News: The Montague at the Gardens to welcome back Beach Bar this summer

News: The Montague at the Gardens to welcome back Beach Bar this summer

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The Montague at the Gardens to welcome back Beach Bar this summer

Swap the hustle and bustle of the city for flip-flops and island living at Bloomsbury’s very own Beach Bar, returning to The Montague at the Gardens this June.

The luxury hotel is bringing the colourful and lively Beach Bar installation back to its outdoor wood deck area after a triumphant introduction to London’s summer bar and dining scene last year.

Returning bigger and better, with a refined design and all new drinks and BBQ menu for summer 2017, visitors will enjoy a Bahamian beach setting, complete with real sand underfoot and a beach-hut style thatched roof, transporting Londoners straight into summer.

A delicious menu of tropical cocktails and barbequed burgers of all varieties (from classic beef to chicken, tuna and veggie options) starts from £10.

The Montague Beach Bar will open its doors on June 1st and will run throughout the summer until September 24th.

Visitors are encouraged to call the hotel and check availability ahead of dropping in to the Beach Bar, and opening times are midday until 22:00, seven days a week. 

Those craving a summery break from the city can enter The Montague Beach Bar’s Jet Ski Selfie competition, back for a second year by popular demand.

By taking a selfie on the jet ski provided at the venue and posting it on social using #SurfMontague, guests will be entered into a prize draw to win a two night stay at The Montague’s sister hotel, the luxurious five star Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Spa in the village of Evershot, nestled in the picturesque Dorset countryside.

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April 27, 2017 at 02:48AM

Daimler aims to take the complexity out of corporate travel

Daimler aims to take the complexity out of corporate travel

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Travelers often think it’s important to see all the available options for a trip, but a new project at Daimler, the huge German car and truck manufacturer, gives the lie to that assumption.

Called the FiveStar Model, the project brought together three of Daimler’s travel technology partners – Amadeus, BCD Travel and AirPlus – on a mission to simplify the travel booking process.

Daimler’s travelers often visit the same customers in the same places, Kathy Jackson, BCD Travel’s executive vice president of global client management, said. Internal travel is even more repetitive.

When a traveler flies from Stuttgart to Cologne three times a month, leaving on a Monday at 7 am and retuning on Tuesday at 4 pm, there’s little point in weighing all the options.

The first step in taking the clutter out of the process was for Amadeus to design an algorithm to identify the best trip package for the traveler. That was one of the biggest challenges for the project, Jackson said.

Based on a traveler’s historical behavior, corporate policy, corporate supplier strategy and preferences, search results would serve up only the most relevant air, hotel and car rental components – or, more ideally, the “best trip.”

Once travelers select travel dates and trip components, AirPlus steps up to the plate with virtual account numbers to take care of payment throughout the whole process.

Automated invoice reconciliation throughout the trip and via mobile further simplifies the trip and reduces the time needed to process travel expenses to almost zero.

In fact, Jackson says, the FiveStar model reduces the entire search, booking and expense reconciliation process to three clicks: enter the request, confirm the trip details and submit the expense summary.

She says the key thing to achieving success with a program like FiveStar is a willingness to reduce complexity. For a multinational company, that means procedures and processes, from booking to support, must be the same “no matter where you are. The processes are not going to be different in any other country”.

The rewards can be significant.

Daimler travel manager Bernd Burkhardt says a company of Daimler’s size loses about €25 million in productive working time each year when travelers spend too much time on administrative tasks like booking, paying and completing expense reports,

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April 27, 2017 at 02:42AM

Is this area dangerous?

Is this area dangerous?

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London Photo Walk and Workshop!

I can’t wait to see you all for the very special Photo Walk (free) and day-long workshop (paid) coming up in London. This is gonna be a great one… this time, for the photo walk, we have a mobile speaker system and more so everyone can hear! 🙂

Daily Photo – Is this area dangerous?

