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    UAE’s Ministry of Economy and International Cooperative Alliance to strengthen national cooperation

    The Ministry of Economy (MoE) and the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), the largest global cooperative organization, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the structure of the UAE’s project aimed at strengthening the national cooperative sector. The partnership forms part of the Ministry’s strategy to improve the performance of the country’s cooperative sector and increase its contribution to the national economy. The MoU was signed by H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, and Balasubramanian Iyer, Regional Director of the Alliance, on behalf of the ICA.
    H.E. Al Saleh said that the partnership will help raise the work environment in the country’s cooperative sector to new levels. He explained that under the framework of the MoU, joint actions will be taken along with the ICA to contribute to the development of flexible and proactive legislation that will further empower the cooperative model and regulate its governance. This in turn will enhance the readiness of the UAE’s cooperative work environment and increase its contribution to the growth of the country’s non-oil GDP. In addition, H.E. pointed out that this MoU serves the Ministry of Economy’s objectives and integrated strategy to achieve qualitative development in the cooperative sector to enable it to play a direct role in the diversification and competitiveness of the national economy.
    H.E added: “The cooperative sector plays a pivotal role in achieving the UAE’s sustainable economic and social development goals and is an important asset to the competitiveness and diversity of the national economy. In line with the wise leadership’s vision for the future and the principles and Projects of the 50, the UAE Government has adopted a new vision for this vital sector aimed at improving its performance in accordance with international best practices and enhancing its role in the country’s new economic model. The country has achieved regional leadership in developing the cooperative model and establishing a favorable environment and policies that drive its growth.”
    H.E. Al Saleh further noted that the UAE is one of the first countries in the region to allow the regulation and trading of cooperative shares in its financial markets, a move that enhances the leadership and competitiveness of the UAE cooperatives regionally and globally. It enables the activation and deepening of its role in providing economic sectors in the country and supporting its shareholders. “We continue our efforts today to complete the cooperative sector development strategy in order to enable the sector to take its rightful role as one of the drivers of diversity, sustainability, innovation, high productivity, and transition towards a future economy in the UAE,” he added.
    Meanwhile, Balasubramanian Iyer said: “Through this agreement, we aspire to provide the UAE’s cooperative sector with the highest international practices, following the footprints of leading examples from countries all over the world. Our strategy is to promote the development of the current cooperative system in the UAE, raise awareness, and encourage the participation of youth and women, and build capacities. This strategy is set to increase the contribution of cooperatives in supporting the country’s economy as it is an important focus area in achieving the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071 and supports the country’s efforts to establish a diversified economic model.”ADVERTISEMENTThe Ministry of Economy aspires to set a first-of-its-kind comprehensive strategy to develop the cooperative sector in the UAE in the upcoming stage. This strategy includes training for the entities that supervise the cooperative sector and acquainting them with the latest international practices and methods. It is also set to launch a joint committee with the membership of cooperatives, as well as federal and local entities that supervise the sector, to oversee the implementation of the strategy, in collaboration with the Ministry. It is also set to promote joint efforts by the Ministry and its partners to promote the national cooperative sector. The development strategy is divided into three stages.
    Stage I
    Stage one includes the development of the UAE’s cooperative sector and assessing the current state of the sector. This will be conducted by establishing teams from the Ministry of Economy and the ICA to collaborate in developing the jurisdictional system of cooperatives as well as promoting the research and development activities. This stage will further include training workshops that are open to everyone as these focus on introducing the significance of the sector, its role in supporting the national economy, and exploring ways to establish more cooperatives in the UAE.
    Stage II
    The second stage is set to conduct comprehensive studies on the development of the cooperative sector, promote opportunities, identify challenges, and the means to diversify priority sectors in which the cooperatives practice their activities in collaboration with partners. Also, the second stage will oversee the development of an effective strategy to increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP to five per cent by the year 2031.
    Stage III
    The third phase will focus on qualifying the people working in the cooperative sector, raising their awareness on the best practices followed globally. It will also focus on developing the human capacities of the local entities and departments in the UAE concerning policies, law enforcement, and monitoring the performance of cooperatives. This will be achieved through conducting training programs, launching initiatives, and business incubators to accelerate the growth of the next generation of cooperative entrepreneurs. Also, there will be developed training and academic curricula for students. These curricula aim to consolidate cooperative thinking that addresses cooperative principles and launch campaigns and awareness programs across the UAE to raise awareness about the cooperatives and their importance, in cooperation with the concerned local and federal government entities and the private sector. The partnership will last for 18 months.
    By the end of 2020, the number of cooperative societies in their various forms in the UAE reached nearly 42, including 20 consumer societies, 13 for fishermen, 7 societies in other fields, two cooperative unions, and 200 outlets and branches all over the country. The total value of the cooperative sector amounted to AED 3.1 billion, and its net profit amounted to more than AED 1 billion at the end of the same year, while the number of shareholders in cooperatives amounted to about 97,000 contributing members until the end of 2020.
    The International Cooperatives Alliance, which was established in 1895, is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations, and is the largest global cooperative organization that includes cooperative organizations from 112 countries. The International Cooperative Alliance operates in various economic sectors, most notably agriculture, banking, consumer services, fisheries, health services, housing, insurance, industry, and service industry. The Alliance aims to unite and represent cooperatives on an international scale, which are estimated to be nearly 3 million in numbers across the world. It also provides the necessary services for cooperatives and their members who exceed one billion. The Alliance also works with governments and global and regional organizations to offer legislative environments that support establishment and development cooperatives.

