Jamaica Tourism Minister endorses Mobay Marlin Tournament

Jamaica Tourism

Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett (second right in photo) engages in an animated discussion with (from left) Director of Montego Bay Yacht Club’s International Marlin Tournament, Londie Murray; Chief Executive Officer of Stocks and Securities Limited Lamar Harris, and Chief Executive Officer of Dolla Financial Services, Kadeen Mairs.

The occasion was the launch of the tournament, at CRU Bar and Kitchen in St. Andrew on September 10, 2018.

During the event, the Minister shared that the Jamaica Tourist Board will play an integral role in the staging of this year’s tournament, and he looks forward to the positive impact the event will have on the industry.

Tourism Minister Bartlett also paused for a photo-op with Director of Montego Bay Yacht Club’s International Marlin Tournament, Londie Murray.

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Top brass welcomes delegates to PATA Travel Mart 2018

PATA Travel Mart

PATA Travel Mart 2018 in Langkawi, the beautiful island in Malaysia, got off to a glittering and colorful start with the inaugural dinner reception dinner at the plush Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC). The event started on September 12 and ends on the 14th.

The top brass of the host country, led by the Deputy Prime Minister, was there to welcome the delegates and dignitaries, who heard the speakers laud PATA for its role and also the role Malaysia has played over the years in hosting PATA events – marts, conferences, and other activities.

There are 67 sellers from Malaysia itself, and 260 buyers from 53 source markets.

It was revealed that the host country added 250 new hotels in 2017 and that 130 hotels with 26,000 rooms are now coming up.

Langkwai and other parts of Kedah have many attractions which need to be promoted.

Meanwhile, there is much expectation from the mart which opens on September 13, with buyer-seller meetings and interaction.

Nandakumar, Director of Madras Travel and Tours which is based in Chennai, said he was looking forward to quality buyers. His experience in Macau last year was good, and he hoped that he will meet with new and old sellers in the next 2 days.

Sanjay Mehta was keen to network and make new contacts but regretted that there were no buyers from the USA. He has some good meetings from Australia, and he hoped but added that suppliers this year seemed to be less than Macau, the Rajkot-based agent said on the eve of the mart.

He suggested that the hotels of the buyers and sellers should be near the venue of the mart in order to save time and make it more convenient.

Jaswinder Singh, executive director of AAyan Journeys, is looking for potential buyers and hopes the new ones will be productive.

Vijay Kumar from IRCTC is looking at Sabah, China, New Zealand, and Canada for luxury trains.

Neha, from Singapore said that her Mastercard company was keen to see technology developments. Where the tourism industry is going in terms of technology, is her concern.

The Turkish Airline reps will boost awareness of the country and airline and make new contacts.

The position on the trends in tourism destinations and products will be clear tomorrow and the day after.

But what is clear now is that PATA and Tourism Malaysia have left no stone unturned to see that it is a memorable event. Delegates were spellbound to see the cable car, mangrove forest, and the crocodile farm.

The Youth Symposium attracted much attention, with several youth coming from far and near and other organizations also joining the PATA endeavor, which has become an annual event at the marts.

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Free, fun activities at Corinthia Hotels for World Wellness Weekend

Corinthia Hotels

Corinthia Hotels’ talented spa and wellness professionals are being showcased this month as part of the annual World Wellness Weekend. Organized by the Spa, Beauty & Tourism associations, the weekend is designed to motivate each other towards fitness, induce a healthier lifestyle and have fun along the way.

The wellness activities and workshops are free of charge for hotel guests and day-spa guests on September 22 and 23, 2018.

“Spas and gyms are an integral part of every Corinthia Hotel we operate, such is the importance we place on health and fitness,” says Walter Hess, Director Rooms & Quality at Corinthia Hotels. “We readily embraced this pro bono initiative and will support it again.”

Find the free wellness activities at the following Corinthia Hotels:

Corinthia Hotel Prague: Have some fun splashing around in the hotel’s 26th floor pool for a free aqua aerobics class on both days. The hotel is also organizing a run through the historic part of the city, and a park, each day. Booking required: Apollo.Prague@Corinthia.com

Corinthia Hotel St. George’s Bay, Malta: Enjoy a free, open-air yoga class to the sounds of the Mediterranean Sea and set against a backdrop of a 17th century watch tower in the grounds of the hotel. At 9 am on both mornings. Booking required: Apollo.StGeorges@Corinthia.com

Corinthia Hotel Lisbon: Guests can join the hotel’s running club to take in the fresh air in neighboring Monsanto’s Natural Park on the Saturday; while on the Sunday re-balance with a Mind & Posture Alignment session in the hotel’s award-winning spa that incorporates stretching and meditation. Booking required: Spa.Lisbon@Corinthia.com

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Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel awarded Iceland´s first Green Globe Certification


Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel, a boutique hotel in Reykjavik, opened in the spring of 2016 in the up-and-coming downtown area. Eyja Guldsmeden’s operations follow the guidelines of Guldsmeden Hotels, based on sustainability and ecology.

