Hotel & Tourism SMARTreport #45

cleverdis

THE PROFESSIONAL BUYERS’ REFERENCE

SMARTreport

ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

#09 / FLAVOURS DRIVING TRAVEL

HOW WINE AND GASTRONOMY ARE

SHAPING THE WORLD OF TOURISM

SPOTLIGHT ON

EUROPE

#21 / ITALY STANDS OUT FROM

THE CROWD WITH NEW DMO

INITIATIVES

INNOVATIONS

& TECHNOLOGIES

#35 / ROBOTS AND AI ARE

REVOLUTIONISING THE

INDUSTRY

ENIT MUST WORK WITH

THE REGIONS (…) WHEN

WE HAVE TO PROMOTE

OUR COUNTRY OVERSEAS,

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT

WE WORK TOGETHER.

Giorgio Palmucci

President, the Italian National

Tourist Board (ENIT)

#45 - 2020 WINTER EDITION / A CLEVERDIS PUBLICATION


ONE WORLD.

ONE INDUSTRY.

ONE DAILY.

INDIA

The Official Information Source

The Official Information Source

The Official Information Sources at

ITB-BERLIN-NEWS.COM

ITB-ASIA-NEWS.COM

ITB-CHINA-NEWS.COM

ITB-INDIA-NEWS.COM

ITB-BERLIN.COM

ITB-ASIA.COM

ITB-CHINA.COM

ITB-INDIA.COM


Richard Barnes

Editor-in-chief

richard.barnes@cleverdis.com

Tel: +33 (0) 4 42 77 46 00

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 3

3

FOREWORD

A NEW DECADE DEDICATED

TO SUSTAINABILITY

As we enter this new decade, many in

the various fields of travel and tourism

are thinking deep and hard about their

ambitions and objectives. It thus comes as

no surprise that the UNWTO is reiterating

its commitment to the Sustainable

Development Goals that were established

in past years – launching a new survey into

how these goals are being incorporated

into tourism, practices, plans and strategies

in destinations across the world.

Launching the survey, UNWTO Secretary-

General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “2020 will

mark the beginning of the decade of action

towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable

Development and we have 10 years left to

make the future we want.”

It is very much with these objectives in

mind that roadmaps for the coming years

are being set by travel professionals around

the world, none the least of whom are

those affiliated to Virtuoso, whose leader,

Matthew Upchurch, has been exemplary in

underlining the importance of developing

a proactive approach to sustainability as

part of the sales process. As global political

leaders often fail to find common ground

on these issues, perhaps industry will lead

the charge.

This changing mind-set is the backdrop

for continuing innovation across the board

across the sector – with an increasing number

of destination marketing organisations

creating a new dynamic. To this end, we

are pleased to spotlight Italy (ENIT) - with

a “keynote” interview with its President

Giorgio Palmucci. We also highlight many of

the new initiatives being put forward in that

country in our regional spotlight – focusing

on Europe in general and Italy in particular.

In our Elite Travel Trends section, luxury

travel guru Mary Gostelow revisits some of

her favourite wine tourism destinations, we

spotlight gastronomy, wedding tourism and

luxury cruising, and we take a tour of some

of the top players at ILTM Cannes 2019.

And when it comes to innovations and

technology, we take a closer look at AI and

machine learning, as robots and translation

devices are set to revolutionise the industry.

4 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

4 AIMING FOR €5BN RISE IN TOURISM TRADE

BALANCE FOR ITALY

Giorgio Palmucci,

President, the Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT)

7 EVENTS

7 ITB BERLIN LAUNCHES HOME OF LUXURY

7 INAUGURAL ITB INDIA TO BE HELD

IN MUMBAI IN APRIL 2020

8 EVENTS CALENDAR

9 ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

9 WHERE, WHY, AND HOW “ELITE” TRAVELLERS

WILL VOYAGE IN THE COMING YEAR

10 IN THE FIELD WITH MARY GOSTELOW

FROM CALIFORNIA TO THE RIOJA REGION

IN SPAIN, FRANSCHHOEK, SOUTH AFRICA

AND ON TO TASMANIA… SOME NEW AND

DIFFERENT IDEAS IN WINE TOURISM…

11 THE CHANGING WINESCAPE

11 NEW LUXURY VILLAS SET TO OPEN IN APRIL

12 THE FRESH FLAVOUR OF THE SPANISH ISLES

12 AUBERGE DU PÈRE BISE RE-OPENS ON SHORES

OF LAKE ANNECY

13 DESTINATION WEDDING PARADISE? VENICE.

WHERE ELSE?

