31 December 2010

Travel Trade Gazette

View all stories from this issue.

  • Agents report positive start to 2011

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Agents were upbeat about the start of the January selling period, despite recognising it was going to be a tough year.How has the start of the year been for you? Let us know by emailing ttgletters@ttglive.com or commenting at the end of this story.Advantage chief executive John McEwan said the consortium’s ...

  • American Airlines hits back at Sabre

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    American Airlines has accused Sabre of “anti-consumer” behaviour after the global distribution system downgraded the carrier’s content.Sabre also removed booking fee discounts and served notice that it wanted to terminate its agreement with the airline in protest over American’s plans to make agents use a direct booking system.American claimed Sabre’s actions were biasing its displays ...

  • ASA warns over new web powers

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    The advertising watchdog is starting a campaign to warn travel firms they must meet new rules for claims on their websites this year.What do you think should happen to companies that make misleading claims on their websites? Let us know by emailing ttgletters@ttglive.com or commenting at the end of this story.The Advertising ...

  • Asia: Why I was wrong about Hong Kong

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Hong Kong may be known for its skyline, bankers and knock-off watches, but Ian Shine saw a different side to it on a Hong Kong Tourism Board and Qatar Airways fam tripI went to Hong Kong with “fake expectations”. I was ready for fake watches, fake designer bags, man-made landscapes and expat communities – and while I did get offered plenty of pretty convincing fake Rolexes, I also found a lot ...

  • Asia: zip lining at Thailand's Chonburi rainforest

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Katherine Lawrey flies through the treetops courtesy of ‘Flight of the Gibbon’ during a short stay in BangkokI am not a great one for heights. Take me to the edge of a canyon without railings and my legs start shaking. But the Flight of the Gibbon zip line canopy tour provided enough of a kick to satisfy the adrenaline junkie in me, without taking me too close to my limits. Flight of the Gibbon is located in the Chonburi ...

  • Australia reassures tourists over Queensland concerns

    Tue, 4 Jan 2011

    Queensland’s tourism body has rushed to reassure holidaymakers that the region remains “accessible” to tourists, though they could experience “challenges” while travelling through the area.It comes after the area was hit by huge floods, estimated to have reached the size of France and Germany combined.In a statement, Tourism Queensland said: “For most international visitors (travelling ...

  • Bartlett takes top PR job at Tui UK

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

    Liz Bartlett has been appointed as the new head of press and public relations for Tui UK & Ireland.

  • BA's Broughton knighted in New Year Honours

    Fri, 31 Dec 2010

    British Airways chairman Martin Broughton has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year Honours 2011 announced today.Broughton, who has been chairman of the airline since 2004, has been knighted for being an “outstanding business leader with a strong track record of service to the wider community”.He became a non-executive director on BA’s board in May 2000 before taking the role ...

  • Brits looking to take more holidays in 2011

    Fri, 31 Dec 2010

    British consumers are planning to take more holidays in 2011 than they did this year despite the fragile economy and looming public sector job cuts.According to a survey of 2,000 people, carried out by comparison website travelsupermarket.com, only 8% of UK consumers are not planning to take a summer holiday in 2011 compared to 16% in 2010.The average number of holidays planned by Brits for next year has also risen ...

  • Brits not planning to cut holiday spending in 2011

    Sat, 1 Jan 2011

    The majority of Britons say they will spend the same or more on holidays in 2011 than they did last year, according to a survey carried out for all-inclusive operator Club Med.Some 59% of UK consumers will be maintaining or increasing their expenditure on holidays this year, while 45% say that holidays are their “most important luxury”.The online survey conducted by pollster YouGov ...

  • Business Knowledge: Agents' New Year resolutions

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    How will you ensure business starts with a bang this year? Debbie Ward asks four agents what business resolutions they will be making for the new year, and what they learnt from 2010Rob Kenton, managing director, Triangle Travel, Berkshire and Oxfordshire Resolution: Extend opening hours

  • CAA to adopt softer Atol stance for ash cloud victims?

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Operators that can show they were severely affected by last year’s ash crisis may be treated more leniently by the Civil Aviation Authority in this year’s Atol renewals, TTG understands.What do you think? Is taking a softer Atol stance for those hit hardest by the ash a sensible move? Let us know by emailing

  • City backs Tui bosses' £5m bonus

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    City analysts have expressed support for Tui Travel’s management after five of its top managers received £4.9 million in bonuses – two months after the company revealed a £117 million hole in its accounts. ...

  • Co-op moves over to Cook’s insurer

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    The Co-operative Travel has appointed Thomas Cook’s inhouse insurer as its new travel insurance provider.But the Co-op claimed that its appointment of White Horse Insurance Ireland, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cook, was not connected with its impending retail merger with Cook.A Co-op spokesman said: “As part of our ongoing annual review of our retail insurance ...

