Focus: Breaking Travel News interview: Tokozile Xasa, minister of tourism, South Africa

Focus: Breaking Travel News interview: Tokozile Xasa, minister of tourism, South Africa

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Tokozile Xasa, the first female minister of tourism in South Africa was appointed to her post in October last year, having served as deputy minster since 2009. Here she speaks to Eleanor Hawkins about her plans for the developing sector during Indaba 2017, the preeminent trade show for the hospitality community in Africa.

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May 19, 2017 at 06:29AM

Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell

http://billgeist.typepad.com/blog/2017/05/chris-cornell.html

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May 19, 2017 at 06:16AM

You Can Now Earn Delta Miles With Lyft

You Can Now Earn Delta Miles With Lyft

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Delta Air Lines and San Francisco-based ridesharing company Lyft have partnered to offer frequent flyers another way of earning Delta SkyMiles.

Delta flyers can link their SkyMiles and Lyft accounts and earn miles for every dollar they spend  on rides. Passengers can earn 1X mile per dollar spent on any ride with Lyft and 3X miles per dollar spent on rides to and from airports requested through Aug. 31. Taxes, fees, tolls and tips are excluded from the bonus earning.

“We’re thinking about our customers’ whole travel experience and it’s important that Delta customers are taken care of not just in the air, but on the ground,” Sandeep Dube, Delta’s Vice President of Customer Engagement & Loyalty said in a statement.

“We want Delta customers to choose the brands that they love throughout their journey, and be rewarded for it because they are SkyMiles members. That’s why we’re excited we’ve found a good fit with Lyft.”

All Lyft rides, including Line, Classic, Plus and Premiere, are eligible for the offer. For split rides, only the rider who requested the ride will earn bonus SkyMiles. It can take up to five business days for the miles to post.

To link your Lyft and Delta accounts, fill out the form with your name and your SkyMiles number. You will then be prompted to enter your phone number associated with Lyft.

Lyft will send a four-digit verification code via text. Enter the code, accept the terms, and your accounts are linked.

If you’re a first-time Lyft user, please use my link to sign up for the service and receive up to $20 in free ride credits. I will receive a $10 credit if you use my referral.

Want to stack the Delta offer and earn more points? Read about which credit cards to link with Lyft app for bonus multipliers. If you already  ride with Lyft, linking your SkyMiles account is a no-brainer.

 

Will you be earning bonus SkyMiles by riding with Lyft?

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May 19, 2017 at 06:05AM

Can LinkedIn Matched Audiences do the business for travel?

Can LinkedIn Matched Audiences do the business for travel?

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Most consumer travel brands focus their social media marketing campaigns on Facebook or Twitter, but LinkedIn has a greater potential than most people realise.

NB This is a viewpoint by Raul Harman, a writer for BizzMarkBlog

More often than not,  travel brands disregard LinkedIn believing that it’s not really a B2C marketing asset.

But even the hardest working business people need a vacation, and now that LinkedIn has introduced its Matched Audiences feature, it has become a powerful platform for both B2B and B2C marketing.

Matched Audiences combines a set of targeting abilities with LinkedIn’s professional data, as well as your very own data, to assist you in engaging prospects, accounts and target audiences that are the most valuable to your business, by using capabilities such as contact targeting, account targeting and website retargeting.

Furthermore, Matched Audiences will help businesses increase their marketing ROI by allowing them to focus on accounts and audiences that will increase their revenue. Let’s have a look at some benefits this new feature.

B2C marketing using LinkedIn

Now is probably the best time to start using LinkedIn for B2C marketing, because LinkedIn has started to act like a publishing platform. This presents a great opportunity for travel suppliers and destinations to promote their product on LinkedIn using existing and new marketing assets

But why should travel brands focus on LinkedIn rather than Facebook or Twitter?

Let’s elaborate – Matched Audiences works in a way that allows you to upload the list of your existing customers’ email addresses, which helps the ad network match those people in its database with those addresses and serve ads to the right audience.

Now, the difference is that people usually sign up for B2B email newsletters using their business email addresses and not the personal ones they might use for Facebook and/or Twitter. LinkedIn users use their business email address which makes retargeting that much effective.

New Matched Audiences capabilities

The new features offer more flexibility in B2C marketing.

  • Contact Targeting – Enables you to engage contacts and prospects on LinkedIn by allowing you to upload a CSV list of up to 300,000 email addresses and tailor marketing content, or to integrate your email address list with a contact management platform.
  • Account Targeting – Allows you to market to decision makers and influencers at your target accounts and also upload your CSV list of company names and match it with nearly 12 million company pages on LinkedIn. This will help you reach decision makers at your target companies and assist you in endorsing your account-based marketing programs.
  • Website Retargeting – Offers the ability to re-engage your website visitors and helps you create a target audience list based on every visitor that has visited your website. Also, it helps you nurture your newfound leads with always-on campaigns.

