Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 14th 2013 Contents BG12 | REGIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt NOVEMBER 2013 • WEEK TWO
Day four of World Travel Mar-
ket - the leading global event
for the travel industry -
opened with another packed
Speed Networking Session
with hundreds of buyers and sellers keen
to meet and discuss business deals.
Many had attended previous networking
sessions at WTM and were keen to repeat
the experience as it offered the chance to
make valuable, targeted contacts in a con-
centrated period, which enabled them to
chase lucrative leads later at the show.
Vikas Khanduri, chief executive, Holiday
Merchants, commented: "Last year was
very, very good - the best part of WTM.
There are good, targeted suppliers to meet
and we get deals from the most serious peo-
ple - they are to the point.
Tourism Intelligence International man-
aging director Dr Auliana Poon added:
"Judging by the amount of people here, it
should be even bigger. I m really surprised
to see so many people here and they were
lining up to get in. It is a brilliant idea and
demonstrates just how much people want
to work together."
The United Kingdom s various tourism
bodies need to start working together in
order to meet the best interests of both the
country and holidaymakers.
London deputy mayor for business and
enterprise Kit Malthouse said a more cohe-
sive strategy would ensure visitors are
encouraged not just to visit London, which
currently attracts 80 per cent of all overseas
tourists, but to extend their trips and visit
other destinations such as Wales and Scot-
He argued this would not only benefit
the entire country financially but would also
ensure tourists get a complete experience
of Britain, as opposed to simply its capital.
Malthouse said: "If you (the nation s dif-
ferent tourist boards) co-operate and come
together then you would promote the coun-
He said a further benefit would be ensur-
ing the various tourist bodies could then
speak to Government with one voice and
so get better recognition of their work and
Another well-attended session on the
fourth morning was the Future You con-
ference for travel and tourism students,
organised by the Institute of Travel and
It was standing room only as WTM s
Nicole Collett joined Matthew Gardiner
(Choice Hotels Europe) and Ben Jarman
(Hidden Journeys at the Royal Geographical
Society) as the three are among Travel Trade
Gazette s 30 under 30 Tomorrow s Travel
They joined Daniel Pearce, managing
director of TTG Media Ltd, as they gave the
students key tips on how to succeed in the
British Airways has left it too late to get
a foot-hold in today s budget aviation mar-
ket, says no-frills pioneer Barbara Cassani.
The former Chief Executive of Go - the
late-1990s low-cost offshoot of BA - and
a key figure in the early days of the London
2012 bid, spoke about BA s parent IAG s
acquisition of Vueling and said "the time
She also commented on the new con-
sumer-friendly image of budget giant
Ryanair and its maverick boss Michael
O Leary, urging delegates to "watch the
actions not the mouths".
She said O Leary is very good at creating
a buzz, but suggested he wasn t turning
over a new leaf because he was "cuddly",
but because he needs to do so.
Cassani also questioned the feasibility of
long-haul low-cost services, such as the
Gatwick-transatlantic plans announced last
month by Norwegian Air.
The low-cost model may not work
because of the economics of marketing and
the fixed costs of such long-haul flights,
she said, as she arrived for the WTM Talk
Business, hosted by WTM Aviation Expert
Cassani later shared the stage with
OnHolidayGroup CEO Steve Endacott and
bmi Regional CEO Cathal O Connell.
Costs again were an issue, with O Connell
insisting that it possible to make money
operating 50-seat planes, despite the higher
overall cost per passenger than most planes.
"It is just a case of finding the markets
where it works. We collaborate with industry,
organisations and specific companies to
ensure that the service is appropriate."
Costs to the consumer also were dis-
cussed, with baggage charges under the
spotlight. Endacott suggested that Ryanair s
approach to charges "could damage its rela-
tionship with customers".
He said he has invested in a business
which delivers holidaymakers luggage from
their home to their hotel cheaper than it
would cost to take them on the plane.
O Connell said: "Travellers now expect
to pay for bags, so those airlines that don t
charge need to make use of this in their
marketing." (Caribbean News Digital)
At World Travel Market, the Tobago House
Assembly has announced plans for a new regional
flight, operated by Thomas Cook s German sister
company, Condor, from Manchester to the
Caribbean island of Tobago, according to a report
by Travel Weekly.
At a press conference on the sidelines of the
United Kingdom trade show, Tracey Davidson-
Celestine, secretary for transport and tourism
for the Tobago House Assembly, said: The UK
market is a very important one for us. Within
the next fiscal year, we will be spending more
than TT$4 million in the UK market, with a
view to ensuring that our destination is well
known because it s a very important market for
us.The new Thomas Cook service will be open
for bookings from next month with the first
flights starting in winter 2014. With the new
service, the number of direct services from the
UK to Tobago will increase to four per week
(five in winter). Direct flights are already in place
from British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and
Monarch, in addition to services through Trinida-
dian capital, Port of Spain.
Davidson-Celestine added: It was really the
diverse nature of the island that caused us to
focus on niche strategies. We do not have the
large hotels to focus on mass tourism, so we
have to find a way to sell what we have, and to
increase demand for the destination. (Caribbean
Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla
this week announced a plan to develop the ter-
ritory s regional airports. The initiative will have
a private investment of US$25 million, Padilla
said, supplemented with a contribution of about
US$13 million in state and federal funding.
The projects across Puerto Rico s regional
airport network could create 200 service jobs
and 400 jobs during construction, he said.
Padilla said the initiative would "increase the
contribution of all our regional airports toward
the goal of creating jobs and establishing the
conditions for sustainable economic develop-
It will also "contribute to the strengthening
of local and international tourism," the governor
said. Part of the master plan includes a new
management, storage and air cargo distribution
center at the Rafael Hernandez Airport in
Aguadilla, according to Padilla.
Vieques Antonio Rivera Rodriguez airport
will also see a project to allow around 50 crafts-
men and artists from the island to exhibit and
sell their products at the airport.
A private company will also be building an
executive passenger terminal at the Fernando
Ribas Dominicci airport in Isla Grande, and
Ponce s Mercadita Airport will be installing
equipment to soften the propulsion impact of
jets taking off, among other projects.
"The Ports Authority is undergoing the great-
est transformation in its history, and the largest
plan that includes development and revitalization
of our regional airports," Padilla said.
Padilla also pointed to Culebra s airport, which
will soon receive daily flights on Cape Air.
(Caribbean News Digital)
World Travel Market closes
with more business deals
reveals plan for
with Condor for New
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