  • Cuba sees first British ship call in years

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Thomson Dream arrived in Cuba yesterday – the first British-owned cruise ship to call at the communist island in years.How do you expect this move to affect cruise bookings? Do you expect to see a lot of interest in cruising to Cuba? Let us know by emailing ttgletters@ttglive.com or commenting at the end ...

  • East Yorkshire agency signs up global logistics company

    Tue, 4 Jan 2011

    East Yorkshire agency Good Travel Management has signed up global logistics company Interbulk Group as its latest client.The Hull-based business travel agency will now be the exclusive provider of travel to Interbulk, which previously used a range of agencies around the world.Interbulk financial director Peter Orvis said the effectiveness of Good ...

  • EasyJet boosts fleet with new orders

    Tue, 4 Jan 2011

    EasyJet is to order 15 new A320s and take options over another 33 aircraft from Airbus.The 15 new A320s will be delivered between 2012 in a deal worth $1.1 billion. EasyJet has also converted 20 orders for A319s into orders for A320s.The airline ...

  • Expedia stops selling American Airlines flights

    Tue, 4 Jan 2011

    Online travel giant Expedia has stopped selling American Airlines flights as the ongoing row between major online travel agencies (OTAs) and the airline intensifies.Expedia dropped American’s fares from its websites on January 1, just days after fellow OTA Orbitz Worldwide was forced to stop selling American flights after the airline won a key court battle.

  • Five NCL ships to be deployed in Caribbean in 2012/13

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

    Norwegian Cruise Line has revealed it will place five of its freestyle cruising ships in the Caribbean for 2012/13.Itineraries will include Miami, Tampa and New Orleans, the Panama Canal and, for the first time, a 16-day Colonial America cruise.Chief executive Kevin Sheehan said: “Our 2012/13 Caribbean cruise deployment offers an abundance of choice in departure ports, ships and itineraries. 

  • Former Tui finance boss benefits from share payout despite £117m blunder

    Tue, 4 Jan 2011

    Former Tui finance director Paul Bowtell has received share payments  worth £757,000, despite standing down over a £117 million black hole discovered in the company accounts.Bowtell was one of five senior directors who benefited from payments made on  December 30 on share packages worth £4.9 million.Chief executive Peter Long received shares received shares worth nearly ...

  • Grosvenor House hotel sold to India's Sahara

    Fri, 31 Dec 2010

    London’s Grosvenor House hotel has been sold to Indian conglomerate Sahara for £470 million.The hotel has been sold by the Royal Bank of Scotland which has been looking to offload the Park Lane property for more than three years.Sahara plans to run the hotel, which hosts the TTG Travel Awards, on a joint basis with current ...

  • Iata unveils think tank to get better deal for aviation

    Fri, 31 Dec 2010

    Iata is launching a new think tank designed to get more support for the aviation industry from governments and regulators.Vision 2050 will be launched in Singapore in February and include delegates from governments and academia as well as the industry.Iata director general Giovanni Bisignani said it aimed to “build a vision for a successful and sustainable industry in four decades”.

  • Korean Air gives A380 upper deck to business class

    Mon, 3 Jan 2011

    The first A380 superjumbo to have the upper deck entirely devoted to business class will be launched by Korean Air in May.The "Prestige Class" cabin, will have 94 lie-flat beds with 188cm (74inches) between seats.The lower deck will have 12 first class and 301 economy seats. The economy seats will be spaced 86cm (34inches) apart, which the airline claimed ...

  • Kuoni Group completes Belgium acquisition

    Sat, 1 Jan 2011

    Kuoni has purchased Belgium tour operator Best Tours as it looks to expand its business in the Belgian market.Best Tours, which is currently in liquidation, had a turnover of €38 million for the financial year 2009-10. The operator specialises in long-haul and beach holidays. A price for the deal has not been revealed.Kuoni confirmed that the Best Tours brand would be retained ...

  • Latin America: How to sell Central America

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Our essential guide to selling the seven countries of Central AmericaCOSTA RICASize: 51,100 sq km Population: 4.4 million Capital city: San Jose Key airports: SJO (San Jose, Costa Rica International); LIR (Liberia, Costa Rica) International visitors Jan-June 2010: 1,124,044 (Jan-June 2009: 1,025,460) UK ...

  • Latin America: Mexico City's top attractions

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011


  • Maroto takes over as head of Amadeus

    Tue, 4 Jan 2011

    Luis Maroto has become the new chief executive of travel technology firm Amadeus.Maroto takes over as president and chief executive of the Spanish-based company from David Jones, who has retired.Maroto was formerly deputy chief executive of Amadeus and has been with the company for 11 years in a range ...

  • National tourism fund on target to reach £100 million

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

    A fund to create 50,000 jobs in tourism and boost Britain's economy is “on target” to reach £100 million, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has revealed.Last summer, the government challenged the industry to create a marketing fund of more than £100 million to boost tourism around the royal wedding, the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

  • New York City on course to meet 50m visitor target

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

    New York City is on course to meet its target of attracting 50 million visitors a year by 2012.Some 48.7 million people visited the city in 2010, a higher than expected increase of 6.8%.Mayor Michael Bloomberg said 2010 was the city’s most successful year for tourism in its history and it was on course to meet the 50 million goal set in 2007.

