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Button Co-Founder and CEO on Offering Seamless Mobile Experiences  Skift Take: At Skift Global Forum 2017 Mike Jaconi Co-Founder and CEO of Button explained the importance of optimizing and simplifying the mobile booking journey.   Dawn Rzeznikiewicz  During Skift Global Forum 2017 Button chief executive officer and founder Mike Jaconi joined Skifts Sean ONeill for a conversation about how travel brands can address changes in customer behavior and make the mobile booking process a much more seamless and integrated experience than it has been. During the conversation Mike also announced Buttons launch of Purchase Path a new technology allowing companies to optimize their mobile partnerships by providing users with the best path to purchase.  Theres a fundamental problem with the linking era said Jaconi. Buttons mission is to make the entire booking path from research to purchase to post-booking a lot easier for the customer by partnering with third-parties to optimize their mobile journeys. For example Button powers local recommendations within Hotel.coms app. Customers can make restaurant reservations book Ubers and purchase event tickets directly after they make a hotel booking without ever leaving the app. Its a win-win for both the traveler and the providers offering services.  Watch the full discussion below.  At this years Skift Global Forum in New York City travel leaders from around the world gathered for two days of inspiration information and conversation. In 2018 Skift will be analyzing travel trends around the globe with four Forums. Get the details now and register here.  http://ift.tt/2xJj4as

Button Co-Founder and CEO on Offering Seamless Mobile Experiences Skift Take: At Skift Global Forum 2017 Mike Jaconi Co-Founder and CEO of Button explained the importance of optimizing and simplifying the mobile booking journey. Dawn Rzeznikiewicz During Skift Global Forum 2017 Button chief executive officer and founder Mike Jaconi joined Skifts Sean ONeill for a conversation about how travel brands can address changes in customer behavior and make the mobile booking process a much more seamless and integrated experience than it has been. During the conversation Mike also announced Buttons launch of Purchase Path a new technology allowing companies to optimize their mobile partnerships by providing users with the best path to purchase. Theres a fundamental problem with the linking era said Jaconi. Buttons mission is to make the entire booking path from research to purchase to post-booking a lot easier for the customer by partnering with third-parties to optimize their mobile journeys. For example Button powers local recommendations within Hotel.coms app. Customers can make restaurant reservations book Ubers and purchase event tickets directly after they make a hotel booking without ever leaving the app. Its a win-win for both the traveler and the providers offering services. Watch the full discussion below. At this years Skift Global Forum in New York City travel leaders from around the world gathered for two days of inspiration information and conversation. In 2018 Skift will be analyzing travel trends around the globe with four Forums. Get the details now and register here. http://ift.tt/2xJj4as

Amadeus Signs Premier Inn for Hotel Services While a Key Rollout Gets Delayed

Amadeus Signs Premier Inn for Hotel Services While a Key Rollout Gets Delayed

Asian Activities Booking Platform Klook Heads to the Americas  Klook employees at a booth. Klook is targeting the U.S. for its first office outside Asia. Klook / Facebook  Skift Take: Hong Kong-based Klook has selected the Americas as its first stop for expansion outside Asia. To beat the deeply entrenched competition it will have to find partners that can adapt to the needs of Asian travelers.   Raini Hamdi  Editors Note: Gateway is a Skift series featuring first-hand original stories from our correspondents embedded in cities around the world. The logo reflects where the correspondent is based and not necessarily the articles focus. Read about the series here.  Travel activities booking platform Klook which recently took onGoldman Sachs as a new investor will open an office in the U.S. after sensing a rising tide of Asian independent travelers to the U.S. Canada and Latin America.  Klook plans on having a U.S. team operational from January in either San Francisco or New York. The team will source travel activities in the Americas that fit Asian travelers interests and ramp up outbound marketing.  Klooks president and co-founder Eric Gnock Fah would not go into details on how big the team will be only saying the U.S. market is so dynamic our local team will be moving rapidly and work in an agile way.  We hope to create a notable impact to both activity providers and travelers in the U.S. by the end of 2018 he added. Our [Asian] travelers will start to see more diverse offerings in the Americas from the end of Q1 in 2018.  The company also aims to tap the U.S. market heading to Asia. Klook currently has offices in 13 cities including its headquarters in Hong Kong.  RIGHT TIMING FOR THE AMERICAS  Klook is entering a market ruled by giants like TripAdvisor-owned Viator and Expedia but Gnock Fah believes the timing is right for Klook to expand.  The Series C funding of nearly $60 million led by Goldman Sachs should help open doors for a U.S. expansion. After amassing over nine million visitors each month to its website and app since launching in 2014 Klook wants to open doors for U.S. travel providers to reach the fast-growing Asian market.  Klooks success in Asia has hinged on helping Asian travelers book services at the last minute or upon arrival in destination. These include local transportation Wi-Fi single-day tours outdoor excursions and food and dining options. Other platforms often require users to book more than 24 hours in advance and dont offer a best-price guarantee.  As Asias largest in-destination travel activities booking platform Klooks goal is to help U.S. travel providers tap into the fastest-growing travel markets in the world like Greater China South Korea Indonesia and Thailand.  BUT DONT THE LIKES OF VIATOR and EXPEDIA DO THAT ALREADY?  Theres a gap where U.S. travel companies are unable to effectively reach out to users in Asia-Pacific region according to Gnock Fah.  While the U.S. has vibrant resources in terms of travel partners and many popular destinations for many Asian travelers Gnock Fah said there is a lack of experiences tailored for the Asian market.  A deeper understanding of the home market is where he thinks Klook can make a difference for travelers.  On the supply side it will be our priority to find service providers who are able to adapt to the diverse Asian traveller interestssaid Gnock Fah of his strategy. It will be our priority to find partners who are able to adapt to accommodate the varying languages socio-economic levels payment channels and dietary restrictions of Asian travelers.  At a glance it may seem that Asias outbound travel market estimated at over 180 million travelers per year is distributed rather evenly with mainland China taking up 37 percent the rest of North Asia totalling 31 percent and Southeast Asia and India at 32 percent. Gnock Fah points out however that Asia isnt homogenous; it consists of numerous markets with their own distinctive languages cultures and religions.  There isnt one formula that fits all as each country comes with its unique travel preferences and purchasing behavior he said. We foresee we may spend more time to help enhance U.S. operators understanding of Asia including knowing the priority of which market to target for their offerings.  Since our launch in 2014 weve seen success in forming merchant partnerships in Asia. Our team has helped merchant partners to successfully tap into markets they knew little about by leveraging Klooks expertise of Asian travelers. We hope to ensure that merchants in U.S. will also have the chance to take advantage of Klooks market knowledge and tech solutions to diversify and optimize their revenue source.  THE U.S. OUTBOUND OPPORTUNITY  Gnock Fah believes its strong supply network and exclusive benefits from direct partnerships will give it an edge for U.S. travelers headed to Asia. As of October 25 it claimed over 30000 attractions tours activities and essential travel services offered in more than 120 destinations with over 3000 industry partners.  Upcoming international events like Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics held in South Korea and Japan in 2018 and 2020 respectively pose another opportunity.  We are expecting a further influx of travelers from the Western countries into Asia said Gnock Fah. As Asias largest in-destination travel activity booking platform we hope to attract these travelers with our wide variety of activities in Asia and our user experience is also designed for native English speakers.  Klook is also cementing its mobile-first and instant confirmation solutions and creating personalized experiences through artificial intelligence tools since demand for spontaneous travel will keep growing. Its statistics show that 50 percent of users book Klook upon arrival and 70 percent of those bookings are made via mobile.  The company is investing in voice search technology along with personalized experiences for users. Some of these features will likely be rolled out by mid-2018.  http://ift.tt/2BpUmyb

Asian Activities Booking Platform Klook Heads to the Americas Klook employees at a booth. Klook is targeting the U.S. for its first office outside Asia. Klook / Facebook Skift Take: Hong Kong-based Klook has selected the Americas as its first stop for expansion outside Asia. To beat the deeply entrenched competition it will have to find partners that can adapt to the needs of Asian travelers. Raini Hamdi Editors Note: Gateway is a Skift series featuring first-hand original stories from our correspondents embedded in cities around the world. The logo reflects where the correspondent is based and not necessarily the articles focus. Read about the series here. Travel activities booking platform Klook which recently took onGoldman Sachs as a new investor will open an office in the U.S. after sensing a rising tide of Asian independent travelers to the U.S. Canada and Latin America. Klook plans on having a U.S. team operational from January in either San Francisco or New York. The team will source travel activities in the Americas that fit Asian travelers interests and ramp up outbound marketing. Klooks president and co-founder Eric Gnock Fah would not go into details on how big the team will be only saying the U.S. market is so dynamic our local team will be moving rapidly and work in an agile way. We hope to create a notable impact to both activity providers and travelers in the U.S. by the end of 2018 he added. Our [Asian] travelers will start to see more diverse offerings in the Americas from the end of Q1 in 2018. The company also aims to tap the U.S. market heading to Asia. Klook currently has offices in 13 cities including its headquarters in Hong Kong. RIGHT TIMING FOR THE AMERICAS Klook is entering a market ruled by giants like TripAdvisor-owned Viator and Expedia but Gnock Fah believes the timing is right for Klook to expand. The Series C funding of nearly $60 million led by Goldman Sachs should help open doors for a U.S. expansion. After amassing over nine million visitors each month to its website and app since launching in 2014 Klook wants to open doors for U.S. travel providers to reach the fast-growing Asian market. Klooks success in Asia has hinged on helping Asian travelers book services at the last minute or upon arrival in destination. These include local transportation Wi-Fi single-day tours outdoor excursions and food and dining options. Other platforms often require users to book more than 24 hours in advance and dont offer a best-price guarantee. As Asias largest in-destination travel activities booking platform Klooks goal is to help U.S. travel providers tap into the fastest-growing travel markets in the world like Greater China South Korea Indonesia and Thailand. BUT DONT THE LIKES OF VIATOR and EXPEDIA DO THAT ALREADY? Theres a gap where U.S. travel companies are unable to effectively reach out to users in Asia-Pacific region according to Gnock Fah. While the U.S. has vibrant resources in terms of travel partners and many popular destinations for many Asian travelers Gnock Fah said there is a lack of experiences tailored for the Asian market. A deeper understanding of the home market is where he thinks Klook can make a difference for travelers. On the supply side it will be our priority to find service providers who are able to adapt to the diverse Asian traveller interestssaid Gnock Fah of his strategy. It will be our priority to find partners who are able to adapt to accommodate the varying languages socio-economic levels payment channels and dietary restrictions of Asian travelers. At a glance it may seem that Asias outbound travel market estimated at over 180 million travelers per year is distributed rather evenly with mainland China taking up 37 percent the rest of North Asia totalling 31 percent and Southeast Asia and India at 32 percent. Gnock Fah points out however that Asia isnt homogenous; it consists of numerous markets with their own distinctive languages cultures and religions. There isnt one formula that fits all as each country comes with its unique travel preferences and purchasing behavior he said. We foresee we may spend more time to help enhance U.S. operators understanding of Asia including knowing the priority of which market to target for their offerings. Since our launch in 2014 weve seen success in forming merchant partnerships in Asia. Our team has helped merchant partners to successfully tap into markets they knew little about by leveraging Klooks expertise of Asian travelers. We hope to ensure that merchants in U.S. will also have the chance to take advantage of Klooks market knowledge and tech solutions to diversify and optimize their revenue source. THE U.S. OUTBOUND OPPORTUNITY Gnock Fah believes its strong supply network and exclusive benefits from direct partnerships will give it an edge for U.S. travelers headed to Asia. As of October 25 it claimed over 30000 attractions tours activities and essential travel services offered in more than 120 destinations with over 3000 industry partners. Upcoming international events like Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics held in South Korea and Japan in 2018 and 2020 respectively pose another opportunity. We are expecting a further influx of travelers from the Western countries into Asia said Gnock Fah. As Asias largest in-destination travel activity booking platform we hope to attract these travelers with our wide variety of activities in Asia and our user experience is also designed for native English speakers. Klook is also cementing its mobile-first and instant confirmation solutions and creating personalized experiences through artificial intelligence tools since demand for spontaneous travel will keep growing. Its statistics show that 50 percent of users book Klook upon arrival and 70 percent of those bookings are made via mobile. The company is investing in voice search technology along with personalized experiences for users. Some of these features will likely be rolled out by mid-2018. http://ift.tt/2BpUmyb

