Colors: Yellow Color
Colors: Yellow Color

Efteling – the fairytale theme park in the south of Holland – has launched a new virtual experience on one of the park's main attractions, the dark ride Droomvlucht, making the ride accessible to disabled visitors. For safety reasons, Droomvlucht was the only large attraction at Efteling that could not be experienced by guests with a physical disability, however this has changed with the launch of Virtual Droomvlucht, which incorporates virtual reality and other techniques.

Virtual Droomvlucht will replicate the original ride, offering guests the same experience by connecting disabled visitors with their friends on the ride through headphones and microphones so that they may see, and feel the same sensations.

The combination of VR, the audio equipment, as well as other techniques, which makes it possible to experience Droomvlucht virtually and as a group, is completely unique in the leisure sector.

Fons Jurgens, President and CEO of Efteling comments: "Until now, VR has often been used for individual experiences. With the use of other techniques such as audio equipment, we have created a group experience that completely stands in line with Efteling and the theme park's values”.

Annemarie Verbunt is a regular Efteling guest. Her disability made it impossible for her to experience the dark ride Droomvlucht. Last week Annemarie had a trial run and her response was enthusiastic: "I am so happy to be able to experience this. I've been looking forward to the day that I could experience Droomvlucht for 25 years. Virtual Droomvlucht really is a complete sensory experience, thanks to the smell and wind effects but also the contact with my friends who are on the gondola. What a beautiful attraction!"

The latest star in the global travel and tourism industry today is from Jamaica and no other than Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism. Travel and Tourism Security was high on the agenda when The Hon. Edmund Bartlett made his presentation at the ongoing 63rd UNWTO Regional Commission for the Americas and the International Seminar on Women’s Empowerment in the Tourism Sector in Paraguay. The UNWTO Conference is being held in conjunction with the National Secretariat of Tourism of Paraguay (SENATUR).

A tireless effort was put in by the former UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai together with Minister Bartlett, and the scene was set last year in November with the Montego Bay declaration after concluding the very successful UWWTO Global Conference on Jobs and inclusive growth in Jamaica. Minister Jamaica hosted the event.

The Montego Bay declaration highlighted the need for climate change mitigation and improving crisis preparedness, including a commitment among Caribbean countries to work toward more regional integration and to support a Global Tourism Resilience Center in Jamaica, including a Sustainable Tourism Observatory to help in preparedness, management, and recovery from crises.

This morning at the Regional Commission for the Americas meeting, Minister Bartlett made his presentation on establishing and hosting the first Tourism Innovation Centre in the Americas. A first conference is planned in Montego Bay in 2019.

The current UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvil continued to voice UNWTO’s support for a regional center.

Qatar Airways has announced that it has been named ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘Best Business Class: Middle East’ and ‘World’s Top 10 Airline’ by the highly-respected 2018 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, complementing a growing number of esteemed accolades that the airline has already received in 2018. Qatar Airways garnered additional praise from TripAdvisor as it was recognised as a Travelers’ Choice Winner for ‘Airline: Middle East’ and ‘Economy Class: Middle East’.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to be recognised for our world-class hospitality and outstanding quality of product by the valued TripAdvisor travel community, a significant testament of our passengers’ satisfaction in their travel experience with us. TripAdvisor is one of the most well-known names in travel, and being awarded World’s Best Business Class and in the Middle East, as well as being named one of the Top 10 Airlines in the World is truly a tremendous achievement.”

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website with more than 600 million traveler reviews of airlines, hotels, restaurants, and attractions worldwide. The Travelers’ Choice Awards are the highest honours presented by TripAdvisor, and are the only travel industry awards based on millions of reviews from travelers around the world, reflecting “the best of the best” for service, quality, and customer satisfaction.

Last month Qatar Airways received the Apex Passenger Choice award for ‘Best Overall Airline: Middle East’, ‘Best Food and Beverage: Middle East’, ‘Best Cabin Service: Middle East’, and ‘Best Seat Comfort: Middle East’ by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (Apex) during a ceremony at Apex Asia held in Shanghai, where the airline also received a 2018 Five-Star Apex Official Airline rating.

