group. My address focused on seven points we had agreed upon before the Presidents arrived at Sarova sands where the meeting took place.
The first point focused on the flights between the East African countries especially Kenya and Uganda. Our observations are that the tickets between Uganda and Kenya are very expensive because of the high taxes levied by both governments. Kenya for example charges $50 on every ticket and Uganda charges $57 which makes a total of $107. That figure is what should be the cost of a ticket between the two countries. We actually recommended that flights between the two countries be domesticated.
The second point focused on the East African tourists’ visas which have Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda working together. Our proposal was that the two presidents convince the Tanzanian leadership to join the good arrangements. Many tourists are finding it easy paying $100 for a visa that covers the above three nations which allows them to move back and forth.
Since some local airline operators such as coastal want to fly into Ugandan national parks, it would positively affect the tourism business between the four nations. The third point focused on politics. Overtime, we as the tourism operators in the region have seen politics affect tourism a lot especially during campaigns and since insecurity and tourism can’t co-exist, foreign tourists will fear to travel in the region.
The leaders were asked to remember what their actions mean to business and practice restrain. This particular point was well received by both leaders and we hope to see some change with time. The fourth point focused on trans-boundary tourism opportunities which focus on the shared tourism attractions such as Lake Victoria and Mountain Elgon.
The tourism fraternity feels we need a combined effort in exploiting the above because we miss out on potential billions of dollars that could come out of activities such as cruises, sport fishing, water transport, accommodations on the shores and the many islands found on the lake. We also talked about the joint marketing opportunities across the globe that would see millions flock to Uganda and Kenya hence more revenues.
We asked the presidents to go easy on the yellow card requirements for citizens from both countries because it inconveniences the business travelers most since they are frequent.
People are starting to plan their summer vacation, and for many, the planning process itself is the beginning of a well-deserved rest. However, it does cause frustration when after a couple of price checks on the Internet, one starts to notice how flight ticket and apartment booking quotes take an upward trend. Such behavior is called price discrimination and is a prevalent tactic across the travel industry, but there are ways to protect yourself from it.
Intuitively unfair, the concept of price discrimination (if not based on race, religion or national origin) is legal and can take many forms. Its general principle is that potential customers get to see different prices of the same product or service based on their willingness to pay as perceived by the seller.
“Many online retailers who use special algorithms to create an illusion of high demand and an increasing price. Let’s say, the quotes for all the hotel rooms you checked yesterday have increased only to encourage you to make a fast decision to book,” explains Naomi Hodges, Cybersecurity Advisor at Surfshark. “The same goes for flight tickets and car rentals so that excellent offer you found an hour ago might have deteriorated to ‘it’s still ok, but I have to hurry’ at your second check.”
Various online businesses are using personalized pricing techniques to manipulate people’s emotions. The leaders in this field, for example, Uber, hire behavioral economists who help to craft the logic of algorithms of differential pricing.
The core ingredient to make the algorithms work is your online data which is acquired when websites insert cookies into your browser and get to know your IP address.
“Such information can reveal where you live, how new or expensive device you use, which websites you visit, what are you interested in, whether you are an easy spender or not, and much more,” says Naomi Hodges.
When your data is being used for personalized pricing, the car rental might become expensive if you already booked a flight to some destination. The same goes for hotel and domestic flight booking.
The price manipulation can go even further by knowing that you are a user of a brand-new iPhone model which indicates higher purchasing power and in turn – your willingness to pay more than other customers.
How to avoid price discrimination?
Naomi Hodges reveals that it is rather easy to check if you are being differentiated from other potential travelers. Taking a few steps can help you save a sum worth a couple of nights at a great hotel or even a return flight ticket if you are an occasional traveler.
If you notice a higher flight ticket/car rental/hotel booking price than before, relax and follow these tips:
Best results can be achieved if all these tips are used simultaneously.
Safety and security are always a concern of the travel industry, no matter who the traveler might be. A major issue when dealing with children is their safety and security. In the case of young travelers, the situation becomes even more difficult and emotional. There are many reasons for this heightened need for safety and security. Among these are:
1) Children are perceived to be more vulnerable
2) Most people tend to be highly protective of children
3) The legal ramifications of injury to a child may be even more severe
4) Children evoke emotional reactions, and these emotions may crowd out rational thinking
Child safety and security tends to become the responsibility of three groupings:
1) The child or young adult
2) The parent of guardian of the child
3) The host institution
The following is a partial list of precautions that all of us need to take when dealing with the child segment of the travel market. To help provide a safer ambiance for family vacations, consider some of the following.