Potential Visa-Program Cuts Have Travel Industry Alarmed  The White House is mulling whether to change or eliminate the J-1 visa program. Pictured are J-1 Summer Work Travel student workers in Ocean City Maryland. Exchanges Photos / Flickr  Skift Take: The J-1 visa program is an invaluable resource for many travel industry businesses. It's clear that any cuts to the program would be detrimental to the travel industry and the broader U.S. economy.   Dan Peltier  Many U.S. travel brands use a foreign worker visa program to help their operations run smoothly during peak seasons. For some companies these workers who arrive under the J-1 visa program are a significant percentage of their workforce.  But President Donald Trumps proposal to make cuts to the program has much of the travel industry concerned.  The Trump Administration is considering major cuts new requirements or eliminating the program which brings tens of thousands of foreign workers to the United States each year for work and cultural exchanges the Wall Street Journal reported last month.  The White Houses proposed cuts to the J-1 program which dates to the 1960s stem from the Trumps Buy American Hire American executive order signed earlier this year. The White House feels that foreign students and workers who are granted visas to work in the U.S. are taking jobs from Americans who need them.  While separate from the J-1 program its ironic that President Trumps Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach Florida filed requests in July to hire 70 temporary foreign workers as part of the H-2B visa program which allows U.S. employers to bring foreign workers to the United States for temporary non-agricultural work.  The Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter Florida also filed a request to hire temporary foreign workers The Hill reports.  Worker Shortfall  The problem with the White Houses rationale is that companies such as seasonal hotel and ski resorts cant hire enough workers  American or foreign  even with the J-1 program in place said Dave Byrd director of regulatory affairs for the National Ski Areas Association a U.S. trade association for ski owners and operators that represents 313 alpine ski resorts.  With ski season starting in a few weeks in some destinations some U.S. resorts are particularly concerned that any cuts or changes to the program could have dire consequences for their businesses said Byrd.  The U.S. ski industry typically employs 7000 to 8000 J-1 visa workers annually but some larger ski areas still see 10 percent of their positions go unfilled each season he said. And some U.S. tourism businesses were already seeing a reduction in foreign worker visas during the past year.  In comparison the U.S. ski industry employs nearly 130000 Americans said Byrd. J-1s are a small fraction but an important fraction of our workforce he said. Ive already had HR directors from resorts around the country call me in a panic if they cant have access to the J-1 program.  Job openings in U.S are at an all-time record high right now said Byrd and unemployment percentages in ski resort communities have also plunged. He feels the White House is wrong in believing that the J-1 program is killing American jobs.  We have rural communities in Colorado Utah Wyoming Vermont and New Hampshire  just to name a few  where unemployment is below two or three percent thats simply astonishing from a labor standpoint he said. In five Colorado counties home to dozens of ski areas unemployment rates are around one percent.  The ski industry has increased the number of J-1 workers at its resorts since the 2009 recession said Byrd. We werent using as many J-1s in 2009 during theheight of the recession because it was quite easier to find American workers he said. This very anti-immigrant element within the White House believes that if we were offering $25 per hour for these jobs that we wouldnt have a problem. That just underscores their ignorance for operating a seasonal business.  J-1 Program Requirements  By design the J-1 program already cant take away U.S. jobs or disadvantage U.S. workers.  The U.S. Department of State manages the program and a J-1 visa job cant displace an American job under its provisions. And both a J-1 worker and American worker must be paid the same wages. U.S. taxpayer dollars also arent used to fund the program; participating companies pay and sponsor J-1 workers.  In 2016 the State Department granted more than 143000 J-1 visas for au pair summer worker and camp counselor positions. We continue to implement J-1 visa programs at the same levels we have for the past few years said Nathan Arnold a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of States bureau of educational and cultural affairs. There has been no change in our procedures for handling applications for J-1 visas.  J-1 workers also must receive training and companies and businesses must provide cultural activities and opportunities to introduce workers to American culture saidShannon Dierenback vice president of human resources for Xanterra Parks & Resorts a Colorado-based park and resort management company that manages some U.S. national parks and tourist railways for example.  Like Byrd Dierenback said some of Xanterras parks have many open positions even with J-1 workers. She estimates 20 percent of jobs go unfilled in some parks.  We already need to maneuver our operations as it is she said. The J-1 program is a key part for us are during our shoulder season of mid-August-October when U.S. college students for example are back in school. Were also finding that our seasons are being extended and this program is so important for that.  Some 3500 of Xanterras workforce (25 percent) are seasonal employees and many of them are J-1 workers while the rest of its employees work year-round. Weve been talking to American employees and theyre saying the top things they enjoyed about working with Xanterra was the J-1 program saidDierenback.  The economic impact from the program is worth the cost saidDierenback. The program allows a 30-day grace period for workers to travel the U.S. after work assignments end. Over $509 million goes into this country each year from that one month when the workers go and travel she said.  J-1 Has Bipartisan Support  If not at the White House the program has friends and supporters in the U.S. Congress.  A U.S. Senate appropriations committeepassed an amendment on September 8 that would prevent any funding from the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 which established the program from being changed by the president through an executive order.  But the White House could make an announcement about the programs future any day and the amendment is tied to the federal governments fiscal 2018 funding bill which may not be passed until October said Byrd.  The program has the support of both Democrats and Republicans. Mayors and governors from around the country have been writing letters to the White House in support of J-1 said Mark Overmann a spokesperson for InterExchange a U.S. organization that helps J-1 workers with their visa applications and work placements.  Some advocacy organizations such as theAlliance for International Exchange say conversations with Congress about the programs future have been fruitful saidIlir Zherka executive director of the Alliance for International Exchange.  Any cuts to the J-1 program would result in a fire-American policy automatically reducing the number of Americans who are working because some companies wont be able to sustain operations said Zherka. Implementation of any policy changes to the program are unclear at this point. A regulatory process would take months for example. Or will there be some executive action to curtail these programs? Were waiting to see.  With the summer travel season winding down in many U.S. destinations many travel companies are thinking about how their business could be impacted next year if they dont have access to J-1 workers. While a decision on the program from the White House is expected soon the possibility of changes to J-1 is causing confusion among many visa applicants and foreign workers considering applying to the program.30  http://ift.tt/2ha6j6y

Potential Visa-Program Cuts Have Travel Industry Alarmed The White House is mulling whether to change or eliminate the J-1 visa program. Pictured are J-1 Summer Work Travel student workers in Ocean City Maryland. Exchanges Photos / Flickr Skift Take: The J-1 visa program is an invaluable resource for many travel industry businesses. It's clear that any cuts to the program would be detrimental to the travel industry and the broader U.S. economy. Dan Peltier Many U.S. travel brands use a foreign worker visa program to help their operations run smoothly during peak seasons. For some companies these workers who arrive under the J-1 visa program are a significant percentage of their workforce. But President Donald Trumps proposal to make cuts to the program has much of the travel industry concerned. The Trump Administration is considering major cuts new requirements or eliminating the program which brings tens of thousands of foreign workers to the United States each year for work and cultural exchanges the Wall Street Journal reported last month. The White Houses proposed cuts to the J-1 program which dates to the 1960s stem from the Trumps Buy American Hire American executive order signed earlier this year. The White House feels that foreign students and workers who are granted visas to work in the U.S. are taking jobs from Americans who need them. While separate from the J-1 program its ironic that President Trumps Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach Florida filed requests in July to hire 70 temporary foreign workers as part of the H-2B visa program which allows U.S. employers to bring foreign workers to the United States for temporary non-agricultural work. The Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter Florida also filed a request to hire temporary foreign workers The Hill reports. Worker Shortfall The problem with the White Houses rationale is that companies such as seasonal hotel and ski resorts cant hire enough workers American or foreign even with the J-1 program in place said Dave Byrd director of regulatory affairs for the National Ski Areas Association a U.S. trade association for ski owners and operators that represents 313 alpine ski resorts. With ski season starting in a few weeks in some destinations some U.S. resorts are particularly concerned that any cuts or changes to the program could have dire consequences for their businesses said Byrd. The U.S. ski industry typically employs 7000 to 8000 J-1 visa workers annually but some larger ski areas still see 10 percent of their positions go unfilled each season he said. And some U.S. tourism businesses were already seeing a reduction in foreign worker visas during the past year. In comparison the U.S. ski industry employs nearly 130000 Americans said Byrd. J-1s are a small fraction but an important fraction of our workforce he said. Ive already had HR directors from resorts around the country call me in a panic if they cant have access to the J-1 program. Job openings in U.S are at an all-time record high right now said Byrd and unemployment percentages in ski resort communities have also plunged. He feels the White House is wrong in believing that the J-1 program is killing American jobs. We have rural communities in Colorado Utah Wyoming Vermont and New Hampshire just to name a few where unemployment is below two or three percent thats simply astonishing from a labor standpoint he said. In five Colorado counties home to dozens of ski areas unemployment rates are around one percent. The ski industry has increased the number of J-1 workers at its resorts since the 2009 recession said Byrd. We werent using as many J-1s in 2009 during theheight of the recession because it was quite easier to find American workers he said. This very anti-immigrant element within the White House believes that if we were offering $25 per hour for these jobs that we wouldnt have a problem. That just underscores their ignorance for operating a seasonal business. J-1 Program Requirements By design the J-1 program already cant take away U.S. jobs or disadvantage U.S. workers. The U.S. Department of State manages the program and a J-1 visa job cant displace an American job under its provisions. And both a J-1 worker and American worker must be paid the same wages. U.S. taxpayer dollars also arent used to fund the program; participating companies pay and sponsor J-1 workers. In 2016 the State Department granted more than 143000 J-1 visas for au pair summer worker and camp counselor positions. We continue to implement J-1 visa programs at the same levels we have for the past few years said Nathan Arnold a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of States bureau of educational and cultural affairs. There has been no change in our procedures for handling applications for J-1 visas. J-1 workers also must receive training and companies and businesses must provide cultural activities and opportunities to introduce workers to American culture saidShannon Dierenback vice president of human resources for Xanterra Parks & Resorts a Colorado-based park and resort management company that manages some U.S. national parks and tourist railways for example. Like Byrd Dierenback said some of Xanterras parks have many open positions even with J-1 workers. She estimates 20 percent of jobs go unfilled in some parks. We already need to maneuver our operations as it is she said. The J-1 program is a key part for us are during our shoulder season of mid-August-October when U.S. college students for example are back in school. Were also finding that our seasons are being extended and this program is so important for that. Some 3500 of Xanterras workforce (25 percent) are seasonal employees and many of them are J-1 workers while the rest of its employees work year-round. Weve been talking to American employees and theyre saying the top things they enjoyed about working with Xanterra was the J-1 program saidDierenback. The economic impact from the program is worth the cost saidDierenback. The program allows a 30-day grace period for workers to travel the U.S. after work assignments end. Over $509 million goes into this country each year from that one month when the workers go and travel she said. J-1 Has Bipartisan Support If not at the White House the program has friends and supporters in the U.S. Congress. A U.S. Senate appropriations committeepassed an amendment on September 8 that would prevent any funding from the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961 which established the program from being changed by the president through an executive order. But the White House could make an announcement about the programs future any day and the amendment is tied to the federal governments fiscal 2018 funding bill which may not be passed until October said Byrd. The program has the support of both Democrats and Republicans. Mayors and governors from around the country have been writing letters to the White House in support of J-1 said Mark Overmann a spokesperson for InterExchange a U.S. organization that helps J-1 workers with their visa applications and work placements. Some advocacy organizations such as theAlliance for International Exchange say conversations with Congress about the programs future have been fruitful saidIlir Zherka executive director of the Alliance for International Exchange. Any cuts to the J-1 program would result in a fire-American policy automatically reducing the number of Americans who are working because some companies wont be able to sustain operations said Zherka. Implementation of any policy changes to the program are unclear at this point. A regulatory process would take months for example. Or will there be some executive action to curtail these programs? Were waiting to see. With the summer travel season winding down in many U.S. destinations many travel companies are thinking about how their business could be impacted next year if they dont have access to J-1 workers. While a decision on the program from the White House is expected soon the possibility of changes to J-1 is causing confusion among many visa applicants and foreign workers considering applying to the program.30 http://ift.tt/2ha6j6y

What Happens When Events Grow Too Big?  As large events become more popular organizers face the challenge of ensuring that spaces remain accessible to hundreds of thousands of attendees. Christian Behrens / Flickr  Skift Take: Germanys biggest exhibition will test the endurance of delegates as more than 200000 visitors flock to Hanover. The event may be too big for the host city and many delegates will have to commute for hours each day.   Allan Leibowitz  Read the Complete Story On Skift  http://ift.tt/2Gs0SYY

What Happens When Events Grow Too Big? As large events become more popular organizers face the challenge of ensuring that spaces remain accessible to hundreds of thousands of attendees. Christian Behrens / Flickr Skift Take: Germanys biggest exhibition will test the endurance of delegates as more than 200000 visitors flock to Hanover. The event may be too big for the host city and many delegates will have to commute for hours each day. Allan Leibowitz Read the Complete Story On Skift http://ift.tt/2Gs0SYY

