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    Qatar set to host the first ever Shell Eco-marathon in the Middle East

    For the first time ever, one of the world’s leading energy-efficiency engineering programmes for students, Shell Eco-marathon, is coming to the Middle East and will be hosted in Qatar under the patronage of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – Chairperson of Qatar Museums.
    The announcement was made at Web Summit Qatar 2024 by Richard Tallant, Executive Vice President of GTL and Managing Director of Shell Companies Qatar – together with university students who competed at last year’s Shell Eco-marathon Asia-Pacific and Middle East regional championship.Commenting on the news, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa said, “Bringing the Shell Ecomarathon to Qatar marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability among our nation’s youth and the wider region. This event marks the beginning of the collaboration between our upcoming Qatar Auto Museum and Shell to empower young minds to tackle the pressing challenges of energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. This collaboration underscores Qatar’s dedication to shaping a brighter and more sustainable future for generations to come.”Shell Eco-marathon is a global academic programme which tests student teams to design and manufacture energy-efficient vehicles that can travel the farthest with the least amount of fuel. It aims to push the boundaries of what is technically possible and inspire young people to become leading scientists and engineers of future energy solutions.The programme provides a platform for teams to explore every aspect of design and technology, using their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills to build their own ultraenergy-efficient cars, and then take them out on the track in competition.Every year, three regional championships are held around the world. These competitions are designed for experienced teams to push new boundaries, encouraging innovation and novelapproaches to achieving energy efficiency.Richard Tallant, Executive Vice President of GTL and Managing Director of Shell Companies Qatar said, “We are thrilled that Shell Eco-marathon is making its debut in the Middle East and will be hosted in Qatar. This decision reflects Qatar’s strong commitment to innovation and education and Qatar’s world-class infrastructure will provide the perfect backdrop for teams to showcase their energy-efficient vehicles. I would like to express my gratitude to Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa for her support in bringing Shell Eco-marathon to the country, and to our strategic partners who will help to make this event possible. This marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering sustainable innovation in the region.”At the upcoming 2024 Asia-Pacific and Middle East regional event in Indonesia in July, teams from Qatar University, Texas A&M Qatar and University of Doha for Science and Technology, will compete with their purpose-built vehicles.Student teams can participate in one of two vehicle classes: Urban Concept or Prototype. Urban Concept vehicles have familiar road car features and more closely resemble passenger cars. The Prototype category consist of ultra-efficient, lightweight vehicles which have the potential to reach record breaking distances using the least amount of fuel possible.The cars are powered by one of three energy sources: internal combustion engine, battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell. They employ advanced engineering techniques, aerodynamics, lightweight materials, and innovative designs to maximise efficiency.On top of technical skills, Shell Eco-marathon also encourages collaboration, teamwork, and problem-solving skills among the participating students. It provides a platform for young minds to showcase their talent, creativity, and passion for engineering and sustainability.Through Shell Eco-marathon, Shell aims to inspire and support the next generation of engineers, scientists, and innovators in their pursuit of sustainable solutions.At the Shell booth at Web Summit Qatar 2024, visitors had a chance to get up close to a Shell Ecomarathon vehicle and learn more about the programme. University students shared their experiences from competing at past events with attendees and voiced their enthusiasm to have the competition come to the Middle East for the very first time.Shell Eco-marathon Qatar is set to take place in the first quarter of 2025 at the Lusail International Circuit.
    Learn more about Shell Eco-marathon at

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    Largest startup gathering in the Middle East, Web Summit Qatar, welcomes 15,453 to Doha

