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    TUI repays further state aid to WSF

    TUI has again repaid state aid from the Corona programme and also further reduced its credit lines. On June 30, 2022, Silent Participation II of 671 million euros was repaid in full, plus interest due, to WSF (Economic Stabilisation Fund). The repayment was made with the proceeds from the successful capital increase in mid-May and from cash funds. Including interest, TUI repaid 725 million euros to WSF. Due to the continued very good operating business, the existing and currently undrawn KfW credit lines were also reduced from 2.4 to 2.1 billion euros as previously announced.
    TUI is gradually repaying the loans from the Corona period. With the repayment of Silent Participation II to WSF, we are continuing on the path of debt reduction as planned in order to strengthen the balance sheet and align TUI for the period after the Corona pandemic. Operationally, we continue to see a strong summer business. Therefore, TUI is on its way back to being a normal company. This was stated by Fritz Joussen, CEO of TUI Group, and Sebastian Ebel, CFO and designated CEO from October 1, 2022, in Hanover.
    After the repayment of the Silent Participation II and the reduction of the KfW credit lines, the following state aid still exists:
    WSF Silent Participation I: 420 million euros, convertible into 420 million shares.
    WSF warrant bond: 59 million euros, convertible into 59 million shares
    KfW credit lines: 2.1 billion euros, currently undrawn
    TUI Group is considered the Europe’s Leading Tour Operator 2021 by voters at the World Travel Awards.

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    Sebastian Ebel to head up TUI

    TUI’s Supervisory Board has discussed the future set-up of the Executive Board. Current CEO Fritz Joussen had already announced on Friday that he will resign as of 30 September. The Presiding Committee of the Supervisory Board had proposed to appoint the current Chief Financial Officer Sebastian Ebel as the new Chairman of the Executive Board as of 1 October. He is to be succeeded as CFO by Mathias Kiep, previously Group Director Controlling, Corporate Finance & Investor Relations.
    TUI’s Supervisory Board confirmed the Presiding Committee’s proposals today. Sebastian Ebel and Mathias Kiep are appointed for a period of three years with effect from 1 October 2022.
    In addition, the Supervisory Board has decided to extend the appointment of David Burling, Executive Board member responsible for Markets & Airlines, ahead of schedule by two years until 31 May 2026. David Burling will continue to be responsible for the Group’s tour operators and TUI’s airlines. The successful restart of TUI’s tour operator programme after the pandemic is in his proven hands. TUI expects a strong summer business in 2022 and David Burling and his teams in the markets will do everything they can to ensure that guests have a memorable and enjoyable holiday. David Burling has many years of experience in top management and is an internationally versed tourism manager.
    CEO-designate Sebastian Ebel said: “I would like to thank the Supervisory Board for their trust. Our guests and TUI’s 50,000 colleagues are an enormous motivation for me. We still have some homework to do in dealing with the Corona effects, but above all I see many opportunities for TUI. With the strong TUI team and our partners – the destinations, the hoteliers and the travel agencies – we will grow profitably again and together lead TUI to new successes. I would like to thank Fritz Joussen for his close and trusting cooperation. He saved TUI from split up, formed a new international Group and led the company safely through the Corona crisis with full energy. I am now looking forward to taking over from him and leading TUI into the next phase.”
    Last Friday, the company had already reported on Fritz Joussen’s decision as well as the succession planning of the Supervisory Board Presidium – including quotes from Supervisory Board Chairman Dr Dieter Zetsche and from Fritz Joussen.ADVERTISEMENT

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    Caesar Campbell to Chair Turks & Caicos Tourist Board