  • Northern Irish agents battle through water crisis

    Tue, 4 Jan 2011

    Northern Ireland travel agents were reporting encouraging trading today after returning to work from a holiday when many had water cut off from their homes.Doreen McKenzie, owner of Knock Travel in Belfast, was one of about 60,000 people to lose their water supply over the Christmas and new year period when scores of pipes across Northern Ireland burst.McKenzie said ...

  • Olympic nears summer seats deals

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Olympic Holidays has said that it is close to securing deals for its 250,000 charter seats for summer 2011, despite its talks with Monarch collapsing before Christmas.The operator was unable to reach an agreement on prices with Monarch and consequently had to look for alternative airlines for its summer schedule. Monarch provided about 250,000 seats for Olympic last summer.Olympic commercial ...

  • Sabre downgrades American Airlines content as distribution row heats up

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

    Sabre has become the latest technology firm to take action against American Airlines.The global distribution system (GDS) has downgraded American’s flights in most of its displays, removed booking fee discounts and served notice that it wants to terminate its agreement with the airline.The move follows Expedia’s decision ...

  • Sales may be hit by ‘VAT confusion’

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Mistaken assumptions that this week’s VAT increase applies to holidays could hit the key selling period of the year, operators and agents fear.How are you finding trading in the wake of the VAT rise? Let us know by emailing ttgletters@ttglive.com or commenting at the end of this story.

  • Southampton port to have busiest day for 50 years

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

    Today will be the busiest day at Southampton's port for more than 50 years, with six ships visiting.Vessels calling at Southampton will include P&O’s Arcadia and Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, as well as Fred Olsen’s Balmoral, Black WatchSaga Ruby.Some 11,500 passengers will pass through the ...

  • The Co-operative Travel launches own cruise brochure

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

    The Co-operative Travel has launched its first dedicated cruise brochure, featuring 40 cruise-and-stay holidays exclusive to the Co-op.The brochure includes programmes from cruise lines such as P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Cunard.Example packages include a 23-night visit to South America and Machu Picchu with Holland America Line.The brochure is available ...

  • Travel 2 boosts sales team with two new recruits

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

    Trade-only operator Travel 2 has appointed Karen Millward and Darren Cartland to boost its sales team.The long-haul specialist, which is part of Stella Travel Services UK, is employing Millward as key account manager for the south-east while Cartland takes the position of key account manager for selected key partners. Millward, ...

  • Travel agency opens on Shankill Road

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    A travel agency has today become the first to open on Belfast’s infamous Shankill Road in more than 20 years.Breakaway Travel is the second branch to open in six months, after the first opened in Kennedy Shopping Centre in Belfast over the summer.The Shankill Road stretches from central Belfast. During The Troubles it became one of the city’s conflict hotspots.

  • Tui Travel ditches auditor over £117 million ^black hole^

    Fri, 31 Dec 2010

    Tui Travel has parted company with its auditors KPMG over the £117 million discrepancy discovered in its accounts. Europe’s biggest tour operator was forced to restate its 2008-9 accounts in October after the problem was discovered. Tui’s chief financial officer Paul Bowtell has already resigned over the issue which the ...

  • Turkey gobbles up post-Xmas business for Cook

    Fri, 31 Dec 2010

    Turkey is the most popular destination for summer 2011 for Thomas Cook as it enters the key turn-of-year booking season.The operator said that Turkey had received the most enquiries for the coming summer at its Cook and Going Places shops since Christmas.The other most popular choices for summer 2011 have been the Balearic islands, Canary islands, mainland Spain ...

  • Two directors quit Tui Travel

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    Two directors of Tui Travel have resigned after three years on the board of Europe’s largest tour operator.Non-executive directors Jeremy Hicks and Giles Thorley have decided not to stand for re-election at the group's annual general meeting on 3 February 2011, the company said in a statement. Both men have resigned from the board with effect from January 31.Tui ...

  • VAT increase divides experts

    Tue, 4 Jan 2011

    The increase in VAT to 20% today has divided tax experts about the impact on outbound and domestic tourism.How do you think the VAT increase will affect travel and tourism? Let us know by emailing ttgletters@ttglive.com or commenting at the end of this story.Head of tax policy at Deloitte, Bill Dodwell, ...

  • Win one of 15 Clash of the Titans DVDs

    Wed, 5 Jan 2011

  • Win tickets to private film screening

    Thu, 6 Jan 2011

    TTG has teamed up with the Barbados Tourism Authority and Almond Resorts to offer five lucky agents each a pair of tickets to a private screening of Morning Glory starring Harrison Ford on Monday, January 10 at Paramount Studio in Soho's Golden Square, London. The evening starts at 6pm. All you have to do is answer the following question: How many properties ...

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