It occurred to me after walking around this part of London around midnight that it might not have been so safe! I had just gone to see a Very Unusual Stage Play, and then I decided to go out for a photo wander. I wandered all over the place after I had the Uber drop me off by the Tower of London. I criss-crossed the Thames a few times then finally ended up here… I really liked all the pathways above that seemed to go in every direction.

Is this area dangerous?

Photo Information


  • Date Taken2015-02-17 07:31:08
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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April 27, 2017 at 02:33AM

News: Asiana Airlines takes delivery of first A350 XWB

News: Asiana Airlines takes delivery of first A350 XWB

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Asiana Airlines takes delivery of first A350 XWB

Asiana Airlines of South Korea has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the twelfth airline to operate the world’s newest and most efficient twin engine widebody airliner.

Asiana’s A350-900 is configured with a three class layout with a total of 311 seats, comprising 28 in Business Smartium, convertible to fully flat beds, 36 in Economy Smartium and 247 in the main cabin.

Altogether Asiana has ordered 30 A350s and will initially operate the aircraft on flights within Asia.

From the third quarter of 2017, the carrier will deploy the aircraft on premier long haul routes to Europe and the US, beginning with services from Seoul to London and San Francisco.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines.

Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.

The spaciousness, quietness, beautiful interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of comfort and well-being, setting new standards in terms of flight experience for all passengers.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 821 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 44 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

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April 27, 2017 at 02:27AM

News: Eccles to lead public relations at Travelport

News: Eccles to lead public relations at Travelport

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Julian Eccles has joined Travelport as its new vice president for public relations and corporate communications.

He replaces Kate Aldridge who has decided to leave the company later this year.

Eccles’ previous roles include time as vice president for corporate communications at the international telecoms and media company Millicom.

He also worked in communications director positions at the European broadcaster Sky, the UK communications regulator Ofcom, and the English Football Association, as well as a special adviser at the UK department for culture, media and sport.

He began his career working at the agency Hill & Knowlton working with a variety of global clients.

Travelport, the UK-based, NYSE-listed business-to-business travel tech business, recently announced it had increased its revenue by six per cent to $2.35bn in 2016 as the company expanded its range of products and services to clients in over 180 countries.

It leads its industry in the provision of mobile commerce, business-to-business commercial payments, airline merchandising capabilities and other travel distribution products provided to corporate and leisure travel agencies, airlines, hotels, car rental companies and rail service providers who interface in to its travel commerce platform.

Travelport chief executive, Gordon Wilson, commented: “I am delighted Julian will be joining the Travelport team. His background in promoting rapidly-changing companies combined with an exceptional breadth of experience will help us tell our growth and transformation story in even more compelling ways.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the fantastic work done by Kate in her time at Travelport.

“She has been a major contributor to the company’s reputation globally and was pivotal in the communications element of our successful IPO in September 2014.”

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April 27, 2017 at 02:07AM

News: Record visitor figures for early 2017 in UK

News: Record visitor figures for early 2017 in UK

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Record visitor figures for early 2017 in UK

Official figures reveal a record-breaking start to the year for inbound tourism to Britain.

A new record has been set for inbound visits to the UK in the first two months of the year with 5.2 million visits, up six per cent on the same period last year.

Overseas visitors spent a record £2.7 billion in January and February, up 11 per cent on the previous year.

Tourism minister Tracey Crouch said: “This record-breaking start to the year once more underlines the strength of our tourism industry.

“Our fantastic welcome and world-class attractions are continuing to attract huge numbers of visitors from across the globe, which is great news for the whole country.”

Growth at the start of the year was led from our long-haul markets including North America with 400,000 visits, up two per cent compared to the same period last year as well as from other parts of the world up 15 per cent to 790,000 visits.

There were 3.6 million visits from the EU in January and February, up five per cent on the previous year.

Strong growth was also seen in holiday visits in January and February, up 15 per cent on the same period in 2016 with 1.6 million visits.

VisitBritain’s forecast predicts that growth is set to continue in 2017 with 38.8 million visits and with spending reaching £23.9 billion.