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    WTTC publishes report on digital travel post Covid

    The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has published a new report on best practices and support for governments for the introduction of a ‘Digital Travel Portal’ to allow safe travel to reduce delays at airports.
    The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a lack of global coordination as governments introduced a constant patchwork of digital and paper requirements.
    WTTC is calling for alignment to build resilience and ensure there is a clear global system focused on an individual’s health status that does not bring international travel to a standstill, which throughout the pandemic caused serious economic damage.
    ‘Implementing a Digital Travel Portal’, created by WTTC and The Commons Project Foundation, is aimed at governments and builds on the previously released ‘Digital Solutions for Reviving International Travel’ report published in December 21’.
    The report gives a blueprint to governments on how to implement a Digital Travel Portal not only during COVID, but during any future health crises that threaten economies and global Travel & Tourism, by ensuring health checks are based on the individual, prior to travelling, to achieve a seamless journey.ADVERTISEMENTThe portal would enable travellers to electronically share, for instance, their digital COVID vaccination status, or any other required documentation, before they begin their journey.
    Once booked, travellers would simply visit the online portal managed by the destination, where their documentation would be uploaded, verifying in seconds their status.
    The data can also be combined with other standard security and visa requirements.
    The previous report provided eight recommendations and addressed the global challenge posed by ever-changing policies and processes, which are not only complex and unsustainable, but also further hinder the recovery of an already struggling sector.
    Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Over the past two years, governments reached for their own solutions to halt the pandemic by restricting travel, but the result was chaos. Chaos for the confused traveller and chaos for economies with the loss of 62 million jobs worldwide in 2020.
    “Today we publish a report that provides guidance on how to create a single digital travel solution that governments can adopt and join up at an international level.
    “If we ever face another pandemic, we must do a better job. People should be allowed to travel based on their individual health status by using a one-stop government digital platform before they start their journey.
    “Governments talk about resilience post COVID. By investing in this system now, governments and their economies will be better protected against any future pandemics.”
    Zhenya Lindgardt, CEO of The Commons Project Foundation, said: “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, now is the time for governments to ensure preparedness for whatever may come next.
    “The past two years have shown us that health will likely remain a core component of border crossing moving forward, and the implementation of digital portals for health status verification is a critical step toward building more resilience in the face of public health crises.
    “The Commons Project is proud to support WTTC in its effort to help countries lay this foundation for resuming safe travel and keeping borders open.”
    The report offers 12 recommendations as general best practice principles to be applied to the whole Digital Travel Portal: privacy by design and default, compliance with data protection and privacy laws, language capability, 24×7 communication, and legal path in case of disputes, amongst others.
    The report also provides five recommendations related to specific features and functionalities considered to be critical for an effective portal, providing health security and an efficient experience, such as traveller questionnaire, and government integration, amongst others.
    For countries still requiring COVID status checks of travellers, this report (along with the December report) provides best practice advice for collecting and analysing traveller health status information pre-travel and digitally connecting the output with travel operators, reducing traveller anxiety and burden at airports
    For countries that have removed COVID status checks, this report also provides a resilience and preparedness tool for the next pandemic, or other major incident, with best practice advice on how to efficiently collect and process digital health traveller information before their journey.
    Lastly, Digital Travel Portals could also be integrated with other government services, such as visa application processes, to provide an efficient digital one-stop-shop for governments and travellers.
    To read the report in full, please click here.

