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November 2007 newsletter

For previous editions of this newsletter see below.

  • Canadian travel news
    Calgary confirms 7 city-wide conventions for 2008
    Hatched, Matched & Dispatched
    Saskatoon's river tour fleet to expand
    Canadian RevPAR
  • International travel news
    Superjumbo jet may be too big for its own good claims 'first' with PayPal flight payments
    Thailand 'best destination' of Danish magazine
  • Internet info
    Visitor traffic
  • Advice for the property owner
    Say no to Spam-filters

Canadian travel news

Calgary confirms 7 city-wide conventions for 2008
Tourism Calgary, in association with industry partners, has confirmed 7 city-wide conventions for Calgary in 2008. These events represent approximately 63,000 delegates, 29,500 room nights and $7.7 million in economic benefits.
Tourism Calgary defines conventions as city-wide when at least 600 rooms are confirmed on a peak night in a minimum of two hotels. The largest of the confirmed city-wides, in terms of room nights, are:

The Canadian Skills Competition (May 23-29)
The Global Petroleum Show (June 10-12)
Toastmasters International (August 7-18)

City-wide events showcase Calgary and area to local, national and international delegates as both a business and leisure travel destination. In 2006 The Economic Intelligence Unit ranked Calgary as the second-best destination in the world (of 127 cities) for business travel, second only to Vancouver. According to the study, Calgary has 'the right mix of ingredients to please the business traveler.'
"Calgary's ability to secure and accommodate these conventions demonstrates its diversity and functionality as a destination for business and leisure travelers," stated Alex Graham, President and CEO of Tourism Calgary. "Our consistent delivery continues to hone Calgary as a competitive destination for the services and activities it incorporates into every meeting and conference. The process from initial contact to a confirmed booking is a long one, often years."
Most recently, Calgary hosted the Sweet Adelines International Convention, which ran from October 9 to 13 at the Pengrowth Saddledome. The event welcomed over 7,000 delegates from around the globe. This year's convention and competition marked the first time the event had been held outside of the U.S. since 1977.
Calgary will continue to excel by way of conventions over the next several years due to the efforts of its tourism destination organization, Tourism Calgary, and its industry partners. Over 13 city-wides are confirmed already for 2009 and 2010, with more on the way. 

Hatched, Matched & Dispatched
The Norfolk Heritage Centre in downtown Simcoe Ontario is pleased to present the display, "Hatched, Matched & Dispatched".
An examination of the traditions, rituals and customs surrounding birth, marriage & death, the exhibit features a Victorian wedding reception, a peak into the birthing room, and an old fashioned wake in the parlour.
Sponsored by Norfolk Mutual Insurance, "Hatched, Matched & Dispatched" is on display until November 13th.

Saskatoon's river tour fleet to expand
Billed as "The Littlest Showboat in North America", the passenger launch Saskatoon Princess will have company on the river in Saskatoon beginning in the spring of 2008. Shearwater Properties Ltd. has announced the purchase of a 49-passenger twin-engine diesel powered vessel to be registered as the Meewasin Queen. The motor ship, formerly named the Lady Chesley, was purchased this autumn from a company north of Winnipeg.
Shearwater spokesperson Valerie Kingsmill says the Meewasin Queen will primarily be used for scheduled runs, freeing the Saskatoon Princess for dinner charters and entertainment cruises. The entertainment cruises were a popular feature initiated in 2007 which saw more than ten sold-out performances by popular Saskatchewan-based entertainers like Paschall & Dahl, Brad Johner and Eli Barsi.
"Working with the cultural community to provide unique experiences as well as regular sightseeing tours is important to us," says Kingsmill. "We have been planning an even bigger line-up next season," says Kingsmill, "and we wanted to be able to add regular evening tours to our daily schedule. The only solution was to have a second boat."
Limited river depth and lack of shipyard facilities make having larger passenger boats on the river impossible, says Kingsmill, manager of catering & sales for the company. "Cruising up the river through downtown Saskatoon is a spectacularly beautiful experience, and when you can generate a unique "showboat" experience - even on a little ship - it just adds to the magic!"

Canadian RevPAR

Latest lodging report (week ending October 20th) from the Canadian hotel industry showing 'revenue per available room' (RevPAR).

Province RevPAR*
Alberta $103.7
British Columbia $98.01
Manitoba $79.46
New Brunswick $68.05
Newfoundland & Labrador $83.08
Nova Scotia $95.92
Ontario $99.65
Prince Edward Island $40.34
Québec $101.9
Saskatchewan $85.34
Canada $98.19

*RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.

