The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Microsoft signed today an agreement aimed at bringing the benefits of the most advanced technologies to the tourism sector and driving the industry’s evolution towards the computing paradigm of the future. Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of Microsoft International, and Márcio Favilla, Executive Director of UNWTO, have forged this alliance that, in an increasingly demanding and competitive economic context, will promote technological innovation in world tourism and help the Spanish market strengthen the country’s brand as a world leader in the application of innovation to the tourism sector.
Schiphol Telematics (ST), the telecom provider operating at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, is offering airlines the ability to connect to a new generation of WiFi services which operate globally. The airport serves more than a hundred scheduled airlines transporting more than 49 million passengers a year and ST is connecting its extensive WiFi network to SITA Airport Hub Wireless infrastructure to support the use of SITA’s e-Aircraft AirportLink WiFi and Wireless@Airports services.
Nowadays travel technology is omnipresent in the global travel industry: this includes the back office, electronically-supported personalised sales and location-sensitive mobile travel services. At ITB Berlin 2012 this rapid development has led to an unprecedented rush of exhibitors: over 230 travel technology companies from 15 countries are expected from 7 to 11 March in Berlin. The event features back office technology (Hall 6.1), hotel software and reservation machines (Hall 8.1 and 10.1) as well as social media, travel portal and mobile travel solutions (eTravel World, Hall 7.1.c).
Smartphone adoption among passengers at the world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, has jumped from 28% to 75% in the last 12 months, fueling one of the highest rates of self-service use at any airport in the world. The 2011 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Self-Service Survey found that frequent, or occasional, use of self-service channels among Atlanta passengers is now running at 78% for online check-in and 90% for kiosk check-in compared to global rates of 73% and 65% respectively. Frequent or occasional use of mobile check-in is running at 24%.
The year 2011 closes with positive indicators for hotel business throughout the European Union, with an average of 5.6% growth in the RevPAR as a result of increased occupancy combined with growth in average daily rates. And yet, the dynamic that was seen until Spring 2011 slowed in the last quarter.
Following the events of Friday 03 February, when the entire Malév fleet was grounded, Budapest Airport is pleased to report that its Crisis Control Center successfully managed the immediate effects of the national airline’s collapse, ensuring that stranded passengers were attended to in the best possible way.
World Travel Market 2011 has been voted UK inbound’s Industry Event of the Year at the association’s annual convention Gala Dinner for the second year in succession. The awards, which took at the association’s annual convention in Belfast last week, were voted by UKinbound members only, with one vote per member company.
The growth in scheduled flights worldwide continues again in February with airlines providing 5% more flights. In line with the general worldwide trend for larger aircraft, this translates to a slightly larger capacity increase (of 6%) as the average available seats in February 2012 nudges towards 127 per aircraft versus 125 in the same period last year.
Vienna’s tourism industry can look back on an all-time best year in 2011: growth of 5% meant a new record level of 11.4 million visitor overnights for the Austrian capital.
Speaking at the Tourism Investment Forum for Africa (INVESTOUR), UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai encouraged companies to continue investing in Africa and its growing tourism markets (Madrid, Spain, 19 January).
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