UKinbound again asks for emergency financial support for sector

UKinbound and 67 business leaders from the tourism industry have written to the prime minister, Boris Johnson, to ask for emergency financial support in light of the Omicron travel restrictions. Signed by attractions, destinations, hotels, transport providers and tour operators from across the country, the letter emphasised that inbound tourism has been in peril for 22 months and that the latest restrictions have come at considerable cost to businesses that are on the cusp of recovery. Alongside highlighting that even pre-Omicron businesses were struggling, the communication outlined that the re-introduction…

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WTTC confirms Manila for 2022 global summit

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has confirmed the next global summit will take place in Manila on March 14-16. The event will take place in partnership with the Philippine department of tourism. The WTTC positions the global summits as the most influential tourism event in the calendar. Industry leaders will next year gather with key government representatives to continue aligning efforts to support the recovery of the sector and move beyond to a safer, more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future. Find out more on the official website. Older…

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Alicia Keys drives Expo 2020 visitor numbers skyward in Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai visit numbers have continued to increase, with 6,358,464 million visits in the period up to December 13th. Guests have been drawn by world-class music, gripping sporting events, vibrant national days, family-friendly entertainment and sustained demand for the Expo 2020 Festive Pass. Alicia Keys saw crowds flocking to Al Wasl Plaza earlier this month, captivating the audience with a message of love, hope and innovation. Meanwhile Manchester City footballer Pablo Zabaleta paid a visit to Expo 2020 Dubai, sharing his interest in coaching and love for the Middle…

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VisitBritain to offer marketing funds to inbound operators

VisitBritain has announced a new fund available to destination management companies and inbound tour operators to support in building back demand for Britain. The £300,000 Destination Management Company and Inbound Tour Operator Amplification and Distribution Fund is open to eligible companies and inbound tour operators to apply for grant funding to develop and market tourism to Britain, working with international tour operators to dial-up promotion in their 2022 programmes. VisitBritain is seeking destination management companies and inbound tour operators who can develop and market new Britain itineraries, with a focus…

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Competition & Markers Authority pauses Teletext legal action

The Competition & Markers Authority (CMA) has paused legal action against Teletext Holidays and Alpharooms.com after the companies entered into voluntary liquidation. The government watchdog launched legal action against the travel agents in October, arguing there had been inadequate progress on refunds to package holiday customers. In May, the government body announced that Truly Holdings, the company that operates Teletext Holidays, and its sister company, the travel operator Alpharooms.com, had signed undertakings committing to refund package holiday customers for holidays cancelled during the pandemic. These undertakings had not been met. A statement…

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Aer Lingus heads for Orlando, Florida

Aer Lingus has celebrated the launch of its very first direct flight from Manchester Airport to Orlando, Florida.  Flight EI 35, operated by an Airbus A330, to Orlando is the third route launched by Aer Lingus UK as part of its new services from Manchester Airport direct to the United States and the Caribbean. Aer Lingus launched direct flights from Manchester to Barbados on October 20th and to New York, JFK on December 1st. Holidaymakers wanting to visit the ‘Sunshine State’ of Florida, can choose from four weekly flights, departing…

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Qatar Airways touches down at Odesa International Airport

Qatar Airways’ inaugural flight from Doha to Odesa landed at Odesa International Airport earlier. The arrival marks the launch of the airline’s second gateway to Ukraine. Operated by an Airbus A320 aircraft, flight QR309 carrying Qatar Airways regional manager, Christian Deresjo, was welcomed with an opening ceremony attended by the head of Odesa’s regional state administration, Serhii Hrynevetsky. Also on hand was the mayor of Odesa, Hennadii Trukhanov; the head of the Odesa’s regional council, Hryhoriy Didenko; and Odesa city council director of culture and tourism, Tetiana Markova, as well…

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Emirates returns to Gatwick Airport

Emirates has restarted services to Gatwick, reconnecting people and businesses across the south of England with its growing global network. Flight EK015 will land at Gatwick at 11:40 on Friday and return flight EK016 departed at 13:35, arriving in Dubai earlier on Saturday. The Gatwick resumption follows the restart of operations to London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle airports over recent months as the airline has responded to passenger demand. UK bookings to many destinations across Emirates global network have already returned to 2019 levels including popular holiday destinations…

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Full aviation recovery still years away says Heathrow

Heathrow has said passenger numbers were 60 per cent lower in November than before the Covid-19 pandemic. Just over three million people travelled from the airport last month, which was significantly up on the same month last year, but there remains a long way to go until numbers fully recover, the airport said. Heathrow said it does not expect that international travel will recover to 2019 levels until at least all travel restrictions (including testing) are removed from all markets, at both ends of the route, and there is no…

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Airbus gets tough with Qatar Airways on A350 dispute

Airbus has said it will seek an “independent legal assessment” as a way to resolve a dispute over the grounding of the Qatar Airways A350 fleet. The Middle East carrier took around 20 aircraft out of operation in August claiming paint on the fuselage was “degrading at an accelerated rate” and creating a safety concern. Last week Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, called on Airbus to address the problem. “It is a serious matter; we do not know if it is an airworthiness issue; we also do not…

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