Greece appoints new Tourism Minister

Travel and Tour World | May 06, 2019

Thanassis Theocharopoulos, leader of the Democratic Left (DIMAR) party in Greece, has been appointed as the country’s new tourism minister, in a ceremony held in Athens at the Presidential Mansion.Elena Kountoura, resigned earlier this week, in order to focus on her campaign for the upcoming European Parliament elections.Theocharopoulos, 40, holds a MSc in Agricultural Engineering and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics.Several MPs and mayors have resigned in recent weeks from their posts, to concentrate on the campaign for the European ballot, slated for May 26 in Greece.Greece welcomed more than 30 million visitors last year, setting a new all-time record, and the trend is positive also this year, according to experts from the tourism industry.

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Travel video about destination Urnes in Norway.This hundreds of years old wooden stave church stands on the Ornes farm, on the coast of theNorwegian Lustrafjord. It combines together the characteristics of Celtic art, Viking traditions and Romanesque architectural structures.


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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

JetBlue Travel Products Launches New Travel App ‘Troupe’

Businesswire | September 22, 2022

JetBlue Travel Products, a subsidiary of JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), announced the formation of Troupe, a free and collaborative group trip planning app. Whether organizing a family reunion, a bachelorette trip, or just gathering to reconnect with friends, Troupe relieves the stress that coordinating a group getaway can create. "Anyone who has organized a vacation with a group of friends or family knows that getting everyone to agree on details can take the fun out of travel planning, As we continue to look for fresh solutions to ease friction in travel and expand JetBlue’s reputation for great service, the Troupe app aims to simplify group travel planning and perfectly aligns with our goal to build new travel offerings that transform how people travel.” -Andres Barry, President, JetBlue Travel Products. A collection of ventures, JetBlue Travel Products continues to invest in new ideas and products in service of bringing humanity to all aspects of the travel journey. Following the successful relaunch of JetBlue Vacations in 2020 and the launch of Paisly in 2021, Troupe is the next step in creating unique and differentiated travel experiences for customers. Aligned with JetBlue’s efforts to make travel seamless for its customers, Troupe is a convenient app dedicated to taking as much work off planners’ plates as possible. With Troupe, travelers can suggest, vote, and comment on dates, destinations, activities and stays, so everyone gets a say in the trip planning process. The easy-to-use app allows travelers to seamlessly keep track of everything in one place. Users can manage RSVPs, create polls, share notes, add suggestions, and vote as a group to build consensus and lock in a plan before they book. Troupe brings groups together to decide on all the important details, so one person doesn’t have to do it alone, presenting travelers with a stress-free experience from start to finish: Make suggestions: Explore different destinations, stays, and activities, then add them to your group's shared trip and keep track of everything in one easy-to-use app. Vote and comment: Vote on which suggestions best suit the group, build consensus, and then finalize the details before booking. Collaborate and plan: Share links, videos, and notes with your group, so you can visit everything you want to see once you make it to your destination. One shared space: Whether you’re gearing up for a friends trip to Miami, or going out of office with coworkers, Troupe brings your group together to decide on all the important details, so you don’t have to do it alone. Less back-and-forth: Centralize your decision making as a group, so everyone gets a say without the long email threads. Then set deadlines, broadcast updates, and lock in a plan before you go. Getting everyone to agree has never been this easy. There's no denying that planning a vacation for a large group can be overwhelming, especially when everyone's requirements are different,” said Alexandra Zubko, CEO, Troupe. “Troupe was designed to make group trip planning fun, not stressful, and working with JetBlue Travel Products to bring this product to life was a no brainer. We are proud to be the newest product to come out of JetBlue Travel Products and are thrilled to have the support of such a strong travel company whose mission aligns with our own: solving major pain points that travelers face. About Troupe Troupe is a collaborative trip planning app that takes the stress out of group travel. Suggest, vote and comment on important details like where and when to go, where to stay, and what to do. Share notes, send messages, and answer polls all in one place. Now that's group travel untangled.To plan your next group trip, download Troupe on the App Store or visit Troupe.com. About JetBlue Travel Products JetBlue Travel Products is a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue Airways Corporation, which consists of the JetBlue Vacations brand (offering flight + hotel and flight + cruise packages) and other non-air travel products including Paisly, JetBlue’s homegrown travel website that helps customers who have purchased a JetBlue flight easily find deals relevant to their trip. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with a fully dedicated team of more than 300 crewmembers, JetBlue Travel Products builds on the JetBlue brand and brings to market innovative, quality products for customers, while infusing humanity into every step of the travel experience. For more information, visit jetbluevacations.com or paisly.com. About JetBlue JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers to more than 100 destinations throughout the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, Canada and United Kingdom. For more information and the best fares, visit jetblue.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown Adds Private Wireless from Comcast Business to its List of Amenities