Bali Airport Closed Following Volcanic Eruption  Bali Airport is currently closed because of a volcanic eruption. Bloomberg  Skift Take: Volcanic eruptions can cause big problems for the aviation industry. There's not much airlines can do at this stage but watch wait and hope that this isn't going to be a repeat of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland in 2010.   Patrick Whyte  Indonesian authorities evacuated some 100000 people in the island of Bali and shut its airport after Mount Agung volcano erupted prompting airlines to cancel about 445 flights linking one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia.  Relocation from around Mount Agungs crater began as volcanologists warned of a very high likelihood for a larger eruptionthe National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement Monday. The volcano expelled ash clouds as high as 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the crater and residents as far as 12 kilometers away reported low explosive noises and flares.  From Qantas Airways Ltd. to Malaysia Airlines carriers canceled flights as Balis international airport will remain closed until 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Volcanic eruption and ash spreading across skies is dangerous for aircraft to fly through. In 2010 when Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted carriers were forced to cancel several thousand flights and billions lost in revenue.  The big concern would be if this situation prolongs as we get into the year-end peak season said K Ajith an analyst at UOB Kay Hian Pte. in Singapore. For now airlines can redeploy some of their capacity to other destinations like to Thailand.  PT Garuda Indonesia the national flag carrier and airlines such as Thai Air halted flights to the islands Ngurah Rai International Airport. The aerodrome scrapped 445 takeoffs and landings Monday according Israwadi the corporate secretary of PT Angkasa Pura I the operator.  The airlines have been monitoring the volcano since tremors increased in late September prompting the disaster agency to raise its alert to the highest level. The Bali airport handles about 2600 international flights a week according to CAPA Centre for Aviation.  Balis association of hotels and restaurants asked its members to offer one night of free accommodation and discounts for subsequent stay to stranded tourists Chairman Tjok Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said in a statement.The associations members including Hard Rock Hotel and the Sheraton arent obligated to comply with the request.  Its a matter of reputation for Balis hospitality that we help the visitors affected by Mount Agung when they most need it the chairman said by text message.  The transport ministry has prepared 100 buses as well as ferries to carry tens of thousands of people who have been stranded to the nearest operating airports on Java and Lombok islands. Some flights have been diverted to the nearby Surabaya and Makassar cities the ministry said in a statement.  Countries including Singapore and Canada issued travel advisories for Bali. A prolonged eruption would risk disrupting an International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group meeting set to be held on the island next October.  The Indonesian archipelago is lined with volcanoes and eruptions have often disrupted flights. A prolonged closing could pose a significant threat to Balis economy which relies on tourism-driven hotels and restaurants for more than 20 percent of its gross domestic product. The islands beaches surfing culture and nightlife make it among Asias most popular travel destinations attracting about 3.4 million foreign visitors in January to July this year.  Mount Agung last blew up in 1963 throwing debris as high as 10 kilometers in the air wrecking dozens of villages in a radius of about 7 kilometers and claiming more than 1000 lives. Mudflows caused by heavy rainfall afterward killed an additional 200 people and a second eruption three months later killed 200 more. Since then the volcano has occasionally belched smoke and ash.  2017 Bloomberg L.P.  This article was written by Harry Suhartono and Kyunghee Park from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.  http://ift.tt/2Bgr3OG

Bali Airport Closed Following Volcanic Eruption Bali Airport is currently closed because of a volcanic eruption. Bloomberg Skift Take: Volcanic eruptions can cause big problems for the aviation industry. There's not much airlines can do at this stage but watch wait and hope that this isn't going to be a repeat of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland in 2010. Patrick Whyte Indonesian authorities evacuated some 100000 people in the island of Bali and shut its airport after Mount Agung volcano erupted prompting airlines to cancel about 445 flights linking one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. Relocation from around Mount Agungs crater began as volcanologists warned of a very high likelihood for a larger eruptionthe National Disaster Mitigation Agency said in a statement Monday. The volcano expelled ash clouds as high as 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) above the crater and residents as far as 12 kilometers away reported low explosive noises and flares. From Qantas Airways Ltd. to Malaysia Airlines carriers canceled flights as Balis international airport will remain closed until 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Volcanic eruption and ash spreading across skies is dangerous for aircraft to fly through. In 2010 when Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland erupted carriers were forced to cancel several thousand flights and billions lost in revenue. The big concern would be if this situation prolongs as we get into the year-end peak season said K Ajith an analyst at UOB Kay Hian Pte. in Singapore. For now airlines can redeploy some of their capacity to other destinations like to Thailand. PT Garuda Indonesia the national flag carrier and airlines such as Thai Air halted flights to the islands Ngurah Rai International Airport. The aerodrome scrapped 445 takeoffs and landings Monday according Israwadi the corporate secretary of PT Angkasa Pura I the operator. The airlines have been monitoring the volcano since tremors increased in late September prompting the disaster agency to raise its alert to the highest level. The Bali airport handles about 2600 international flights a week according to CAPA Centre for Aviation. Balis association of hotels and restaurants asked its members to offer one night of free accommodation and discounts for subsequent stay to stranded tourists Chairman Tjok Oka Artha Ardhana Sukawati said in a statement.The associations members including Hard Rock Hotel and the Sheraton arent obligated to comply with the request. Its a matter of reputation for Balis hospitality that we help the visitors affected by Mount Agung when they most need it the chairman said by text message. The transport ministry has prepared 100 buses as well as ferries to carry tens of thousands of people who have been stranded to the nearest operating airports on Java and Lombok islands. Some flights have been diverted to the nearby Surabaya and Makassar cities the ministry said in a statement. Countries including Singapore and Canada issued travel advisories for Bali. A prolonged eruption would risk disrupting an International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group meeting set to be held on the island next October. The Indonesian archipelago is lined with volcanoes and eruptions have often disrupted flights. A prolonged closing could pose a significant threat to Balis economy which relies on tourism-driven hotels and restaurants for more than 20 percent of its gross domestic product. The islands beaches surfing culture and nightlife make it among Asias most popular travel destinations attracting about 3.4 million foreign visitors in January to July this year. Mount Agung last blew up in 1963 throwing debris as high as 10 kilometers in the air wrecking dozens of villages in a radius of about 7 kilometers and claiming more than 1000 lives. Mudflows caused by heavy rainfall afterward killed an additional 200 people and a second eruption three months later killed 200 more. Since then the volcano has occasionally belched smoke and ash. 2017 Bloomberg L.P. This article was written by Harry Suhartono and Kyunghee Park from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected] http://ift.tt/2Bgr3OG

Walt Disney World Characters are Rebelling Against the Teamsters  In this August 3 2017 photo Ralph Singer a member of the Teamsters Union voices complaints about the union leadership in Orlando Florida. Local members say their complaints to the international union have fallen on deaf ears. John Raoux / Associated Press  Skift Take: "Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me." Well Mickey Mouse the Seven Dwarves and many other Walt Disney World characters who start at $10 an hour may be fed up with their Teamsters union leadership. An opposition slate is forming to challenge the leadership of Local 385 which is highly influential in central Florida tourism and transportation.   Dennis Schaal  As negotiations start this month over wage increases at Walt Disney World rebellion is brewing in one of the six unions that advocate for the resorts 70000 workers.  Many of the performers who entertain guests as Mickey Mouse the Seven Dwarves and other costumed characters are Teamsters and some are fed up with how their union is being run. For the first time in recent memory theyre putting together a slate of opposition candidates promising to make this falls vote for the leadership of Teamsters Local 385 anything but a heigh-ho-hum affair.  Its a rats nest down there said John Spike Coskey who served on the locals executive committee until he was fired after arguing with a former president.  The 9000 members of Local 385 have key roles in central Floridas tourism and transportation industries. About half are Disney workers; the rest include UPS drivers hotel employees food service workers rental car employees and other drivers across 20 Florida counties.  Local 385 member Ralph Singer said national Teamsters leaders have ignored his complaints because the local is flush with cash. Records filed with the U.S. Department of Labor shows Local 385 collected almost $3.6 million in dues and fees last year  an average of $400 per member  and had $2.3 million in net assets.  Because theyve got plenty of money nobody cares said Singer a truck driver at Disney who plans to run on the opposition slate. Its a cash cow. Nobody cares.  The unhappiness in Local 385 comes as Walt Disney World management opens talks with the six-union council which represents about half the theme park resorts workforce. New employees start at $10 an hour and a council statement said negotiators will push for significant increases to lift Cast Members out of poverty.  Disney World is the only unionized theme park in Orlando but given the vast size of its workforce wages there have a big impact on what other hospitality workers earn in the area. And compared to other major tourist destinations theyre not doing very well: Among the nations 25 largest metro areas in 2015 Orlando had the third-lowest median household income at $51077. One reason: Floridas right-to-work law depresses union membership by requiring it to be voluntary and not a condition of employment.  In recent weeks both Singer and Coskey filed complaints with a review board that was created decades ago to root out corruption in the Teamsters and is still overseen by a federal judge in New York. They accuse the locals president Clay Jeffries of giving himself a $400 a week raise without executive committee approval and say he wont let members see the locals finances.  Jeffries didnt return repeated phone calls and emails for this story.  Teamsters spokesman Galen Munroe said International Brotherhood of Teamsters officials in Washington are aware that the review board has been investigating these new allegations but said he couldnt comment beyond that. Robert Callus a review board investigator said the board doesnt confirm or deny open investigations.  In the mid-1990s Larry Parker was barred from the union after he allegedly took kickbacks as the locals president from members wanting to work on films in Florida. Twenty-years before that his father Paul Parker also the locals president was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting others to damage a building with explosives. Paul Parker also pleaded guilty to obstructing a criminal probe embezzling funds and falsifying union records.  Jeffries assumed the top post a year ago. In March the National Labor Relations Board determined he engaged in unfair labor practices before that when as secretary-treasurer he was accused of ignoring the requests of eight members who wanted to quit and stop paying their dues. The union argued that most of the requests were made at the wrong time and said it honors hundreds of similar requests every year. Thomas Pilacek a lawyer for Local 385 said they have filed an appeal.  Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed.  This article was written by Mike Schneider from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.  http://ift.tt/2viMKPJ

Walt Disney World Characters are Rebelling Against the Teamsters In this August 3 2017 photo Ralph Singer a member of the Teamsters Union voices complaints about the union leadership in Orlando Florida. Local members say their complaints to the international union have fallen on deaf ears. John Raoux / Associated Press Skift Take: "Who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me." Well Mickey Mouse the Seven Dwarves and many other Walt Disney World characters who start at $10 an hour may be fed up with their Teamsters union leadership. An opposition slate is forming to challenge the leadership of Local 385 which is highly influential in central Florida tourism and transportation. Dennis Schaal As negotiations start this month over wage increases at Walt Disney World rebellion is brewing in one of the six unions that advocate for the resorts 70000 workers. Many of the performers who entertain guests as Mickey Mouse the Seven Dwarves and other costumed characters are Teamsters and some are fed up with how their union is being run. For the first time in recent memory theyre putting together a slate of opposition candidates promising to make this falls vote for the leadership of Teamsters Local 385 anything but a heigh-ho-hum affair. Its a rats nest down there said John Spike Coskey who served on the locals executive committee until he was fired after arguing with a former president. The 9000 members of Local 385 have key roles in central Floridas tourism and transportation industries. About half are Disney workers; the rest include UPS drivers hotel employees food service workers rental car employees and other drivers across 20 Florida counties. Local 385 member Ralph Singer said national Teamsters leaders have ignored his complaints because the local is flush with cash. Records filed with the U.S. Department of Labor shows Local 385 collected almost $3.6 million in dues and fees last year an average of $400 per member and had $2.3 million in net assets. Because theyve got plenty of money nobody cares said Singer a truck driver at Disney who plans to run on the opposition slate. Its a cash cow. Nobody cares. The unhappiness in Local 385 comes as Walt Disney World management opens talks with the six-union council which represents about half the theme park resorts workforce. New employees start at $10 an hour and a council statement said negotiators will push for significant increases to lift Cast Members out of poverty. Disney World is the only unionized theme park in Orlando but given the vast size of its workforce wages there have a big impact on what other hospitality workers earn in the area. And compared to other major tourist destinations theyre not doing very well: Among the nations 25 largest metro areas in 2015 Orlando had the third-lowest median household income at $51077. One reason: Floridas right-to-work law depresses union membership by requiring it to be voluntary and not a condition of employment. In recent weeks both Singer and Coskey filed complaints with a review board that was created decades ago to root out corruption in the Teamsters and is still overseen by a federal judge in New York. They accuse the locals president Clay Jeffries of giving himself a $400 a week raise without executive committee approval and say he wont let members see the locals finances. Jeffries didnt return repeated phone calls and emails for this story. Teamsters spokesman Galen Munroe said International Brotherhood of Teamsters officials in Washington are aware that the review board has been investigating these new allegations but said he couldnt comment beyond that. Robert Callus a review board investigator said the board doesnt confirm or deny open investigations. In the mid-1990s Larry Parker was barred from the union after he allegedly took kickbacks as the locals president from members wanting to work on films in Florida. Twenty-years before that his father Paul Parker also the locals president was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting others to damage a building with explosives. Paul Parker also pleaded guilty to obstructing a criminal probe embezzling funds and falsifying union records. Jeffries assumed the top post a year ago. In March the National Labor Relations Board determined he engaged in unfair labor practices before that when as secretary-treasurer he was accused of ignoring the requests of eight members who wanted to quit and stop paying their dues. The union argued that most of the requests were made at the wrong time and said it honors hundreds of similar requests every year. Thomas Pilacek a lawyer for Local 385 said they have filed an appeal. Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed. This article was written by Mike Schneider from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected] http://ift.tt/2viMKPJ