The airline was also in March named ‘Best Regional Middle East/Africa Airline’ by Money magazine’s 2018 ‘Best in Travel’ awards for the second consecutive year. The award, one of the highest honours in the industry, recognised the airline for its unparalleled value, comfort, and prestige. These awards complement a triumphant 2017, which saw the airline receive more than 50 awards across multiple categories, including ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition.

The countdown is on for the unveiling of Chimpanzee Eden at Twycross Zoo!

The award-winning conservation charity based in the heart of England has created a new habitat for its chimpanzees, as part of its ambitious £55m Masterplan to become a national conservation organization and world-class visitor attraction.

With work now almost complete, the Zoo’s iconic species are getting ready to move into the £3.5m facility, purposely designed to pose the same kind of challenges that wild chimpanzees face in their daily lives and far more suited to their husbandry needs. The multi-story building will provide outstanding facilities for both animal welfare, research, education and visitors.

Dr Sharon Redrobe, CEO at Twycross Zoo says: “Twycross Zoo has housed chimpanzees since our inception in 1963. Back then, many of the chimpanzees were socially naïve, having been hand-reared and maintained in very small social units. Our dedicated team has since spent several years ‘re wilding’ the chimps into larger social groups through award-winning introduction programmes, where the chimps had to learn how to interact with more individuals in a more complex social context.

It has always been a long-term aim for us to house all our chimps in one place, as we want our animals to be living and behaving as closely to how they would in the wild. We place a strong emphasis on creating naturalistic habitats for our animals to live in and Chimpanzee Eden has been designed with this in mind; providing a larger, more complex space for our chimps to interact together.”

Twycross Zoo is at the forefront of wild animal conservation, education and research and has a strong commitment to its award winning education programme which aims to increase the level of awareness, knowledge and understanding of visitors about its animals. Chimpanzee Eden promises visitors a more engaging way of watching and learning about its primates. Complete with a classroom area where students can learn about the natural world, the 1,160sqm habitat spans three stories high with outdoor climbing frames, providing more natural surroundings for the chimpanzees and an immersive jungle experience for visitors. Guests can peer over the glass-free walls and watch in amazement as the chimps thunder over the crowds in see-through tunnels to head outside.

At 11m high, the semi-translucent habitat will feature lush, tropical and native shrubs, with glazing and discreet openings allowing visitors to see chimps close up as they pass through the habitat. Decked with imagery of chimps and forests in Cameroon, where the Zoo’s partner Ape Action Africa works to rescue and protect chimpanzees (and gorillas), Chimpanzee Eden is guaranteed to be a spectacle to behold.

Twycross Zoo collaborated with the University of Birmingham to develop an Enclosure Design Tool (EDT), to use science-based design for chimpanzees, using elements that mimic the physical and mental challenges they face in their natural environment. Following its successful deployment at the Leicestershire based zoo, the EDT has since been launched nationally through The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), with future aims to introduce the EDT throughout European Zoos via The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).

The University also helped design cognition pods in Chimpanzee Eden, an area where the chimps can participate in puzzles, allowing visitors and scientists to learn about the cognitive abilities of our closest living relatives.

Continued Sharon: “As a research-led charity, we hope to make a real difference to the quality of life for our chimpanzees by incorporating several recommended components into Chimpanzee Eden. The new habitat will allow the chimps to climb really high and move on dynamic structures that behave flexibly, similar to the branches and vines in forest canopies in their natural environment. This is vital for our conservation efforts and education programmes since chimpanzees move differently in static and dynamic environments and ensuring that they remain strong and quick-witted is a necessity for animal welfare. At the heart of our ambitious development plans lies a passionate commitment to the fundamental importance of environmental education and practical wildlife conservation, which is shared by the whole team at Twycross Zoo.”

Uber and Edmonton International Airport have announced that Uber will now be serving customers at EIA. Each airport has unique operational requirements, so the two companies have taken the time to ensure that the service meets the needs of travellers and works within Uber’s requirements for drivers. Riders will now be able to collect their luggage and use the Uber app to request a ride. Uber driver-partners will pick up riders on the outer curb outside Door 10 on the arrivals level.