Comcast Business | December 01, 2022

Comcast Business announced its customer, The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, is providing guests with a bespoke, of-the-moment experience with private wireless network technology thanks to a collaboration by Comcast Business and Ballast Networks.Situated in one of Seattle’s most vibrant neighborhoods, The Sound Hotel features 142 exquisitely designed rooms and provides guests easy access to the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions for a truly unforgettable experience. To improve their guests’ experience, the property recognized the need to upgrade its network to better meet the needs of its guests and align with its mission to serve, inspire, and deliver its spirit of hospitality greatness. Comcast continues to evolve its wireless platform and to target new wireless business opportunities by leveraging its more than 34M customer relationships, deep fiber network, licensed wireless spectrum and over 20M WiFi hotspots, said Filip Liharik, Vice President of Wireless Strategy and Product Planning at Comcast. “We are excited to develop and offer new wireless products and services to our existing and future customers. Working with Comcast Business, The Sound Hotel and Ballast Networks deployed a private wireless network primarily to support cellular voice and data connectivity throughout the property. In addition to the enhanced wireless experience, the private network also enables The Sound Hotel to deploy several new services that enhance the guest and employee experience, including: Wireless sensors that allow the hotel to monitor temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors Single network for staff communications, freeing up capacity for guest communications and entertainment Efficient deployment of new video surveillance solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning “The Sound Hotel blends Seattle’s creative bedrock with its innovation boom. We strive to provide our guests with a truly unforgettable experience – and connectivity is central to that, Now, by upgrading our technology backbone to a next-generation 5G private wireless network, we can provide our guests a great, modern experience that matches the essence of Seattle.” -Barry Baxter, General Manager, The Sound Hotel. Private wireless networks offer wireless broadband speed and capacity with reliability and low latency, enabling businesses like The Sound Hotel to support their rapidly expanding ecosystem of connected devices. Comcast Business’s private wireless solution adds to its robust networking capabilities while giving clients more wireless options, including DeepBlue for advanced, large-scale WiFi deployments and MachineQ for long-range, low-power, and large-scale IoT solutions. Ballast is excited to partner with Comcast and the Sound Hotel to deliver a brand new, connected experience for the guests and employees of this beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Seattle, said Jon Morris, CEO, Ballast Networks. At the Sound Hotel, Comcast Business and Ballast Networks are using both General Authorized Access (GAA) unlicensed spectrum and Comcast’s Priority Access Licenses (PALs) spectrum to create a private network enabled with a multi-operator core network (MOCN) gateway. This new technology enables the private network to serve as a neutral host network capable of extending wireless coverage for all mobile service providers through a single system. “A solid technology infrastructure and strong network are critical to supporting the features and functions that enable a better experience throughout a guest’s hotel stay, from booking to the memories they carry with them from their trip after checking out, Comcast Business is proud to work with The Sound Hotel to propel a first-class wireless – and hospitality – experience.” -Brian Epstein, head of strategic wireless solutions, Comcast Business. About Comcast Business Comcast Business offers a suite of Connectivity, Communications, Networking, Cybersecurity, Wireless, and Managed Solutions to help organizations of different sizes prepare for what’s next. Powered by the nation’s largest Gig-speed broadband network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and one of the leading service providers to the Enterprise market. Comcast Business has been consistently recognized by industry analysts and associations as a leader and innovator, and one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. For more information, call 866-429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social. About Comcast Corporation Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on connectivity, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Optii to Roll out Its Hotel Operations Platform at The Alexander

The Alexander and Optii Solutions | November 17, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, today announced that The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel in Indianapolis has selected Optii as its hotel operations platform. The Alexander has adopted the full Optii platform to support its hotel operations team to work more efficiently and effectively. The property features 209 rooms across two towers, with 157 hotel rooms, and 52 extended stay residences. This layout and room mix increases the operational complexity, especially for the housekeeping staff when it comes to turnaround times and cleaning sequences. Kevin Green, Director of Operations, The Alexander, said: “We are always looking at how we can improve both the efficiency of our operation and the guest experience we provide. Using Optii to automate our housekeeping teams’ cleaning routes has saved us a considerable amount of time, so that guests can have earlier access to their rooms. Overall, guest satisfaction has been high since Optii’s adoption, and less time is wasted between when a room attendant is finishing a room and starting the next clean. It’s a win-win. “We are thrilled to have The Alexander as a customer. The dedication to sharing arts and culture with guests, really drives home what exceptional hospitality and experiences is all about. We are glad that we can play a part in removing operational challenges, so that the staff can focus on sharing the beautiful property with their guests.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions, About The Alexander Nestled in the CityWay area of downtown Indianapolis, The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel, pairs contemporary design with unparalleled hospitality. Blocks from both the Gainbridge Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium, the downtown Indianapolis hotel is only minutes from top attractions and local events, including museums, professional sports, and the Indiana Convention Center. About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information about Optii, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Hyatt Announces the Opening of Hyatt Regency Trivandrum