National Parks Fee Hike Could Decrease Tourism Spending in Local Communities  A symposium on park design at Bandolier National Monument in Santa Fe New Mexico on June 28 2016. A study has shown that increased fees to enter national parks would adversely impact the economies of surrounding communities. National Park Service  Skift Take: In the realm of unintended consequences increased fees at U.S. national parks would decrease visitations which might not be a terrible thing to combat overtourism. However local communities around Yellowstone and other parks could feel the pinch of decreased spending.   Dennis Schaal  University of Montana researchers say the U.S. Department of Interiors proposal to more than double the cost of the seven-day pass for national parks could cause economic harm to neighboring communities.  The Missoulian reports that economists at the universitys Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research say the fee increase would decrease annual spending by $3.4 million in the surrounding communities within 60 miles (100 kilometers) of Yellowstone National Park.  Institute director Jeremy Sage says the effects found from their research on Yellowstone would likely carry over to other parks and communities. He says other proposed fee increases should be expected to reduce visits and thus have a negative impact on local communities.  The institute has not yet calculated the potential loss amount for the communities around Glacier National Park.  ___  Information from: Missoulian http://ift.tt/1cy99Fy  Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed.  This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.  http://ift.tt/2AHFbUA

National Parks Fee Hike Could Decrease Tourism Spending in Local Communities A symposium on park design at Bandolier National Monument in Santa Fe New Mexico on June 28 2016. A study has shown that increased fees to enter national parks would adversely impact the economies of surrounding communities. National Park Service Skift Take: In the realm of unintended consequences increased fees at U.S. national parks would decrease visitations which might not be a terrible thing to combat overtourism. However local communities around Yellowstone and other parks could feel the pinch of decreased spending. Dennis Schaal University of Montana researchers say the U.S. Department of Interiors proposal to more than double the cost of the seven-day pass for national parks could cause economic harm to neighboring communities. The Missoulian reports that economists at the universitys Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research say the fee increase would decrease annual spending by $3.4 million in the surrounding communities within 60 miles (100 kilometers) of Yellowstone National Park. Institute director Jeremy Sage says the effects found from their research on Yellowstone would likely carry over to other parks and communities. He says other proposed fee increases should be expected to reduce visits and thus have a negative impact on local communities. The institute has not yet calculated the potential loss amount for the communities around Glacier National Park. ___ Information from: Missoulian http://ift.tt/1cy99Fy Copyright (2017) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected] http://ift.tt/2AHFbUA

Planners Look to Sports Venues to Host Innovative and Immersive Events  San Francisco General Hospital Foundation's Heroes & Hearts Luncheon was held at AT&T Park. More organizations are looking to sports venues to host their events. Drew Altizer Photography / San Francisco General Hospital Foundation  Skift Take: The use of sports stadiums and parks for non-sporting events is a growing trend in the meetings and events industry and professional sports teams that are eager to create additional revenue and leverage investments are promoting their state-of-the-art venues as a unique alternative for hosting conferences trade shows meetings and events.   Deanna Ting  Meeting and event planners seeking to score a touchdown or hit a homerun for their next major event are increasingly turning an eye toward professional sports venues.  The use of sports stadiums and ballparks for meetings and conferences is on an upswing as planners seek out one-of-a-kind venues that can provide impactful experiences specific to a city or locale.  With seven professional sports teams Denver is not short of major sporting venues and we see a growing use of these facilities outside of the teams they host said Matthew Payne executive director of Denver sports with Visit Denver. Even with a good amount of games happening throughout the year there are still open dates on the calendar that leave an opportunity for an industry that is sophisticated in putting on events.  A Search for Out-of-the-Box Solutions  Several factors are playing into this new look at venues for events including the changing nature of meetings themselves noted Greg ODell president and CEO of EventsDC. ODells organization helps bring events to nine venues across Washington D.C. including the Verizon Center and Nationals Park as well as the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.  Sometimes its about outgrowing space or a building but part of it is the evolution of meetings  sometimes theyve gone from having breakout sessions to more plenary sessions or vice versa from less plenary sessions to more breakout space where they need different venues ODell said.  Meeting and event planners are also searching for venues that will increase attendees satisfaction which requires a willingness to think out-of-the-box ODell explained.  Theyve got to figure out something new or different every year so I think theyre looking or craving new ideas and certainly for cities to sell them on different ways they can entice their membership to come to their conference ODell said. People are craving more unique experiences and more authentic experiences. Planners can say Oh we did this in Washington D.C. and we couldnt do it anywhere else.'  Major League Meetings  Sports venues meanwhile pride themselves on offering something unique compared to other more traditional locations. Easy to access and often located within a short distance of major hotels and downtown convention centers most city stadiums and ballparks are not only convenient but offer flexibility with adaptable spaces for large or small conferences meetings or events.  That was certainly the case for San Francisco General Hospital Foundations (SGHF) Heroes & Hearts event. In 2011 after six years in San Franciscos famous Union Square the SFGHFs Heroes & Hearts Luncheon committee decided to move the fundraiser to the home of the San Francisco Giants: right on the field of AT&T Park.  By moving the event to AT&T we were able to increase our capacity and reach more individual and corporate supporters who were interested in raising money and awareness for the vital programs at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center said Amanda Heier CEO of SFGHF.  The use of AT&T Park also allowed SFGHF to incorporate innovative marketing strategies and customized hospitality options for sponsors all of which would not be available in a more traditional setting.  In addition to the cache of our guests having lunch on the field of the World Series Champions San Francisco Giants the park offers an array of one-of-a-kind marketing opportunities for sponsors said Heier. In years past donors at certain sponsorship levels received visibility on the scoreboard behind the scenes tour access to batting tunnels and meet-and-greet session with VIPs in the Visitors Club House.  Besides the excitement that comes along with being in the home of a major league professional sports team these venues also offer state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities as well as on-site staff and catering capabilities.  Our tagline is Were a diamond in D.C. not only because we have an actual baseball diamond but because we think our level of customer service sets us apart said Emily Dunham executive director of ballpark enterprises for the Washington Nationals.  Over the last 11 years D.C.s Nationals Parkhas hosted hundreds of events ranging from client appreciation picnics for local law firms to multi-day conferences to a Papal Mass for 47000 people during Pope Benedict XVIs 2008 visit to the United States. Were used to hosting 41000 people here 81 times a year so we know how to handle large groups of people and make the experience good for everyone said Dunham.  Sports & Meetings: The Perfect Team  For the teams using their sports venues for more than sports creates ancillary revenue and leverages existing team assets including marketing sponsorship and public relations divisions. We were the first sports team to create an events group that would look at utilizing their asset said Stephen Revetria vice president and general manager of Giants Enterprises a wholly owned subsidiary of the San Francisco Giants. We were the first privately funded sports stadium of the modern era so we had an incentive to do something.  Formed in 2000 Giants Enterprises helps hundreds of clients host one-of-a-kind experiences at AT&T Park. Since its inception Giants Enterprises has produced thousands of private and public events including meetings fundraisers conferences and trade shows.  Teams only play a fixed amount of dates a year so if you can utilize those assets and those groups to help capture and bring business to your facility why wouldnt you? Revetria asked.  Other professional teams and even hotels are taking note and getting in on the trend. Omni Hotels which already has a hotel in San Diego attached to Petco Park is developing two additional properties that will be connected to major league sports facilities in Dallas and Atlanta. All of which will make it easier for meeting and event planners to use both venues with ease.  http://ift.tt/2vJSjBY

Planners Look to Sports Venues to Host Innovative and Immersive Events San Francisco General Hospital Foundation's Heroes & Hearts Luncheon was held at AT&T Park. More organizations are looking to sports venues to host their events. Drew Altizer Photography / San Francisco General Hospital Foundation Skift Take: The use of sports stadiums and parks for non-sporting events is a growing trend in the meetings and events industry and professional sports teams that are eager to create additional revenue and leverage investments are promoting their state-of-the-art venues as a unique alternative for hosting conferences trade shows meetings and events. Deanna Ting Meeting and event planners seeking to score a touchdown or hit a homerun for their next major event are increasingly turning an eye toward professional sports venues. The use of sports stadiums and ballparks for meetings and conferences is on an upswing as planners seek out one-of-a-kind venues that can provide impactful experiences specific to a city or locale. With seven professional sports teams Denver is not short of major sporting venues and we see a growing use of these facilities outside of the teams they host said Matthew Payne executive director of Denver sports with Visit Denver. Even with a good amount of games happening throughout the year there are still open dates on the calendar that leave an opportunity for an industry that is sophisticated in putting on events. A Search for Out-of-the-Box Solutions Several factors are playing into this new look at venues for events including the changing nature of meetings themselves noted Greg ODell president and CEO of EventsDC. ODells organization helps bring events to nine venues across Washington D.C. including the Verizon Center and Nationals Park as well as the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Sometimes its about outgrowing space or a building but part of it is the evolution of meetings sometimes theyve gone from having breakout sessions to more plenary sessions or vice versa from less plenary sessions to more breakout space where they need different venues ODell said. Meeting and event planners are also searching for venues that will increase attendees satisfaction which requires a willingness to think out-of-the-box ODell explained. Theyve got to figure out something new or different every year so I think theyre looking or craving new ideas and certainly for cities to sell them on different ways they can entice their membership to come to their conference ODell said. People are craving more unique experiences and more authentic experiences. Planners can say Oh we did this in Washington D.C. and we couldnt do it anywhere else.' Major League Meetings Sports venues meanwhile pride themselves on offering something unique compared to other more traditional locations. Easy to access and often located within a short distance of major hotels and downtown convention centers most city stadiums and ballparks are not only convenient but offer flexibility with adaptable spaces for large or small conferences meetings or events. That was certainly the case for San Francisco General Hospital Foundations (SGHF) Heroes & Hearts event. In 2011 after six years in San Franciscos famous Union Square the SFGHFs Heroes & Hearts Luncheon committee decided to move the fundraiser to the home of the San Francisco Giants: right on the field of AT&T Park. By moving the event to AT&T we were able to increase our capacity and reach more individual and corporate supporters who were interested in raising money and awareness for the vital programs at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center said Amanda Heier CEO of SFGHF. The use of AT&T Park also allowed SFGHF to incorporate innovative marketing strategies and customized hospitality options for sponsors all of which would not be available in a more traditional setting. In addition to the cache of our guests having lunch on the field of the World Series Champions San Francisco Giants the park offers an array of one-of-a-kind marketing opportunities for sponsors said Heier. In years past donors at certain sponsorship levels received visibility on the scoreboard behind the scenes tour access to batting tunnels and meet-and-greet session with VIPs in the Visitors Club House. Besides the excitement that comes along with being in the home of a major league professional sports team these venues also offer state-of-the-art audio-visual capabilities as well as on-site staff and catering capabilities. Our tagline is Were a diamond in D.C. not only because we have an actual baseball diamond but because we think our level of customer service sets us apart said Emily Dunham executive director of ballpark enterprises for the Washington Nationals. Over the last 11 years D.C.s Nationals Parkhas hosted hundreds of events ranging from client appreciation picnics for local law firms to multi-day conferences to a Papal Mass for 47000 people during Pope Benedict XVIs 2008 visit to the United States. Were used to hosting 41000 people here 81 times a year so we know how to handle large groups of people and make the experience good for everyone said Dunham. Sports & Meetings: The Perfect Team For the teams using their sports venues for more than sports creates ancillary revenue and leverages existing team assets including marketing sponsorship and public relations divisions. We were the first sports team to create an events group that would look at utilizing their asset said Stephen Revetria vice president and general manager of Giants Enterprises a wholly owned subsidiary of the San Francisco Giants. We were the first privately funded sports stadium of the modern era so we had an incentive to do something. Formed in 2000 Giants Enterprises helps hundreds of clients host one-of-a-kind experiences at AT&T Park. Since its inception Giants Enterprises has produced thousands of private and public events including meetings fundraisers conferences and trade shows. Teams only play a fixed amount of dates a year so if you can utilize those assets and those groups to help capture and bring business to your facility why wouldnt you? Revetria asked. Other professional teams and even hotels are taking note and getting in on the trend. Omni Hotels which already has a hotel in San Diego attached to Petco Park is developing two additional properties that will be connected to major league sports facilities in Dallas and Atlanta. All of which will make it easier for meeting and event planners to use both venues with ease. http://ift.tt/2vJSjBY