    Web Summit, the world’s largest technology conference, today announced that the inaugural edition of its Middle Eastern event, Web Summit Qatar, is hosting 15,453 attendees from 118 countries.
    Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher took to the stage on Opening Night, saying: “Over the last few years, we noticed a growing presence from the Middle East at our events. Dynamic founders, investors and entrepreneurs from the region were contributing to our events in such a meaningful way, we knew that it was time for us to bring an event here. Web Summit Qatar represents a brand new opportunity to connect a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors and changemakers.”Sheikh Jassim bin Mansour bin Jabor Al Thani, Director of the Government Communications Office and Chairman of the Web Summit Qatar 2024 Organising Committee, said: “Hosting Web Summit Qatar signifies a milestone in our nation’s ongoing journey to forge the future, showcasing Qatar’s growing status as a place where people, ideas and inspiration come together to envision the next digital revolution. The tremendous turnout in attendees and ticket purchases demonstrates the high demand for such events in the region, as well as Qatar’s potential as a hub for SMEs and innovators. More so, on its very first day, we set several new records in Web Summit history, including the biggest startup participation in a first-year edition, thelargest presence of startups from Africa, and more. With such a strong start, Web Summit Qatar is poised to be the next spot for technological leaps to take place.”
    15,453 attendees from 118 countries
    Web Summit Qatar has gathered 15,453 attendees at the sold-out event in the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC), connecting a new generation of founders, investors, journalists and leaders in Doha.Attendees from 118 countries across the globe arrived in Qatar for the first Web Summit event held in the Middle East – an event that will serve as a pivotal force for innovation in the region, enabling the people who are reshaping the world to connect.The largest gathering of startups in the Middle East 1,043 startups from 81 countries were selected – out of nearly ten thousand applicants – to showcase their vision to attendees on the event floor. 10 percent of attending startups come from Qatar, while 20 percent come from Africa and 50 percent from the wider MENA region. 10 percent of startups have joined the event through Web Summit Qatar’s Impact programme, which focuses on tech for good.
    358 startups will take part in 42 Mentor Hours sessions during the event, learning from and connecting with leading entrepreneurs in the industry. Participating startups will also have the opportunity to take part in Web Summit Qatar’s PITCH competition, powered by Jusour, which brings together the world’s leading early-stage startups to go head-to-head on stage in front of globally-renowned investors.ADVERTISEMENT401 investors from 46 countries and some of the largest funds in the world will attend the event to explore investment opportunities in one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and to meet the next generation of startups. Investors at the event include Peak XV managing director GV Ravishankar, Global Ventures founder Noor Sweid, 500 Global’s Christine Tsai and Khailee Ng, and Invest Qatar’s Ali Alwaleed Al-Thani.
    380 speakers will speak during the event, and 896 members of the media will attend.Top speakers at the event include His Excellency Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Emmy-winning South African comedian Trevor Noah, Bollywood actress and singer Nora Fatehi, WPP CEO Mark Read, Whoop founder and CEO Will Ahmed, Groq CEO Jonathan Ross, astronaut and Deep Space Initiative founder Sara Sabry, Replit co-founder and CEO Amjad Masad, founder and chief wizard Sachin DevDuggal, soccer legends Patrice Evra, John Obi Mikel and Gilberto Silva, and Tabby co-founder and CEO Hosam Arab.
    148 partners will exhibit on the event floor at Web Summit Qatar to explore business opportunities in the region, and to meet the up-and-coming companies and technologies of tomorrow.Big tech partners – including Microsoft, Snap, TikTok, Meta, Qatar Investment Authority, Deloitte and Palo Alto Networks – will be exhibiting on the sold-out event floor. Trade delegations from countries including Canada, Türkiye, Bahrain, Pakistan, Nigeria and Kenya will be attending Web Summit Qatar to explore business opportunities in the Middle East.Also taking part in the event are six community partners – groups that support and prioritise underrepresented people across the technology industry.
    Women in tech37 percent of attendees at the event are women, and 30 percent of speakers are women. One in three startups participating in the startup programme has a woman on the founding team. The Women in Tech Lounge will welcome organisations including Women of Qatar and Women Techmakers, along with thousands of women in tech attendees from all over the world.
    Qatar announces US$1bn investment in international and regional VC fundsDuring his opening remarks at Web Summit Qatar 2024, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the State of Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced Qatar’s first-ever venture capital Fund of Funds programme, which will invest US$1 billion in international and regional venture capital funds. Led by the Qatar Investment Authority, the initiative aims to foster innovation and boost the tech ecosystem in the country.In addition, HE emphasised that as technological innovations rapidly advance, it is a collective duty to ensure this progress serves the greater good by balancing innovation with ethical principles, guiding progress with moral wisdom for the benefit of all.
    Pics from day two follow :