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  • in group publishes its 2021 annual ESG report Group has released its 2021 annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, highlighting stronger, more resilient sustainability practices across the business over the past year.
    The ESG report also outlines Group’s roadmap for success in 2022, with a focus on greater opportunities to put sustainability into action, creating a more sustainable future for the global travel ecosystem.
    During the last year, the Group has joined the UN Global Compact, aligning its strategies and operations with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
    A founding partner of sustainable travel coalition, Travalyst, Group works with leading travel peers to develop sustainable travel initiatives to bring industry-wide change. The Group has also continued to champion the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.
    This is in addition to pursuing its ‘3Rs’ strategy of reducing waste, reusing and recycling resources, as well as adopting green operations across the business.ADVERTISEMENTJane Sun, Group CEO, said: “Our commitment to sustainability, social issues and creating a stronger, more resilient business made several important strides over the course of the last year.
    “As a crucial part of our Group mission, our newly-created ESG Committee plays a vital role in enabling the business to embrace innovative and effective corporate governance practices.
    “We are proud of the progress we have made in integrating these practices into our daily business operations to date.
    “We now look forward to continuing to build upon these achievements throughout 2022, and help to shape a more sustainable future for our society.”
    Other key 2021 ESG achievements for the Group include:
    ● Donating 680 oxygen concentrators, worth more than $330,000 to India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia to support the fight against COVID-19
    ● Donating more than 3,000 attraction passes and room nights through the ‘Pay It Forward’ campaign in Singapore, providing leisure and holiday opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds
    ● Investing almost $150 million empowering 100 vacation villages in rural destinations with the building of eight of ten planned country retreats as part of its Rural Revitalisation Plan
    ● Providing more than 2,800 professional development classes to staff through the Trip Growth Academy.
    Within the work environment, the Group also reports significant ESG successes and enhancements to its operations, including:
    ● The roll out of a flexible hybrid work model enabling employees the choice of working remotely and supporting employee wellness
    ● Maintaining an equal workplace which is home to a 50% female workforce, 43% of which hold mid-level management positions and 30% at executive level.
    ● Awarded the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Award for providing a Gender-inclusive Workplace by UN Women China. Group has become one of the best-known travel groups around the globe, and has over 20 years’ expertise in enhancing the experience of leisure and business travellers in China and around the world.
    Read Group’s 2021 ESG report in full here.

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    MIA named Sustainable Cargo Airport of the Year

    Miami International Airport has been voted Sustainable Cargo Airport of the Year by readers and subscribers of Freightweek magazine, after earning 4,074 of 19,324 online votes during the 2022 Freightweek Sustainability Awards. MIA earned more votes than eight other finalists from across the globe.
    America’s busiest airport for international freight earned the award based on its commitment in the global market to promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization; fostering innovation; achieving savings in equipment maintenance costs and workload; and encouraging energy efficiency that leads to reductions in CO2 emissions.
    “MIA’s Freightweek Sustainability Award demonstrates that it is leading the way, not only as the top economic engine in our community, but also as one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly airports in the world.  This is yet another example of how Miami-Dade County is leveraging technology and innovation to reach our sustainability goals. Congratulations to our Aviation Department for this global recognition of its stellar efforts to reduce MIA’s carbon footprint in our community.” – Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava
    In November 2020, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) and Florida Power and Light Services (FPLS) completed Phase II of its Sustainability Project at MIA, the largest energy conservation project ever in the State of Florida and one of the largest in the eastern United States.
    Through the installation of $45 million worth of energy-efficient lighting, domestic water and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system upgrades primarily in MIA’s cargo area, the project will save $3.2 million annually in utility costs – enough to fuel 4,856 cars per year and approximately 10% of the airport’s annual electrical cost. It will also achieve water consumption savings equivalent to filling 16 Olympic-sized pools each year, eliminate the presence of R-22 refrigerant in the HVAC systems at MIA – ahead of the Environmental Protection Agency’s “phase out” of R-22 production and import by 2020 – and eliminate the presence of mercury vapors in lighting systems at MIA. The project will generate $60 million in guaranteed savings during the 15-year payback period. Phase II followed the completion of Phase I in 2018, which will generate a total of more than $40 million in energy and water savings through 2032, or $2.8 million annually.ADVERTISEMENTIn January 2020, Florida Power & Light Company and Miami-Dade County launched a half-acre, 402-panel floating solar installation into the waters of the Blue Lagoon adjacent to the airport. The partnership between FPL and Miami-Dade County is the largest floating solar array in the southeastern U.S. and the first-ever at an airport. The solar array, which generates 160 kilowatts of power and prevents 165 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, is also a test-bed for cutting-edge research the performance of solar panels on water.
    “This prestigious award is another testament to our unwavering commitment to being an industry leader for sustainability and resilience.  We are honored to be recognized by Freightweek for our energy conservation efforts, which are achieving $6 million in energy savings annually and are reducing millions of gallons in water consumption. We look forward to implementing additional sustainability projects in conjunction with our multi-billion-dollar capital improvement program.” – Ralph Cutié, MIA Director and CEO