Video: Delta CEO Sees Basic Economy as Way to Show Passengers They Arent Getting Ripped Off

Video: Delta CEO Sees Basic Economy as Way to Show Passengers They Arent Getting Ripped Off

United Hits Pause on Its Bad Idea to Replace Bonuses With Lottery-Style Perks  United Continental Holdings Inc. retreated from a plan to replace modest employee bonus payments with a chance for a lucky few to win luxury cars and six-figure cash prizes. Bloomberg  Skift Take: No employees want a "more exciting program" when it comes to their take-home pay. They want something they can count on if they do good work. It's not that complicated.   Jason Clampet  Read the Complete Story On Skift  http://ift.tt/2Ffyegh

United Hits Pause on Its Bad Idea to Replace Bonuses With Lottery-Style Perks United Continental Holdings Inc. retreated from a plan to replace modest employee bonus payments with a chance for a lucky few to win luxury cars and six-figure cash prizes. Bloomberg Skift Take: No employees want a "more exciting program" when it comes to their take-home pay. They want something they can count on if they do good work. It's not that complicated. Jason Clampet Read the Complete Story On Skift http://ift.tt/2Ffyegh

Five Challenges Keeping Travel Startup Leaders Up At Night  Skift Take: What keeps travel startup founders up at night? According to the results of our new travel startup survey fledgling travel businesses face a variety of obstacles including finding the right people misunderstanding market dynamics weak business models and challenges with data complexity.   Dawn Rzeznikiewicz  Startups frequently come and go in any industry and travel is no exception. Harvard Business Review estimates that 95 percent of startups dont survive. The five percent of companies that are able to move beyond the nascent stages are the ones that somehow rise to the unique challenges of their industry. But what are those challenges? With this question in mind Skift recently conducted a study on behalf of Amadeus surveying 177 individuals who work at travel industry startups asking respondents about the most overlooked factors leading to failure. The responses revolved around five core themes.  1. Issues Surrounding Founding Team and Leadership: Several respondents referenced issues linked directly to vulnerabilities in the founding team and leadership positions of their company. As one respondent explained Founders do not take it to next level. They lose interest over time. Other issues had to do with founder burnout and lack of operating culture and management skills.  Even when salaries are attractive hiring and retaining the best team possible can be difficult. One entrepreneur offered a deeper assessment of the importance of people in the startup equation for success: From our perspective perhaps the amount of human capital (skills creative problem solving etc.) needed for success exceeds whats available in our location (as well as what were able to pay adequately for).  Ultimately a leader with a compelling vision for the company is necessary to get both management and staff in place at the right time. Without this travel startups may find it nearly impossible to survive the road ahead.  2. Limited Travel Market Knowledge: Lack of industry and sector knowledge emerged as another leading obstacle for many survey respondents. As one respondent explained Due to the industrys high cost of acquiring new customers technology companies have made it easy to enter the marketbut with poor travel knowledge they wont be able to continue in the business. Many respondents reported that startups often dont understand the complexities of the travel industry and the sales cycle. Another respondent admitted The sector is much more complicated than it appears.  The tendency to pre-judge the structure of the travel market based on personal experiences may lead too many co-founders to dive in too soon. One respondent offered a candid in-depth response: Judgment based on high-level experiences is not sufficient to base a product or solution on. Owning property abroad gives one very little insight into what property management is about or what the challenges and actual issues are that need to be addressed just like me driving my car every day makes me no more a mechanic than anyone else.  Popular sub-themes that fall into this insufficient knowledge were also related to challenges like a lack of product fit and marketing challenges could have likely been solved with a deeper understanding of the market. For example one respondent was not prepared for the difficulty of changing user behavior and teaching users new habits. Another response acknowledged that travel is a crowded space. Travel data is very complex and so its hard to keep user experience simple.  3. Weak Business Models: A brilliant idea is not enough to capture the market. According to the surveys travel startup respondents generating a profitable business model is trickier than it seems. One frequent challenge is customer acquisition costs. Many startup respondents noted that they must balance between pros and cons like a higher lifetime value per user against acquisition costs per user. Many respondents also explained that targeting the wrong consumers could be problematic such as a decision to focus on low-spending leisure travelers instead of high-spending business travelers. Others spoke about the failure to solve a customer pain point which would be necessary to sustain revenue.  4. Funding Challenges: Perhaps unsurprisingly several respondents reported undercapitalization and running out of cash as other major issues. You need time and money to fund the growth of a startup in its early years one respondent noted. Others spoke of the pressure to generate revenue for investors which could divert a startups focus from product development.  Some felt their hands were tied to harsh realities including Lack of funding resulting in not being able to hire the right resources for the right job and losing focus on core objectives and working on short-term revenue generation to survive.  5. Technology-Related Difficulties: Among the responses technology did not weigh in as heavily as some of the previously mentioned issues. Startups struggling with technology issues can reach out to the developer community or may partner with other firms in creative ways. Nonetheless a few respondents did describe underestimating technology challenges or challenges with data such as battling to keep user experience simple despite data complexity. One respondent cautioned against relying only on tech as the support for the startup to succeed.  Check out the Amadeus for Startups infographic below to learn more about how travel startups can cross the funding gap.  This content was created collaboratively by Amadeus and Skifts branded content studio SkiftX.  http://ift.tt/2nxXjKZ

Five Challenges Keeping Travel Startup Leaders Up At Night Skift Take: What keeps travel startup founders up at night? According to the results of our new travel startup survey fledgling travel businesses face a variety of obstacles including finding the right people misunderstanding market dynamics weak business models and challenges with data complexity. Dawn Rzeznikiewicz Startups frequently come and go in any industry and travel is no exception. Harvard Business Review estimates that 95 percent of startups dont survive. The five percent of companies that are able to move beyond the nascent stages are the ones that somehow rise to the unique challenges of their industry. But what are those challenges? With this question in mind Skift recently conducted a study on behalf of Amadeus surveying 177 individuals who work at travel industry startups asking respondents about the most overlooked factors leading to failure. The responses revolved around five core themes. 1. Issues Surrounding Founding Team and Leadership: Several respondents referenced issues linked directly to vulnerabilities in the founding team and leadership positions of their company. As one respondent explained Founders do not take it to next level. They lose interest over time. Other issues had to do with founder burnout and lack of operating culture and management skills. Even when salaries are attractive hiring and retaining the best team possible can be difficult. One entrepreneur offered a deeper assessment of the importance of people in the startup equation for success: From our perspective perhaps the amount of human capital (skills creative problem solving etc.) needed for success exceeds whats available in our location (as well as what were able to pay adequately for). Ultimately a leader with a compelling vision for the company is necessary to get both management and staff in place at the right time. Without this travel startups may find it nearly impossible to survive the road ahead. 2. Limited Travel Market Knowledge: Lack of industry and sector knowledge emerged as another leading obstacle for many survey respondents. As one respondent explained Due to the industrys high cost of acquiring new customers technology companies have made it easy to enter the marketbut with poor travel knowledge they wont be able to continue in the business. Many respondents reported that startups often dont understand the complexities of the travel industry and the sales cycle. Another respondent admitted The sector is much more complicated than it appears. The tendency to pre-judge the structure of the travel market based on personal experiences may lead too many co-founders to dive in too soon. One respondent offered a candid in-depth response: Judgment based on high-level experiences is not sufficient to base a product or solution on. Owning property abroad gives one very little insight into what property management is about or what the challenges and actual issues are that need to be addressed just like me driving my car every day makes me no more a mechanic than anyone else. Popular sub-themes that fall into this insufficient knowledge were also related to challenges like a lack of product fit and marketing challenges could have likely been solved with a deeper understanding of the market. For example one respondent was not prepared for the difficulty of changing user behavior and teaching users new habits. Another response acknowledged that travel is a crowded space. Travel data is very complex and so its hard to keep user experience simple. 3. Weak Business Models: A brilliant idea is not enough to capture the market. According to the surveys travel startup respondents generating a profitable business model is trickier than it seems. One frequent challenge is customer acquisition costs. Many startup respondents noted that they must balance between pros and cons like a higher lifetime value per user against acquisition costs per user. Many respondents also explained that targeting the wrong consumers could be problematic such as a decision to focus on low-spending leisure travelers instead of high-spending business travelers. Others spoke about the failure to solve a customer pain point which would be necessary to sustain revenue. 4. Funding Challenges: Perhaps unsurprisingly several respondents reported undercapitalization and running out of cash as other major issues. You need time and money to fund the growth of a startup in its early years one respondent noted. Others spoke of the pressure to generate revenue for investors which could divert a startups focus from product development. Some felt their hands were tied to harsh realities including Lack of funding resulting in not being able to hire the right resources for the right job and losing focus on core objectives and working on short-term revenue generation to survive. 5. Technology-Related Difficulties: Among the responses technology did not weigh in as heavily as some of the previously mentioned issues. Startups struggling with technology issues can reach out to the developer community or may partner with other firms in creative ways. Nonetheless a few respondents did describe underestimating technology challenges or challenges with data such as battling to keep user experience simple despite data complexity. One respondent cautioned against relying only on tech as the support for the startup to succeed. Check out the Amadeus for Startups infographic below to learn more about how travel startups can cross the funding gap. This content was created collaboratively by Amadeus and Skifts branded content studio SkiftX. http://ift.tt/2nxXjKZ

Skift Call on Expedias New Leadership and 25 Other Digital Trends This Week  Mark Okerstrom is Expedia's new CEO. Expedia  Skift Take: This week's digital news was off the charts: Expedia's CEO left for Uber and was replaced by Mark Okerstrom. On Thursday

Skift Call on Expedias New Leadership and 25 Other Digital Trends This Week Mark Okerstrom is Expedia's new CEO. Expedia Skift Take: This week's digital news was off the charts: Expedia's CEO left for Uber and was replaced by Mark Okerstrom. On Thursday

