Travel Business News - Europe.

 
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New York, Geneva (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News Europe) Apr 28, 2013

Tauck Expanding Suite Inventory on New Riverboats Tauck will launch two newly built riverboats next year with 57 percent more suites than what the company offers on its current lineup of what it calls Jewel Class ships. The new ships will be the first of a new class of ships Tauck is calling its Inspiration Class. The new ships are called Savor and Inspire. The new ships will each have 22 suites measuring 300 square feet in area. The new Inspiration Class ships are 443 feet long in contrast to the Jewel Class, which are 361 feet in length. Suites account for 33 percent of the cabin inventory on the Inspiration Class (22 out of 67), and 24 percent on the Jewel class (14 of 59). Tauck made the change in response to demand. According to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, OOur suites are always the first cabins to sell out on our Jewel Class ships, even though the Jewel Class vessels already have far more suites than most other riverboats. When we sat down to develop our new Inspiration Class ships, it only made sense to raise the number of suites even higher.O Suites in the new vessels are furnished with a pullout couch, a walk-in closet, a marble bath, two sinks, two French balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows. They will have 32 cabins 225 square feet in area and 13 more ranging from 150 to 190 square feet in size. All of the cabins will have movies, minibar, individual heating and cooling controls, Molton Brown toiletries, 100 percent goose down pillows, 400-thread-count linens and pillow-top mattresses. Eight of the 225-square foot lower-level cabins are designed with a new loft design that incorporates a raised platform seating area with a small table with two chairs and a raised ceiling that accommodates a taller window than is normally possible in lower-level cabins. Each ship will also have a cocktail lounge, fitness center, spa, hair salon, bicycles and a Sun Deck with a Jacuzzi available 24-hours-a-day. Each of the 19 European river cruises in TauckOs 2014 portfolio (on the Danube, Rhne, Rhine, Seine, Moselle, Sane, Main and Maas rivers) is now open for booking. Tauk currently operates 15 all-inclusive river voyages throughout Europe on four Jewel Class ships, the Swiss Emerald, Swiss Sapphire, Swiss Jewel and Swiss Treasures. Each carries 118 passengers. Itineraries range from eight to 24 days in length. Apr 27, 2013

UK University of Surrey wins major tourism award At a dinner in the House of Commons on Thursday last week, the University of Surrey was presented with the coveted annual Tourism Society Award in recognition of its work with tourism students for forty years and for pioneering the first university courses in tourism. Tourism Society President, Lord Thurso MP FTS, presented the award to Professor John Tribe FTS from the university. In his acceptance speech, Professor Tribe paid tribute to his predecessors who developed the first courses, Professors A.J. Burkhart and S. Medlik and also to Professors David Airey FTS and Victor Middleton OBE FTS who were also present at the dinner. Lord Thurso quoted from the citation, saying: OThe University of SurreyOs contribution to the development of the body of knowledge for tourism is considerable. Through establishing the first courses, writing the first textbooks and journals and setting up the industryOs professional body, the academic staff had, and continue to have, a significant impact on the understanding and spread of tourism theory and practice. It is entirely appropriate that the University of Surrey should be recognised as a leading international centre for excellence and a significant contributor to professionalism in the sector.O The Tourism Society is the only professional organisation for people working across all sectors in the industry and was founded in 1977 shortly after the first course in Surrey had been completed. Many of the SocietyOs members were Surrey graduates and student membership of the Society is currently an active and growing section of the membership. Apr 27, 2013

Record growth in tourism arrivals to Thailand Led by a dramatic 93% growth in arrivals from China, ThailandOs visitor arrivals surged to a record total of 6,828,718 in January [ETH] March 2013, up by 18.94% over the same period of 2012, according to figures published by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. ChinaOs total of 1.12 million visitor arrivals made it the first time that any country had crossed the one million mark in the short span of three months. The growth was mainly due to the Chinese New Year in February 2013, which led to a spike in long-holiday travel to Thailand. In addition, major markets such as Russia, Korea and India are showing strong double digit growth and Japan has bounced back strongly. TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni welcomed the good results. OWe are gratified to see that our marketing efforts are producing results. In these days of economic challenges and geopolitical instability, it is very important that at least one sector of the economy is continuing to prove to be a major source of income and jobs.O Mr. Suraphon said he was also pleased to see that the strengthening of the Thai Baht has not impacted visitor arrivals to Thailand. Here is a summary of the key results: Overview: All regions grew well except the Middle East. Visitors from East Asia totalled 3,623,713 (+28.50%), Europe 2,131,719 (+10.28%), the Americas 331,070 (+8.71%), South Asia 313,634 (+16.03%), Oceania 250,124 (+6.07%), Middle East 139,499 (-1.20%), and Africa 38,959 (+6.70%). East Asia: East Asian visitor arrivals comprise the biggest market share of all visitors. A total of 3.62 million or 53.07% were from East Asian countries. Apart from China, the other top sources of arrivals were Malaysia (627,759), Japan (408,048), and Korea (350,529). The ASEAN countries in total are generating over 1.48 million arrivals, with spectacular growth by Brunei (+73.11%), Indonesia (+35.13%), Myanmar...

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