Panel discussion – Ground Transportation And Mobility Changing The Landscape Of Travel

Panel discussion – Ground Transportation And Mobility Changing The Landscape Of Travel

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Panel discussion – Ground Transportation And Mobility Changing The Landscape Of Travel

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November 23, 2017 at 11:06AM

News: Grand Hotel & Spa, York to welcome 100 new rooms in early 2018

News: Grand Hotel & Spa, York to welcome 100 new rooms in early 2018

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The Grand Hotel & Spa, York has revealed a first look at the 100 luxury new hotel rooms it will be opening in early 2018.

The development will almost double the number of five-star hotel rooms in York, generating an additional £1.7 million of annual visitor expenditure for the local economy.

Combining the traditional values of its historic setting along with modern facilities to accommodate the 21st century guests, the new luxury rooms have been carefully designed to provide guests with an opulent experience.

Complementing the Grand’s pre-existing 107 rooms, the sumptuous interiors of the new rooms will include marble-finished bathrooms, luxury bath products as well as Egyptian cotton linen.

Behind the look and feel of the rooms is design practice Twenty2 Degrees, which sought inspiration from The Grand’s Edwardian past as the headquarters of the North Eastern Railway – the building’s original 1906 resident.

Philip Bolson, general manager of The Grand Hotel & Spa, York, said: “We have been working on this development for the best part of two years, and we’re extremely excited to unveil the first rooms in our new accommodation development – it will increase our total bedrooms from 107 to 207.

“The Grand offers a supremely luxurious experience for our guests, and we’re thrilled to be able to share the experience with even more visitors as well as providing a boost to the York tourism and leisure economy.”

The new accommodation is part of the hotel’s £15 million expansion and refurbishment, which this summer saw the opening of The Rise, a Yorkshire tapas-style small plates concept, and the refurbishment and relocation of Hudson’s by Craig Atchinson.

Next year, as well as the new bedrooms, the hotel’s development and expansion will include the addition of two new areas: an exclusive, luxury executive lounge with complimentary dining, as well as an arrival lounge which will enhance the guest check-in experience.

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November 23, 2017 at 11:01AM

Chasing the Deal: Four Affordable, Luxurious Christmas Getaways in Ireland

Chasing the Deal: Four Affordable, Luxurious Christmas Getaways in Ireland

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Adare Manor, in County Limerick, is offering a two-night, family-friendly getaway called “A Christmas Beyond Everything.”

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Adare Manor

Christmas and the days leading up to the holiday are a magical time to visit Ireland, according to Siobhan Byrne Learat, founder of Adams & Butler, a Dublin-based company selling trips to Ireland.

“The Irish go all out for Christmas with décor and celebrations, and the mood is cheerful and generous,” she said. “And over the years, it has become more of a cultural holiday for us than a religious one.”

Ms. Learat said that while pubs and restaurants throughout the country are full of revelers, hotels have a lull in business, which means that enticing, amenity-inclusive deals abound for a Christmas-themed Ireland getaway.

Lynott Tours, for example, has a seven-night “Ireland Bed and Breakfast Christmas” package that includes accommodations in your choice of more than 400 bed-and-breakfasts throughout Ireland, breakfast, a rental car, and round-trip airfare on Aer Lingus from a dozen cities in the United States including New York City, Los Angeles and Boston to Dublin International Airport. Valid from Dec. 21 to 29. From $1,568 a person. Book by calling 800-221-2474 or emailing ireland@lynotttours.com.

Authentic Ireland offers a four-night Christmas in Ireland package, which includes accommodations in two upscale castle hotels in the countryside, Abbeyglen Castle and Contarf Castle. Breakfast and a rental car are also included. Both properties are renowned during the holidays for their roaring log fires and abundance of fairy lights. Valid from Dec. 24 to 28. From $1,648 a person. Book by calling 888-443-5259.

For travelers seeking luxury, the upscale Adare Manor, in County Limerick, offers a two-night, family-friendly getaway called “A Christmas Beyond Everything.” The package includes accommodations, breakfast, a Champagne afternoon tea, parties with Champagne on both Christmas Eve and Day, Christmas Day lunch with live music, multicourse dinners on both Christmas Eve and Day, a private car to a nearby church for holiday services on both Christmas Eve and Day, and even a visit with Santa and a treasure hunt on Christmas Day. You also get brunch with Champagne and live jazz on Dec. 26, and the choice of either a spa treatment or an activity such as archery, falconry or clay pigeon shooting. Valid from Dec. 24 to 27. From 1,475 euros (about $1,768) per adult; each child is an additional 250 euros. Book by emailing reservations@adaremanor.com.