“We are pleased to announce today that Edmontonians and travellers from around the world can now rely on the services of Uber upon landing at Edmonton International Airport. From today on, we will be able to meet the demand for safe, affordable and reliable transportation alternatives at the airport. By entering into this agreement with Uber, Edmonton International Airport joins more than 500 airports around the world where Uber ridesharing services are available and used by travellers.” – Ramit Kar, General Manager for Uber Western Canada

“We are happy to partner with Uber to meet our customers’ expectations. EIA is committed to providing travelers with a full spectrum of ground transportation options.” – EIA President and CEO Tom Ruth

The small Canarian island of La Palma will, for the second consecutive year, host Astro Fest La Palma, and shine a light on the island's world renowned astronomy. The Astro Fest La Palma festivities will run from 5 April to 30 May, and includes a variety of diverse and authentic activities which centre on the island's starry skies.

Known as 'la isla bonita' (the pretty island), La Palma is internationally recognised by UNESCO as an official Starlight Reserve for the countless stars which can be observed and the island's commitment to its environmental preservation. La Palma's longstanding international recognition has also been bolstered by their internationally acclaimed observatory, El Roque de Los Muchachos, which sits at an altitude of 2,420m. Often referred to as the 'Balcony to the Stars', it is one of the three best observatories on earth, and home to the largest optical telescope in the world.

Astro Fest La Palma, kicks off on April 5th with the Carrera de las Estrellas (Star Race), in the area of Reventón, and is the first ever competition to be certified as a Starlight Sports Event. A 2.4km uphill race to the islands stars, the race begins at night in Hermitage Pino of the Virgen and culminates in the forest track of La Hilera, illuminated along the way by the starry skies. Another sporting event during the festival takes place on 12th May, and is a reinvention of the world renowned Transvulcania trail runs, fittingly titled Transvulcania “Space Runners” 2018, as the race climbs to the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory; the highest point on the island. The race is one of toughest trail running races in the world, with a distance of 74.33 kilometres through volcanic terrain.

From the 15th to the 21st May, the Vi Astromaster La Palma takes places, giving the opportunity to join world-leading astrophotographer Babak Tafreshi, for a 7-day intensive workshop focusing on Advanced Timelapse imaging and processing and landscape astrophotography. The program will include guided tours to astrological viewing points across the island, including a visit to the European Northern Observatory.

Another popular event includes the 12th edition of the Little Festival of Stars, or the “Festivalito de Las Estrellas” which takes place from 19 to 27 May. Based in Los Llanos de Aridane until the 23rd and then finishing off in the capital, Santa Cruz de La Palma, the activities focus on creativity, consciousness and nature. During this week, visitors will be able to take part in film shootings, music concerts, poetry sessions and astrology workshops, all conducted under the starry night sky.

La Palma's homage to astronomy provides activities during the day and night which are not only exciting, but also educational for all ages including conferences on “Preserving The Skies” on the 20 April and the Night Landscape Conference on 23 May, Astro-photography master classes, children's drawing contests, outdoor cinema screenings, and local musical performances. The Astro Fest La Palma has become one of the highlights of the year on the island, mixing astronomy with sporting activities, education, investment, music, culture and much more.

The start of the summer season sees a further two new connections from Budapest Airport as the Hungarian gateway continues to expand its route map. Supporting the growth of the airport, Ryanair added a twice-weekly service to Santander yesterday, which sees Budapest now offer 11 Spanish destinations on its network this year. Today the ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) also launched the airport’s first connection to Paphos, adding to Budapest’s growing list of destinations.

“It’s always a pleasure to launch a new connection from our airport, and to be able to welcome two in as many days with a valued partner is a very good reason to celebrate,” enthuses Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport. “Ryanair now offers 36 destinations from Budapest and, having seen a fantastic 23% increase in passengers from our airport in 2017, we look forward to working closely with the airline during what is already promising to be another successful year of traffic development for Budapest,” added Bogáts.