    The government of Turks and Caicos has announced the appointment of Caesar Campbell as the Chairman of the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board.
    A graduate of Stony Brook University and New York University with an MSc in Economics and Public Finance, Campbell brings a wealth of expertise in the hospitality industry, having held senior executive positions in both the public and private sectors in North America and the Caribbean.
    His experience includes assignments with the Jamaica Tourist Board, the all-inclusive resort chain, SuperClubs, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and started CHC Travel Marketing, U.S.A.
    In making the announcement, the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Ms. Josephine Connolly, said, “Caesar Campbell is uniquely qualified to Chair our Tourist Board. He has worked successfully in every sector of our tourism industry in the capacity of Director of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Tourist Board, the Executive Director of the Turks and Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association, President of the Airport Operators Committee and owns Olympia DMC, which manages hotels and hospitality-related companies. He is the recipient of several awards, including the TCHTA’s Small Hotel Executive of the Year by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Turks and Caicos Leading Management Destination twice, and the Caribbean’s Leading Destination Company, World Travel Awards”. “Caesar is highly respected in his field. His appointment marks a new chapter in our country’s tourism industry,” she continued.
    In a brief statement, Campbell expressed gratitude for the confidence the government of theTurks and Caicos has placed in him with this appointment as Chairman of the island’s Tourist Board.ADVERTISEMENTBut, he also said, “the Covid-19 pandemic imposed itself on the tourism industry worldwide, and last two years have been challenging. Post covid travel will inevitably be different, and competition will be fierce. Consequently, at the Tourist Board, we will need innovation and collaboration to ensure we grow our business, and I am excited to engage with all our stakeholders for us to become a more resilient and sustainable destination.”
    Of Jamaican heritage, Campbell has lived in the Turks and Caicos for the past 25 years and manages and operates Hotel La Vista Azul and The Tides, a new hotel in Grace Bay. He is the father of a daughter and son.
    Turks & Caicos Islands is currently nominated as Caribbean’s Leading Beach Destination 2022, Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Destination 2022, Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2022, Caribbean’s Leading Luxury Island Destination 2022, Caribbean’s Leading Tourist Board 2022 and Caribbean’s Most Romantic Destination 2022 by World Travel Awards.

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    Aurora Expeditions partners with UpSchool to support Arctic education

    Aurora Expeditions, the award-winning Australian adventure travel company, is partnering with UpSchool, an Australian-based education platform to educate students on the global importance of the Arctic.
    UpSchool, who also partners with the United Nations Association of Australia, Canva and the Jane Goodall Institute, provides free courses and resources for children and teachers and is currently being used by over 1,000 teachers in 110 different countries, with around 30,000 children attending class each week including in countries such as Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and Ukraine.
    The next project for UpSchool is a June 2022 trip to the Arctic, in partnership with Aurora Expeditions. This will result in a brand-new 10-week course exploring the role this region plays in the lives of every human being on earth, and educating on how everyday choices we all make are putting pressure on the health of our planet. Children participating in the course will be encouraged to make a plan to change the way in which their community lives, to help contribute to positive environmental change.
    “We are proud to be partnering with UpSchool on this incredible project that will help to raise awareness of the pivotal importance of the Arctic to the health of our planet,” commented Michael Heath, CEO at Aurora Expeditions.
    “Enrichment, education, deepening connections to the remote regions we visit, and creating ambassadors for the protection of the environment is of huge importance to our company, and this partnership is one of many actions we are taking as part of a far-reaching sustainability in action plan.”ADVERTISEMENT“If you cannot take the child to the world, then bring the world to them,” commented Gavin McCormack, co-founder of Upschool.
    “Children need to be emotionally invested in a project if they are going to demonstrate the determination and perseverance required to make a real and tangible difference in the way the world works. Throughout this ten-week course, we aim to bring the wonders of the Arctic to the fingertips of every child on Earth.”

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    Cvent to become publicly traded