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November 23, 2017 at 10:18AM

News: Gatwick Airport reports increase in profit for early 2017

News: Gatwick Airport reports increase in profit for early 2017

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Gatwick Airport today reported revenue of £470 million for the six months to the end of September, an increase of 5.5 per cent.

Combined with carefully controlled cost management, this resulted in EBITDA up 9.9 per cent to £290 million and a profit before tax of £140 million, the airport said.

At the same time, Gatwick has continued to increase its lead as the world’s busiest single-runway airport with passenger numbers up 5.1 per cent on last year.

The airport has further extended its global connectivity, with long haul routes up 12.4 per cent versus the same six months last year.

Before the end of the financial year Gatwick will add further global connections to Taipei, Buenos Aires, Chicago, and Austin, building on new routes to Singapore, Rwanda, Seattle and Denver in the last six months.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive, Gatwick Airport, said: “Gatwick has blazed a trail in the last six months delivering record growth in passenger numbers and record-breaking new long-haul routes while also setting new standards for customer service.

“Gatwick now serves 45.5 million passengers each year and is playing a vital role for Britain.

“As we prepare for Brexit, it is critical that we continue to grow our long-haul links in addition to connections within the UK and Europe.

“Our results show significant cargo growth on the back of our ever-strengthening long haul network.

“We have ambitious plans to build on these results to reach 50 million passengers per year and beyond which will further set the standard for a single runway airport.”

The six-month period to the end of September 2017 was the busiest in Gatwick’s history, with 26.4 million passengers, an increase of 5.1 per cent or 1.3 million passengers on the previous year.

Gatwick’s growth is a combination of more planes, bigger planes and fuller planes – each aircraft at Gatwick is carrying four more passengers, on average, than last year.

The airport also achieved its busiest day ever on September 1st, with 950 aircraft movements.

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November 23, 2017 at 10:11AM

The Ancestral Burden of Being a Detroit Lions Fan

The Ancestral Burden of Being a Detroit Lions Fan

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The other day, in the park, my son was sporting his little Detroit Lions
winter hat with a pompom on it when a man wearing a Jets jersey turned
to me, nodded at my boy, and said, “Lions, huh? Poor kid. My dad did the
same thing to me with the Jets: got me hooked early on a losing team.” I
laughed and said, “Yeah, my dad’s to blame, too.” It’s a fine fatherly
tradition, passing your favorite teams down to your children, but it’s
not always the nicest thing to do, especially if one of those teams is
the Detroit Lions, who haven’t won a championship since 1957—yes, sixty
years—and, in all that time, have emerged victorious in only one playoff
game. Generally, as a father, you do everything in your power to keep
your child from suffering: Why would you willingly impart your love for
a team like the Lions, who seem bound, above all, to break your heart?

When it came to my dad’s passion for Detroit he never had a choice, and
neither, really, did I—after all, he himself had played for them,
joining the squad as “last-string quarterback” to write about the
experience in what would become the book “Paper Lion.” My sisters and I
never had much of a choice with any of our other teams, either—whomever
my dad had played for and written about, they were it—and, as a result
of his participatory adventures, George Plimpton basically had all the
sports covered: hockey with the Boston Bruins, basketball with the
Celtics. (With baseball, it was the Mets, not because my dad had pitched
for them but because he had invented someone who had: Sidd Finch, the
Buddhist monk and French-horn enthusiast who could throw the ball 168
m.p.h.) It was always thrilling to huddle with my dad in front of the TV
in his cluttered office and see the Celtics win a championship, or the
Bruins, but somehow it was his team that never seemed to win—“those poor
old Lions,” as my father referred to them—that bonded us closest
together. In part, I’m sure, it was all those Thanksgiving games: the
great relief of excusing ourselves from dry turkey and stuffy
conversation to relax for a moment together and watch our favorite team
do battle, even if the chances were strong that our team was losing that
battle badly.

My dad would have been crushed, of course, if I had chosen to follow a
ball club other than one of his own, but, like any good father, he would
have supported it. In fact, he had already experienced such betrayal
when he took my older sister to a Harvard-Yale game, with nine-year-old
Medora deciding that she liked the color blue better, and thus that it
was Yale that she would root for rather than for his own Crimson alma
mater. More recently, a neighbor of mine who is a fellow diehard Lions
fan told me that his young son’s favorite team was now Detroit’s bitter
rival, Green Bay, and that every Sunday his boy donned an Aaron Rodgers
jersey gleefully. There may come a time like that in the not-too-distant
future for me and my son, too, but for now he remains a Lions fan. (Not
like he has much choice in the matter, though: he’s only a little over
two, and his mother and I still dress him.)