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    Las Vegas kicks off summer with Memorial Day Weekend

    Long considered the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend is always a thrilling time to visit Las Vegas. Whether splashing under the sun at a dayclub, dancing the night away at a top-notch nightclub, or enjoying the destination’s very best entertainment, Vegas is the place to be.

    Fun Under the SunE11EVEN Miami is taking over Ayu Day Club at Resorts World Las Vegas throughout the holiday weekend, bringing a lineup of EDM artists to the Strip’s newest outdoor oasis. Revelers will enjoy performances by Cash Cash (Friday, May 27), Zedd (Saturday, May 28) and DJ Snake (Sunday, May 29).
    AZILO Ultra Pool at SAHARA Las Vegas presents a Memorial Day Weekend Party on Saturday, May 28 featuring Jay Sean as the event’s celebrity guest DJ. The event also features a cocktail tasting and a cornhole contest with prizes.
    The Citrus Grand Pool Deck, situated on the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino rooftop, features a sparkling infinity pool, backyard games and more. To kick off the summer season, Citrus will welcome DJs Mark Mac and Sam I Am (Saturday, May 28), as well as DJs Seany Mac and Krillz (Sunday, May 29). Admission is free for hotel guests. Non-hotel guests can reserve a table or cabana to access the pool.ADVERTISEMENTDAYLIGHT Beach Club at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino offers revelers summertime vibes complete with electrifying performances by Saint Jhn (Saturday, May 28), Fat Joe (Sunday, May 29), and Rubi Rose (Monday, May 30).
    Jump into the fun at Drai’s Beachclub on the multi-level rooftop oasis 11 stories above the Strip at The Cromwell Las Vegas, which offers unmatched views, refreshing cocktails and much more. Attendees will enjoy performances and DJ sets by artists such as DJ Vision (Friday, May 27), Meek Mill (Saturday, May 28), Lil Wayne (Sunday, May 29), and Maria Romano (Monday, May 30).
    Élia Beach Club at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas presents a packed lineup throughout the weekend at the luxurious space inspired by the Greek island of Mykonos. Attendees can enjoy refreshing cocktails while taking in performances by Eric D-Lux (Friday, May 27), Chance the Rapper (Saturday, May 28) and Lane 8 & Elderbrook (Sunday, May 29).
    The tiered, three-pool Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas, complete with cabanas and daybeds for total poolside comfort, presents a lineup of EDM artists throughout the weekend. Attendees can party to the beats of Kim Lee (Friday, May 27), David Guetta (Saturday, May 28), and The Chainsmokers (Sunday, May 29).
    The Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace is a sprawling oasis with numerous pools. Visitors can reserve refreshed pool cabanas, as well as check out the renovated pool bar at the Venus Pool.