13 … OR FOR THE “POETIC” TOUCH…

CONTENTS

13 ENZO MICCIO AND ITALY LUXURY TRAVEL

ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE TO “REDEFINE

THE DESTINATION WEDDING EXPERIENCE”

14 LUXURY CRUISING

16 ILTM CANNES FEATURE

20 OMAN: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

21 EUROPE

21 SPOTLIGHT ON EUROPE – WITH SOME EXTRA

ITALIAN FLAIR

22 FACT & FIGURES

EUROPEAN TOURISM DEMAND REMAINS

STABLE DESPITE WOBBLY WORLD ECONOMY

23 GASTRONOMY A MAJOR DRIVER OF TRAVEL

TO EUROPE

24 EUROPEAN CAPITALS OF CULTURE

24 NEW LINK… NEW HORIZONS

25 HORIZON 2022 — IT’S ALL ABOUT THE

EXPERIENCE

25 CHINESE TOURISM IN EUROPE CONTINUES TO

BOOM BUT TRAVELLER PROFILE IS EVOLVING

26 AIR TRANSPORT NEWS

28 CLOSE-UP ON ITALY

ITALY… YOU HAVE TO LOVE IT!

28 JW MARRIOTT VENICE NAMED “ITALY’S BEST

RESORT SPA 2019”

29 SUSPENDED BETWEEN SEA AND SKY ON THE

AMALFI COAST

29 DISCOVERING THE GENUINE ITALYT

29 ITALY… I DID IT MY WAY!

30 THE FRENCH TOUCH IN ROME

30 PARIS-BASED EXCELLENCE.VILLAS

LAUNCHED TO CATER FOR GROWING HIGH-

END NICHE MARKET IN ITALY

31 SICILY MY LOVE

31 A HIDDEN GEM IN SARDINIA

32 EUROPE NEWS

33 TRENDING DESTINATIONS

DISCOVERING AUTHENTIC CORSICA

34 TRENDING HOTELS

35 INNOVATIONS

& TECHNOLOGIES

35 WHEN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

BRINGS REAL-LIFE ADVANTAGES

36 IN THE FIELD WITH DAVID ESSERYK

HOW CHATBOTS AND OTHER A.I.

ARE CHANGING BUSINESS

37 ROBOTICS GET SERIOUS IN HOSPITALITY

38 WHEN LANGUAGE IS NO LONGER A BARRIER


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Giorgio Palmucci

President,

the Italian National Tourist

Board (ENIT)


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 5

5

AIMING FOR €5BN RISE

IN TOURISM TRADE

BALANCE FOR ITALY

Exclusive Interview – Giorgio Palmucci,

President – the Italian National Tourist Board (ENIT)

Since taking office at the beginning of 2019 for a three-year tenure,

Giorgio Palmucci has been working hard to create a vision for the

local industry for the coming years. We asked him to tell us about

his plans and strategy.

The first main element is that of

sustainability. Italy’s promotional strategy

is centred around this when it comes to

promoting our destinations and tourism

products. We are also aiming to convince

people to visit Italy during the low season

or follow circuits that are off the beaten

track. Our marketing strategy is based

on value growth, enhancing the value of

our country through the promotion of

authenticity and experiences to conscious

travellers who wish to deepen their

knowledge of “off the beaten track”

destinations, but also who want to look

with different eyes the most popular

ones. Recent surveys show that 58%

of travellers would choose not to visit a

place if doing so has a negative impact on

its inhabitants. Moreover, 86% of global

travellers are willing to engage with actives

that counteract the environmental impact

of their trip.

What are the biggest challenges to

increasing visitor numbers, and how

are you addressing these?