VisitBritain director Patricia Yates said: “These figures show that 2017 is off to a cracking start for inbound tourism, one of our most valuable export industries.

“Britain is offering great value for overseas visitors and we can see the success of our promotions in international markets. We must continue to build on our message of welcome and value in our high spending markets such as China, the US and the valuable European market.”

Latest flight booking data shows that flight bookings to the UK for April to September 2017 are up 21 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Last year was a record-breaker for inbound tourism to the UK with 37.3 million visits, up 3.4 per cent on 2015, with visitors spending £22.2 billion, matching 2015’s record spend.

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April 27, 2017 at 01:47AM

News: Collier steps down as London City Airport chief executive

News: Collier steps down as London City Airport chief executive

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Collier steps down as London City Airport chief executive

London City Airport has announced that Declan Collier has decided to stand down as chief executive.

London City Airport chairman, Terry Morgan, said, “On behalf of the board I want to pay tribute to the tremendous contribution that Declan has made to London City Airport.

“Declan has been chief executive of London City Airport since March 2012 – a time that has seen significant growth at the airport, the successful sale of the business to a consortium of international investors and the securing of planning permission for a £350 million development of the airport infrastructure.

“Under Declan’s leadership, London City Airport has developed strong and wide ranging relationships across the aviation sector, with all levels of government- nationally, in London, and locally- and with our local communities.

“The airport has delivered significant growth in passenger numbers and earnings which in turn has stimulated economic activity across the local and London economy.”

An international recruitment firm has been appointed to undertake a search for a new leader, while Collier himself will be assisting the company in finding a successor.

Collier said, “It has been a privilege and a pleasure to have been part of the airport’s success story for more than five years.

“London City Airport is a great business and well placed to take advantage of future growth and new aircraft technologies as we embark on our City Airport Development Programme.

“We have a dedicated and talented team working at LCY and I’m very proud of the work we’ve done to build a successful and sustainable business focused on our customers and community.

“However, as we embark on the next phase of the airport’s development I feel it is the right time to transition to new leadership and I look forward to assisting the chairman to secure my successor and continuing to work with the leadership team until a new chief executive starts.”

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April 27, 2017 at 02:07AM

News: Etihad goes double daily on A380 Sydney route

News: Etihad goes double daily on A380 Sydney route

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Etihad Airways has announced all 14 weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi-Sydney route will be operated with its flagship A380 aircraft, effective October 29th. 

The current daily A380 Sydney flights will be joined by a second daily superjumbo service, upgraded from a 328-seat Boeing 777-300ER.

The announcement comes as Etihad Airways marks the tenth anniversary of flying to Sydney, its first Australian destination. 

Featuring the carrier’s revolutionary The Residence – the world’s first three-room suite on a commercial airliner – the additional deployment of the 496-seat double decker aircraft means one of Australia’s largest cities will join London and New York as an all-A380 operation.

Business and leisure travellers to and from Abu Dhabi, the airline’s operational hub, will enjoy increased capacity.

The carrier will meet growing demand from the UAE and connecting cities across the Gulf region, Middle East and Europe.

The Sydney–London Heathrow route, via Abu Dhabi, will also offer guests the consistency, convenience and comfort of a seamless all-A380 service in both directions.

Etihad Airways’ three daily London Heathrow flights are operated with an A380.

Beginning June 1st, the second daily New York service will be upgraded to the superjumbo.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways chief executive, said: “Sydney is one of our busiest and best performing long-haul routes where we have experienced increased demand, particularly in our premium cabins, since the launch ten years ago.

“By introducing the A380 on the second daily flight, we are able to ensure our flagship product is on all of the Sydney services each week.

“The upgrade of this service will help fulfil growing demand, benefiting travellers to and from Abu Dhabi, and across Etihad Airways’ global network.”

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April 27, 2017 at 01:47AM

News: Asia DMC expands into UK with new appointment

News: Asia DMC expands into UK with new appointment

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Asia DMC expands into UK with new appointment
Gary Toshack will head up the UK market for Asia DMC

Leading regional tour operator Asia DMC has weighed in in support of the UK outbound travel market by setting up representation in the country to offer its luxury programme of personalised travel itineraries into south-east Asia.