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | November 29, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Trivandrum in Kerala. The hotel is the third Hyatt property in the state of Kerala following the opening of Grand Hyatt Kochi and Hyatt Regency Thrissur, and the sixteenth Hyatt Regency hotel in the country – a significant milestone in Hyatt’s brand growth in the Indian market. Hyatt Regency Trivandrum is designed for business and leisure travelers to enjoy seamless and energizing experiences, borrowing inspiration from the rainforest, beaches and low coastal hills that are distinctive to the state of Kerala. Spread across 2.2 acres, Hyatt Regency Trivandrum is in the cultural hub of the city–located at the southwestern tip of India—and will give guests access to well-known historic sites such as Kanakakunnu Palace, Napier Museum, Kuthiramalika Palace, Koyikkal Palace and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. Guests at the hotel can also relax on the scenic backwaters of Kerala and a long shoreline with internationally renowned beaches that make this district a much sought-after tourist destination. “The opening of Hyatt Regency Trivandrum marks an important step forward in Hyatt’s brand expansion in India. The state’s beauty makes it one of the most desirable for travelers in India, and at Hyatt, we are focused on strengthening our brand presence in locations where our guests like to travel. We’re excited to serve guests and World of Hyatt members as we welcome them to Hyatt Regency Trivandrum.” -Rahul Raj, general manager at Hyatt Regency Trivandrum Guestrooms Hyatt Regency Trivandrum embodies the perfect combination of classic comfort and contemporary style complete with a host of intuitive services for both business and leisure travelers. The 132-room property boasts the highest suite inventory in the city, with three suite categories – Regency, Diplomatic and Presidential. The 1900-square-foot Presidential Suite is unrivalled in its grandeur by suites in any other hotel in the city. The rooms feature a spacious entertainment area and bay windows that provide a panoramic view of the cultural district. Dining The hotel also features a range of dining experiences that capture the essence of the state’s culture and reiterates Hyatt’s commitment to care for local communities. Malabar Café serves local cuisine that draws on the city’s much-loved dishes along with North Indian delicacies in a casual café-style dining setup. For those seeking authentic Asian experiences, The Oriental Kitchen serves Szechuan and Thai cuisine and beverages which include Asian aromatics such as lemongrass, kafir leaves, galanagal and so on. The Ivory Club has both indoor and outdoor seating and is marked by its old-world aesthetics. The Regency Lounge is the perfect meeting spot for guests to relax over classic drinks, eclectic cocktails, and all-day delicacies. All Things Baked provides a modern spin on the classic bakery with a range of innovative cakes, fresh-baked bread, gourmet sandwiches, beverages, and artisanal products. Special Events Hyatt Regency Trivandrum houses one of the largest convention centers in the city. With a dynamic event space spanning 20,000 square feet across three venues, the hotel is designed to host a range of large- and small-scale events in both indoor and outdoor settings – be it an intimate celebration, wedding or corporate conference. Recreation and Wellness Invoking the perfect setting for a peaceful and relaxing stay, the Śāntata Spa encourages guests to indulge in modern and traditional wellness approaches through Ayurveda, Western and Eastern therapy. The hotel also features a fitness center and an outdoor pool. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of September 30, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,200 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 72 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes brands in the Timeless Collection, including Park Hyatt®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Residence Club®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, and UrCove; the Boundless Collection, including Miraval®, Alila®, Andaz®, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, and Caption by Hyatt; the Independent Collection, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, and JdV by Hyatt™; and the Inclusive Collection, including Hyatt Ziva®, Hyatt Zilara®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com. About Hyatt Regency The Hyatt Regency brand prides itself on making travel free from stress and filled with success. More than 220 conveniently located Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in more than 45 countries around the world serve as the go-to gathering space for every occasion – from efficient personalized, high-touch business meetings to energizing family vacations. The brand offers stress-free environments for seamless gatherings and empathetic service that anticipates guests’ needs. Designed for productivity and peace of mind, Hyatt Regency hotels and resorts offer a full range of services and amenities, including the space to work, engage or relax; notable culinary experiences; technology-enabled ways to collaborate; and expert meeting and event planners who can take care of every detail. For more information, please visit hyattregency.com. Follow @HyattRegency on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and tag photos with #HyattRegency

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Spotlight

Travel video about destination Urnes in Norway.This hundreds of years old wooden stave church stands on the Ornes farm, on the coast of theNorwegian Lustrafjord. It combines together the characteristics of Celtic art, Viking traditions and Romanesque architectural structures.

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