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Wed 10 Sep: 10 Things you need to know today

We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to! Read on for the top 10 travel industry news stories of the day that we think you need to know.

We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to! Read on for the top 10 travel industry news stories of the day that we think you need to know.


1. Ryanair feels pinch over eight extra seats

Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair has made the decision to equip its fleet of Boeing 737-800s with eight extra seats.

While this may seem to many as sacrificing a few inches off of much-craved leg room, CEO Michael O’Leary has promised more space between seats.

The ability to do so comes at the sacrifice of toilet and seat width, along with galley space.

The newest addition will also only offer 197 seats, as opposed to the 200 that a new Boeing 737 Max 200 aircraft can fit.


2. Spirit Airlines flying high


Spirit Airlines has managed to trump 58 other airlines in the revenue stakes, recording a 38.4 per cent from ancillary services in 2013 than any of the other carriers that have disclosed their stats.

Other  airlines among the top 10 in ancillary revenue as a percentage of total revenue were: Wizz Air (34.9%), Allegiant (32.6%), Jet2.com (27.7%), Ryanair (24.8), Tigerair (23.6%), Jetstar (20.6%), AirAsia X (19.6%), easyJet (19.2%), and AirAsia Group (17.6%).


3.Wifi no longer a waiver


Accessible and free wifi – a must for travel.

According to latest research from Tourism Australia, convenient access to free wifi is crucial to our international guests.

In the last year alone, there has been a 13 per cent increase in Internet use among overseas visitors.

A whopping 83 per cent of visitors accessed the Internet to use maps. Information on destinations came in at strong second with 43 per cent.

Restaurant, event guides and language translation followed.

Most overseas travellers used their smart phones to access information.


4. A380s reduced…for now


Qantas Jumbo A380 at Heathrow awaiting its fate.

Airline giant, Qantas has reduced its A380 superjumbo flights for the next two months, over Dubai and London, due to weak seasonal demand.

Return flights over Dubai and London’s Heathrow Airport will be reduced from two to one on October 14 and 17, and on November 12,15 and 20.

Cancelled flights will be repositioned onto Qantas’ other A380 services or an Emirates flight.

The decision comes not long after Qantas launched its extensive alliance with Emirates in March last year and began flying via Dubai to Europe.


5.A million to Turks and Caicos


There’s no other way to sail to Turks and Caicos.

According to the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment, over a million cruise ship passengers are set to arrive in small set of islands located southeast from the Bahamas.

The figure, trebling the 300 000 that arrived in 2006, is fantastic news for a region dependant on tourism.

“Our Government recognises the importance of our ports, cruise development and the economic development potential of the cruise tourism industry,” said Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Washington Misick.

The cruise ship industry for the picturesque islands has been the fastest growing segment of the travel industry, recording an eight per cent growth since 1980.


6. Australian visas up to bat


Thank you, New Zealand!

New Zealand has agreed to provide three-month visas for Australian cricket fans during the period around the 2015 World Cup.

The ten-week period, from January 26 to April 5, means that Australians will be able to visit New Zealand before and after the official tournament, which runs from February 14 to March 29.

“We’re sending the message to everyone coming for the Cricket World Cup that the only barrier between you and a fantastic New Zealand experience is your plane ticket,” New Zealand Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse said.


7. A new Star in the woods


Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Blue Ocean Park has announced the debut of the world-renowned Westin brand in Mauritius with the opening of The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius.

Apart from offering pristine beachfronts, the resort offers food and beverage outlets and, for the weary traveller, an all-day dining restaurant, Seasonal Tastes.

The 190 guest rooms feature all the latest in-room technology, along with Westin Heavenly beds and Heavenly baths with rainforest shower heads.


8. New Jetstar Routes set to give tourism a boost


Today’s Jetstar announcement of two additional Tasman routes, including the launch of its first international service to Wellington, is a boost to New Zealand’s tourism industry, says the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA).

The airline will start flying three times a week between Wellington – Gold Coast and three times a week Queenstown – Gold Coast from December.

“Australia is New Zealand’s largest visitor market but one that still offers plenty of opportunity for growth,” TIA Policy & Research Manager, Simon Wallace said.

He says the new Jetstar services are an example of the industry’s Tourism 2025 growth framework in action.

“Tourism 2025 identifies increased sustainable air connectivity as critically important to boosting the industry’s value from its current $24 billion a year to $41 billion by 2025.

“When new sustainable air connections are established, the whole industry benefits,” he said.

“We encourage tourism operators in the Wellington and Otago regions to do all they can to support Jetstar to make a success of the new services.”


9. Investment set for big wins in Las Vegas


Over (AUD) $8.5 billion of planned investment is well underway in the city of Las Vegas, marked by the recent and impending openings of several key resorts in the entertainment capital of the world.

Earlier this year in May, saw the opening of the Cromwell, followed by the highly anticipated August opening of the SLS Las Vegas and the Delano Las Vegas, just last week.

“Las Vegas is the entertainment capital of the world and this is underpinned by the high level of investment and development across world class entertainment precincts, attractions and resorts,” Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority (LVCVA) vice president of international marketing, Michael Goldsmith, said.

The SLS Las Vegas, which opened its doors on 23 August, following a AUD$445 million (USD$415) renovation, is a lifestyle-driven resort which occupies the site of the former legendary Sahara Hotel.

Owned by SBE, the resort is the company’s largest to date.


10. Travellers make their Choice

Here, there, everywhere with Travellers Choice as profits soar.

Here, there, everywhere with Travellers Choice as profits soar.

The Travellers Choice Board is pleased to announce another record financial result for Australia’s leading independent network, with the group posting a $ (AUD)1.62 million pre-tax operating profit for 2013/14 – up 33 per cent on the previous financial year.

The Board confirms that 94 per cent of the 2013/14 profit will this month be returned directly to Travelers Choice members.

Chief Executive Christian Hunter says the record pre-tax profit comes on the back of a healthy year for the Australian travel industry, with agents reporting strong demand for overseas travel.

In addition, he says Travellers Choice members once again worked hard to maximise the value within the group’s commercial agreements.

“We have over the past few years worked closely with our member shareholders to reinforce the importance of preferred agreements, and to provide our members with the tools, information and targeted strategies they need in order to optimise returns,” says Hunter.

Travellers Choice member shareholders will meet on the Gold Coast in November for the group’s Annual General Meeting and 2014 Shareholders’ Conference.



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