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International travel news

Superjumbo jet may be too big for its own good
Jason Speer plans to be part of history on Thursday in Singapore when he and about 470 other travelers board the first-ever commercial flight of the new Airbus A380.
But the 32-year-old Chicago-area manufacturing executive and aviation enthusiast is likely to remain for many years among a relatively small group of Americans to experience travel aboard the massive double-decker A380.
No U.S. carrier has ordered one, and the rollout of the superjumbo worldwide promises to be slow. Only 13 of the planes are scheduled to be built in 2008. Another 25 are scheduled in 2009. After trying to sell the plane for seven years, Airbus, its European manufacturer, has only 189 orders.
"There's about a dozen cities in the world that can truly accommodate this big of an airplane," says Richard Aboulafia, aviation manufacturing analyst at The Teal Group in Fairfax, Va. "London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney — cities like those. You probably won't even see this plane in Chicago, at least not regularly, or any time soon."
When Singapore Airlines operates that first A380 flight from Singapore to Sydney, the superjumbo jet will replace Boeing's venerable 747 as the world's largest jetliner, a title the bump-nosed Boeing has held for 37 years.
How and where the new superjumbo is deployed beyond its Singapore-Sydney service remains unclear. Singapore Airlines expects its second A380 in January, and six others by early 2009.
But, mainly for competitive reasons, the airline won't be nailed down on specific route plans except to say A380 could begin flying between San Francisco and Hong Kong in late 2008 or early 2009. And Singapore-London service in early 2008 is a possibility.
Qantas, the Australian carrier that'll be the second carrier to operate the A380, also says it plans eventually to fly it to the USA, as does Germany's Lufthansa, the third carrier to get the plane. Neither will say when or where.
Fast-growing Dubai-based Emirates Air, which has the largest pending order for A380s, also expects to eventually fly the big airplane on routes between the Middle East and the USA. Emirates has 47 firm orders.
According to Airbus, just three U.S. airports — Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York John F. Kennedy — will be among the top 20 worldwide for the presence of A380s in 2025. The airports that will handle A380 flights are taking special steps to accommodate the behemoth. Because of its size — 262 feet wide, 79 feet tall, 1.25 million pounds fully loaded — most taxiways can't support it. The A380 can fit into only a handful of existing gates in the nation.
Aboulafia and some other analysts believe that the A380 may be too big to ever make a profit for airlines. He calls the A380 "the last airplane of the metal era," saying the future belongs to planes made of weight-saving composite materials. Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and Airbus' own A350 XWB, neither of which are yet in service, are made of composites.
But that doesn't mean that the experience of flying on an A380 will be bad. Quite the opposite. Grand notions of on-board gymnasiums, discos and even bowling alleys haven't materialized. But some carriers that have placed orders for the A380 plan to make it the epitome of travel luxury — at least for premium-class fliers.
Singapore's A380s feature 12 private suites, designed by French yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste. The seat in each suite converts into a true double bed that will be covered by duvets and high-quality sheets from Givenchy.
They also come equipped with 23-inch LCD TVs and all the latest fold-out tables, jacks, ports and entertainment devices.
Meanwhile, Singapore's 60 business-class seats on the upper-deck measure 34 inches across and convert into lie-flat beds. They, too, have all the latest electronic bells and whistles.
Other carriers are keeping their cabin configurations a secret for now. But they also are likely to have distinctive features. Virgin Atlantic officials have hinted about installing showers and salons in their A380s.
Speer, the travel buff who plans to be on the inaugural flight, paid about $9,000 for his business-class ticket in an online auction of seats. The auction raised $1.2 million for charity. The actual round-trip fare would have been just over $7,000.
Speer can't resist the novelty of Thursday's flight, but he really doesn't want to fly on the big plane again.
"The thought of being in Customs with 500 other people and their baggage does not appeal to me," he says. "This is an opportunity to experience once and be part of history, but I don't think I'd want to do it on a regular basis." claims 'first' with PayPal flight payments
Low fares airline is to enable tickets to be paid for via online payment system PayPal.
It claims to be the first European airline to offer passengers the ability to pay for flights using PayPal accounts. PayPal claims to have more than 15 million UK accounts.
The PayPal payment option is being offered as an alternative to debit and credit card transactions. managing director Liz Savage said: "Being the first European airline to offer the PayPal payment option is great news for our customers, many of whom are already PayPal account holders, and will help to further streamline our online booking process on
"It also gives registered travel agents who book on another flexible way to pay and manage their booking activity without having to rely on credit or debit cards."
Cameron McLean, PayPal general manager of merchant services at PayPal said: "We decided to launch with first as they are clearly innovators in the airline industry, focused on constantly improving the customers' experience, matching PayPal's ethos. 
"Online shopping amongst UK adults has increased by 157% in the last five years with 28 million adults actively transacting on the cyber high street, buying flights has never been easier or more secure."

Thailand 'best destination' of Danish magazine
For the second time in three years, Thailand has been named the world's best tourism destination by a leading European travel magazine, while the country's state-run Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) was honoured by Australia's travel writers.
Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Deputy Governor for Marketing of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), announced that Thailand again won the "Best Tourism Country" distinction through votes from 2,000 tourists and tourism operators conducted by Denmark's travel magazine "Stand By".
Presentation of the first award took place during the 12th Danish Travel Awards 2007. Thailand earlier received the same award in 2005.
Meanwhile, Mrs Juthaporn said the TAT won "The Best International Tourism Organization" distinction from the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW).
TAT received the award as it had supported Australian writers and journalists, who travelled to write articles or produce documentaries in Thailand.
Articles about Thailand presented to Australian audiences help increase the number of Australian tourists in the kingdom.
In the past eight months, the arrivals of 300,000 Australian visitors were recorded at Suvarnabhumi Airport, an increase of 23 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Over 76,000 Australian tourists visited Phuket island from January through July 2007, an increase of 46 per cent year-on-year.
It is estimated that there will be about 600,000 Australians visiting Thailand in 2007.

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Internet info

Visitor traffic to holiday ( & For Rent By Owner in Canada ( web sites for the month of October 2007:
Total 'hits' for the month = 723,969 hits (23,513 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 23110 (745 per day)
Visitors came from 90+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of the site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors
click here

Advice for the property owner

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