News: airBaltic launches flights between Riga and Madrid

News: airBaltic launches flights between Riga and Madrid

http://ift.tt/2rfSAMs

The Latvian airline airBaltic has launched a new direct route linking Riga and Madrid. The route, which will be operated in cooperation with the Spanish-airline Iberia, offers convenient travel options for travellers between Spain and Latvia and beyond to destinations in the Baltics, Europe, Scandinavia, CIS and the Middle East.

Travel

via Breaking Travel News http://ift.tt/QS6xbI

May 30, 2017 at 04:28AM

Focus: Breaking Travel News investigates: Cuenca, the ideal destination for short vacations

Focus: Breaking Travel News investigates: Cuenca, the ideal destination for short vacations

http://ift.tt/2rQpgPd

For those looking for diversity, diversion and rest for a short period of time, the Ecuadorian city of Cuenca has many advantages to offer as a tourism destination.

Travel

via Breaking Travel News http://ift.tt/QS6xbI

May 30, 2017 at 04:00AM

How to share data more wisely

How to share data more wisely

http://ift.tt/2qBj88M

Article Event Banner

Integrating datasets across an organisation is easier said than done. Tom Bacon considers some of the challenges and how these can be addressed

Big data is now a necessity. Travel executives increasingly demand an integrated corporate dataset to access financial, operating, customer and marketing data in order to get the ‘whole picture’ on any business issue. Optimal decisions must incorporate the impact across the organisation and meet broad financial, marketing, and operational objectives. 

However, integrated data – sharing data across functional silos – often fails to achieve superior results. So, what is the problem? Here are three. 

Even with an integrated data set, each function still has its own unique perspective. Having access to all the data does not change marketing’s focus on the customer or finance’s focus on quarterly earnings. Revenue Management (RM), as another example, has clear functional goals – accurate forecasting, achieving budgeted unit revenue, effectively managing sales promotions. RM’s functional objectives, too, colours its use of any integrated database.

Similarly, when targets aren’t achieved, each function often develops a different explanation. For a revenue shortfall at an airline, RM might well cite a problem with marketing or the schedule or operations, while schedules notes that RM did not forecast properly. Each function, with access to an integrated dataset, will likely still attribute results to different factors.

Given such a divergence of views and diagnoses, there is rarely an integrated action plan. If a function has decided that the ‘problem’ is another function, it may either do nothing or it may try to counteract what it feels is a deficiency elsewhere in the organisation – neither of which is likely to properly address the underlying problem.

4 ways to make data work better

Indeed, integrated datasets are not the full solution to coordinated actions across functions. Integrated data must be accompanied by integration of perspectives and processes across all the same functions. Once a company enjoys an integrated database, there are then four other necessary steps. 

  1. Establish cross-functional meetings based on the data. There is no substitute for face-to-face engagement and dialogue. I have chaired such cross-functional meetings with airline RM, sales, marketing, schedules, and distribution (typically we didn’t have operations, perhaps a major gap in a fully-integrated process). We collectively poured over the latest financial, schedule and marketing data on a monthly basis.

  2. Encourage a culture where different views can be shared. In my cross-functional meetings, some departments were highly engaged, offering unique views and proactively suggesting actions; some departments, however, were less analytical and less engaged with the data. Ideally, all functions are adept at data analysis and contribute fully to the conversation. Of course, over time, all participants gained greater understanding of each other’s data.  It is helpful if a facilitator challenges traditional views and pushes for fact-based conclusions.

  3. Collaborate on action plans including shared metrics. The meeting needs to be action-oriented. The meeting needs to go beyond ‘what happened?’ to ‘what needs to be done next?’  Any such plan then needs to include metrics: what are we trying to accomplish? How will we know that we’re on track?

  4. Post-audits and accountability. Of course, once an action plan is in place, along with associated metrics, subsequent meetings can review both overall performance and performance around the specific cross-functional action plan. 

Integrated, corporate-wide databases are a huge innovation that can facilitate improved decision-making. However, alone they do not ensure corporate alignment and optimal cross-functional perspectives and action plans. 