    Enjoy poolside fun at GO Pool at Flamingo Las Vegas. The summer hotspot offers a unique tropical oasis with cascading waterfalls, lagoons, prime views of the High Roller observation wheel, drink specials, themed floats and beach balls, and more. Cabana or daybed reservations are encouraged for guaranteed entry.
    Influence, The POOL at The LINQ Hotel + Experience regularly offers poolside fun complete with life-sized games and beer pong, plus amazing food and cocktails. The party pool will feature a night swim event on Friday, May 27, themed floats and beach balls throughout the weekend, a red, white and blue cocktail special and a DJ spinning Friday, May 27 through Monday, May 30.
    Make a splash at LIQUID Pool Lounge located at ARIA Resort & Casino. The intimate hideaway celebrates the long weekend with five days of revelry, featuring sets by DJ Karma (Thursday, May 26), DJ Buza (Friday, May 27), DJ Drama (Saturday, May 28), Nova (Sunday, May 29), and CC Elise (Monday, May 30). Enjoy the luxurious atmosphere in one of eight cabanas or day beds, along with dipping pools, refreshing cocktails and delicious food offerings.
    Surrounded by the energy of the Las Vegas Strip, the rooftop Marquee Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas offers specialty cocktails, spectacular views and performances from some of today’s top DJs and artists. The celebratory weekend lineup features Cable (Thursday, May 26), John Summit (Friday, May 27), Fisher (Saturday, May 28), Chris Lake (Sunday, May 29) and Escobar (Monday, May 30).
    The Scene Pool Deck at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino has reopened its FlowRider surfing attraction, where visitors can experience a wave riding simulation in a safe and exciting environment.
    Stadium Swim at Circa Resort & Casino features six pools, surrounded by lounge chairs, cabanas and daybeds—all offering a perfect view of its massive, 40-foot-tall high-definition screen playing the day’s best sports action.
    The long-running LGBTQ pool party, Temptation Sundays at Luxor Hotel and Casino, turns the energy up with a set by DJ Jae Fusz on Sunday, May 29.
    Visitors can take in the lush scenery of the Balinese-inspired TAO Beach Dayclub at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas throughout the holiday weekend. The party pool will feature DJ sets from some of today’s top names, including Loud Luxury (Friday, May 27), Alesso (Saturday, May 28), TYGA, Lil Jon and BIA (Sunday, May 29), and DJ Pauly D (Monday, May 30).
    WET REPUBLIC at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino keeps the action rolling all weekend with music, cocktails and more. Visitors will enjoy beats by EDM greats such as Steve Aoki (Friday, May 27), Martin Garrix and Justin Mylo (Saturday, May 28), Kaskade (Sunday, May 29), and Lil Jon (Monday, May 30).

    Dance all WeekendNeon Dream returns to AREA15 this Memorial Day Weekend, taking over the immersive playground with vibrant beats, mesmerizing performances and awe-inspiring art on Saturday, May 28. With performances by Tritonal, Firebeatz, Haliene, Jack Beats and more, attendees will enjoy DJ sets inside The Portal, AREA15’s 360-degree 3D projection-mapped room, and outside in the A-Lot, AREA15’s outdoor event space. The experience is complete with psychedelic spectacles, food and drinks, roaming live performances, interactive art exhibits and much more. Also at AREA 15 is Illuminarium, which will officially launch its SPACE: To The Moon and Beyond attraction for guests to explore the great unknown.
    DAYLIGHT Beach Club at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino keeps the party going long after the sun goes down with DJ Romeo (Friday, May 27) and Simp City: The Hottest R&B Party (Saturday, May 28).
    Drai’s Nightclub at The Cromwell Las Vegas features a jam-packed weekend of thrilling performances by today’s top artists. The weekend kicks off with Swim Night featuring Busta Rhymes (Thursday, May 26), and continues with full-length concerts from Meek Mill (Friday, May 27) and Lil Wayne (Saturday, May 28), as well as a performance by Lil Baby (Sunday, May 29).
    While Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas offers daytime fun under the sun, the lavish oasis also features nighttime parties complete with world-class entertainment. This year’s Encore Beach Club at Night lineup features RL Grime (Friday, May 27) and Gryffin (Saturday, May 28).
    Hakkasan Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino welcomes summer with four nights of fantastic entertainment. Attendees can dance the night away to NGHTMRE (Thursday, May 26), TYGA (Friday, May 27), Lil Jon (Saturday, May 28), and Mustard (Sunday, May 29).
    JEWEL Nightclub at ARIA Resort & Casino keeps the party going all weekend, with sets by BIA (Friday, May 27) and Pusha T (Saturday, May 28). The venue caps the celebration with its Flawless Monday Anniversary Party, featuring a performance by O.T. Genasis, on Monday, May 30.
    Marquee Nightclub at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas welcomes revelers to party the night away at the rooftop space to the sounds of Afrojack (Friday, May 27) and DJ Pauly D (May 29). Visitors can also enjoy a nighttime swim during its Drenched After Dark party featuring beats by Justin Credible (Sunday, May 29).
    OMNIA Las Vegas at Caesars Palace offers visitors stunning views of the Strip from its outdoor terrace, in between dancing to the sounds of Martin Garrix and Justin Mylo (Friday, May 27), Above & Beyond (Saturday, May 28), and Steve Aoki (Sunday, May 29).
    TAO Nightclub at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas kicks the weekend off with Eric D-Lux (Thursday, May 26), and the revelry only continues with Brody Jenner and Devin Lucien (Friday, May 27) and O.T. Genasis (Saturday, May 28).
    The luxurious indoor/outdoor XS Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas presents five nights of celebration, including a SKAM Artist Takeover featuring Kim Lee, Deux Twins, Justin Credible and DJ Five (Thursday, May 26), Dillon Francis (Friday, May 27), Marshmello (Saturday, May 28), David Guetta (Sunday, May 29), and La Selva featuring Monolink and WhoMadeWho (Monday, May 30).
    E11EVEN Miami is also taking over Zouk Nightclub at Resorts World Las Vegas to welcome the summer season, offering two nights of electrifying performances at the state-of-the-art space. Attendees will enjoy performances by Louis the Child (Friday, May 27) and Tiësto (Saturday, May 28).