Facing no direct competition on the 1,646-kilometre sector to Santander – a potential market of 39,000 passengers – the ULCC’s latest link to Spain joins its established operations to Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Madrid, Malaga and Valencia. The carrier’s second inaugural flight this week to Paphos will result in Budapest offering more than 200 flights to Cyprus this summer, and close to 40,000 one-way seats to the Mediterranean island.

Following a busy first two months of the year, Budapest increased its passenger traffic by an average 16.5%. Welcoming an additional 250,000 travelers by the end of February, the airport is firmly on the path to hitting the one million passenger mark in March, a month earlier than it did last year, and breaking another record in the history of the airport.

Arrivals from the Middle East, North America and Africa will drive growth in Egypt’s tourism industry to 2021, according to the latest data published ahead of Arabian Travel Market 2018, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Centre from April 22-25.

Between 2018 and 2021, arrivals from North America will increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.9% to 318,844. Factors contributing to this growth include the cheaper Egyptian Pound and government incentives for charter airlines carrying a certain number of passengers on international flights.

Over the same period, visitor numbers from Africa will increase by 3.8% CAGR to more than 300,901, while arrivals from the Middle East are predicted to increase by 3% CAGR to over 1.34 million. This is in contrast to a projected 1.6% CAGR in European visitors, who have traditionally been the key source market for Egypt with 5.2 million arrivals in 2017.

Egypt’s tourism industry has witnessed a strong 12 months, with total arrivals up 33.3% 2016-2017, according to data published by Colliers International.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, ATM, said: “The tourism industry in Egypt recorded a strong performance in 2017, welcoming 7.2 million visitors, predominantly from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the GCC, after many years of muted growth. This is great news for the country and we expect this trend to continue in 2018 as a series of new attractions and investments are unveiled.”

Taking advantage of this resurgence in tourists are some of Egypt’s most exclusive resorts from Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Luxor and Cairo, with the Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh, the Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo, and Mövenpick Resort Sharm El Sheikh just some of the operators set to exhibit at ATM 2018.

Other tourism companies such as Egypt’s Dana Tours, Egypt Express Travel, Royal Ambassador and DLC will also be present at this year’s show, and of course the Egyptian Tourism Authority will have a major presence too. Furthermore, figures from ATM 2017 show the number of delegates, exhibitors and attendees arriving from Egypt to participate in the show, increased 4% on the previous year.

In 2010, Egypt welcomed 14.7 million tourists however, the 2011 revolution saw that fall to 9.8 million the following year. The country’s once lucrative travel and tourism industry faced another setback in 2015 following the downing of a Russian plane in Sinai, killing all 224 people on board.

Russia, as well as Europe, have been a long-standing major source market for the Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh, but a ban on direct flights to this destination stifled visitor numbers in 2016, with the total number of arrivals dipping to 5.4 million.

It is hoped the resumption of flights to Sharm El Sheikh from Europe will kick start the return of air transport between the UK and the Red Sea resort and also Russia and the Red Sea holiday destination.

Press added: “To win back the millions of tourists who used to arrive in the country each year, Egypt signed a three-year, US$66 million contract, with advertising agency J. Walter Thompson to create promotional campaigns for 27 source markets.

“In addition, Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria, Starwood’s St Regis and Swiss brand Mövenpick, are some of the names confirmed to operate the 52 new hotel projects currently under development.”

The expected resurgence in visitors from the North America, African countries and the Middle East will see both leisure and corporate travel in Egypt increase over the coming four years.

Supporting both segments, 2018 will see the government pursue a number of tourism investments including a new national museum and a series of new airports across the country.

The world's first non-stop flight from the UK to Australia, launches on Sunday 25th March from Heathrow Airport at 13.15, arriving in Perth at 13.00 the next day. Qantas, Australia's national carrier, will operate daily non-stop flights from London to Perth, using the brand-new Boeing 787-9. The 14,498-kilometre service is the first commercial service to directly link Australia with Europe.

With an enhanced cabin design, the Dreamliner also features turbulence dampening technology, improved air quality to reduce jetlag and 65 per cent larger windows to give passengers an increased sense of space. The B787-9 features Qantas' next-generation seating across Economy, Premium Economy and Business Class. What used to take four days and seven stops in 1947 now takes a single hop, with the service transporting snow-blasted Brits to Australia's sunniest city in just 17 hours.