Tom Bacon has been in the business for 25 years, as an airline veteran and industry consultant in revenue optimisation. He leads audit teams for airline commercial activities including revenue management, scheduling and fleet planning. Questions? Email Tom or visit his website

Travel

via Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel testing http://ift.tt/1LbW9DG

May 30, 2017 at 03:10AM

Climbing the Remarkables

Climbing the Remarkables

http://ift.tt/2rieD76

Selfies

I don’t do a lot of them… in fact, almost none. I know it’s very popular and I see it a lot on Instagram (people putting figures in landscapes). I think it’s nice to look at, but I wonder if it’s a trendy thing. Anyway, just a little artistic note here that just because almost everyone seems to be doing it on Instagram, it doesn’t mean I’m going to start doing it too. No judgment or anything… just not gonna do it.

Daily Photo – Climbing the Remarkables

Here’s a photo of me in my Spies Like Us coat atop The Remarkables in Queenstown. I didn’t actually hike all the way up here… who has time for that? I took a snowmobile most of the way… then spent about 20 minutes on a final climb, which was more than exhausting! Anyway, I was up there with my friend Curtis… I figured out a shot, framed it, then asked Curtis to take the photo… then came back and processed it after my fingers unfroze!

Climbing the Remarkables

Photo Information


  • Date Taken2016-06-14 11:07:53
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

Travel

via Stuck in Customs http://ift.tt/qCe472

May 30, 2017 at 02:30AM

News: Delta to connect Glasgow-New York this summer

News: Delta to connect Glasgow-New York this summer

http://ift.tt/2qwN6M5

Delta has launched its new non-stop service from Glasgow to New York-JFK, offering greater travel choice between Scotland and the US. Operated daily throughout the summer, the airline’s first-ever Glasgow route will provide convenient connections to more than 60 destinations throughout the US and beyond via Delta’s New York hub.

Travel

via Breaking Travel News http://ift.tt/QS6xbI

May 30, 2017 at 01:50AM

News: Family connection: Dual Faull promotions at Swiss-Belhotel International

News: Family connection: Dual Faull promotions at Swiss-Belhotel International

http://ift.tt/2rf6Dl6

Global hotel management group Swiss-Belhotel International has promoted two executive directors – Oliver Faull and Edward Faull – as part of its continuing expansion. Both already hold senior executive positions within the group and, along with their brother Matthew Faull, also hold equity interest in Swiss-Belhotel International.

Travel

via Breaking Travel News http://ift.tt/QS6xbI

May 30, 2017 at 01:46AM

News: Know Before You Go: US border protection urges passengers to be prepared

News: Know Before You Go: US border protection urges passengers to be prepared

http://ift.tt/2qB6giY

As the busiest three months of international travel approach, US Customs & Border Protection is encouraging travellers to ‘Know Before You Go’ when traveling to the United States.

Travel

via Breaking Travel News http://ift.tt/QS6xbI

May 30, 2017 at 01:26AM

News: Passenger growth pushes up profits at Ryanair

News: Passenger growth pushes up profits at Ryanair

http://ift.tt/2rPZE58

Ryanair has reported a six per cent increase in full year net profit, to €1.3 billion. A 13 per cent cut in average fares at the carrier delivered 13 per cent traffic growth, to 120 million customers, and an industry leading 94 per cent load factor.

Travel

via Breaking Travel News http://ift.tt/QS6xbI

May 30, 2017 at 01:15AM

Video: Changing Behavior of Asian Travelers Is Reshaping Brand Expectations

Video: Changing Behavior of Asian Travelers Is Reshaping Brand Expectations

http://ift.tt/2retuxb

Skift

Acacia Leroy, Asia trend strategist at TrendWatching, spoke at Skift Forum Europe 2017 in April. She cited clear and insightful practical examples of emerging behaviors of outbound travelers. Skift

Skift Take: It won’t surprise anyone that Asian travel is a big theme. But this presentation covers a few changes in consumer behaviors that travel brands ignore at their peril.

— Sean O’Neill

Everyone knows that Asia is a fast-growing sector for international travel.

But what many industry insiders don’t appreciate is the many changes in consumer behavior across Asia that travel companies need to grasp if they want to take advantage of this fast-growing market.

Acacia Leroy, the trend strategist at TrendWatching Asia, filled in this knowledege gap during an on-stage presentation at the inaugural Skift Forum Europe held in London in April.