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    Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan to speak at Web Summit Qatar

    Web Summit, the world’s largest technology conference, has announced that Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan will speak at Web Summit Qatar.
    The Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan will make an address at Web Summit Qatar’s Centre Stage to discuss the impact of social media on our lives. Queen Rania will also talk about the importance of a wide exposure to different viewpoints in broadening horizons and achieving more balanced perspectives. Her Majesty is globally renowned for her work in education, advocating for the rights and aspirations of refugees and migrants worldwide, and promoting intercultural dialogue, while using social media platforms toadvance her work.Web Summit announced this week that its inaugural Middle East event had officially sold out, and expects to welcome more than 12,000 attendees from over 120 countriesto Doha this week.Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan will join speakers such as His Excellency the Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Emmy-winning South African comedian, Trevor Noah, Bollywood actress andsinger, Nora Fatehi, astronaut and Deep Space Initiative founder, Sara Sabry, WPP CEO, Mark Read and Whoop CEO, Will Ahmed.The largest and most globally diverse cohort of startups to ever gather in the region – more than 1,000 startups from 80 countries, including a strong Jordanian presence – will connect a new generation of investors and partners hailing from countries such as Qatar, the US, Egypt, Brazil, Italy, Nigeria, the UK, India, and beyond. Within the startup cohort, almost 200 will be coming from Africa, and more than 100 are part of the event’s Impact programme, which focuses on tech for good. Almost one third of attending startups are founded by women.The Doha event joins the company’s global roster alongside flagship event Web Summit, which draws 71,000 attendees to Lisbon each November; North America’s fastest growing tech event, Collision, in Toronto; and Web Summit Rio, which will take place in 2024 for the second time.Web Summit Qatar is taking place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) February 26-29, 2024.
    Web Summit runs the world’s largest technology events, connecting people and ideas that change the world. Web Summit events – Web Summit in Lisbon, Web Summit Rio in South America, Collision in North America, RISE in Asia, and Web Summit Qatar inthe Middle East – have gathered half a million people since Web Summit’s beginnings as a 150-person conference in Dublin in 2009.Web Summit’s mission has been to create software that enables meaningful connections between the CEOs, founders, investors, members of the media, politicians and cultural icons who are reshaping the world.Forbes says Web Summit is “the best tech conference on the planet”; Bloomberg calls it “Davos for geeks”; Politico “the Olympics of tech”; the Guardian “Glastonbury for geeks”. In the words of the Financial Times, Web Summit is “the world’s largest tech conference”, and the Telegraph calls it the “planet’s best tech conference”.
    Web Summit website:

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    Gen-AI in travel in 2024: game-changer or hype?