But I guess the question is, should it fill me with pride, seeing my
little guy in Honolulu blue, or guilt? Would it be better fathering, for
instance, to simply abandon my old, fruitless loyalties, and become a
fan of the Patriots (who look like they’re headed for seventeen straight
winning seasons) or the Dallas Cowboys—you know, for the child’s sake?
I’m not so sure. Because there’s something honorable about committing
one’s self to a hapless team. It “builds
character,” which parents like to think is important for a child. Indeed, devotedly watching the Lions compete—especially the
last few years, when so many games have come down to the wire—can be a
near-physical activity: your whole body tenses up, you let out groans,
grunts, and occasional birdlike cries of delight. At the end of a game,
you emerge battered and bruised, wiry and strong-hearted. And this is
what you’re really passing on to the next generation: good old-fashioned
suffering, yes, but also loyalty, dedication, spirit. And, surprisingly,
joy! It’s great fun being a Lions fan, especially if you have a sense of
humor about it, which you have to.

On the flipside, there are the neuroses—never a good thing to pass on to
your kids. As a Lions fan, there are times one cannot help but to wonder
the absurd thought: Is it somehow my fault? If I hadn’t dared to hope,
to let belief take hold in my guarded heart, might they not have blown
that huge lead against Dallas in the playoffs a few years ago? And then
there was that great 6–2 start to a season back in 2007: If I hadn’t
been bold enough to purchase that baby-blue reversible windbreaker to
exhibit that strangest of sensations for a Lions fan—pride—might their
success have continued? (As it was, buying that damn jacket was a jinx
of epic proportions: they lost six in a row, won one, and then went on
to lose nineteen straight, a slump that included an 0–16 season, the
worst in N.F.L. history.) I have considered the possibility that if I
didn’t care about the Lions at all, and never watched them, they would
never lose.

Of course, even the Lions win sometimes. And, when they do, the
victories feel monumental, miraculous. Last year, nearly every win
actually was a miracle—indeed, Detroit broke an N.F.L. record with eight
fourth-quarter comebacks. Trailing with the clock ticking down, Matthew
Stafford (now the highest-paid quarterback in the league) would drive
the ball downfield with heroic calm and somehow perform the implausible
once again. “Finding ways to win is what we do,” Stafford said. For fans
of a team that has built its reputation on discovering new and inventive
ways to lose, this fresh attitude has been nice to see.

Sort of. Because it hasn’t really made watching the Lions any easier.
Since they’ve become a “winning” team, the games have become even
more excruciating, somehow—after all, now we have something to lose.
Part of it, perhaps, is simply that this is unfamiliar territory for
Lions fans: we’re much more at ease with disappointment and defeat.
Victory unnerves us—we’re always waiting for the other cleat to drop.
And sure, loss was never the most savory dish for us to stomach, on
Thanksgiving or any other day, but at least we could depend on it. Now,
it seems, we can’t depend on anything—winning, losing, nothing is
certain anymore—which is, I suppose, as it should be.

And I guess that’s my point: when the Detroit Lions are on the
field—today, they play the red-hot Minnesota Vikings—you keep your eyes
glued to the action till the very last second. You never know when the
Lions will blow a lead, or retake one, tragically, miraculously. Missed
extra points, blocked field goals, Hail Mary passes, game-winning
touchdowns with sixteen seconds on the clock. So this also is what gets
passed down along with the Lions: the thrill of sport, and of life,
where there are no guarantees, anything can happen, and there is always
room for hope. It’s good for a child to know that.

Of course, right now, my son knows none of this. While I sit on the edge
of my couch, watching the Lions compete, he spends most of his time on
the floor, playing with his trucks. He does check in on the action every
now and then, though, especially when he hears me shout, “No-o-o-o-o-o!!!” as
Lions fans are wont to do. Or, like a few weeks ago, when I shouted
“Touchdown!” and threw my arms in the air, and he did the same, throwing
his little hands way up above his head with a grin of delight, as if he
understood in his bones that something unexpected and remarkable had
occurred: an opportunity to celebrate with a fellow Lions fan.

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November 23, 2017 at 10:10AM

News: Monarch airport slots to go under the hammer

News: Monarch airport slots to go under the hammer

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Monarch airport slots to go under the hammer

KPMG has won the right to sell airport take-off and landing slots from the defunct Monarch airline after a high court decision.

