Fly Your Ideas formal partnership between Airbus and UNESCO signed

airbusLeading aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have signed a formal partnership supporting Airbus’ global student challenge, Fly Your Ideas.
This new agreement is another milestone in the partnership between Airbus & UNESCO, following the granting of patronage to the biennial student challenge in 2012.

The partnership aims at further inspiring a new generation of engineers and innovators, while harvesting relationships between universities and industries through Fly Your Ideas.

The agreement builds on the competition’s success across three previous editions
To celebrate the agreement, Airbus has extended the registration deadline to the competition: students willing to take part in Fly Your Ideas 2015 now have until 01st December 2014 to register online by submitting their ideas.
Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director General of Natural Sciences at UNESCO explained: “The empowerement of young generations coming from all backgrounds and all around the world, is key to develop innovative solutions and to improve the quality of life for all.


Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas Competition does an excellent job in challenging students worldwide to develop innovative ideas to respond to key challenges for aviation and thus helps strengthen UNESCO’s work in engineering education.”
Since the competition was launched in 2008 Airbus has inspired more than 11,000 students representing over 600 universities from 100 countries to get involved.


Charles Champion, Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus, Patron of Fly Your Ideas and co-signatory of the UNESCO partnership says, “Fly Your Ideas reflects the reality of how we work within this exciting global industry, with students from all disciplines and backgrounds innovating and working together in international, multidisciplinary teams.


With Fly Your Ideas we want to inspire young people worldwide to seize the opportunity to make a difference with their ideas, and this partnership with UNESCO gives us an even greater chance to do just that.”
Now in its fourth edition, Fly Your Ideas invites students worldwide to innovate for the future of aviation


. Over a series of progressively challenging rounds, teams work with Airbus mentors and experts towards the live final in June 2015.


Participants will have the chance to work with Airbus innovators to develop their ideas further throughout the competition.


The winning team will receive €30,000 (approx. US$40,000). Registrations are open until 1st December.

Oman proves itself as tourism powerhouse at WTM

wtm_2014_logoIt proved to be an ideal spot, as they say, ‘for the visitors to take a short break during the show, to have some Omani coffee and dates served in the traditional style’.


And it was very well positioned at the entrance of the ‘Middle East section’ and in full view of the South Hall at the ExCeL London Exhibition Centre, thanks to its design.

Oman’s participation was very strong at the recently concluded World Travel Market (WTM), its presence was enhanced by the advertising banners around the entrance to the hall and at the entrance to the Global Stage for being the title sponsor of the World Responsible Tourism Awards.

Taking part in one of the largest tourism expo and image-building events in the international travel industry were 21 companies and institutions from Oman besides its Ministry of Tourism (MoT) delegation led by Undersecretary Maitha Al Mahrouqi.

Taking part for the last 22 years, WTM, London has been one of the most important exhibitions for Oman tourism, which is evident from the fact that visitors from UK rose from around 25,000 in 2003 to 133,529 in 2013.


“The number of tourists from the UK has increased sharply with an annual increase of not less than 10 per cent,” said Salim bin Adi Al Mamari, Director General (Tourism Promotion) with MoT.

The just-concluded event also witnessed the travel trade bestowing the Star Middle East Tourist Office Award on Oman.

The UK is now Oman’s second largest inbound tourism market closely behind the German-
speaking countries as a whole, and it can grow further, thanks to several favourable factors, the tour operators in Oman point out.


They include the strong historical and political links Oman has with the UK, ‘the operation ease’ in handling the English-speaking market (availability of guides) and cost benefits while putting in place the marketing tools.

The very design of Oman’s pavilion at the WTM symbolised the Sultanate’s culture and heritage.

“We are focused on cultural tourism and to link people. We kept telling the visitors that the main asset of Oman is its people.


The real tourists travel not just to see buildings or structures but to know about the culture, traditions, meet people and mingle with them,” says Nizar. Besides, this kind of tourism development could raise the awareness of the natural and cultural heritage and contribute to more resources being allocated to the protection and conservation of that heritage, according to Maitha Al Mahrouqi, the Undersecretary, MoT.

This time at the WTM, Oman has also shown its interest in promoting Responsible Tourism (RT) by sponsoring the RT awards. “Since the introduction of an RT day at the WTM in 2006, to educate and inspire travel companies to engage in year-round responsible tourism activities, the event has made an impressive growth. The seminars offer plenty of chances to learn from some of the leading experts in the industry,” said Robby George, the manager (Tours and MICE), Eihab Travels.

The MoT director general said the Ministry was in the process of developing a new strategy for the next 20 years, which will be ready by mid-2015.

And the WTM was an opportunity to promote Oman’s latest accommodation openings including the Alila Jabal Akhdar mountain resort, and Rotana Resort, the first five star hotel in Dhofar. Oman also highlighted various projects in the pipeline including Dunes, the 30-room desert resort by Al Nahda Resort and Spa, the Kempinski Hotel and The Fairmont Hotel at The Wave, Muscat.

The Ministry is looking towards Wellness Tourism as a new sector for growth with new spa
resorts coming onboard.


Muscat has seen recent growth in the MICE market and this is
anticipated to grow even faster with the opening of the new Oman Convention and Exhibition centre in 2016.