 

The new flight is expected to deliver a tourism boost to Perth and Western Australia – one of 2018's must-visit destinations. The flights come at a time when Western Australia's sun kissed capital has never looked so appealing. Since 2012, 25 new or redeveloped hotels have opened in and around Perth. By 2020, a further 14 new or redeveloped hotels will come online – among the names still to come are The Westin, QT, Doubletree by Hilton and the Ritz-Carlton, which will be its first Australian property in 10 years Other developments, such as the glittering waterfront Elizabeth Quay development and several new bars, restaurants and new cultural and entertainment precincts, have flourished and transformed the city.

Paired with the growing urban sophistication is the amazing weather and flawless natural surrounds which Perth has always been known for. The city has 19 pristine city beaches, Kings Park (one of the largest urban parks in the world) and the Swan River which allows for kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding in the heart of the city. A short ferry from the city is Rottnest Island, home to miniature marsupial the quokka which has been named as the happiest animal on the planet. Then there's the Swan Valley, which is Western Australia's oldest wine region and the closest wine region to a capital city in Australia, just a 30-minute drive from the city centre. At more than 180 years old, its speciality premium wines include Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Shiraz and fortifieds, with local grapes producing nearly 30 million bottles of wine a year – it's also home to breweries, distilleries, nougat, honey, chocolate, fresh produce and a wildlife park.

A survey shows a record high number of Chinese respondents—more than 60%—who plan to travel in-depth in 2018. “In-depth travels” is a term used by travel websites in China to describe the type of trips that involve more unconventional journeys beyond the typical tourist experience. For the very first time, Africa moved up to first place as the top in-depth travel destination Chinese travelers hope to visit in 2018, dethroning the ever-popular Japan and Australia. Among the destinations in Africa Chinese are most interested in Morocco, Tunisia, South Africa, Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania, according to Travelzoo’s website statistics.

Deal experts say the rapid growth in popularity in exotic destinations such as Morocco and Tunisia is largely due to relaxation of visa requirements for Chinese nationals. Chinese passport holders have been granted visa-free access to visit Morocco since June 2016and Tunisia since February 2017, and visa-on-arrival access to enter Tanzania and Egypt. There was a 378% year-over-year growth in Chinese arrivals in Morocco and 240% in Tunisia during the six months after the easing of visa requirements, which pushed Morocco to first place and Tunisia third as the destinations that enjoyed the greatest growth in Chinese visitors (source: ForwardKeys, October 2017).

Furthermore, the survey showed a 25% increase in the number of requests from  China who plan to take five or more overseas holidays in 2018. Statistics show the click-through rates of Morocco deals have increased 20% since the visa-free Morocco access was announced. Now that the major visa restrictions were lifted Chinese travelers are keen on Africa and their friends will follow. 2018 is about time that Africa took off and continued to grow in popularity throughout the year.

Beach holidays still top the activities Chinese travelers are interested in, followed by food and wine. Third place, however, was taken by historic attractions, rising from fifth spot last year. Cruises climbed to seventh place from tenth and photography tours appeared in the top 10 the first time. Otherwise, shopping dropped out of the top 10 activities for the first time and sightseeing also fell from ninth spot to last.

The days when Chinese tourists were entertained by merely sightseeing and shopping are long gone. The middle class in China are now seeking unforgettable experiences at their own pace when they travel. The destinations that offer rich culture and nature should expect many more Chinese visitors, so we’re confident in our prediction that 2018 will see Africa secure its place as the fastest-growing popular destination among avid Chinese travelers.”

Additionally, the survey revealed that the U.S.—one of the top five destinations of all time for Chinese travelers—fell from the third place to fifth this year while Japan and Australia remain number one and two. The U.K. retains the fourth spot, while no other Western European country made it into the top 10 this year.