We do not aim expressly to increase

visitors, but to do that out of the high

season from June to August and to move

tourism where there is slightly lesserknown

cultural heritage, by suggesting

for them to visit not only the big, but also

small cultural destinations, coastal and

inner rural areas, enjoying them in winter

and spring time. Indeed, our value growth

tourism strategy implies specific objectives,

in terms of increase of income for our

tourism businesses, increase of average

overnights, less seasonality and increase

of overnights in less known destinations,

where 64% of our 55 UNESCO sites are

located.

Please tell us more about your added

efforts for promotion in China, the USA

and the Middle East.

These three markets are targeted in our

promotional plan thanks to different

actions that we have been planning.

China is essentially a market where the

tourism demand is changing in depth,

moving from groups of “golden age”

tourists visiting our major art cities to

future couple of affluent baby-boomers,

Gen X and millennials, interested in new

small cultural destinations to be visited

during the whole year. Therefore, in China,

we are opening two new ENIT offices to

be able to promote Italy correctly to each

specific target. In the USA, the main target

is those of affluent and HNWI (high net

worth individuals) and we are organising

specific workshops to connect Italian and

American tourism systems. In the Middle

East, we are orienting the promotion to

health and wellness tourism because of the

huge prospective of these tourism products

both in the multigenerational groups than

in the emerging market of millennials.

WE THINK THE

CHINESE MARKET IS

VERY IMPORTANT, AS

THERE ARE ALMOST

140 MILLION

CHINESE PEOPLE

TRAVELLING ABROAD

EVERY YEAR, THREE

MILLION OF WHOM

COME TO ITALY.

We think it is very important to work on

the individual tourist, but we are faced

with the challenge of too few direct flights

to Italy. If it comes to group travel, these

travellers generally arrive in Paris, London of

Frankfurt, meaning they spend only a short

time in our country. This is why we prefer


EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

© Fausta Samaritani

© Kowwwalczuk

working to have more individual travellers.

We recently signed a memorandum of

understanding with Trip.com, and some

regions have signed agreements with them

as well, with the firm aim of to developing

the individual travel market.

What about the Indian market?

We have a representative of ENIT in

Mumbai, but we think that with the arrival

of the new Ambassador of Italy in Delhi,

we will be able to study this market more

closely.

Until now, the number of Indian tourists

coming to Italy has been very low. On the

other hand, they are very high in terms

of spending per person. Puglia is a now

wedding destination for very rich Indians,

Vernazza, Cinque Terre,

Liguria, Italy

Castello Scaligero di Malcesine

Garda, Veneto, Italy

Fortuna Street, Pompeii,

Campania, Italy

and we believe that if we work around the

areas of Rajasthan and Mumbai, we can

develop this. We will be pushing via major

trade events there, along with Fam trips for

travel professionals, in order to show what

we can propose to the Indian market. Last

July, we presented our plan for the next

three years, and we will work on growth in

terms of both volume and value.

Your job entails harmonising the

promotion of different regions, and

creating a “Brand Italy”. Why is this

important?

It is really necessary to combine the

tourism promotion of specific regions and

areas and the brand concept standing

in the name “Italia”. Italia is not only a

brand because it is a whole country, but

it is much more than that, because of

the Italian style and way of life, which, all

born in a single place, become common

heritage. These sentiments are collective,

not only territorial. Therefore, it is vital that

will be the “continuity” between local and

national themes of tourism promotion.

How do you work with the regions?

The Italian constitution puts regions in

charge of tourism. The Italian government

does not have a direct impact on tourism

in our country. That’s why the Italian

Government, or ENIT, must work with the

regions. It is very important for ENIT to

show that we are efficient – that we spend

the money in an efficient way.

How are source markets evolving?

For the Italian market, the most important

source market is Germany. Of course,

Venice, Rome and Florence are well known

in the German market. So, in countries like

Germany, Switzerland, Austria and so on,

each region can go alone and work on

specific actions to promote their region.

But when we have to promote our country

overseas, it is important that we work

together. We have explained to the regions

that we are more efficient if we go to

these markets as “Italy” – a strong brand

- and then you can explain each region

and develop the different kinds of tourism

offerings. For example, at the last WTM

in London, Veneto, which had previously

been separate from the other Italian

regions, was, for the first time, next to the

Italy pavilion, and in the next edition, we

will all be together in one pavilion.