Increasing ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is of the utmost importance to marketers nowadays who are always looking for new ways to drive revenue.

Matched Audiences can help marketers do just that, and more.

In the past six months, LinkedIn has successfully run a pilot program for Matched Audiences that involved 370 advertisers and more than two thousand active campaigns that delivered the above-average performance when compared to product benchmarks.

Customers that were using Matched Audiences saw some interesting results:

  • Website Retargeting  has increased CTR by 30% and has dropped in post-click cost-per-conversion by 14%
  • Account Targeting has produced 32% increase in post-click conversion rates and has dropped post-click cost-per-conversion by 4.7%
  • Contact Targeting managed to increase click rate (CTR) by 37%

That means that marketers who invest in LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences are likely to see an increase in ROI. However, as with many if not all digital channels, it can be costly if not done correctly.

LinkedIn is a new marketing option for travel suppliers, brands and destinations, with its new features offering greater flexibility and more focus on valuable audience.

And remember – LinkedIn’s users are business professionals but they also take vacations.

NB1: This is a viewpoint by Raul Harman, a writer for BizzMarkBlog
NB2: Image by BigStock.

 

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May 19, 2017 at 06:02AM

Signature Peru: Classic Highlights of Peru

Signature Peru: Classic Highlights of Peru

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Important information:

CLIMATE

The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and March when there are showers most afternoons. The dry season is in June, July and August when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.

ALTITUDE

Your stays in the Sacred Valley (2800-3000m) and Cusco (3400m), are at high altitude. Although you fly into Cuzco, youll transfer directly to the Sacred Valley, then Machu Picchu (2000m). This minimises the time spent at altitude and gives your body time to acclimatise. Most people are only mildly affected and if you drink plenty of water and dont exert yourself or drink alcohol for the first couple of days, youll probably be OK. Symptoms vary: most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you dont recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes.

CLOTHING AND SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential at altitude; a light fleece jacket and a waterproof/breathable outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate.

Strong, comfortable footwear is essential and you should bring insect repellant, sun block and sun glasses. You should take swimwear for pools though most hotels dont have them. Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, main luggage must be left in Cusco. You can take up to 10kgs per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended to separate your luggage for the night spent away from Cusco.

Please get in touch with the Journey Latin America office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.

VACCINATIONS

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

VISAS

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins.  Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

APIS and ESTA – important flight information:

ESTA – if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online.

This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.

Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.

APIS – Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

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May 19, 2017 at 05:36AM

Finding Mystical Absurdity in Modern Life

Finding Mystical Absurdity in Modern Life

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Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, the “musical priesthood” formed by Tei Blow and Sean McElroy, finds mystical absurdity in modern life by splicing found media and ancient ritual. In “The Art of Luv (Part 1): Elliot,” the group explored toxic masculinity by repurposing YouTube videos by the mass murderer Elliot Rodger while dressed like pagan gods. Part 5 of the series, “Swipe Right / ROKÉ Cupid” (above), at the Bushwick Starr May 24-June 10, draws on dating profiles and ecstatic poetry to create a postmodern courtship ceremony.

See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Listen to Mark Mulcahy
With Her Eerily Timely “Indecent,” Paula Vogel Unsettles American Theatre Again
A Misguided Impulse to Update the Greek Classics

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May 19, 2017 at 05:35AM

Joan Jonas’s Mythopoetic Vision

Joan Jonas’s Mythopoetic Vision

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In 1970, Joan Jonas, then in her mid-thirties, took a trip to Japan, where she first encountered Noh theatre. The fourteenth-century form’s use of masks and embrace of the supernatural would both become hallmarks of her own work. She also bought a Sony Portapak camera—her next-door neighbor in SoHo, Nam June Paik, had recently invented video art—setting the course for a genre-bending career in which distinctions between ritual and technology, performance and drawing, image and language, figure and landscape, and even human and animal become moot. It has taken art-world power brokers almost fifty years to catch up to Jonas’s mythopoetic vision. (Never mind that when the German artist Joseph Beuys waxed similarly shamanic, he was labelled a genius.) Jonas triumphed at the 2015 Venice Biennale with an audiovisual ghost story, based on accounts collected in Nova Scotia. (The artist has long divided her time between Cape Breton and her native New York City.) Next year, the Tate Modern will mount a career retrospective. And in Harlem the taste-making gallerist Gavin Brown inaugurates his new four-story headquarters with a show by the eighty-year-old artist, through June 11.