According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “Low Cost Airlines Market by Purpose, Destination and Distribution Channel: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2017-2023,” the global low cost airlines market was valued at $117,726 million in 2016, and is projected to reach $207,816 million in 2023, registering a CAGR of 8.6% from 2017 to 2023.

Low cost airlines are passenger airlines, which offer travelling service tickets at relatively cheaper rate compared to other airlines (full service or traditional airline). Low cost airlines are also known as “no frills airlines,” “prizefighters,” “low-cost carriers (LCC),” “discount airlines,” and “budget airlines.” Some of the popular low cost airlines include Ryanair and EasyJet.

The growth of the market is attributed to the rise in economic activity, ease of travel, travel & tourism industry, urbanization, changes in lifestyle, consumers’ preference for low cost service along with non-stops, and frequent service, increase in purchasing power of middle class households especially in the developing regions, and high internet penetration coupled with e-literacy.

In 2016, the global scheduled airline passenger was estimated to be 3.8 billion, and around 28% of these passengers were carried by low cost airlines. However, the distribution/penetration of low cost airlines is equally distributed. For instance, in Latvia, Europe, around 80% of the passengers are flown by low-cost carriers, whereas, in Africa, nearly half of the countries have no low cost airline service.

In 2016, the leisure travel segment was the leading revenue contributor to the global market. However, the market is significantly expanding into the business travel segment, thus the business travel segment is expected to witness lucrative growth rate during the forecast period.

Twycross Zoo has successfully completed its second smooth Ele move, with Minbu, the Asian Elephant, packing her trunk and going to the seaside. Minbu is part of the all-female Elephant herd at the Leicestershire attraction that are being moved to Blackpool Zoo as part of an important breeding programme.

Mother and baby duo, Noorjahan and Esha, will be the last to arrive, joining Minbu, Tara and their new Ele friend, Kate.

A departure date for the elephants is yet to be confirmed, as it completely depends on when they are ready. However, experts at the Zoo say visitors can still see the adorable pair for a little while yet!

Jamaica Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett was today awarded Worldwide Tourism Minister of the Year by the prestigious Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) in Berlin, Germany.

“It is truly humbling to be recognized in this manner at such a major international event. I accept this award, not for myself but for the people of Jamaica – it is clear that we have made our mark on the globe. The world now knows that Jamaica can host the biggest conferences and that we have some of the best attractions and hotels. No matter the passion point of our visitor, we can deliver,” said the Minister.

During the ceremony, Jamaica also received the PATWA International Travel Award 2017 for Best Destination for Adventure Tourism.

PATWA is a professional organisation of travel writers, which was founded in 1998 and works with both the public and private sectors to support sustainable growth and improve the quality of travel and tourism. It adheres to the fundamental principles of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations (UN), and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). PATWA is an affiliate member of UNWTO.

Tomorrow, on 8 March, six all-female crews from Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines will start their morning rounds to Berlin on time for the International Women’s Day. The jets are flown from Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf, Vienna, Zurich and Brussels by two female pilots each.

In order to send out another signal on this day, the FlyingLab on flight LH440 from Frankfurt to Houston is under the command of a purely female crew – in the cabin, in the cockpit and also in front of the camera. The A380’s in-flight conference will not only focus on the various aspects of digital transformation, but will also highlight the achievements of women in a technology-dominated environment. A total of six speakers will talk about artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the future of work and mobility. The FlyingLab is the world’s only open innovation platform in the air. It consists of an on-board conference, which every passenger can follow on his or her own personal device and the opportunity to test the latest innovative products and services. The aim of this FlyingLab will be the South by Southwest (SXSW) – the world’s largest festival for interactive marketing, music and film that takes place annually in Austin, Texas.

„We have already been able to increase the number of female applicants at our pilot flying school by addressing applicants in a more targeted manner and by making it easier to combine family and work,” says Dr. Bettina Volkens, Member of the Executive Board for Human Resources and Legal Affairs of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. “15 percent of our junior pilots are currently female.”