    Cvent, a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, and Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp. II, a special purpose acquisition company, today announced their entry into a definitive business combination agreement (the “Merger Agreement”). Upon closing, the combined company will operate as Cvent Holding Corp., and is expected to trade under the ticker symbol “CVT.”
    The transaction values Cvent at an initial enterprise value of $5.3 billion. The transaction will provide Cvent with $801 million in cash which will enable the company to accelerate product innovation, increase research and development, reduce debt, and expand go-to market activities to capitalise on its leading position in the $30 billion market for in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Cvent’s growing global customer base, proven track record of success over more than two decades, and established platform position the company for substantial expansion.
    Cvent CEO & Founder Reggie Aggarwal said, “The meetings and events industry has experienced rapid digital transformation over the last 18 months, with the pandemic creating a new paradigm for the events industry. Events became digitised through virtual and online experiences, and we invested heavily in expanding our virtual event capabilities. Now, we are engaging in a hybrid world, as in-person events resume, and virtual events remain prominent.  With the increased digitisation of our industry, events are ’always on’ and have fewer boundaries. My management team and our nearly 4,000 employees around the world are excited for the opportunity to continue to innovate and enable our customers to leverage Cvent across their Total Event Program.”
    Dragoneer Founder and Managing Partner Marc Stad said, “We are excited to lock arms with Cvent and help position the business for its next phase of growth as a publicly listed company. In H2’20, Cvent launched its virtual events solution, and ever since, this virtual product line has been growing rapidly and has been well-received by customers. As the world reopens, we expect to move into a hybrid world that combines elements of in-person and virtual events. With the optionality, flexibility and reach that Cvent can provide, we expect organisations to increasingly turn to Cvent to expand their audiences and create new, user-friendly ways for both virtual and in-person participants to interact with their events. Moreover, Cvent’s hospitality cloud business is a differentiator that benefits from powerful network effects – a key tenet that we look for in many of our investments at Dragoneer. Cvent is led by an exceptional management team with years of industry experience and a strong track record of profitable growth. We believe the $801M of capital expected to be raised from this transaction will enable management to double down on product development and further cement Cvent’s position as a leader in this software category.”
    Co-Head of Vista’s Flagship Fund and Senior Managing Director Monti Saroya said, “With Cvent’s robust platform and experienced workforce, the organisation is well-positioned to support the expanded meetings and event ecosystem and deliver everything organisations need to drive engagement across all event types – in-person, virtual, and hybrid. We’re pleased that this combination with Dragoneer will allow Cvent to further accelerate innovation and growth as demand for engaging experiences across all event types increases following a transformational year.”ADVERTISEMENTAccelerated Digital Transformation of the Events and Hospitality Industries Leads to Increased Technology AdoptionCvent stands apart from other event technology providers in its ability to support the unique needs of both event planners and hoteliers, offering a global marketplace where event professionals collaborate with venues to create unmatched experiences.
    Event Cloud – One Platform to Drive Live Engagement and Maximize Impact of the Total Event Program
    Events offer a highly effective way for organisations to maximise engagement with their attendees, helping them to generate and qualify leads, deepen relationships with customers and build brand loyalty and advocacy. The accelerated digital transformation of the events industry driven by the global COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a new events landscape that will feature a combination of virtual, in-person and hybrid events. In this new landscape, organisations are empowered to reach larger audiences, engage with greater frequency and deliver differentiated experiences.
    The Cvent platform serves as the system of record for event and engagement data collected across every internal and external event an organisation hosts or attends, or what is referred to as the organisation’s “Total Event Program.” This end-to-end solution enables customers to not only drive efficiency and scale, but also to integrate their Total Event Program into their broader engagement and marketing strategy to drive positive business results and increase ROI.
    Hospitality Cloud – Global Online Marketplace Delivers Powerful Network Effects to Drive Group Business
    Digital transformation has also impacted the hospitality industry as hoteliers continue to leverage technology to streamline their processes, connect with event planners, increase group business revenue, and benchmark their performance in a fiercely competitive hospitality landscape.
    Cvent is well positioned to support the hospitality industry, providing a powerful combination of business intelligence and advertising solutions to generate leads, software that assists hotels in closing leads and managing event and group business, and its proprietary online sourcing networks that event planners used to source over $18 billion in 2019.

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    NYC & Company announces staff promotions

    NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon today announced three recent promotions at NYC & Company, including an addition to the C-Suite, an update on the Executive Leadership team, and an addition to the Senior Leadership team.
    Natalie Koepff, who joined the organisation in 2008 has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. In her capacity, she will continue her role as General Counsel at NYC & Company along with overseeing operations at the organisation. Rondel Holder, who joined NYC & Company in late 2020, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Content and Diversity Initiatives. In his role, he will continue to lead the content strategy for the company along with addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts across company functions including marketing, tourism, convention development, and more. Janette Roush, who joined NYC & Company in 2018, has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Marketing & Digital. In her role, she will continue to develop marketing strategies for the company along with overseeing digital growth efforts.
    “As our tourism recovery continues to take shape, I am so proud to announce the well-deserved promotions of Natalie Koepff, Janette Roush and Rondel Holder,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon. “Each have played a key role in shaping the success of NYC & Company now and will into the future, and I thank them for their important contributions and leadership.”
    More background on the new appointments:
    Natalie Koepff, who was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, recently served as General Counsel and EVP of Legal & Business Affairs at NYC & Company. In her new role, Natalie will continue as General Counsel, and oversee daily business operations of the organisation, working closely with department heads and supervisors to support the day-to-day activities at the company. Prior to joining NYC & Company’s legal team in 2008, Koepff was on the legal team at Constituency Management Group (CMG), a part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, in their Business and Legal Affairs Department, offering clients integrated services in a full range of marketing communications disciplines.
    Janette Roush, who was promoted to Executive Vice President, Marketing & Digital, recently served as Executive Vice President, Marketing at NYC & Company. Janette will now lead the Company’s marketing and digital divisions. She will continue to oversee the organisation’s domestic and international promotional campaigns, B2B marketing for the travel trade and meeting planners, partnerships, and promotional strategy for the Company’s tentpole campaigns including NYC Restaurant Week and NYC Broadway Week. In her new role, Janette will now also oversee the organisation’s paid media strategy, digital initiatives, and media insights to raise the profile of the City and inspire visitation to the five boroughs. Prior to joining NYC & Company, Janette spent over two decades marketing Broadway at organisations such as Broadway.com and AKA, a global leader in entertainment advertising and strategy.
    Rondel Holder, who was promoted to Senior Vice President, Content and Diversity Initiatives, recently served as Vice President, Creative Director at NYC & Company. Rondel will continue to lead content strategy at the Company along with addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts across company functions including marketing, tourism, convention development, and more. Prior to joining NYC & Company in 2020, Holder served as Head of Production & Execution, Marketing at Essence Communications Inc. where he oversaw execution of branded videos and videos series, sponsored digital content, influencer marketing, and more.
    NYC & Company is considered North America’s Leading Business Travel Destination 2021 by voters at the World Travel Awards.ADVERTISEMENT