What is your message to the world’s

travel professionals?

Our message is that Italy offers, to the

different market segments, new ways to

be visited, new paths to be explored thanks

to the beauty all around and the all year

around experiences. The very important

aspect of the Italian way of life is to catch

and enjoy the authenticity, characterised

by a profound material and immaterial

cultural heritage, the joy of life and the

attitude in enjoying tastes and fragrances

of nature. Preserving authenticity and

nature is the concrete path to sustainable

development. Innovation connects the

past with the future and implies both

for destinations and professionals a new

positioning on the market. Italy is ready to

accept the challenge


EVENTS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 7

7

ITB BERLIN

LAUNCHES HOME

OF LUXURY

© Messe Berlin GmbH

© Messe Berlin GmbH

ITB India team with Katrina Leung, Managing

Director of Messe Berlin (Singapore), the

organiser of ITB India (centre); Dr Martin

Buck, Senior Vice President Travel & Logistics,

Messe Berlin and David Ruetz, Head of ITB

Berlin

ITB Berlin 2019

View into Hall 26

With the luxury market reporting strong growth,

ITB Berlin is opening a new dedicated exhibition

area at this year’s show.

INAUGURAL ITB

INDIA TO BE HELD IN

MUMBAI IN APRIL 2020

The new Home of Luxury

by ITB at the Marshall Haus

of Messe Berlin, is being

presented in partnership

with loop and Luxury Hotel

& Spa Management from

4 to 6 March 2020 at the

World’s Largest Travel Trade

Show - thus providing an

exclusive platform for this

growing travel market for

the first time.

As the name suggests,

the “New Home of Luxury

Tourism” is more than

simply an exhibition area for

the luxury market. Individual

topics will be assigned to

different living areas, as in a

private house, where “New

Luxury” can be experienced

under the heading “Back to

Nature”.

Providers and buyers of

luxury products will be able

to congregate in a special,

almost private atmosphere,

hold meetings, meet for

pre-arranged individual

talks, lunch together, take

part in networking sessions,

and round off the first day

with drinks after work.

The Friday of ITB will be an

“open networking day”,

which will invite exhibitors

and trade visitors to meet

exclusively at the HOME

OF LUXURY by ITB and

give them the opportunity

to establish contacts and

follow trends outside

the Marshall Haus and

everywhere at ITB Berlin.

ITB Berlin 2020 will be taking

place from Wednesday, 4 to

Sunday, 8 March, and from

Wednesday to Friday will be

open to trade visitors only

The inaugural ITB India is

on track to take place in

Mumbai from 15 - 17 April

2020 with big support

from the industry. Four

months before the event,

the outstanding number of

bookings underline that all

signs point to a successful

premiere. ITB India will

complete the trio of ITB

Berlin, ITB Asia and ITB

China, making it a quartet

and strengthening the

global ITB brand.

Messe Berlin and all ITB

shows, as well as the tourism

industry from around the

world are supporting the

new ITB India.

Leading minds will take

the stage at the ITB India

Conference, set to take

place parallel to the trade

show. During the three-day

event, visitors will have the

opportunity to be inspired

by leaders in the tourism

industry and learn from

their experiences.

Committed top speakers

from local and international

brands are: Deep Kalra

(Chairman & Group CEO,

MakeMyTrip), Angel Llull

Mancas (Vice President &

Managing Director, Asia

Pacific, Booking.com),

Prakash Sangam (CEO,

redBus), Siew Kum Hong

(Regional Director for APAC,

Airbnb) and Bhanu Chopra

(Founder & CEO, RateGain)


EVENTS

NEW LOCATION

FOR EGTA

European Group Travel Awards moves

to Hotel de Rome in Berlin

ENTERTAINMENT

Paul Oakenfold

Formerly known mononymously

as Oakenfold, is an English record

producer and trance DJ. He is a

three-time Grammy Award and twotime

World Music Awards nominee.