Green Globe recently awarded Eyja Guldsmenden Hotel its inaugural certification.

The accreditation is evaluated based on the property’s performance of over 300 indicators, across three pillars of sustainable development: economic, environmental and social. The hotel was able to demonstrate innovations that improve the quality of service and comfort for both its customers and employees alongside environmental protection measures and the reduction of its carbon footprint as well as an ongoing commitment to preserving the planet and supporting the local community.

Linda Jóhannsdóttir, Co-founder and CEO of Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel said, “I have a deep passion and belief that we have a responsibility to support and protect our community and our environment. We use sustainable business practices, and this has an impact not only ecologically and socially but also economically.”

Eco-friendly travel options are projected to increase significantly in 2018 in order to meet green travelers’ demands. Business travel is also going greener with many corporations implementing booking policies that require traveling employees stay at sustainable hotels.

“Many hotel guests want to stay in a ‘green’ hotel as it allows them to know that they’re helping to protect the environment. In fact, about 76 percent of travelers say that implementing eco-friendly practices is important in their choice of lodging, and this figure is rising. Having a green certification, such as Green Globe, allows us to draw these ecologically minded guests to our hotel,” added Ms Jóhannsdóttir.

Eyja Guldsmeden adheres to its Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) which has been developed by the Guldsmeden Hotels’ Green Team in accordance with Green Globe Certification Standards.

The Green Team, which manages both new and ongoing sustainability initiatives, worked together with all departments and colleagues to devise and identify sustainability initiatives thus creating a bottom-up approach which will simplify the integration of the SMP across all departments. This is a continual process and the SMP is to be used both internally and externally. Internally, as a guide for work undertaken by staff within individual departments at Guldsmeden Hotels and externally for stakeholders, whether they are guests or suppliers, to understand the way the business is run taking into consideration the triple bottom line.

For further information please click here.

Green Globe is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe is based in California, USA and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). For information, please click here.

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Los Angeles: Light Rail to extend From Glendora to Montclair

In Southern California, the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority (Construction Authority) reached a major milestone on the 12.3-mile, six-station Foothill Gold Line light rail extension from Glendora to Montclair; funded by Measures M and R in Los Angeles County, Measure I in San Bernardino County and the State of California’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program, an SB1 program that receives proceeds from the Cap and Trade auction and the recent gas tax increase. The four shortlisted design-build teams vying for the Glendora to Montclair Alignment Design-Build Contract submitted proposals in response to tens of thousands of pages of engineering and project information provided to each team over the last several months.

The proposals received today include each team’s technical approach to completing the design and construction of the project, their management method, proposed key personnel, financial bid and more. Over the next several weeks, six committees of transportation and industry experts, attorneys, financial professionals and partner agencies will review different elements of the proposals and then come together to provide their overall ratings and recommendations.

“The Construction Authority will once again use a ‘best value’ approach to evaluating the proposals,” explained Construction Authority CEO, Habib F. Balian. “Best value allows us to judge the team’s technical merits and approach, as well as their bid price, and judge both critical evaluation factors as approximately equally important; ensuring we are able to hire a highly qualified team at the right price.”

Procurement for the Alignment Design-Build Contract began in November 2017, when a Request for Qualifications was issued to the industry. Seven teams submitted Statements of Qualification, and the following four teams were deemed most qualified and shortlisted to compete for the work (in alphabetical order): AECOM | Stacy and Witbeck JV; Herzog Rados Lane, a Joint Venture; Kiewit-Parsons, a Joint Venture; and the San Gabriel Valley Transit Partners (STP), a Joint Venture of Fluor and Ames.

“These are four highly qualified teams with significant experience designing and building projects like this one,” added Balian. “It will come down to their unique approach to completing this project, who they propose to lead critical roles on their team and the experience of those individuals, and of course their all-inclusive bid price to design and construct the project that will ultimately decide who will win the work.”

The Alignment Contract is expected to be awarded in the coming months and be responsible for all elements of the 12.3-mile light rail extension, with the exception of parking. Major construction is expected to begin in early 2020 and consist of two construction phrases. First, they will rebuild and relocate the freight and Metrolink systems that currently operate in the middle of the rail corridor. Once the relocation is done, crews will build the light rail system. Completion is expected in 2026. It is expected that during construction alone, the Glendora to Montclair project will generate nearly 17,000 jobs, more than $2.6 billion in economic output, more than $1 billion in labor income and nearly $40 million in tax revenues.

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