Trump Budget Would Fund National Park Maintenance With Drilling Fees

Trump Budget Would Fund National Park Maintenance With Drilling Fees

Interview: VisitBritain Chairman Steers Tourism Boom Through Brexit Uncertainties  Revelers at London's 2016 Pride parade. The UK has experienced strong travel and tourism growth since the Brexit referendum. Chris Beckett / Flickr  Skift Take: Tourism along with business travel is on the rise again in the UK due to a weak British pound and cheap flights. VisitBritain is trying to make the most of it despite the lingering ramifications of the political mess that is Brexit.   Andrew Sheivachman  Its been a rough 18 months for the UK government and economy following the Brexit vote in June 2016. Travel however has been a bright spot for the country despite the uncertain political climate.  August represented the strongest month ever for visitor spending across the UK and the surge in travel shows no signs of slowing. The drop in currency value after Brexit has made the UK an affordable destination once again. There have been headwinds however namely an uptick in terrorism across the country in 2017.  Steve Ridgway chairman of VisitBritain thinks his organization needs to do more to ensure that travel is perceived as a power player among UK industries. Hes worked to push travel and tourism into the political spotlight with a white paper detailing the creation of new tourism zones to capture increased demand.  Skift spoke to Ridgway about navigating the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations and marketing the variety of travel offerings across the UK.  This interview has been edited for clarity and length.  Skift: What are your thoughts on how the Brexit negotiations have affected visitation to the UK in the last year? It seems like a surprising bit of good news for the industry.  Steve Ridgway: The main thing everyone thinks about in the UK at the moment is Brexit and Britain in the European Union. Obviously that is a massive topic and its massively complex and massively critical but life goes on in the meanwhile. There is huge inertia in the economy and one of the big success stories [is travel and tourism]. Its driven by the fact that we have a more competitive exchange rate since the referendum and its also driven by a lot of focus by the airlines on the amount and quality of air services going into the UK.  We are seeing really strong tourism numbers out of the U.S. both in volume and in value. The U.S. market was the largest tourism market into the UK and Europe for many years for lots of historical reasons. But nonetheless those numbers fell off pretty dramatically at the outset of the [global recession] and everything that went with that with the big financial crisis. The numbers for UK being highest previously at about four million visitors a year dropped back to about 2.7 million.  Then we saw that recover strongly and this year weve only got about two weeks or three weeks left but we are probably within a hair and may even achieve getting the U.S. visitors back to 4 million which is fantastic. That is showing the attraction of the UK.  Skift: So tourism and business travel to the UK has continued to grow despite Brexit. But how do you deal with the uncertainty of the ongoing negotiations?  Ridgway: I think in some ways that uncertainty hasnt gone away completely. I think there is emerging clarity and we are in a particular nexus at the moment in the next week but you have to believe that the UK is the second largest economy in Europe and neither the British nor the European Union are going to cut their noses off to spite their faces and will instead keep their relationship open.  So its not going to be straightforward. We dont all know the answers but there is more and more work building up to resolve this now. Everybody is very determined. We want the closest relationship we can have with Europe and we also want to remain a very outward-looking country and economy as we have always been. We certainly always felt a very strong relationship with the U.S. thats been there for a long long time now hasnt it?  We make sure that we are keeping the doors open and that people want to come to England. Tourism has been a big success story since the referendum. I admit that is due in large part by the exchange rate but its also driven by other factors and the way that we are putting our story and our position together.  Skift: On that note how do you position the UK as a business travel and meetings destination when the political situation is so uncertain?  Ridgway:Its growing because again the value of our position is very strong there. There are more facilities opening in the UK all the time. Its not just the big well-known conference centers in London Edinburgh. There are lots of business centers and actually Visit Britain has got its brief back from the government to promote it. And its been a very important part of post-Brexit Britain because business is an important way of promoting an economy and getting people to come do business with you. Its something very much on our agenda in terms of growing the value of that.  Skift: Have there been any changes in who is coming due to the lower cost or is it still a very wide mix?  Ridgway: Lots more Americans are coming.  Skift: Right. Yeah were cheap.  Ridgway: And Canadians and Australians and Chinese and India and Europeans. Europe is the biggest inbound market to the UK which you can logically understand and thats again a very important focus for us to make sure that whatever goes on with Brexit doesnt change sentiment or views about a tourist coming to Britain. Equally tourists from Britain going to Europe. I think the value proposition is certainly working across those major markets.  Skift: As the Brexit talks reach a conclusion what are you most concerned about?  Ridgway:I think we all want clarity and the best outcome for the Brexit negotiations that we can get. Exchange rates do change and fluctuate quite frequently so we need to be aware and ready for that. Theres a constant vigilance around terrorism and things and thats down to all the work that goes on with the security services around the insurgents striking to practical pragmatic measures about who is actually let in and out. How we manage the street and the attractions and handle all the security forces.  Skift: Youve introduced a new plan for tourism to have a higher profile among UK industries. Why is this so important right now?  Ridgway: What should we be doing to make sure Britain is a dynamic open economy and that were backing winning sectors as we go to Brexit and post-Brexit?  Thats what theyre calling their modern industrial strategy. They are really undertaking the sitdown with sectors of industry and make sure the government is not [opposed] to progress development and [areas] where they can develop new positive policy or remove unrealistic legislation restrictions and regulations. Its also to make sure the industry has a bright future with some of the agencies around research and development investment and technology and things like that. Thats happening across a wide variety of sectors and we believe that tourism should very much be a part of that because tourism is inadvertently 10 percent of the UK GDP.  Skift: The variety of stakeholders across the travel industry must make reaching a policy consensus hard though.  Ridgway:Thats the challenge here. The example I cite most of the time is the automotive industry. That one is very simple because we really got five automotive companies in the UK now. You get five CEOs together and they can very quickly align around ultra low emission vehicles or the development of electric clean vehicles.  Its much harder with tourism but the flip side of that is employing people all over the country. Theres lots of different aspects of it from travel to rails to hotels to restaurants to attractions whatever it might be. This is a powerhouse in its own right and weve just got to bang on with these messages and get those key statistics out; I think weve been bad at that. I think weve been bad at saying inbound tourism is a massive export. Tourism is the fourth largest export in the UK economy.  Skift: How has this all affected your organizations marketing strategy going forward?  Ridgway:There is the digital world and digital platforms enable us to do that in a way that we couldnt do before because it was just so expensive to target and communicate those things whereas you can be very granular now about that.  One particular thing weve done is the UK government created a fund about two-and-a-half years ago about 60 million dollars for the Discover England Fund. That was put together packages and combinations of products that maybe couldnt be found very easily and couldnt be accessed by tourists. A lot of these projects are coming together now and proving very exciting and thats all a part of this: getting the story out about the number of things you can do and the way you can do them.  The very coastal scenery with some of the seaside towns with all the great restaurants and the fishing and all the new boutique and bed and breakfasts. All the great little products and the features that are there that werent adequately marketed which can now be in a digital world.  Skift: Youve been on the VisitBritain board for years but took over the chairman role earlier this year. What has that been like and what do you have planned for the future of VisitBritain?  Ridgway:My quest all the time is really for the team to make sure the board is functioning well and really engaged with what Visit Britain and Visit England are doing and challenging the team.  Also making sure that we are making this migration to a changing world. Its a changing world around how we all communicate market get to our customers and how one country competes for tourists versus another. Its not like its a one stop shop is it? Its a brutal competition between getting people to go to Italy or France or Germany or the Far East wherever it might be. We are in a competitive game just the same as hotels and airlines. Im very mindful of that.  Then Ive been particularly focused around this industrial strategy because I think getting tourism in there being recognized as an important sector and really having the ear of government. We are so far pleased with what we achieved.  We havent necessarily landed it as a slam dunk but I think we are close. I think if we do it will be great for the industry and everybody will continue to cooperate and keep badgering the government about how important travel is.  http://ift.tt/2kTuTKx

Interview: VisitBritain Chairman Steers Tourism Boom Through Brexit Uncertainties Revelers at London's 2016 Pride parade. The UK has experienced strong travel and tourism growth since the Brexit referendum. Chris Beckett / Flickr Skift Take: Tourism along with business travel is on the rise again in the UK due to a weak British pound and cheap flights. VisitBritain is trying to make the most of it despite the lingering ramifications of the political mess that is Brexit. Andrew Sheivachman Its been a rough 18 months for the UK government and economy following the Brexit vote in June 2016. Travel however has been a bright spot for the country despite the uncertain political climate. August represented the strongest month ever for visitor spending across the UK and the surge in travel shows no signs of slowing. The drop in currency value after Brexit has made the UK an affordable destination once again. There have been headwinds however namely an uptick in terrorism across the country in 2017. Steve Ridgway chairman of VisitBritain thinks his organization needs to do more to ensure that travel is perceived as a power player among UK industries. Hes worked to push travel and tourism into the political spotlight with a white paper detailing the creation of new tourism zones to capture increased demand. Skift spoke to Ridgway about navigating the uncertainty of the Brexit negotiations and marketing the variety of travel offerings across the UK. This interview has been edited for clarity and length. Skift: What are your thoughts on how the Brexit negotiations have affected visitation to the UK in the last year? It seems like a surprising bit of good news for the industry. Steve Ridgway: The main thing everyone thinks about in the UK at the moment is Brexit and Britain in the European Union. Obviously that is a massive topic and its massively complex and massively critical but life goes on in the meanwhile. There is huge inertia in the economy and one of the big success stories [is travel and tourism]. Its driven by the fact that we have a more competitive exchange rate since the referendum and its also driven by a lot of focus by the airlines on the amount and quality of air services going into the UK. We are seeing really strong tourism numbers out of the U.S. both in volume and in value. The U.S. market was the largest tourism market into the UK and Europe for many years for lots of historical reasons. But nonetheless those numbers fell off pretty dramatically at the outset of the [global recession] and everything that went with that with the big financial crisis. The numbers for UK being highest previously at about four million visitors a year dropped back to about 2.7 million. Then we saw that recover strongly and this year weve only got about two weeks or three weeks left but we are probably within a hair and may even achieve getting the U.S. visitors back to 4 million which is fantastic. That is showing the attraction of the UK. Skift: So tourism and business travel to the UK has continued to grow despite Brexit. But how do you deal with the uncertainty of the ongoing negotiations? Ridgway: I think in some ways that uncertainty hasnt gone away completely. I think there is emerging clarity and we are in a particular nexus at the moment in the next week but you have to believe that the UK is the second largest economy in Europe and neither the British nor the European Union are going to cut their noses off to spite their faces and will instead keep their relationship open. So its not going to be straightforward. We dont all know the answers but there is more and more work building up to resolve this now. Everybody is very determined. We want the closest relationship we can have with Europe and we also want to remain a very outward-looking country and economy as we have always been. We certainly always felt a very strong relationship with the U.S. thats been there for a long long time now hasnt it? We make sure that we are keeping the doors open and that people want to come to England. Tourism has been a big success story since the referendum. I admit that is due in large part by the exchange rate but its also driven by other factors and the way that we are putting our story and our position together. Skift: On that note how do you position the UK as a business travel and meetings destination when the political situation is so uncertain? Ridgway:Its growing because again the value of our position is very strong there. There are more facilities opening in the UK all the time. Its not just the big well-known conference centers in London Edinburgh. There are lots of business centers and actually Visit Britain has got its brief back from the government to promote it. And its been a very important part of post-Brexit Britain because business is an important way of promoting an economy and getting people to come do business with you. Its something very much on our agenda in terms of growing the value of that. Skift: Have there been any changes in who is coming due to the lower cost or is it still a very wide mix? Ridgway: Lots more Americans are coming. Skift: Right. Yeah were cheap. Ridgway: And Canadians and Australians and Chinese and India and Europeans. Europe is the biggest inbound market to the UK which you can logically understand and thats again a very important focus for us to make sure that whatever goes on with Brexit doesnt change sentiment or views about a tourist coming to Britain. Equally tourists from Britain going to Europe. I think the value proposition is certainly working across those major markets. Skift: As the Brexit talks reach a conclusion what are you most concerned about? Ridgway:I think we all want clarity and the best outcome for the Brexit negotiations that we can get. Exchange rates do change and fluctuate quite frequently so we need to be aware and ready for that. Theres a constant vigilance around terrorism and things and thats down to all the work that goes on with the security services around the insurgents striking to practical pragmatic measures about who is actually let in and out. How we manage the street and the attractions and handle all the security forces. Skift: Youve introduced a new plan for tourism to have a higher profile among UK industries. Why is this so important right now? Ridgway: What should we be doing to make sure Britain is a dynamic open economy and that were backing winning sectors as we go to Brexit and post-Brexit? Thats what theyre calling their modern industrial strategy. They are really undertaking the sitdown with sectors of industry and make sure the government is not [opposed] to progress development and [areas] where they can develop new positive policy or remove unrealistic legislation restrictions and regulations. Its also to make sure the industry has a bright future with some of the agencies around research and development investment and technology and things like that. Thats happening across a wide variety of sectors and we believe that tourism should very much be a part of that because tourism is inadvertently 10 percent of the UK GDP. Skift: The variety of stakeholders across the travel industry must make reaching a policy consensus hard though. Ridgway:Thats the challenge here. The example I cite most of the time is the automotive industry. That one is very simple because we really got five automotive companies in the UK now. You get five CEOs together and they can very quickly align around ultra low emission vehicles or the development of electric clean vehicles. Its much harder with tourism but the flip side of that is employing people all over the country. Theres lots of different aspects of it from travel to rails to hotels to restaurants to attractions whatever it might be. This is a powerhouse in its own right and weve just got to bang on with these messages and get those key statistics out; I think weve been bad at that. I think weve been bad at saying inbound tourism is a massive export. Tourism is the fourth largest export in the UK economy. Skift: How has this all affected your organizations marketing strategy going forward? Ridgway:There is the digital world and digital platforms enable us to do that in a way that we couldnt do before because it was just so expensive to target and communicate those things whereas you can be very granular now about that. One particular thing weve done is the UK government created a fund about two-and-a-half years ago about 60 million dollars for the Discover England Fund. That was put together packages and combinations of products that maybe couldnt be found very easily and couldnt be accessed by tourists. A lot of these projects are coming together now and proving very exciting and thats all a part of this: getting the story out about the number of things you can do and the way you can do them. The very coastal scenery with some of the seaside towns with all the great restaurants and the fishing and all the new boutique and bed and breakfasts. All the great little products and the features that are there that werent adequately marketed which can now be in a digital world. Skift: Youve been on the VisitBritain board for years but took over the chairman role earlier this year. What has that been like and what do you have planned for the future of VisitBritain? Ridgway:My quest all the time is really for the team to make sure the board is functioning well and really engaged with what Visit Britain and Visit England are doing and challenging the team. Also making sure that we are making this migration to a changing world. Its a changing world around how we all communicate market get to our customers and how one country competes for tourists versus another. Its not like its a one stop shop is it? Its a brutal competition between getting people to go to Italy or France or Germany or the Far East wherever it might be. We are in a competitive game just the same as hotels and airlines. Im very mindful of that. Then Ive been particularly focused around this industrial strategy because I think getting tourism in there being recognized as an important sector and really having the ear of government. We are so far pleased with what we achieved. We havent necessarily landed it as a slam dunk but I think we are close. I think if we do it will be great for the industry and everybody will continue to cooperate and keep badgering the government about how important travel is. http://ift.tt/2kTuTKx