The organisation was appointed administrator by the carrier after it ceased trading earlier this month.

KPMG had temporarily been barred from selling the valuable assets after a court ruled the slots for summer 2018 no longer belonged to Monarch as it had gone out of business.

This opinion was backed a decision by the independent body Airport Coordination.

However, administrators KPMG said earlier they had won an appeal against the ruling, meaning that they will be able to sell the slots to other airlines.

The slots, located at both Luton and Gatwick, are sought by easyJet, IAG, Wizz Air, and Norwegian Air Shuttle, among others.

Monarch owners, Greybull Capital, have the first call on the assets of the failed carrier, after which any surplus will be shared out among its creditors.

Monarch comprises a scheduled airline, in-house tour operator and an engineering division.

The airline, founded in 1968, flew to over 40 destinations from five UK bases: London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds-Bradford and Luton, where it was headquartered. 

The airline offered six million sector seats to leisure destinations, while the tour operating division offered package holidays across the airline’s scheduled network.

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November 23, 2017 at 09:55AM

News: Louis Lewis appointed to lead new Tobago Tourism Agency

News: Louis Lewis appointed to lead new Tobago Tourism Agency

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Tobago has recognised a need to be nimble, flexible, and relevant to its internal and external stakeholders and has responded by establishing the Tobago Tourism Agency.

The agency’s ten-member board is to be chaired by University of the West Indies lecturer, Sherma Roberts.

At the same time, Louis Lewis has been announced as the organisation’s first chief executive officer.

The agency has oversight for the strategic marketing of the destination, product development and investment, as well as cruise and airlift.

The organisation will therefore set the agenda for the development of a more vibrant, viable and sustainable tourism industry leveraging the island’s resources, including its people, to deliver a higher quality of life for residents and unique and authentic experiences to visitors.

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November 23, 2017 at 09:34AM

News: UK hospitality sector offers mixed response to air passenger duty freeze

News: UK hospitality sector offers mixed response to air passenger duty freeze

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UK hospitality operators have offered a mixed response to the decision to freeze air passenger duty on short-haul and economy class flights.

The move was revealed earlier by Phillip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, in the autumn budget.

UKinbound welcomed the decision to freeze air passenger duty, but called for the impending review on the impact of the levy and VAT on tourism in Northern Ireland to be expanded to the whole of the UK.

UKinbound, chief executive officer, Deirdre Wells, commented: “It is encouraging to hear air passenger duty feature on the government’s agenda and that this tax on trade will be frozen on all short-haul and long-haul economy flights.

“We’re also pleased to hear that a review will be undertaken regarding the impact of air passenger duty and VAT on tourism in Northern Ireland.

“However, the detrimental effect of air passenger duty on businesses across England, Scotland, and Wales should also be investigated.

“The government’s commitment to a Brexit ready Britain will be undermined if the review does not cover all four corners of the UK.”

However, the decision to increase air passenger duty for premium class long-haul passengers has not delivered the global Britain message that the government keeps talking up, according to the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK.

Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK, said: “Whichever way the chancellor chooses to present it, this is essentially an increase in the world’s highest air passenger tax despite some relief from further increases for economy class passengers.

“There is no getting away from the fact that the UK still has double the rates of Germany, the next highest in Europe, and that leaves the UK isolated on its air tax policy as Brexit looms.

“Only aviation can provide the global connectivity the UK needs to thrive economically, and it cannot be right that air passengers remain singled out as the only transport users paying such a tax.”

He added: “APD is a tax on trade and the chancellor’s failure to address the fundamental failings of this tax is clearly a major missed opportunity within his budget for a Brexit-ready Britain.”

American Express Global Business Travel was more damning in its assessment of the budget, arguing it would damage the UK economy in the long run.

Jason Geall, vice president, northern Europe, American Express Global Business Travel, said: “We are extremely disappointed by the chancellor’s decision to increase air passenger duty on long-haul business travel.

“On one hand the government talks about forging new trade relationships with non-EU marketplaces, while on the other it increases the cost for businesses to travel and trade.

“What was initially introduced as an environmental tax has become a stealth tax on trade.

“This is a massively short-sighted decision made by a chancellor who purports to be pro-business.

“Much has been said about the post-Brexit UK being an outward-facing, export-led economy; but these words must be matched by action on airport expansion in the south-east, improving transport links to regional airports and the removal of air passenger duty.”

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November 23, 2017 at 09:32AM