Greece welcomes 15% more tourists than previous year

Travel and Tour World | April 12, 2019

Greece welcomes 15% more tourists than previous year
Greece is located at crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 kms in length, featuring a large number of islands of which 227 are inhabited. 80% of Greece consists of mountains with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 meters. Greece is considered as the cradle of Western Civilization, birthplace of Western literature, Western philosophy, democracy, mathematical principles and notably the Olympic Games.

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There is the richness of Provence. And then there’s Trek Travel’s Provence. Ours is everything you want from the fragrant, blossoming countryside of this French region, but with a boost that truly brings out its best.

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Hawaii Officials to Tighten Travel Rules for Visitors' Safety

Hawaii Tourism Authority | May 19, 2020

Hawaii officials are implementing new measures, from the airport to accommodations, to crack down on scofflaws. The Hawaii Tourism Authority launched a media campaign telling prospective visitors to stay home until the Islands are ready for them. According to an HTA report submitted to the Hawaii Senate Committee on Covid-19, roughly 70% of the hotels contacted agreed to participate in the initiative. On March 15, Gov. David Ige publicly pleaded for visitors to postpone their Hawaii vacations and business trips and followed up a few days later with the quarantine measure. Since mid-March, the majority of hotels have closed, vacation rentals have been ordered to halt operations, beach activities have been extremely limited, and all but essential businesses have shuttered. The Hawaii Tourism Authority launched a media campaign telling prospective visitors to stay home until the Islands are ready for them, and the agency, through the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, has been funding return flights for visitors who are not able to quarantine. Still, like party guests who can't read the room and overstay their welcome, people keep arriving in Hawaii despite the quarantine order and the best efforts of multiple state agencies to discourage travel to the Aloha State. From March 26, when the quarantine went into effect, through April 30, an average of 125 visitors arrived in Hawaii airports each day -- a far cry from the 30,000 daily arrivals at normal times, but concerning for state officials, who would prefer zero arrivals. Although Ige has extended the quarantine order through June 30, visitation ticked up when the calendar turned from April to May. Through the first 10 days of the month, an average of 233 visitors have landed daily. Reports of quarantine violators are flooding in, and now the state is looking to bolster its methods to guarantee compliance, including a newly launched system designed to help monitor the movement of hotel guests. Despite these efforts at the airports, we have been receiving consistent reports from members of the public ~ Mayor Kirk Caldwell the Hawaii Senate Special Committee on Covid-19 "They have observed, through social media or in person, travelers blatantly violating the quarantine orders. "This is particularly frustrating for members of the public who are complying with the stay-at-home/stay-safe declarations imposed by the state and county in good faith. All the while, watching others flaunt their noncompliance with complete disregard for not only our laws but the health concerns behind these laws. Disturbingly, we have also received reports the City and County of Honolulu have avoided addressing these public concerns of noncompliance with regularity." Spurred by demands for tighter enforcement, the HTA has been contacting the 91 hotels that have remained open during the crisis, some of which are housing medical personnel, National Guard and other essential workers, to sign them up for a "single-use key" program. Hotel guests would be given room keys that work only once. If they leave the room after entry, they would need to contact the front desk to access the room again. According to an HTA report submitted to the Hawaii Senate Committee on Covid-19, roughly 70% of the hotels contacted agreed to participate in the initiative, with more than 20 properties yet to be reached. Four hotels had declined to participate as of May 9, at least one because it uses hard keys that cannot be programmed. One gave no explanation and another argued that its "apartment-style" accommodations precluded it from participating. Management at the Grand Naniloa Hotel on Hawaii Island said it could not currently comply with the program because state officials are failing to notify them of guests subject to quarantine prior to their check-in and they are short-staffed while housing National Guard members and local residents. The state attorney general's office told the Senate committee on April 24 that it is also examining the legality and viability of other enforcement methods, including designated quarantine sites, ankle bracelets, facial recognition and GPS tracking. The Department of Transportation and HTA have been working together to monitor arrivals, but the process has proven challenging. After deplaning, passengers' contact information and address while in Hawaii is verified while they also undergo a medical screening including temperature check. Recently, the state has added new questions to an agricultural form all arrivals fill out to glean more information about each passenger, including nature of the visit and expected departure date. In a two-week period from mid-April to the end of the month, after the DOT stepped up enforcement, 27 visitors were forced to leave Hawaii for quarantine violations or lacking proper lodging and 330 arrivals were referred to law enforcement, according to a May 2 update to the Senate committee. The hotels are notified of guests subject to quarantine, and both at the airport and the hotel, visitors are asked to fill out forms in which they acknowledge they are aware of the quarantine, which means they can only leave their room for "medical emergencies or to seek medical care" with no access to fitness centers, restaurants or other public areas. State employees have been calling new arrivals to do spot check-ins to confirm compliance with the quarantine, but during a May 7 meeting of the Senate Covid-19 committee, officials acknowledged most of the contact numbers are for mobile phones and physical checks may be needed. Quarantine violators are subject to arrest, a $5,000 fine and imprisonment for up to a year. While some visitors have been arrested, brought before a judge and sent home, the flow of arrivals continues. Learn More: DIGITAL MARKETING IN THE AGE OF CORONAVIRUS - WHAT TRAVEL BRANDS NEED TO KNOW

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Dubai Tourism partners with Microsoft to streamline data-driven services

Microsoft | August 09, 2020

Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has partnered with Microsoft to further streamline data-driven services offered to stakeholders. The move will also enhance the e-learning platform for the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT) and adopt an innovative approach towards showcasing the city as a must-visit destination. The wide scope of collaboration between Dubai Tourism and Microsoft is largely based on leveraging the Azure cloud platform, which provides a range of services from computing to networking, databases to analytics, and artificial intelligence designed to help organisations run their digital systems and processes more efficiently. Dubai Tourism's goal is to create a strong data analytics platform on the cloud that will help it share valuable business insights via online dashboards to facilitate managerial decision-making and to constantly update public and private stakeholders with critical industry-related information.

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Q&A WITH MORGAN GREGORY GOOGLE CLOUD OFFICE OF THE CTO: STRATEGY & PROGRAMS AT GOOGLE

DECK 7 | April 30, 2020

Morgan Gregory, Google Cloud Office of the CTO: Strategy & Programs at Google runs strategy and programs for Google Cloud's CTO Office, working closely with their senior leaders and technical CXOs of strategic customers on co-innovation and thought leadership initiatives. Morgan has a passion for paradigm-shifting technology and has side hustle in AI. She's particularly interested in AI for Good and Responsible AI - topics that marry her technical background and desire to make a difference.

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Spotlight

There is the richness of Provence. And then there’s Trek Travel’s Provence. Ours is everything you want from the fragrant, blossoming countryside of this French region, but with a boost that truly brings out its best.