Qatar buys American Airlines shares

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Middle east, News

NEW YORK, 23 June 2017: Qatar Airways, its Middle Eastern business pressured by a diplomatic row with neighbours, is seeking as much as a 10% stake in American Airlines, the US carrier said Thursday.

Qatar Airways’ surprise investment push was disclosed by American Airlines in a securities filing, Thursday, saying the Qatari company planned to buy at least USD808 million in American shares.

In addition, Qatar Airways’ chief executive told his counterpart at American that the carrier sought a stake of about 10%. Read more

WTTC takes a swipe at Cuba ban

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

LONDON, 23 June 2017: The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) expressed disappointment at President Trump’s plan to reverse key elements of the trading relationship between the US and Cuba, which was originally outlined by President Obama in 2014 and by his visit last year.

“The Cuban people are directly benefiting from increased business and leisure travel to Havana. Travel brings income to the people who work in our industry. President Trump’s statements indicate that the Cuban people, rather than the government will be hit by this policy change,” said WTTC president & CEO, David Scowsill.

“Airlines, cruise lines and hotel groups have all made significant investments and plans to create jobs and to grow the industry in Cuba, based on clear direction from the previous administration. Our sector needs consistency from governments and stability of policy. This is a clear and unwelcome reversal.” Read more

International Yoga Day

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

NEW YORK, 22 June 2017: Thousands of yoga aficionados celebrated the summer solstice amid the neon lights and cacophony of Times Square, Wednesday, searching for inner peace in the heart of New York on International Yoga Day.

“I have always wanted to come to yoga in Times Square. This year I retired so now I can,” said 62-year-old former school principal Kathy Gaffney, who took the ferry bright and early from Staten Island to get a good place in line.

Around 12,000 people were expected to take part in six one-hour yoga classes beginning at 0730 (1130 GMT) to celebrate the official start of summer and the longest day of the year. The event is now in its 15th year. Read more

Publisher challenges UNWTO election

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

BANGKOK, 22 June 2017: Self-proclaimed UNWTO Wire publisher, Juergen Steinmetz, is at the forefront of a campaign that alleges the recent UNWTO secretary general election was flawed.

Stienmertz issues a statement released by PRNewswire, this week, that applauds Zimbabwe Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Walter Mzembi, for raising the allegations in an open letter last May.

Steinmetz followed through issuing his own post asking: “Is the UNWTO Secretary General election for sale?” Read more

Disruption downs Uber chief

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 22 June 2017: Travis Kalanick was the driving force behind Uber, taking a spur-of-moment idea and turning it into the world’s most valuable venture-funded tech startup.

But Kalanick’s brash personality and freewheeling management style made him a liability as well as an asset to the global ridesharing giant, and on Wednesday he stepped down as chief executive.

Kalanick, 40, frequently recounts how the idea behind Uber was born, when he and a colleague were attending a technology conference in Paris in 2008 and failed to find a taxi on a cold night. Read more

Airports ban claim ads

June 21, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Aviation, News

MONTREAL, 21 June 2017: Canada’s two largest airports in Montreal and Toronto have banned ads from a company that helps passengers bumped from overbooked flights to get compensation from airlines, the company’s president said Tuesday.

Flight Claim posted billboards inside the Montreal terminal promising up to CND1,800 for bumped passengers, as well as for cancelled or delayed flights.

But company president Jacob Charbonneau said the Montreal airport pulled the ads after only five days, while the Toronto airport outright refused to run the promotion. Read more

UNWTO takes a swipe at Trump

June 20, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

MADRID, 20 June 2017: The World Tourism Organisation expresses its “firm resentment” over the recently-announced decision by the United States Administration to restore travel restrictions with Cuba.

“This represents a step backwards and a strong attack on the freedom of travel,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

“This decision will have limited impact on Cuba’s tourism development, yet it will substantially impact on the US economy and American jobs. Many US companies have started to invest in and do business with Cuba in view of the immense potential of Cuban tourism, which other countries will surely continue to benefit from,” he added. Read more

Americans flock to Cuba

June 16, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

HAVANA, CUBA, 16 June 2017: Some 300,000 Americans flocked to Cuba in the first five months of 2017, nearly the same number as for all of last year, officials in Havana said on Wednesday.

Just two days before US President Donald Trump was due to announce a new policy rolling back a rapprochement initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, the official Cubadebate website published figures showing a continuing boom in tourism from the United States.

Havana’s national statistics bureau said that by the end of May, some 284,565 Americans had travelled to Cuba this year. Read more

Wyndham creates Trademark

June 9, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, Hospitality, News

PARSIPPANY, NEW JERSEY, 9 June 2017: Wyndham Hotel Group launched, earlier this week, its latest brand The Trademark Hotel Collection.

Trademark is designed for independent entrepreneurs who have three to four-star hotels and will be introduced first in the US. Read more

US asks for social media IDs

June 6, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 6 June 2017: The United States has begun asking some would-be visitors applying for visas to provide their identities on social media, among other more vigorous screening methods.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP new security procedures had gone into effect last week for travellers deemed to present a risk.

The plan has already raised the concerns of civil liberties advocates, who fear travellers who pose no terrorist threat may be stigmatised for their political or religious views. Read more

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