    The Biggest Names in EntertainmentCountry artist Keith Urban returns to The Colosseum at Caesars Palace for another string of dates in his long-running residency at the iconic venue from Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29.
    The Citrus Grand Pool Deck at Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino presents Reggae on the Roof on Saturday, May 28, featuring DJ Kali Madden, MC Tuff Like Iron and DJ Finesse.
    Rocker Jack White makes his return to Las Vegas taking the stage at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Sunday, May 29.
    The Fremont Street Experience will celebrate the holiday weekend with back-to-back concerts as part of its Downtown Rocks Free Concert Series. Visitors can enjoy the sounds of pop rockers X Ambassadors on Saturday, May 28, followed by a set by Starship featuring Mickey Thomas on Sunday, May 29.
    New Kids on the Block brings its Mixtape Tour to Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on Sunday, May 29.
    The Eagles will bring The Final Hotel California Show of 2022 to MGM Grand Garden Arena at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on Saturday, May 28.
    The Doobie Brothers will play another string of dates of their residency at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on Friday, May 27 and Saturday, May 28.
    Katy Perry brings her PLAY residency back to the Resorts World Theatre at Resorts World Las Vegas from Friday, May 27 to Sunday, May 29.
    The Sand Dollar Downtown at The Plaza Hotel & Casino celebrates its grand opening during Memorial Day Weekend, featuring entertainment from Crash Midnight on Friday, May 27 and Artur Menezes on Saturday, May 28.
    Rex Orange County is set to take the stage at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on Friday, May 27. The venue follows that up with a concert from Limp Bizkit, which brings its Still Sucks tour—also featuring special guests Wargasm UK and Dying Wish—to The Theater on Saturday, May 28.
    Resident performer Sebastian Maniscalco will present his Nobody Does This set at Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29.

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    Quark Expeditions returns to legendary Emperor Penguin Colony