    Speculation about the transformative powers of generative AI for our travel industry were everywhere you looked in 2023, but real-world working examples were few and far between.
    So as 2024 advances will the world slowly lose interest as the technology doesn’t deliver results?  In fact some top analysts are already calling the technology ‘overhyped’, even predicting it will get a ‘cold shower’ in 2024 because of unrealistic expectations, high costs and regulatory challenges.
    We asked technology experts from across the travel industry for their thoughts on whether or not generative AI will really change the travel experience in 2024, or whether we are getting too excited, too soon.
    Mike Coletta, manager of research and innovation at Phocuswright, disagrees with the analysts who are negative about the potential for generative AI. “The travel industry in on the cusp of massive change, and there’s huge potential for AI to transform the travel experience for both travelers and the travel provider ecosystem. Phocuswright research shows that nearly half of travelers in most countries would be extremely or somewhat comfortable using a GenAI tool to help them plan a trip. Between 13-22% of total traveler populations have used GenAI in some capacity. As the industry moves beyond the initial hype, 2024 will be all about leveraging what has been learned so far to focus on the most beneficial use cases – and avoid wasting resources on those without a clear ROI. Travel companies in 2024 are expected to accelerate investment in generative AI applications. But separating the winning use cases from the losers will be an ongoing process of trial and error. At this juncture, a results-based approach is needed to highlight the most relevant and impactful use cases in travel.”
    The initial success of AI is likely to depend on the challenges people are applying it to.  As Haluk Kayhan, CEO & Co-Founder of B2B accommodation booking platform Bedsopia – which is powered by global distributor PrimeTravel – points out:  “AI could be hugely transformative for travel in 2024, but the industry needs to work out where it is most needed and avoid trying to solve problems that no one knows they even have.  Focus on the real headaches or high-cost / low return areas of your operations like staff shortages, flight disruptions, sudden waves of cancelations, payments processing and operational inefficiencies generally.  These are areas where AI could catalyze the most change, most quickly – perhaps even meaningfully in 2024.  AI technology needs to be essential at this stage, not just a gimmick.  Let’s be realistic – it’s not going to change the whole world overnight – people aren’t ready for that.”  ADVERTISEMENTAccess to data is a key consideration and one of the most impactful use cases for travel.  “The main way we’ll see AI make an impact on travel in 2024 is around data,” says José Arozarena at from Tour Review, a platform for tours & activities providers to manage their online reviews.  “Companies with the largest amounts of data available – or who offer services to clients who in turn have large data sets – will benefit most and the most quickly too.  AI will be able to make sense of that data more effectively, offering insights that result in them making services to travelers better and more personalised. Think of it like the revolution in consumer market research from the 1950s onwards, just happening over a few years and not decades.”
    According to Sami Doyle from TMU Management, a data-driven insurance intermediary specializing in travel, generative AI could transform how financial institutions service the travel industry. “The travel industry is inherently risk based and that risk extends to consumers paying for goods in advance of service and to financial institutions providing services to travel companies for future delivery products. AI could be a powerful tool to assist financial institutions in providing services such as credit card acquiring and financial protection in a sustainable manner that alerts stakeholders to potential exposures before they happen. This has a knock on effect on the cost of these services and their continued provision to the sector, which would mean lower costs to consumers and comfort that financial protection is in place to cover failures.”
    As with any new technology, the most valuable benefits aren’t always immediately obvious. Adam Harris, CEO of Cloudbeds – the provider of hospitality technology solutions to independent property owners – believes that hoteliers will see accelerated efficiencies in their internal operations. “In a perfect world, advanced AI would fine-tune revenue management for hoteliers and work on their behalf as a 24/7/365 GM. This year that’s the direction we’ll be moving in as forward-thinking vendors like Cloudbeds continue innovating on products that drive and streamline internal efficiencies. Technology companies like ours are already using advanced AI and machine learning to make guest communication tools more intelligent and help hoteliers quickly develop web pages and high-performing ad copy. Over the next year, hoteliers will continue to benefit from intelligent AI solutions that help them make better decisions and execute them.”
    Meanwhile, Sergio Mendoza, CEO of pricing and airface intelligence firm Airnguru, believes the real game-changer for AI in travel has been the emergence of cloud technology. “Machine Learning techniques have long been used by airlines to forecast demand for Yield Management. However, the cloud revolution provided cost-efficient, democratic access to unprecedented, virtually unlimited storage capacity and processing power. The cloud catalyzed the use of big data for improving machine learning models and business intelligence, and the emergence of new breakthroughs such as generative AI. The cloud has empowered us to leverage off-the-shelf AI tools at a scale unimaginable a decade ago. Airlines already rely on artificial intelligence applications in several areas of their business. Generative AI is poised to substantially amplify the breadth of business functions for AI applications, increasing its impact across the enterprise. In particular, this revolution is enabling carriers to improve their pricing and overall commercial strategies substantially, driving revenue growth.”
    As a final thought, the industry shouldn’t get too carried away with new ideas that are too futuristic warns Alex Barros, Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer at leading hotel revenue management platform BEONx. He believes that instead we should focus on what can be done right with this this new technology, “for AI to be transformative in travel, we need to start with how it can be applied to the things we’re already doing.  For example, we’re seeing many hotels use it to generate enticing and accurate hotel descriptions, leading to instant increases in conversation rates.  This is demonstrating real impact, and plays to consumer behaviour; the chances of a hotel offer being purchased will be much higher with AI, as there will be better and more attractive levels of personalisation and engagement.”