Overtourism Countermeasures Include Limits on Cruise Ships and Short-Term Rentals  A cruise ship in Dubrovnik. The city is more popular with tourists thanks in part to Game of Thrones. caccamo / Flickr  Skift Take: We've been talking about overtourism for a while now and it's good to see cities getting more creative when it comes to managing numbers. Visitors are going to keep coming to the likes of Barcelona Dubrovnik and Amsterdam and therefore these places are going to have to get smarter about managing the flow of people whether they already live there or not.   Patrick Whyte  Read the Complete Story On Skift  http://ift.tt/2DsoidT

Overtourism Countermeasures Include Limits on Cruise Ships and Short-Term Rentals A cruise ship in Dubrovnik. The city is more popular with tourists thanks in part to Game of Thrones. caccamo / Flickr Skift Take: We've been talking about overtourism for a while now and it's good to see cities getting more creative when it comes to managing numbers. Visitors are going to keep coming to the likes of Barcelona Dubrovnik and Amsterdam and therefore these places are going to have to get smarter about managing the flow of people whether they already live there or not. Patrick Whyte Read the Complete Story On Skift http://ift.tt/2DsoidT

New Tools and Platforms Are Changing Business Travel  A Cvent event in Europe last year. Travel management companies are experimenting with ways to make it easier for their clients to use third-party services on their platforms. Cvent / Flickr  Skift Take: Making it easier for travelers to book how they want and simpler for travel managers to experiment with new technology solutions has become a focus in corporate travel.   Andrew Sheivachman  Read the Complete Story On Skift  http://ift.tt/2C9Jhl6

New Tools and Platforms Are Changing Business Travel A Cvent event in Europe last year. Travel management companies are experimenting with ways to make it easier for their clients to use third-party services on their platforms. Cvent / Flickr Skift Take: Making it easier for travelers to book how they want and simpler for travel managers to experiment with new technology solutions has become a focus in corporate travel. Andrew Sheivachman Read the Complete Story On Skift http://ift.tt/2C9Jhl6

Lola Expands Business Travel Push With Team Management Features  Lola's newest feature gives small companies basic travel management tools to keep track of travelers and monitor what employees spend on their trips. Pictured is co-founder Paul English (rear left) with Lola team members several years ago. Lola  Skift Take: Lola's new group management travel tools are useful for small companies that don't want to deal with the hassle of creating a heavily managed travel program. Its upcoming marketing push will likely prove crucial as the company looks to attract more customers in a crowded business travel booking sector.   Andrew Sheivachman  Read the Complete Story On Skift  http://ift.tt/2FZomob

Lola Expands Business Travel Push With Team Management Features Lola's newest feature gives small companies basic travel management tools to keep track of travelers and monitor what employees spend on their trips. Pictured is co-founder Paul English (rear left) with Lola team members several years ago. Lola Skift Take: Lola's new group management travel tools are useful for small companies that don't want to deal with the hassle of creating a heavily managed travel program. Its upcoming marketing push will likely prove crucial as the company looks to attract more customers in a crowded business travel booking sector. Andrew Sheivachman Read the Complete Story On Skift http://ift.tt/2FZomob

Business Travelers Weigh Ease of Biometrics Against Privacy Concerns  The use of biometric information for security is on the rise but some warn that travelers should be cautious about how their data is used. Pictured here is facial recognition technology used by KLM as part of a test program at Schiphol Airport. KLM  Skift Take: Business travelers are embracing the increasing use of facial-recognition software and fingerprint reading at airports to speed lines but privacy advocates raise concerns about the security of information and its potential use.   Hannah Sampson  At five airports across the U.S. travelers departing on some international flights are being asked to stick their faces in front of a camera before boarding the plane. The machine takes a photo and compares it with a database of images of people who are supposed to be on the flight. If the software finds a match the person proceeds to board. If it doesnt the traveler gets additional screening from a security officer.  The facial-recognition programrun by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in its pilot stage but likely to expand next year aims to increase security and keep lines moving. Those are two important goals for harried business travelers.  Corporate travel groups generally have supported the pilot program while noting that it is in an early stage and that travelers personal information has to be tightly guarded. And the  U.S. governments pilot program is just one of an increasing number of efforts around the globe to use biometric information for security screening.  The truth is Id be willing to put a chip in my arm if I never had to wait in line said Craig Fichtelberg co-founder and president of Chicago-area travel management company AmTrav Corporate Travel. I definitely think business travelers will be the first adopters in the same way that they were for TSA PreCheck and similar programs.  For frequent flyers who are more concerned than Fichtelberg about sharing their personally identifying information such as facial data and fingerprints CBP offers some reassurances. Where CBP runs the facial-recognition program according to the agencys privacy assessment photos captured as travelers board will be kept for 14 days to improve the matching algorithm then deleted.  As of Aug. 1 the CBP is operating its pilot program in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Washington Dulles International Airport George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston Chicago OHare International Airport and McCarran International Airport near Las Vegas.  In three airports  Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Boston Logan International Airport  the U.S. government is letting airlines operate the facial-recognition program. (Atlanta has both versions.) CBP recommends but does not require that airlines keep the matching results no longer than 14 days.  The way the program is described now doesnt sound too offensive said Michelle Richardson deputy director of the Freedom Security and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington D.C. She recently participated in a meeting with CBP and privacy advocates. But its very unlikely that its going to stay in this form going forward. For example as it spreads to other airports and the collection gets bigger are you going to see other agencies asking for that information?  Although flyers may be able to opt out in some cases CBP advises in the privacy assessment: The only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling. That means business travelers could have to choose between giving up personal information and forgoing a trip required for their jobs. Biometric data could include measurements of physical characteristics such as fingerprints facial features and iris scans.  Further if flyers who refuse to submit biometric data are someday shunted into long understaffed screening lines that doesnt count as a choice said Adam Schwartz senior staff attorney with the civil-liberties team of the Electronic Frontier Foundation a nonprofit defending digital privacy.  If one line is whizzed through with facial recognition and the other line has to stand there for two hours to get to one employee that would not be full consent Schwartz said. Travelers thinking about giving up biometrics for faster access to the plane ought to consider the long-term privacy consequences and what companies are going to do with the data.  Already travelers have been giving up more of their personal information in exchange for easier movement through security. TSA PreCheck and Global Entry which provides expedited clearance upon arrival in the U.S. require fingerprints to enroll. And Clear a private biometrics security company in expansion mode needs an iris scan and fingerprint. One airline Scandinavias SAS has even implanted a chip in one employees hand for the purpose of testing easier boarding and lounge entry.  And globally airlines outside the U.S. have been experimenting with facial-recognition software; KLM for example is testing it on flights departing Amsterdam. Starting in 2018 businesses operating in European Union countries will have to follow stricter regulations to protect personally identifying information of EU citizens. The U.S. doesnt have comparable rules noted John Michener chief scientist and principal security consultant for Casaba Security. In the U.S. we have free internet because we are the product he said. We pay for the internet by our loss of privacy. And we made our bargain before people realized the extent of the damage.  Among the chief concerns is that U.S. companies could sell information from facial-recognition databases. Facebook for example says it wont directly sell user data but it uses facial recognition to support its research into artificial intelligence that would improve ad targeting.  Also databases can be hacked. In 2015 the U.S. Office of Personnel Management acknowledged that 5.6 million peoples fingerprints were compromised in a government data breach. Passwords can be changed if compromised; faces and fingerprints cannot.  Those risks should be weighed against the wear and tear on frequent travelers from current screening systems said Mike McCormick executive director and chief operating officer of the Global Business Travel Association.  We generally are in favor of using biometrics he said. Everything weve seen and heard so far has been positive. For business travelers you really arent giving up any information that your company doesnt already know about you and isnt readily available.  McCormick adds that its important for companies to communicate with employees about changes to airport security listen to concerns and provide opportunities for feedback.  You hope the government systems are in place to protect that data because you dont want that falling into the wrong hands said Greeley Koch executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. From the standpoint of the business traveler were looking for anything that makes it easier and faster to get through the horrendous airport experience. As we go toward other methods the safety and security of this biometric data has to be paramount.  http://ift.tt/2xAKR1k

Business Travelers Weigh Ease of Biometrics Against Privacy Concerns The use of biometric information for security is on the rise but some warn that travelers should be cautious about how their data is used. Pictured here is facial recognition technology used by KLM as part of a test program at Schiphol Airport. KLM Skift Take: Business travelers are embracing the increasing use of facial-recognition software and fingerprint reading at airports to speed lines but privacy advocates raise concerns about the security of information and its potential use. Hannah Sampson At five airports across the U.S. travelers departing on some international flights are being asked to stick their faces in front of a camera before boarding the plane. The machine takes a photo and compares it with a database of images of people who are supposed to be on the flight. If the software finds a match the person proceeds to board. If it doesnt the traveler gets additional screening from a security officer. The facial-recognition programrun by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in its pilot stage but likely to expand next year aims to increase security and keep lines moving. Those are two important goals for harried business travelers. Corporate travel groups generally have supported the pilot program while noting that it is in an early stage and that travelers personal information has to be tightly guarded. And the U.S. governments pilot program is just one of an increasing number of efforts around the globe to use biometric information for security screening. The truth is Id be willing to put a chip in my arm if I never had to wait in line said Craig Fichtelberg co-founder and president of Chicago-area travel management company AmTrav Corporate Travel. I definitely think business travelers will be the first adopters in the same way that they were for TSA PreCheck and similar programs. For frequent flyers who are more concerned than Fichtelberg about sharing their personally identifying information such as facial data and fingerprints CBP offers some reassurances. Where CBP runs the facial-recognition program according to the agencys privacy assessment photos captured as travelers board will be kept for 14 days to improve the matching algorithm then deleted. As of Aug. 1 the CBP is operating its pilot program in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Washington Dulles International Airport George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston Chicago OHare International Airport and McCarran International Airport near Las Vegas. In three airports Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Boston Logan International Airport the U.S. government is letting airlines operate the facial-recognition program. (Atlanta has both versions.) CBP recommends but does not require that airlines keep the matching results no longer than 14 days. The way the program is described now doesnt sound too offensive said Michelle Richardson deputy director of the Freedom Security and Technology Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington D.C. She recently participated in a meeting with CBP and privacy advocates. But its very unlikely that its going to stay in this form going forward. For example as it spreads to other airports and the collection gets bigger are you going to see other agencies asking for that information? Although flyers may be able to opt out in some cases CBP advises in the privacy assessment: The only way for an individual to ensure he or she is not subject to collection of biometric information when traveling internationally is to refrain from traveling. That means business travelers could have to choose between giving up personal information and forgoing a trip required for their jobs. Biometric data could include measurements of physical characteristics such as fingerprints facial features and iris scans. Further if flyers who refuse to submit biometric data are someday shunted into long understaffed screening lines that doesnt count as a choice said Adam Schwartz senior staff attorney with the civil-liberties team of the Electronic Frontier Foundation a nonprofit defending digital privacy. If one line is whizzed through with facial recognition and the other line has to stand there for two hours to get to one employee that would not be full consent Schwartz said. Travelers thinking about giving up biometrics for faster access to the plane ought to consider the long-term privacy consequences and what companies are going to do with the data. Already travelers have been giving up more of their personal information in exchange for easier movement through security. TSA PreCheck and Global Entry which provides expedited clearance upon arrival in the U.S. require fingerprints to enroll. And Clear a private biometrics security company in expansion mode needs an iris scan and fingerprint. One airline Scandinavias SAS has even implanted a chip in one employees hand for the purpose of testing easier boarding and lounge entry. And globally airlines outside the U.S. have been experimenting with facial-recognition software; KLM for example is testing it on flights departing Amsterdam. Starting in 2018 businesses operating in European Union countries will have to follow stricter regulations to protect personally identifying information of EU citizens. The U.S. doesnt have comparable rules noted John Michener chief scientist and principal security consultant for Casaba Security. In the U.S. we have free internet because we are the product he said. We pay for the internet by our loss of privacy. And we made our bargain before people realized the extent of the damage. Among the chief concerns is that U.S. companies could sell information from facial-recognition databases. Facebook for example says it wont directly sell user data but it uses facial recognition to support its research into artificial intelligence that would improve ad targeting. Also databases can be hacked. In 2015 the U.S. Office of Personnel Management acknowledged that 5.6 million peoples fingerprints were compromised in a government data breach. Passwords can be changed if compromised; faces and fingerprints cannot. Those risks should be weighed against the wear and tear on frequent travelers from current screening systems said Mike McCormick executive director and chief operating officer of the Global Business Travel Association. We generally are in favor of using biometrics he said. Everything weve seen and heard so far has been positive. For business travelers you really arent giving up any information that your company doesnt already know about you and isnt readily available. McCormick adds that its important for companies to communicate with employees about changes to airport security listen to concerns and provide opportunities for feedback. You hope the government systems are in place to protect that data because you dont want that falling into the wrong hands said Greeley Koch executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives. From the standpoint of the business traveler were looking for anything that makes it easier and faster to get through the horrendous airport experience. As we go toward other methods the safety and security of this biometric data has to be paramount. http://ift.tt/2xAKR1k