Just as in the case of marketing efforts, tourism security efforts need to segment the market into at least four age brackets. Some suggested brackets might be: (1) new borns-2 years, (2) 3-7 years, (3) 7-12 years, and (4) teenagers until the legal age of 18. The essential issue is to realize that while both a 17 year old and a 2 year old are legally both minors, from a safety, security, and sociological standard, they operate in a very different ways and require very different guidelines. To help maintain these various groups safe and sound Tourism Tidbits offers the following suggestions. It should be noted that these are only a few suggestions of the many that are needed, and final decisions should be made by an onsite professional.
– Keep video cameras going. In case a child is lost (or Heaven forbid kidnapped), a video camera may be an excellent tool in locating the child.
– In places where adults and children mix, consider the use of ID bracelets being offered at the time of ticket purchase. You can use the ID bracelet either as a check-in/check-out device or give them away as a souvenir. In either case, should the child be lost, the security agent will have a name and phone number to call. It is a good idea to place both the local and home number on the bracelet.
– In areas that have special young people’s sections, make sure that it is only children who enter. Adults should not be allowed into a children’s section. If an adult is needed there in case of an emergency, he/she should only be allowed to enter accompanied by a trained security agent.
– Develop policies on older children or unaccompanied minors. Younger children may be less of a problem than older children (12-17 years of age). These are guests who are legally still minors but can often do a great deal of damage or may demand that they be treated as adults even though such treatment is against the law. Make sure that all personnel are familiar with your business regarding minors’ safety and behavior of and with minors. Employees need to know:
– policies and laws that specifically deal with people under the legal age of maturity
– how to handle an angry or non-compliant minor
– how to handle someone who may be making a scene
– -when to actively intervene or call for additional help
– how to check IDs without offense – a person’s ID is checked and questioned as to the whereabouts of his/her parents
In the hour before closing, it is very important to make sure that unsupervised young people are accounted for. In cases where the young person falsely believes that he/she is grown-up, ask for both a driver’s license and a social security number.
– Be aware of child abandonment/abuse. A form of child abuse is abandonment of a child. Train personnel to be on the lookout for all forms of child abuse. For example, if an adult is hanging around other people’s children asking for that person’s ID, turn security cameras on the person and attempt to get the license number of the vehicle being driven. The more information you have, the easier it will be for the police to act should there be a problem. Do not assume that a child abuser will return the next day. It may be weeks or months, or never, until that person returns.
– Develop cooperative information centers. Work with local police departments, hotel associations, and other attractions so that information can be passed between security departments rapidly and easily. Remember people judge a locale on just one negative incident. When something goes wrong in one place, it can affect the entire local tourism community.
– Be careful of safety concerns. Do a safety analysis; look for and correct such things as: glass doors against which inadvertently a child may run into, issues of food safety, or balconies over which a child may climb and jump.
Dr. Peter Tarlow is part of the Safer Travel Program by eTN. More information
The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) will be heading to Seville, Spain this week to attend the 19th Global Summit of WTTC on April 3 and 4. WTTC members are the chief executives, presidents, or chairs of the 100 largest companies from different sectors and regions within the travel and tourism industry. This year non-members are able to attend for a $4,000.00 ticket per delegate.
The event will be centered on the theme of ‘Changemakers’, harnessing the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the world from Seville and the world-changing impact of that achievement.
WTTC aims to inspire delegates with change-making individuals and ideas to craft the future vision of Travel & Tourism. Entrepreneurship, creativity, innovation, diversity, and inclusivity will drive the conversation. Delegates invested heavily to bring one of the “changemakers” to the summit. He is former U.S. President Barack Obama.
DAY 1: Wednesday 3 April
0930 OPENING CEREMONY
Christopher J. Nassetta, Chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) & CEO, Hilton
Hon Pedro Sánchez, President, Spain
Juan Espadas, Mayor, Seville
Juan Manuel Moreno, President, The Regional Government of Andalusia
Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO
1010 Opening speech: ‘Shaping the Future’
Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC
1025 The Future is …
Three leaders will give short presentations followed by rapid-fire Q&A. The leaders will give their perspectives on what’s next in the world of communications, technology, and sustainability and the challenges and opportunities for Travel & Tourism as a leading force for change.
Keynote: José María Álvarez-Pallete, Chairman & CEO, Telefónica S.A.