The UK is headed by highly creative travel planner Gary Toshack, director of sales and marketing for the country, who has over 12 years of experience in developing bespoke, high-end tour itineraries throughout Asia, specialising in China and south-east Asia, including leading expeditions to remote corners of the region with his former companies China Links and Discover China.

“It’s a massively challenging position and one that is hugely exciting,” said Toshack.

“Classic touring in Asia has traditionally been very successfully sold in the UK in clear and ordered components.

“While we will still offer traditional touring modules, we will introduce a dynamic, personalised range of content featured in the destination management company 2017 collection Spirit of Travel for UK tour operators that will offer a Rolls Royce approach to south-east Asia travel”.

Asia DMC unveiled its new identity at World Travel Market in London in 2016 as it rebranded from HG Travel, a Hanoi-born operator which had operated under its original name for 20 years, setting its sights on accelerated growth throughout Asia with office openings and senior appointments in key destinations.

These included the hiring of Linh Le in the role of group managing director who has led the development of the business and its expansion with the establishment of offices in key inbound source markets into Asia and the move to offering responsible and tailored travel experiences for trade partners.

“We are delighted to welcome Gary to the team,” said Le.

“His experience and passion for developing innovative travel programmes makes him an important addition as we seek differentiation in a sophisticated travel market.

“It is an important and timely step for us as we have great faith in the upscale UK outbound travel market which is where we will focus and where we feel personalised travel offerings are underserved.”

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April 27, 2017 at 01:27AM

News: AHIC 2017: Hospitality industry examines catalysts for change in Dubai

News: AHIC 2017: Hospitality industry examines catalysts for change in Dubai

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Catalysts of change, including the shift in global economic powers, demographics and ageing populations, and the impact of digitisation, were some of the hot topics discussed live on stage during the opening sessions of the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2017.

The vent is currently being held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai and is organised by Bench Events and Meed.

Now in its 13th year, the annual knowledge and networking platform for the global hospitality investment community, AHIC, attracted more than 700 delegates eager to learn more about the catalysts influencing the evolving persona of the hotel guest and driving innovation among hotel owners and operators alike.

Jonathan Worsley, chairman, Bench Events, introduced AHIC with the assistance of a robot co-host created by Isukashi, setting the scene for discussions on artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and other technological breakthroughs.

Commenting on the trends, Worsley said: “In the lead-up to AHIC during many conversations with our speakers, sponsors and the AHIC advisory board, it became clear that technology in its many and varied forms would be one of the major catalysts of change for the hospitality industry in the coming years.

“We wanted to give our delegates a demonstration of this with our AHIC robot and set the scene for three days of dynamic conversations.”

Worsley addressed these issues in the opening keynote session with Chris Nassetta, president, Hilton, which this week announced it has the largest active pipeline in the GCC in terms of both rooms and properties, with more than 16,000 keys under construction and scheduled to open before 2020, according to STR.

Nassetta said that while AI and robotics would be a part of Hilton’s future, at its core Hilton is a “business of people serving people”.

“Our Team Members differentiate Hilton by delivering an exceptional experience, something that is different from what people can get in another place, something that’s special, something that’s memorable, something that makes them want to come back.

“The way I think of innovation, is how do we take the core of what we do and make it even better?”

The topic of technological breakthroughs, such as AI, was identified as one of the top five megatrends by PwC Middle East’s partner and deals real estate leader Martin Berlin, who unveiled the new PwC Report Global Megatrends and their impact on Hospitality in the Middle East at AHIC.

Berlin explained: “The travel and tourism industry has witnessed rapid and fundamental infiltration of digitisation across the entire value chain.

“Combined with the demographic and social change the digitisation will lead to a change of the ‘delivery’ of hospitality products and services.”

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April 27, 2017 at 01:27AM