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    UAE Launches “Air-CRAFT” Initiative for Sustainable Aviation Fuel Technologies

    In the UAE Year of Sustainability, and at the 3rd ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) was held in Dubai, eight founding entities announced the launch of the “Air-CRAFT” initiative – a UAE based research consortium focused on developing, producing, and scaling sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) technologies.
    Air-CRAFT, or the UAE Centre for Renewable and Advanced Fuel Technologies for Aviation, is a first-of-its-kind initiative that will bring together entities across the value chain – industrial policy makers, aviation regulators, fuel producers, academia and researchers, aircraft and powerplant manufacturers, and airline operators. While based in the UAE, the consortium will also engage with, and welcome the participation of relevant international entities as it progresses. The new initiative was announced on the sidelines of CAAF/3 today and ahead of COP28.
    Air-CRAFT is supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. “The aviation sector holds great importance as a key contributor to the GDP and as a target sector for our robust decarbonization drive,” said His Excellency Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. “The UAE has committed to reaching net zero by 2050, and this goal can only be achieved by slashing the emissions across the board. Air-CRAFT will go a long way in supporting the decarbonization of the aviation sector, helping to make it resilient and sustainable well into the future.”
    His Excellency Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy of the UAE and Chairman of the GCAA said: Introducing ‘Air-CRAFT’ at CAAF3 in Dubai emphasizes the UAE’s commitment to accelerate sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production, uniting government, private sector, and academia for a collective push toward sustainable aviation practice”. Bin Touq adds, “Aligned with the net-zero emissions goal by 2050, this consortium, the largest and most unique in the SAF industry, represents a substantial stride towards greener aviation future, and we look forward to making a significant positive impact through it”.
    The collaboration is in support of the UAE’s National SAF Roadmap principles and the commercial aviation industry’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.At CAAF/3 today, senior representatives from the eight consortium entities signed a strategic collaboration agreement to kickstart the Air-CRAFT initiative.ADVERTISEMENTPotential research topics at Air-CRAFT include environmental impact assessments, feedstock and process optimization, and techno-economic assessments. Air-CRAFT will also establish relevant links with other academic and research institutions in the UAE and internationally.
    The U.S. government supports Air-CRAFT being linked to the intergovernmental US-UAE ‘Partnership to Accelerate Transition to Clean Energy’ (PACE) agreement.
    The consortium’s industrial and institutional partners will provide market demand, expertise, and technology to support research into the production of alternative fuels for the aviation sector, and extends an open invitation to UAE and international entities to join the consortium. Air-CRAFT is already in advanced discussions with key and strategic global players to be announced in due course.
    Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior VP for International Affairs, Emirates Airline, said: “Emirates supports initiatives that contribute to the deployment of SAF. We’ve contributed to the development of the UAE’s National SAF Roadmap and power-to-liquids fuel roadmaps, and believe the UAE is uniquely placed to lead in this space with its policies, technology and infrastructure capabilities. We see Air-CRAFT as a solid platform to progress the National SAF roadmap into reality, and we are proud to be one of the launch entities.”
    Hanan Balalaa, Senior Vice President, New Energies, ADNOC, said: “The world needs to accelerate the pace of progress towards net zero and this requires us to decarbonize core sectors such as aviation. Collaboration and innovation will be key to addressing all emissions and ADNOC is already working with our customers to help them transition to new energies. The launch of Air-CRAFT supports this objective and we look forward to working with our partners to unlock sustainable aviation fuel technologies that can decarbonize the sector faster.”
    Brian Moran, vice president, Global Sustainability Policy and Partnerships at Boeing, said: “Scaling SAF is central to aviation achieving its net zero commitment by the middle of the century. Building a thriving local SAF economy requires collaboration across the value chain and we are honoured to have helped catalyse and now work with this esteemed group on Air-CRAFT to further spark SAF innovation in the UAE and beyond.”
    His Excellency Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO at ENOC, said: “We are proud to join hands with key industry leaders in launching Air-CRAFT, a ground-breaking initiative that underscores our commitment to advancing sustainable aviation fuels. Through collaborative research and innovation, we aim to propel the aviation industry towards a greener future, aligning with the UAE’s vision and unwavering pursuit of sustainability and environmental stewardship.”
    Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad applauds the development and assembly of the Air-CRAFT MoU and stands proudly alongside our partners for this announcement. For more than a decade, Etihad has committed to pioneering the development of SAF supply chains in the UAE and beyond, and since 2019, with the deployment of the Etihad Boeing Greenliner Programme, has driven an industry-leading sustainability initiative which targets all areas of our value chain. With Air-CRAFT, the Etihad ethos of partnerships and collaboration, and pursuit of the million little things continues strongly, under the banner of sustainability and the UAE.”
    Mohammed Mohaisen, President and CEO Middle East and North Africa, Honeywell, said: “Honeywell is a trusted technology partner to the aviation and energy sectors, sharing the common goal of decarbonizing the future of air travel. Our suite of technologies enables SAF producers to capitalize on a range of non-competing feedstocks, including waste fats, used oils and greases, biomass, ethanol, methanol and captured carbon dioxide, and we are fully committed to accelerating the local production and deployment of SAF in the UAE. Underscoring this commitment, we are proud to form Air-CRAFT alongside our valued partners to support the UAE’s National SAF roadmap and advance its leadership in this critical innovation.”
    Dr. Steven Griffiths, Senior Vice-President, Research and Development, and Professor of Practice, Khalifa University, said: “Khalifa University places the UAE’s energy transition at the core of its strategy. Given the critical importance of aviation to the UAE economy, the Air-CRAFT initiative therefore aligns seamlessly with our research agenda. Khalifa University looks forward to serving as the cornerstone of Air-CRAFT’s research, technology development and human capital development activities.”
    Mohammad Abdelqader El Ramahi, Chief Green Hydrogen Officer for Masdar, said: “As the UAE’s clean energy champion, Masdar is delighted to support this initiative to accelerate innovation in and adoption of SAFs. Sustainable fuels have enormous potential to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors. Masdar looks forward to working in collaboration and partnership with Air-CRAFT members to advance research and scale to deliver against the National SAF Roadmap, as well as continuing to drive our green hydrogen business which will be fundamental to the wider commercial production of SAFs and a key element of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050.”