    Credit: David Merron & Quark Expeditions
    Quark Expeditions, the recognised Leader in Polar Adventures, has announced a much-awaited return to the rarely-visited emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill Island in the Weddell Sea of Antarctica. The 14-day Emperor Penguin Quest: Expedition to Snow Hill will have two departures in November 2023.
    “The legendary emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill Island holds a special place in our hearts and in the history of Quark Expeditions,” said Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions. “In 2004, Quark Expeditions made polar history when we conducted the first-ever ground visit to the remote emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill. Driven by a true expeditionary spirit—and guided by years of polar expertise—our team sailed past masses of dense ice and thick, tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea to experience the legendary rookery, which now numbers 8,000 breeding pairs of emperor penguins. Today, it is one of the most exclusive wildlife viewing experiences on the planet. Our guests will be able to embrace the thrill of the search as we travel on Ultramarine—with its two Airbus H145 helicopters—on the new ship’s first attempt to visit the emperor penguins at Snow Hill. We’re confident our guests will be rewarded with scenes reminiscent of BBC’s ‘Frozen Planet.’ Observing thousands of penguins sliding across the ice into the sea—what wilderness adventure can compete with that!”
    The ultimate aim of the Emperor Penguin Quest: Expedition to Snow Hill itinerary is to take guests to the penguin colony itself. However, Quark Expeditions has designed every day of the itinerary to be adventurous and educational, and to enable guests to experience the expeditionary spirit that fueled polar explorers more than a century ago.
    “This is a one-of-a-kind voyage,” said Alex McNeil, Director of Expedition Experience and Innovation for Quark Expeditions. “Guests will experience a true polar quest as they journey on our new ship, Ultramarine, which is equipped with two twin-engine H145 helicopters that will fly them to the vicinity of this rarely-visited rookery, whereupon they will walk across the thick sea ice to stand within metres of the most coveted penguin species on the planet. While at base on Ultramarine, guests will have the opportunity to experience Zodiac cruising among the icebergs, paddle-on-top kayaking, join scientists on drifting ice floes as they demonstrate their research techniques, or work with specialist ice navigators and meteorologists to observe and learn about crucial weather and ice forecasting and ship operations up close.”ADVERTISEMENTAnother key component of the Emperor Penguin Quest: Expedition to Snow Hill itinerary is the bespoke daily educational program tailored specifically for this voyage. Quark Expeditions’ team of polar experts, who include penguin scientists, ornithologists, biologists and polar historians, will present on various aspects of emperor penguins and their behaviors, ice formations such as the tabular icebergs which will be visible from the ship deck, and the experiences of polar explorers who braved the Weddell Sea over a century ago. Guests can also choose to take the polar plunge, try stand-up paddleboarding or enjoy some pampering thanks to Ultramarine’s superb onboard amenities, such as the spa, sauna and fitness room.
    “To make this trip even more intimate,” said McNeil, “we’ve reduced guest capacity to 150 and increased the number of expedition staff so there will be one expedition team member for every four guests—who will truly experience the expedition of a lifetime!”
    Quark Expeditions is considered as the World’s Leading Specialist Cruise Line 2021 by World Travel Awards.

    Germany’s tourism sector poised to surpass pre-pandemic levels next year

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    Germany’s tourism sector could surpass pre-pandemic levels next year

    The World Travel & Tourism Council’s latest Economic Impact (EIR) reveals the travel and tourism sector in Germany will catapult the national economic recovery and could surpass pre-pandemic levels next year, nearly 2.5% above 2019 levels.
    The forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), shows the sector’s contribution to GDP could reach more than €364 billion by next year.
    Travel and tourism in Germany is set to boost the national economic recovery with an average growth rate outpacing the overall country’s economy growth for the next 10 years.
    According to the report, travel and tourism’s GDP is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 1.3% annually between 2022-2032, above the 1.1% growth rate for the country’s economy, to reach more than €394 billion (9.7% of the total economy).ADVERTISEMENTThe forecast also reveals the travel and tourism sector is expected to create almost half a million jobs in the next 10 years, averaging more than 47,000 every year.
    By the end of this year, the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 52.4% to more than €347 billion, amounting to 9.6% of the total economic GDP, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 6.9% to reach 5.5 million jobs.
    Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “COVID-19 wreaked havoc on Germany’s travel and tourism, affecting millions of livelihoods and impacting the national economy.
    “However, our data provides a positive outlook, that will be provide a massive boost to businesses across Germany as the sector finally begins to recover from the pandemic.”
    Before the pandemic, Germany’s travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP was 9.8% (€355.3 billion) in 2019, falling to just 6.3% (€217.2 billion) in 2020, representing a staggering 38.9% loss.
    The sector also supported nearly 5.9 million jobs, before an almost complete halt to international travel which resulted in a drop of nearly 800,000 (13.5%), to reach just over five million in 2020.
    WTTC’s latest EIR report also reveals that 2021 saw the beginning of the recovery for the country’s travel and tourism sector.
    Last year, its contribution to GDP climbed 5% year on year, to reach €228 billion.
    However, the recovery of jobs was slower with less than 15,000 Travel & Tourism jobs created, to reach nearly 5.1 million.
    The sector’s contribution to the economy could have been higher if it weren’t for the impact of the Omicron variant, which led to the recovery faltering around the world, with many countries reinstating travel restrictions.

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