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    Dr. Xie Xingquan to lead IATA in North Asia as regional VP

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the appointment of Dr. Xie Xingquan as its Regional Vice President for North Asia.
    Dr. Xie has held various appointments in China, Canada and Singapore throughout his 24 year career in the aviation industry. He was Director of the Policy, Law and Regulation Division at the R&D Centre of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) (1998-2008), Assistant Legal Officer at the International Civil Aviation Organization based in Montreal (2008-2010), and Director General of the Policy, Law & Regulations Institute at the China Academy of Civil Aviation Science & Technology (2010-2011). He has been with IATA since 2011, where he is currently the association’s Assistant Director, Legal, based in Montreal. 
    Reporting to Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Senior Vice President and Deputy Director General , Dr. Xie will lead IATA’s activities across North Asia, a region that is home to 40 IATA member airlines. He will be relocating to Beijing, where IATA’s North Asia Regional Office is located.
    “I am delighted to have Xingquan as our Regional Vice President for North Asia. His extensive international experience, and knowledge of the industry and region will be particularly valuable in leading IATA’s efforts across North Asia, including on safety, sustainability, and the recovery of international travel from COVID-19 when borders in the region re-open,” said Clifford.
    “I am honored and humbled to be leading IATA’s team in North Asia. Among my priorities would be to engage with the airline members, governments and industry partners in China and the region to safely re-open borders, catch up with the rest of the world, and revive the travel and tourism sector. I started my aviation career in Beijing and having held roles in different locations including Montreal and Singapore, I am excited to be back in Beijing again to contribute to the development of the aviation industry,” said Dr. Xie.ADVERTISEMENTDr. Xie graduated as a Doctor of Law from the Chinese Academy of Social Science, and additionally a L.L.M of International Commercial Law from the Singapore Management University.

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    ABTA provides submission to BEIS Select Committee on flight cancellations

    ABTA has provided a written submission to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee which has been looking at the difficulties some passengers experienced when travelling over the May half-term period.
    In a letter from Chief Executive Mark Tanzer, ABTA highlights the valuable role – and passion – travel agents have both in helping their customers organise their holiday as well as supporting them in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.
    The submission also aims to provide MPs on the Committee with contextual information and background on the impact of the pandemic on the travel industry, including how Government decisions not to offer sector-specific support, and to withdraw furlough support significantly ahead of the lifting of travel restrictions, have worsened the recruitment challenges facing travel businesses.
    Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive at ABTA – The Travel Association said:
    “It’s important MPs on the Committee understand the travel industry’s complex supply chain. Travel agents in particular are wholly reliant on the published inventories and flight schedules of airlines and tour operators and have no control over some of the operational issues seen in recent weeks. The hearing rightly focused on what had happened and how the companies involved responded, but we felt it was necessary and helpful for the Committee to hear from the wider industry.ADVERTISEMENT“It’s also important these recent issues continue to be put into context. For anyone caught up in the delays or cancellations it will have been a stressful and upsetting time, but most people were able to travel without issue. This is something we continue to emphasise in all of our communications – with media, politicians and consumers.
    “We continue to work hard to make sure that politicians don’t lose sight of the challenging environment the whole industry has had to operate in over recent years and the solutions the industry needs to support its recovery. Government does need to act to make the recruitment process easier and should look at adding the aviation-specific jobs to the UK’s shortage occupations list, which would enable staff to be hired more easily from abroad.”

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