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    ​​IATA and ATPCO Partner for Flight Emissions Data Calculations and Distribution​

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and ATPCO have announced a partnership which will see ATPCO use IATA’s CO2 Connect data in its Routehappy API offering later this year.Routehappy is an API that helps airlines and sales channels to convey expected “Amenities” of the onboard experience, including seat pitch and type, Wi-Fi, power, entertainment, and more, to consumers at the time of booking.
    ATPCO plans to create a new Amenity that will use IATA CO2 Connect data to help shoppers understand the carbon cost of various itinerary options.
    The agreement was signed between Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General and Alex Zoghlin, President and CEO of ATPCO during IATA’s 79th Annual General Meeting.
    “We know travelers want to understand their flight’s environmental impact in a consistent, transparent and trustworthy way. IATA CO2 Connect is the most accurate tool providing this information. ATPCO customers will be able to make travel decisions using carbon calculations benefitting from top quality,” said Walsh.
    “Routehappy data has been the one-stop shop for airline merchandising data for years. Adding this needed data is another way for ATPCO to provide more value back to our airline and channel partners, and in turn the consumers. It’s clear there is a growing interest from passengers, corporate, travel management companies, and travel agents to receive CO2 information so they can use it to compare flights and make a more sustainable choice. IATA’s CO2 Connect offers airline specific fuel burn data and we are looking forward to making this available to our growing list of Routehappy Rich Content partners,” said Zoghlin.ADVERTISEMENTThis answers a major consumer concern. Multiple studies have shown that consumers and corporate travelers want access to carbon emissions data, and that this information can influence purchasing decisions.
    A recent IATA survey shows that nearly two-thirds of travelers believe they have a responsibility to know the carbon emissions of their flights, and that a third of air travelers believe carbon emissions is the most important factor in future travel’s 2022 sustainable travel report found that 78.7% of respondents agree that sustainable travel is vital, while 74.9% are likely to book sustainable travel in the future.ATPCO’s annual consumer shopper survey, published in February 2022 found that 62% of shoppers think it’s extremely important to compare carbon emissions when flight shopping and that 63% claim that aircraft specific sustainability practices would influence the flight they book.About CO2 Connect
    Launched in June 2022, IATA CO2 Connect provides airline specific actual fuel burn information and load factors. This sets it apart from theoretical data models which also exist on the market. It uses actual fuel burn data from 74 aircraft types, representing ~98% of the active global passenger fleet, and considers traffic data from 881 aircraft operators representing ~93% of global air travel.
    Methodology: IATA CO2 Connect utilizes the Carbon Calculation Methodology adopted by IATA’s Passenger Service Conference in March 2022. This was conceived by leading partners from 20 airlines and major aircraft manufacturers, in consultation with international standard-setting bodies and logistics services providers. The methodology includes factors such as:
    Guidance on fuel measurement, aligned with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)Clearly defined scope to calculate CO2 emissions in relation to airlines’ flying activitiesGuidance on non-CO2 related emissions and Radiative Forcing Index (RFI)Weight based calculation principle: allocation of CO2 emission by passenger and belly cargoGuidance on passenger weight, using actual and standard weightEmissions factor for conversion of jet fuel consumption to CO2, fully aligned with CORSIACabin class weighting and multipliers to reflect different cabin configurations of airlinesGuidance on carbon offsets and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as part of the CO2 calculation.