Keynote: Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard
Keynote: Gary Knell, Chairman, National Geographic Partners
Q&A: Kathleen Matthews, Journalist & Presenter
1115 In the Hotseat
Back to back interviews with industry leaders who will share their vision of the future and what it will take for the Travel & Tourism sector to keep ahead of the curve
Hotseat 1: Mark Okerstrom, President & CEO, Expedia Group
Interviewer: Glenda McNeal, President, Enterprise Strategic Partnerships, American Express Company
Hotseat 2: Keith Barr, CEO, IHG
Interviewer: Tanya Beckett, Journalist & Presenter, BBC
1215 PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE: Seamless Traveller Journey
WTTC’s Seamless Traveller Journey initiative aims to revolutionise travel security and facilitation by providing a seamless end-to-end journey which incorporates not only airports and airlines but cruise, hotel, car rental and other elements of the journey. Now in its second phase, the focus of Seamless Traveller Journey is on how the private sector and governments can work together to ensure increased security and less friction go hand in hand.
Scene setter: Kevin McAleenan, Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection, US Government
Panelists: Sean Donohue, CEO, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
Richard D Fain, Chairman, and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises
Tadashi Fujita, Executive Vice President, Japan Airlines
Tony Smith, Former Director General, UK Border Agency
John Wagner, Deputy Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection, US Government
Manel Villalante, CEO, Renfe Operadora
Moderator: Isabel Hill, Director, National Travel and Tourism Office, US Department of Commerce
1300 The View from Spain
Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Spain
1310 In the Hotseat
Back to back interviews with industry leaders who will share their vision of the future and what it will take for the Travel & Tourism sector to keep ahead of the curve
Hotseat 3: Fritz Joussen, CEO, TUI Group
Hotseat 4: Luis Maroto, President & CEO, Amadeus
Interviewer: Tanya Beckett, Journalist & Presenter, BBC
1335 The Speed of Change…
Geoffrey J W Kent, Founder, Chairman & CEO Abercrombie & Kent, in conversation with Formula One racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart.
Special Lunch Session: Innovating the Traveller Experience
The reality of an integrated, frictionless traveler journey is upon us, paving a path to a seamless experience, improved facilitation and security, operational efficiency for travel providers, and the opportunity for elevated and personalized service throughout the journey. Our panelists are leaders in the fields of biometrics, digital identity, security, and travel technology. They will provide their views on the current state of biometrics and digital identity, paths to implementation broadly across the travel journey, and opportunities that this new technology presents to the future of travel and tourism.
Panelists: Diana Robino, Senior Vice President, Global Tourism Partnerships, Mastercard
Virginie Vacca Thrane, Head of Strategic partnerships – Digital Traveller ID, Amadeus
John Wagner, Deputy Commissioner, Customs and Border Protection, US Government
Gordon Wilson, President, WorldReach Software
Moderator: Jimmy Samartzis, Senior Principal, Oliver Wyman
1515 A Conversation with President Barack Obama
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States of America
A global political leader will give their perspective on the current state of the world and the important role Travel & Tourism plays as one of the world’s largest economic sectors.
Interviewer: Christopher J. Nassetta, Chairman, WTTC & CEO, Hilton
1615 Ahead of the Curve: The Consumers of Tomorrow
This session will look at different spectrums of the new global consumer and how T&T companies can ensure they are preparing for the consumer of tomorrow.
Part 1: How Young China and its Millennials want to see and feel the world
Zak Dychtwald, Founder & CEO, Young China Group
Part 2: The New Boomer Experiential Consumer
Ken Dychtwald, Founder & CEO, Age Wave
Moderator: Matthew Upchurch, CEO, Virtuoso
1710 PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE: Are Cities Future Ready?
Destination Stewardship is a strategic priority for WTTC. Huge tourism growth in cities over recent years has shone the spotlight on the need for good planning and management. WTTC has partnered with Jones Lang Lasalle on new research on cities and their preparedness for future growth. This session will look at the report’s findings and how cities around the world are planning and engaging communities in future growth.
Keynote: Dan Fenton, EVP, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group
H.E. Ahmed Al-Khateeb, President, Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH)*
H.E. Elena Kountoura, Minister for Tourism, Greece
Steffan Panoho, Head of Tourism. Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development
Enrique Ybarra, CEO, City Sightseeing
Moderator: Mark Wynne Smith, Global CEO, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group
DAY 2: Thursday 4 April
0905 PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE: Today’s Traveller: Authenticity, Values and Instagram
This session will explore what iconic landmarks and destinations can and are doing to ensure they connect with the consumers of the future. Today’s traveller has standards for authenticity, wants to do more than just consume, and then wants to Instagram about it. How do destinations adjust to satisfy the market? The discussion will highlight examples of engagement from retail to destination attractions and also cover how sustainability initiatives help tell a compelling story and elevate authenticity in the traveller’s experience.