As early as 1988, the first two women began their scheduled service at Lufthansa. In 2010, there was a premiere for the global airfreight industry: A freighter from Lufthansa Cargo took off with a purely female crew. Women in the cockpit are no longer rare. Approximately six percent of the Lufthansa Group’s pilots are female and their share has risen steadily over the past few years. Approximately 80 percent of the cabin crew are female. For the growing number of female pilots, Lufthansa has had the word “Kapitänin” (“Captain”) specially approved by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache.

In addition to the cockpit, the Lufthansa Group also aims to increase the proportion of women in management positions. This is currently 15 percent. By 2021, the proportion of female executives at first management level is to be increased to 18 percent and at second management level to as much as 24 percent. „In order to meet these goals, we are preparing our best female junior executives for their future management responsibilities with our own one-year program,” says Volkens. At the same time, it is important to me to reduce unconscious bias when filling vacancies. A specially programmed video supports our hiring managers in selecting the right personnel for the right job.

A prominent Caribbean tourism leader is calling on the region's leaders to pay more attention to the need to protect and support women working in tourism, the region's biggest money earner.

Karolin Troubetzkoy, executive director of St. Lucia's storied Jade Mountain resort and its adjoining sister property, Anse Chastanet, said "Caribbean women are some of the most powerful and accomplished women in the global tourism and hospitality sectors, but there is still a need to ensure they can shine and advance without being compromised or limited."

Speaking on the occasion of International Women's Day, Troubetzkoy, who is also President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), suggested opening a dialogue to review with female leaders in the Caribbean tourism industry the sort of concerns that led to the formation of the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements in North America, which exposed egregious forms of sexual harassment and abuse in entertainment and other industries, but also highlighted other gender- and professional development-related issues.

"Our women are often at the frontlines of our tourism and hospitality industries because of the natural welcoming natures of our Caribbean people and we want to give them a forum to highlight issues, voice concerns, advance solutions and to ultimately ensure a safe and fair working environment," she stated.

"We should be looking at how best we can accelerate gender parity to help our women advance and unleash their limitless potential, to the benefit of ourselves, our industry and our countries and territories," Troubetzkoy continued.

"In addition to being an important industry for women to earn a living, tourism is also by far the leading bread earner for the Caribbean region, so protecting our women and allowing them to shine will also positively impact our valuable investments themselves," she declared.

"Women have done a lot of thinking about these issues for years, so it's time to hear their voices and to disseminate their recommendations much more widely. It's time to #PressforProgress," she concluded, referring to this year's International Women's Day theme.

The distinguished  Fodor's Travel, a global leader in travel guides for more than 80 years, has listed Anse Chastanet Resort in St. Lucia as the winner of two Fodor's Best awards.
Fodor's Travel, whose website is used by some five million people every month to plan trips, awarded Anse Chastanet its coveted recognition for being one of the hotels with the best views and one of the best beachfront hotels in St. Lucia.
"Several of the individually-designed guest rooms on this verdant hillside have a fourth wall that's open to the stunning Pitons view. Down below, the beach is busy with snorkelers, sunbathers, divers, kayakers, and the occasional catamaran or fishing boat," the guide reported in its description of the resort.
On hearing of the twin awards, Anse Chastanet Executive Director Karolin Troubetzkoy said she was "humbled by the recognition from one of the world's oldest and most distinguished travel authorities. This recognition by Fodor's Travel really is a big deal and a huge boost for our fabulous staff, who work so hard to ensure our property honors those who choose us for their well-deserved vacations."
Nick Troubetzkoy, architect and owner of Anse Chastanet, believes passionately in nature and designed the resort to make the surrounding environment an integral part of the Anse Chastanet vacation experience. The estate encompasses 600 lush tropical acres bordering two soft-sand beaches. Not only do visitors get a UNESCO World Heritage Site anchored by the twin Piton mountains on land, but the resort's two crystal-clear bays are part of a designated marine reserve protecting miles of colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish.
With such a unique setting as his canvas, Nick Troubetzkoy was inspired to design a one-of-a-kind resort. He was committed to an environmentally conscious approach before "green" became fashionable, something for which the resort has become renowned. Anse Chastanet consistently receives recognition for its sustainable initiatives, most recently achieving Travelife Gold Certification together with its sister resort, Jade Mountain.