Leroy began by pointing out the size of the Asia boom. Rising incomes in China, in particular, have led to a surge in outbound tourism, with an estimated 120 million Chinese tourists spending more than $220 billion on overseas travel in 2016.

This year, China will see 11 million citizens travel overseas, which is a number greater than the population of Belgium.

Leroy covered three overarching changes in consumer behavior, which she calls “emerging expectations.”

When innovations outside of travel come into a market, she says, they change the expectations of consumers about good service.

The rise of WeChat

You don’t need to start marketing on WeChat to appreciate the broader assumptions Asian travelers now have about the primacy of messaging apps as a way of interacting with the world.

Asian travelers increasingly assume that they will be able to carry out all of their online experience via chat platforms.

This trend is likely to carry over to other chat platforms like Facebook Messenger. Travelers will turn to these apps as their portal for handling customer service or making payments.

Listening to Leroy’s discussion of these emerging consumer expectations in Asia may give travel marketers and strategists an edge as they aim to attract this group of travelers.

She also offers lots of examples of creativity, too, such as the QR codes for deals to visit the Philippines that airline Cebu Pacific marks on Hong Kong sidewalks when it rains.

Note: Initial planning is in full-swing for our flagship event Skift Global Forum, which will be held September 26-27 in New York City. We wanted to make sure our most loyal Skift readers were able to purchase their tickets early and were rewarded for doing so. That’s why we’ve re-opened up our previously sold out early bird discount for an additional 35 tickets. Attendees can now save $800 per ticket on the largest creative business conference in travel.

At this year’s inaugural Skift Forum Europe in London, travel leaders from around the world gathered for a day of inspiration, information, and conversation on the future of travel.

Visit our Skift Global Forum site for more details about 2017 events, including our New York City event September 26-27.

Travel

via Skift https://skift.com

May 29, 2017 at 11:04PM

A Creationist Wants Rocks to Study. The Grand Canyon Says No.

A Creationist Wants Rocks to Study. The Grand Canyon Says No.

http://ift.tt/2seZEYY

Photo

Officials at the Grand Canyon are in a dispute with a geologist who is a creationist and wants rocks from the canyon to study.

Credit
Richard Perry/The New York Times

PHOENIX — Did Noah’s flood create the Grand Canyon? Not a chance, say mainstream scientists, who maintain that the canyon’s layers of rocks were carved and chiseled by a persistent flow of water beginning some five million years ago. But Andrew A. Snelling — a geologist by training, a creationist by conviction — has a minority view, and he hoped to prove himself right.

In November 2013, Dr. Snelling — he has a doctorate in geology from the University of Sydney, in Australia, where he was born — asked administrators of Grand Canyon National Park for permission to remove some 60 half-pound rocks from certain areas along the edges of the Colorado River, which snakes through the canyon.

Last July, the administrators denied his request. This month, Dr. Snelling sued them, the National Park Service and the Interior Department, claiming the denial amounted to discrimination against his religious beliefs.

In an interview on Thursday, Gary McCaleb, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative Christian legal defense group that is representing Dr. Snelling, said, “It’s one thing to debate the science, but to deny access to the data not based on the quality of a proposal or the nature of the inquiry, but on what you might do with it is an abuse of government power.”

Heather Swift, a spokeswoman for the Interior Department, referred questions about the lawsuit to the Justice Department, which did not respond to a request for comment. Mr. McCaleb said that Parks Service officials reached out to him recently and that both sides would meet soon.

As a young-Earth creationist, Dr. Snelling embraces a literal interpretation of the Bible’s Book of Genesis: God created the universe, Earth and all life in it in six days, and the flood caused rapid geological transformations. By these measures, Earth is not billions of years old, but only several thousand.

His beliefs did not come up in his permit request, but he was no stranger to park officials, as he had guided many Biblical-themed rafting trips through the canyon and done research there. According to the lawsuit, the officials subjected him to cumbersome requirements, such as providing coordinates and photographs of each of the places from which he planned to collect rocks and submitting his proposal to peer reviews.

Continue reading the main story

Travel

via NYT > Travel http://ift.tt/2jSLmvw

May 29, 2017 at 04:48PM