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    For the second time, the Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment is represented live at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show. The TTA marketplace and TTA Forum augment a wide-ranging programme with networking events and convention sessions for trade visitors and exhibitors.
    Four years ago the Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment was the first of its kind in Europe to successfully debut at ITB Berlin. In 2019 already, exhibitors, trade visitors, speakers and several hundred participants were able to build contacts, exchange experiences and discuss forward-looking topics surrounding one of the fastest-growing markets of the travel industry. From 7 to 9 March at ITB Berlin 2023, the TTA segment will again gather the relevant players of the tourism industry.
    Inside the display area in Hall 4.1, the TTA segment is the main platform for three of the tourism industry’s most important markets, which all have one goal: to promote and sell in-destination services. The TTA marketplace at ITB is an important meeting place for tour managers, operators, technology specialists, travel destinations and agencies. This is where trade visitors will find startups as well as established companies exhibiting their products.
    eTravel Track – TTA Forum focuses on trends, discussions and innovations
    At the ITB Berlin Convention at the TTA Forum of the eTravel track, informative sessions on Tours & Activities featuring the latest survey findings, trends, numerous insights and discussions await trade visitors. Industry experts will provide first-hand information on specialist topics. Ahead of Wednesday’s TTA Forum, on Tuesday, 7 March 2023 on the Orange Stage in Hall 7.1, Johannes Reck, CEO of GetYourGuide, and Douglas Quinby, co-founder and CEO of Arival, will kick off themed events.ADVERTISEMENTCharlotte Lamp Davies of A Bright Approach, the moderator at the TTA Forum, said: “I am really delighted to be able to moderate a live TTA Forum again. In 2019, when the event was launched, we witnessed one of the busiest days at ITB Berlin. The industry is desperately awaiting its return. We have prepared a wide-ranging programme and look forward to live participation from the audience. The afternoon session will provide insights and specific tips for travel and tour operators.”
    On the afternoon of Wednesday, 8 March 2023, industry experts will take a look at the future and discuss changing consumer behaviour, sustainability, corporate partnerships and the use of new technologies. The ITB Berlin Convention slogan ’Mastering transformation’ is particularly relevant to the Tours & Activities industry. Recent events and profound challenges have changed consumer behaviour, the focus and booking patterns in this sector.
    At several interactive sessions on the ITB eTravel Stage in Hall 6.1, TTA specialists will have information on the latest trends, look to the future and offer practical tips. Douglas Quinby, co-founder and CEO of Arival and moderator of a C-Suite panel hosted by TourRadar, Tiqets and Viator, will highlight how adjusting to new technologies has changed consumer behaviour. Travel Curious, Hyatt, G Adventures and Planeterra will present case studies illustrating successful partnerships. Layered Reality will demonstrate the potential AR has for the industry and explain how this technology can augment traditional tour products.
    Full details of the programme of the TTA Forum are available online now.


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