Accessibility Is More Than Adding Tech Gadgetry  Meetings Innovation Report  A group on an accessibility mapping tour in Berlin. Meeting planners need to craft accessibility options at the earliest stage of the planning process. Sozialhelden / Flickr  Skift Take: Accessibility should become an integral part of the planning process for planners and event spaces alike. New technologies alone won't fix these shortcomings.   Andrew Sheivachman  Accessibility is vital to a successful event but isnt treated by many as a top concern.  There are a variety of technologies ranging from beacons to conference apps that can make attending an event easier for a disabled person. But until the meeting planning process integrates accessibility concerns from the start experts say it will remain a challenge to produce truly accessible events. Check out our story below.  This week we also have the latest on WeWork buying popular meetings platform Meetup and several takes on the future of messaging technology and branding in a digital age.   Andrew Sheivachman Business Travel Editor  The Future of Meetings Accessibility  Technology Alone Cant Solve Accessibility Challenges Faced by Meetings and Events: People withdisabilities are often overlooked by event spaces and meeting planners. A new wave of innovation and technology can help make meetings and events more accessible but lasting change needs to start with a focus on increasing accessibility during the planning process.  Meetings and Event Innovation  WeWork Will Buy Meetup:Flush with cash from investors WeWork has undertaken a major spending spree. Of their acquisitions so far buying the popular Meetup platform makes the most sense and dovetails nicely with how the consumer of today wants to attend events.  Las Vegas Gambles It Can Attract Millennials With Instagram-Worthy Moments:Can the Vegas casinos attract millennials with zip lines and bunk beds? Some of them sure. But the casinos may have to open their marketing toolboxes anew if they think retooling slot machines will attract this sought-after target market in droves.  Technology and Trends  Nobodys Sure What Theyre Doing With Messaging Apps:Everyone agrees that messaging is the future of marketing and sales. But for now professionals are still divided on the best way to deploy chat capability.  Millennials Are Over Gen-Z Forever:How are brands dealing with digital natives as they enter the workforce? The trick is to get interactive and stand for something besides shilling for your product or experience. Oh and being active on Snapchat or Instagram helps too.  Tech Goes From Assistant to Companion:Could 2018 be the year that virtual assistants driven by chat and voice become genuinely useful? TrendWatching sure thinks so but there is reason to be skeptical about technology replacing service from a real person.  Subscribe  Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [as@skift.com] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.  Subscribe to the Skift Meetings Innovation Report  http://ift.tt/2AlWomh

Accessibility Is More Than Adding Tech Gadgetry Meetings Innovation Report A group on an accessibility mapping tour in Berlin. Meeting planners need to craft accessibility options at the earliest stage of the planning process. Sozialhelden / Flickr Skift Take: Accessibility should become an integral part of the planning process for planners and event spaces alike. New technologies alone won't fix these shortcomings. Andrew Sheivachman Accessibility is vital to a successful event but isnt treated by many as a top concern. There are a variety of technologies ranging from beacons to conference apps that can make attending an event easier for a disabled person. But until the meeting planning process integrates accessibility concerns from the start experts say it will remain a challenge to produce truly accessible events. Check out our story below. This week we also have the latest on WeWork buying popular meetings platform Meetup and several takes on the future of messaging technology and branding in a digital age. Andrew Sheivachman Business Travel Editor The Future of Meetings Accessibility Technology Alone Cant Solve Accessibility Challenges Faced by Meetings and Events: People withdisabilities are often overlooked by event spaces and meeting planners. A new wave of innovation and technology can help make meetings and events more accessible but lasting change needs to start with a focus on increasing accessibility during the planning process. Meetings and Event Innovation WeWork Will Buy Meetup:Flush with cash from investors WeWork has undertaken a major spending spree. Of their acquisitions so far buying the popular Meetup platform makes the most sense and dovetails nicely with how the consumer of today wants to attend events. Las Vegas Gambles It Can Attract Millennials With Instagram-Worthy Moments:Can the Vegas casinos attract millennials with zip lines and bunk beds? Some of them sure. But the casinos may have to open their marketing toolboxes anew if they think retooling slot machines will attract this sought-after target market in droves. Technology and Trends Nobodys Sure What Theyre Doing With Messaging Apps:Everyone agrees that messaging is the future of marketing and sales. But for now professionals are still divided on the best way to deploy chat capability. Millennials Are Over Gen-Z Forever:How are brands dealing with digital natives as they enter the workforce? The trick is to get interactive and stand for something besides shilling for your product or experience. Oh and being active on Snapchat or Instagram helps too. Tech Goes From Assistant to Companion:Could 2018 be the year that virtual assistants driven by chat and voice become genuinely useful? TrendWatching sure thinks so but there is reason to be skeptical about technology replacing service from a real person. Subscribe Skift Business Travel Editor Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday. Subscribe to the Skift Meetings Innovation Report http://ift.tt/2AlWomh

Hotels Reveal Distribution Strategies and 5 Other Hospitality Trends This Week  A Hyatt Regency in San Antonio Texas on July 9 2017. Hyatt considered not renewing its distribution agreement with Expedia in 2017 though the two companies ended up renewing it after all. Phil Roeder / Flickr  Skift Take: Airbnb announced a partnership with SiteMinder and Steve Wynn resigned as CEO of Wynn Resorts amid sexual misconduct allegations. For a longer read don't miss our analysis of the love-hate relationship between hotels and online travel agencies.   Sarah Enelow  Read the Complete Story On Skift  http://ift.tt/2sqb6pC

Hotels Reveal Distribution Strategies and 5 Other Hospitality Trends This Week A Hyatt Regency in San Antonio Texas on July 9 2017. Hyatt considered not renewing its distribution agreement with Expedia in 2017 though the two companies ended up renewing it after all. Phil Roeder / Flickr Skift Take: Airbnb announced a partnership with SiteMinder and Steve Wynn resigned as CEO of Wynn Resorts amid sexual misconduct allegations. For a longer read don't miss our analysis of the love-hate relationship between hotels and online travel agencies. Sarah Enelow Read the Complete Story On Skift http://ift.tt/2sqb6pC

Tours and Activities Companies Raise Over $15 Million This Week  KKDay Asias largest attractions platform has raised $10.5 million in additional funding led by Japanese investors. The investment has made the startup's founder and CEO Ming Chen shown in this winter 2017 photo all smiles. KKDay  Skift Take: Some investors think that patience is not only a virtue but can also be worth a windfall. But waiting for big returns from tours and activities sector companies KKDay Bookingkit and TickX  which have received fresh investment rounds  may test their virtue.   Sean O'Neill  Read the Complete Story On Skift  http://ift.tt/2FijT1O

Tours and Activities Companies Raise Over $15 Million This Week KKDay Asias largest attractions platform has raised $10.5 million in additional funding led by Japanese investors. The investment has made the startup's founder and CEO Ming Chen shown in this winter 2017 photo all smiles. KKDay Skift Take: Some investors think that patience is not only a virtue but can also be worth a windfall. But waiting for big returns from tours and activities sector companies KKDay Bookingkit and TickX which have received fresh investment rounds may test their virtue. Sean O'Neill Read the Complete Story On Skift http://ift.tt/2FijT1O

Business Traveler Anxiety Is Here to Stay  Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report

Business Traveler Anxiety Is Here to Stay Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report

Crystal Cruises Hires Disney Veteran In Shakeup to Replace Outgoing CEO Edie Rodriguez  Edie Rodriguez who just resigned as CEO of Crystal Cruises is seen here on November 17 2016 in front of the Crystal Mozart. Crystal Cruises  Skift Take: Crystal Cruise

Crystal Cruises Hires Disney Veteran In Shakeup to Replace Outgoing CEO Edie Rodriguez Edie Rodriguez who just resigned as CEO of Crystal Cruises is seen here on November 17 2016 in front of the Crystal Mozart. Crystal Cruises Skift Take: Crystal Cruise

A Majority of Avid U.S. Travelers Have Never Used Airbnb  This York UK apartment which is offered on Airbnb is more than 600 years old and has been dubbed 'The Chamber.' Lore has it that York UK is one of the most haunted cities in the world. Airbnb  Skift Take: Despite Airbnbs precipitous growth in the travel industry our latest survey results show that the company still has lots of room for growth among U.S. travelers.   meghan  In the travel industry today its impossible to avoid hearing about the threat of Airbnb and its impending domination of competitors.  At this years Skift Global Forum the audience was eager to hear how a variety of travel brands were preparing to compete with Airbnb and stay relevant in the changing travel landscape.  But did you know that 63 percent of avid U.S. travelers have never even used Airbnb before?  This was one of the most intriguing and surprising findings that emerged from our Experiential Traveler Survey this year along with other insights regarding booking channel preferences in-destination attitudes travel motivators and much more.  Last week we launched the latest report in our Skift Research service U.S. Experiential Traveler Trends 2018: Skift Researchs Annual Survey & Data Analysis On Traveler Behavior Motivations & Preferences. This report covers the results of the second annual Experiential Traveler Survey along with brief analysis of the collected data.  Below is an excerpt of the report. Get the full report here to keep up on the trends.  The continuing rise in popularity of alternative lodging companies exemplified by Airbnb means that todays travelers have more choices than ever when it comes to selecting their travel accommodations.  In this section we present the survey questions that uncover Avid Travelers accommodation preferences in general and more specifically with regards to hotels and Airbnb rentals.  One-third of Avid Travelers have used Airbnb at least once during a past leisure trip.  Preview and Buy the Full Report  Among those who have used Airbnb in the past almost nine out of 10 reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their last Airbnb and experience.  Preview and Buy the Full Report  Subscribe now to Skift Research Reports  This is the latest in a series of research reports analyst calls and data sheets aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research data collection and/or analysis goes into each report.  After you subscribe you will gain access to our entire vault of reports analyst calls and data sheets conducted on topics ranging from technology to marketing strategy to deep-dives on key travel brands. Reports are available online in a responsive design format or you can also buy each report a la carte at a higher price.  Subscribe Now  http://ift.tt/2gXerHI

A Majority of Avid U.S. Travelers Have Never Used Airbnb This York UK apartment which is offered on Airbnb is more than 600 years old and has been dubbed 'The Chamber.' Lore has it that York UK is one of the most haunted cities in the world. Airbnb Skift Take: Despite Airbnbs precipitous growth in the travel industry our latest survey results show that the company still has lots of room for growth among U.S. travelers. meghan In the travel industry today its impossible to avoid hearing about the threat of Airbnb and its impending domination of competitors. At this years Skift Global Forum the audience was eager to hear how a variety of travel brands were preparing to compete with Airbnb and stay relevant in the changing travel landscape. But did you know that 63 percent of avid U.S. travelers have never even used Airbnb before? This was one of the most intriguing and surprising findings that emerged from our Experiential Traveler Survey this year along with other insights regarding booking channel preferences in-destination attitudes travel motivators and much more. Last week we launched the latest report in our Skift Research service U.S. Experiential Traveler Trends 2018: Skift Researchs Annual Survey & Data Analysis On Traveler Behavior Motivations & Preferences. This report covers the results of the second annual Experiential Traveler Survey along with brief analysis of the collected data. Below is an excerpt of the report. Get the full report here to keep up on the trends. The continuing rise in popularity of alternative lodging companies exemplified by Airbnb means that todays travelers have more choices than ever when it comes to selecting their travel accommodations. In this section we present the survey questions that uncover Avid Travelers accommodation preferences in general and more specifically with regards to hotels and Airbnb rentals. One-third of Avid Travelers have used Airbnb at least once during a past leisure trip. Preview and Buy the Full Report Among those who have used Airbnb in the past almost nine out of 10 reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their last Airbnb and experience. Preview and Buy the Full Report Subscribe now to Skift Research Reports This is the latest in a series of research reports analyst calls and data sheets aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research data collection and/or analysis goes into each report. After you subscribe you will gain access to our entire vault of reports analyst calls and data sheets conducted on topics ranging from technology to marketing strategy to deep-dives on key travel brands. Reports are available online in a responsive design format or you can also buy each report a la carte at a higher price. Subscribe Now http://ift.tt/2gXerHI

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