Besides, a new Public Transport Master Plan is to be ready by December 2014 and once implemented will provide a state of the art bus network that can be integrated into bus rapid transit (BRT) and light rail transit (LRT) systems at a later stage.

Meanwhile, the Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) showcased the new terminals at Muscat International Airport and Salalah Airport.


In Muscat, the new terminal will be completed by 2014 and will have the capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually.

A further expansion planned in three subsequent phases will ultimately boost Omani airport’s annual capacity to 24, 36 and 48 million passengers respectively to meet demand as required.


The new terminal at Salalah plans to increase its capacity to one million passengers annually by 2014.

Tourism Australia continues focusing on food & wine tourism

Tourism-AustraliaTourism Australia launched an $8.6 million advertising campaign for Restaurant Australia that’s
focused on the country’s food and agriculture scene.

The culinary campaign, launched in May, has become part of a long-term and overarching
campaign, “There’s Nothing Like Australia,” based on data showing that Australia was viewed as a destination with good food and wine.

In the Tourism Australia Consumer Demand Project of 2013, Australia moved from 10th place to third place — behind France and Italy — as the place to visit after survey participants had experienced the country’s gastronomic offerings.


The U.S. ranked ninth in the survey.

Prior to visiting Australia, survey respondents from Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Germany and the U.S were the least enthusiastic about Australian cuisine.

For people surveyed who have visited, those from China, the U.S., India and the UK rank
Australia as No. 1 for food and wine.


These figures supported its investment in traditional and digital marketing and social promotion.

The campaign included pop-up restaurants in London, themed food trucks in France, and the ultimate dinner voyage for the world’s influential foodies in Tasmania last weekend.

The Restaurant Australia campaign included a $3.16 million expense across Greater China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. Besides advertising on print and television, Restaurant Australia built up its presence with a separate website that included a social feed to explore Australia’s food and beverage offerings in eight states — Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

Nick Baker, CMO of Tourism Australia said, “Combined with the integration with Instagram, which lends itself particularly well to sharing food and wine experiences, we wanted to really get people talking about Australia’s exceptional food and wine offering.”

At the culmination of the campaign, hashtag activity for #restaurantaustralia reached 21,441 contributions on Instagram and 28,155 on Twitter, according to and Tweet Archivist, respectively.

Online business in tourism boosts sector in India

incredible-indiaTravel and tourism have undergone a sea change lately.


Smart phones have practically changed the way world operated before their arrival.


Earlier, when the market operated through internet connection on personal computers, things were a tad slow since the clients came from a different class altogether.


But today, things are available literally at fingertips. All the best things are happening on the internet, and they are ensuring that the consumer is truly the king of the market!

A wary traveler today has transformed into an informed traveler, thanks to the internet. Potential of online travel market is the highest in India and will continue to remain so for more time to come.

The Indian travel market comprises 71% of e-commerce in India.


That means this is the decisive share of market that would change the rules of e-commerce game and its success in future. It is important to note that this business has grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% between the years 2009 and 2013.


Online travel sales that were studied from the beginning of this decade, projected that the sector would grow at a rate of 30% in India.


Among all other Asian countries, India is on top of the list of nations that would open its doors to travel and tourism in the online segment.

This is followed by South Korea, with growth projection at 19.8%, and Brazil at 18.2% and
China ranking fourth at 14.1%.

Some of the popular travel portals such as,, hold
more than 85% of the total market share in the sector.

Most trusted government agencies such as bus and railways have also been riding on this wave, having set up user-friendly online platforms that can help people with both information and travel plans.


Aviation industry, despite being in the red for the last few years, is still witnessing a great time with economy holding up.

Private players are leveraging on the trend that indicates high disposable income, reduced age of average travelers, and adventure tourism that is gradually catching up against the conventional travel patterns.

Though medical tourism cannot be considered as a significant part of the travel segment, it does contribute well into the travel and tourism revenues.


In fact, it brings two kinds of returns that are significant and substantial since people travelling in this category are usually from upper middle class.


Sports tourism is another off-shoot of tourism market that is beginning to catch fancy of the Indian middle class.

If the technology can get into tier-II cities and get down further into untapped markets, it can sure reap heavy benefits from sections of the society that have remained untouched so far.

However, as a note of caution, it is important to remember that the sector right now, that is exclusive for online presence of travel and tourism, is highly fragmented and distributed
unevenly in only urban areas.

Florida tourism shows upswing in 3rd quarter

visitflorida1The warm sunshine, theme parks and world famous beaches of Florida kept attracting tourists in the second half of the year.

On Thursday, Governor Rick Scott announced that nearly 24 million tourists visited the tate during the third quarter of 2014.


That’s a 3.5 percent jump over the same time period a year ago.

The state’s tourism marketing arm, Visit Florida, estimates that the record number of 23.7
million visitors includes 2.9 million from overseas and more than 500,000 Canadians.

Scott has pushed to increase spending on Visit Florida advertising to try to boost the state’s tourism industry.


This current fiscal year the state set aside $74 million for the effort.

In 2013 nearly 95 million people visited Florida.


By the end of September Visit Florida
estimated that nearly 74 million have already visited the state.

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