Before visitors reach the two immersive video installations at the heart of the exhibition, on the second and fourth floors of Brown’s still not-quite-finished space, Jonas plays Toto to her own Wizard of Oz, pulling back the curtain to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her process. A big room on the ground floor is filled with found objects that have appeared in Jonas’s works over the decades and, to less winning effect, with repetitive charcoal drawings of her body, made during past performances. A taxidermic coyote, perched on top of a packing crate, oversees the proceedings. Tables display orderly arrangements of fishing lures, ramshackle models of houses, a painted-tin butterfly, a stitched-leather polar bear, a flea-market painting of three shaggy dogs, talismanic rocks, and much more. On one wall, a bestiary of masks is punctuated by mirrors: you become just another prop in Jonas’s animal pageant, which also includes watercolor sketches of birds.

“It’s a pity we don’t whistle at one another like birds. Words are misleading,” the Icelandic novelist Halldór Laxness wrote in “Under the Glacier,” the 1968 book that inspired the most soul-stirring work in Jonas’s exhibition, “Reanimation.” What began as a lecture-performance at M.I.T., in 2010, has evolved into a multiscreen extravaganza surrounding a sculpture of dangling prismatic crystals, which sends flashes of light darting onto projections of glacial landscapes and the occasional seal, filmed in an archipelago in the Arctic Circle. Jonas also appears onscreen, drawing with black ink and with ice. The spellbinding piece is non-narrative, with no sense of beginning or end. As long as you remain in this world, Jonas seems to suggest, you’re still just passing through. 

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May 19, 2017 at 05:35AM

Drink a Fishbowl in the Dream Hotel

Drink a Fishbowl in the Dream Hotel

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A lot of physical effort goes into the signature offering at Fishbowl. It’s an eponymous jumbo-sized pitcher, meant to serve eight, that easily holds a litre or more of Dark and Stormies, or another cocktail from a short list. It causes the wasp-waisted barmaids in strappy green minidresses to grunt audibly as they muddle handfuls of cherries, and scoop ice as if shovelling a driveway. For ninety dollars, you can share your Fishbowl with several friends in the downstairs bar at the Dream Hotel, on a spiritless midtown block. The crowd, which seems to be made up mostly of mid-tier financiers, takes up the offer as if it’s a happy-hour bargain, well into the night. There’s a plethora of paunchy men in ill-fitting suits, paired with leggy, stiletto-heeled counterparts. The bar, down a tight spiral staircase of smoked glass, feels like part game room, part fashionable lounge circa 1978: the percussive sounds of Skee-Ball and mini-bowling echo the beat of the Cure; there’s lots of red vinyl and dizzingly patterned black-and-white tiles. If there is irony in the décor, it’s difficult to ascertain, an enigma that extends to the fare: cocktail shrimp practically brined in chili seasoning; listless crudités; artichoke dip updated, needlessly, with kale. The Thai Tea (Belvedere vodka, Thai tea, orange bitters) is refreshing and strong, but the Rum Cannonball (Bacardi, pineapple, grenadine) has the toothachy sweetness of an alcohol-soaked Jolly Rancher. Front and center is a huge glass column filled with water, through which tropical fish flutter in pretty circles around juts of coral. This floor-to-ceiling spectacle of captivity prompts tipsy reflections on the nature of freedom, and what the fish might know. ♦

See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

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May 19, 2017 at 05:35AM

Signature Peru: The Inca Heartland

Signature Peru: The Inca Heartland

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Important information:

CLIMATE

The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and March when there are showers most afternoons. The dry season is in June, July and August when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.

ALTITUDE

Your stays in the Sacred Valley (2800-3000m) and Cusco (3400m), are at high altitude. Although you fly into Cuzco, youll transfer directly to the Sacred Valley, then Machu Picchu (2000m). This minimises the time spent at altitude and gives your body time to acclimatise. Most people are only mildly affected and if you drink plenty of water and dont exert yourself or drink alcohol for the first couple of days, youll probably be OK. Symptoms vary: most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you dont recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes.

CLOTHING AND SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential at altitude; a light fleece jacket and a waterproof/breathable outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate.

Strong, comfortable footwear is essential and you should bring insect repellant, sun block and sun glasses. You should take swimwear for pools though most hotels dont have them. Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, main luggage must be left in Cusco. You can take up to 10kgs per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended to separate your luggage for the night spent away from Cusco.

Please get in touch with the Journey Latin America office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.

VACCINATIONS

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

VISAS

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins.  Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

APIS and ESTA – important flight information:

ESTA – if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online.

This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.

Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.

APIS – Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

Travel

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May 19, 2017 at 05:22AM

News: LATAM reports strong increase in revenue for first quarter

News: LATAM reports strong increase in revenue for first quarter

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LATAM Airlines Group has announced total operating revenues increased by 6.4 per cent to $2,477 million for the three months ending March 31st. The increase is largely thanks to proactive capacity management, stronger local currencies (especially in Brazil), and a 7.6 per cent increase in passenger revenues.

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May 19, 2017 at 04:22AM