Keynote: Anthony Malkin, Chairman & CEO, Empire State Realty Trust, Inc
Panellists: Desiree Bollier, Chair, Value Retail
Jean-François Clervoy, ESA Astronaut & CEO Novespace
Jeremy Jauncey, CEO, Beautiful Destinations
Anthony Malkin, Chairman & CEO, Empire State Realty Trust, Inc
Kike Sarasola, President & Founder, Room Mate Hotels & Bemate.com
Moderator: Jacqueline Gifford, Editor in Chief, Travel + Leisure
1000 Africa on the Rise
H.E. Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya
1015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Ceremony
WTTC’s annual Tourism for Tomorrow Awards ceremony will showcase and celebrate the very best in sustainable tourism from around the world.
Fiona Jeffery, Founder & Chairman, Just a Drop and Chair, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
Jeffrey C. Rutledge, CEO, AIG Travel
1100 BREAK Draft as at: 27 March 2019 (Please note all sessions, times, and speakers may change *=tbc)
1130 Strategic Insight Sessions PART 1
In recent years, the global Travel & Tourism industry has been redefined by changemakers who are constantly evolving and shaping our travel experience. In a special series of Strategic insight sessions, we explore just what these changemakers are doing to shape the industry and what our direction of travel might be in the future.
1) Embracing product diversity and inclusion – making business sense
2) Cyber-threat: you are compromised
3) What does it take to build successful future destinations?
4) The business case for sustainability
Alberto Durán, Executive Vice President, ONCE
Billy Kolber, Founder, HospitableMe
Deepak Ohri, CEO, lebua Hotels & Resorts
Stacy Ritter, CEO, Fort Lauderdale
Prof Graham Miller, Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Surrey
Suzan Kereere, Global Head, Merchant Sales & Acquiring, Visa
Daniel Richards, CEO, Global Rescue
Jeffrey C. Rutledge, CEO, AIG Travel
Earl Anthony Wayne, Public Policy Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Paul Mee, Partner, Oliver Wyman
Fred Dixon, President & CEO NYC & Company
Aradhana Khowala, Managing Director, Tourism, NEOM
Desiree Maxino, Group Head – Government Policy and ASEAN, Air Asia
Aoife McArdle, Global Head of Business Affairs and Social Impact – Experiences, Airbnb
Eric Resnick, CEO, KSL Capital Partners
Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor, CBS News
Katie Fallon, EVP Global Head of Corporate Affairs, Hilton
Ana Gascón, Director of Corporate Responsibility,
Coca Cola (Spain)
Philippe Gombert, President International, Chairman of The Board, Relais & Châteaux
Simon Heppner, Director, The SRA (Sustainable Restaurant Association)
Geoff Townsend, Industry Fellow, Ecolab
Wendy Purcell and John D. Spengler, Harvard
1415 WTTC FOCUS: Climate & Environment Action in Progress
Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico, 2006-2012
1430 WTTC FOCUS: Social Responsibility
This session will feature the latest updates on the WTTC Buenos Aires Declaration & action against the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) followed by the launch of a new human trafficking initiative.
1450 PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE: The Future of Jobs in the Age of Automation
As more and more jobs are at increasing risk of being automated or rendered obsolete by other technological changes in the next twenty years, this session will look at the opportunities and challenges around employment within the sector and wider society.
Keynote: Andrés Oppenheimer, Author & Presenter, CNN
Panellists: Greg O’Hara, Founder &, Managing Partner, Certares
Andrés Oppenheimer, Author & Presenter, The Miami Herald / CNN
Hiromi Tagawa, Chairman of the Board, JTB Corp
Claudia Tapardel, Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, European Parliament
Joan Vilà, Executive Chairman, Hotelbeds
Moderator: Kathleen Matthews, Journalist & Presenter
1545 Vision of the Future
A special stream of keynotes will outline their vision of the future from high-speed transport to pushing the boundaries of disruption and innovation
Keynote: Dirk Alhborn, CEO, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies
Keynote: Chandran Nair, Founder & CEO, The Global Institute for Tomorrow (GIFT)
Keynote: Matthew Devlin, Head of International Affairs, Uber
1630 Closing Ceremony
eTurboNews is a media partner with the Summit and will be represented by Elisabeth Lang, who is based in Munich, Germany.