He was voted the No. 1 DJ in the

World twice in 1998 and 1999 by DJ

Magazine. Quite simply for anyone

into EDM he is a legend.

Cleverdis editor-in-chief Richard Barnes – a guest

presenter at the European Group Travel Awards –

accompanied by Dylan Ratigan – the show host

Sponsored annually by Cleverdis, The European Group Travel Awards,

which take place every year alongside ITB Berlin, this year move to a

new location after several editions at the Intercontinental Berlin.

Tall Paul

Tall Paul – also known as Paul

Newman or Camisra – is currently

holding a residency at Turnmills' Friday

nighter The Gallery and plays regularly

for Godskitchen, Gatecrasher,

Sundissential, Cream and Golden to

name but a few. His popularity has

seen him DJ worldwide produce hits

such as Rock da House, Let me show

you and Precious Heart and remixes

for artists such as New Order, Stone

Roses, Erasure, Human League, Marc

Almond, Wild Child, Hyperlogic,

Cappella, Duran Duran, Nalin & Kane,

Blondie, Bizarre Inc, Dina Carroll. He is

one of the stalwarts of the UK music

scene, rocking dancefloors across the

globe for nearly 30 years.

The black-tie event is organised by

HotelPlanner.com and Meetings.com

as the “ultimate recompense” for

organisations working in the sphere of

group travel. Winners are selected via

online voting and a panel of industry

experts, who select the finest suppliers

in the group travel industry.

According to Tim Hentschel, CEO of

both organising companies, “These

awards are Europe’s biggest celebration

of the Group Travel Market, a glittering

night that recognises the real achievers

in Group Travel Market”.

This year, for the first time, the event will

be held at the Hotel de Rome – a Rocco

Forte hotel, from 7-11pm on 5 March.

Show host: Dylan Ratigan. Born in New

York, Dylan has worked as a Television

News Journalist for CNBC for 8 years

and hosted his own show on MSNBC,

The Dylan Ratigan Show. Ratigan has

developed and launched more than

half a dozen broadcast and new media

properties. They include CNBC's Fast

Money and Closing Bell, as well as

DylanRatigan.com, which is home to his

podcast, "Greedy Bastards Antidote."

Stars in Concert

"It's show-time!" - all year round at

the Estrel Festival Center, featuring

the very best in Las Vegas style

entertainment. For 18 years Berlin's

most successful show, "Stars in

Concert", has been bringing the top

international look-and-sound-alike

artists to Berlin for you, creating the

perfect illusion of Marilyn Monroe,

Louis Armstrong, Freddie Mercury,

Amy Winehouse, Robbie Williams,

Michael Jackson and more


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 9

9

Lake Lugano

© Studio Pagi

It is in Switzerland and more

precisely in Lugano that the next

important event will take place

for EHMA, the European Hotel

Managers Association.

After Paris and Marbella, the General

Managers of the Hotels amongst the most

luxurious and important ones in Europe,

will gather in Lugano – 20-22 March, for

their 47 th Annual General Meeting.

The EHMA Members from Lugano have

formed an Organising Committee which

is working at fast pace on the enriching

program for the attendees.

The theme chosen for the convention

is “It’s all about Passion!”, and the

EHMA members attending will witness

how passion has influenced the lives

of a number of inspiring international

sportsmen, entrepreneurs, managers and

academics who will unveil their incredible

experiences on stage.

Participants will be enlightened by the

engaging stories that will shape the

Educational Day, all told first-hand by

the acclaimed speakers: Founder of

Eataly Oscar Farinetti, free-dive recordholder

Umberto Pelizzari, entrepreneur

Fabio Cannavale, UBS CEO Sergio

Ermotti, painter and dancer Simona

Atzori, academic Sandro Formica,

entrepreneur and philanthropist Riccardo

Braglia, Diversey President EMEA Somer

Gundogdu, and author and coach

Miranda Sorgente.

Situated two hours from Zurich and just one

hour from Milan, the lovely city of Lugano

is the largest in the Italian-speaking part of

Switzerland, the Mediterranean “Canton

Ticino”.

The city lies in a bay on the northern side

of Lake Lugano, surrounded by Mount San

Salvatore and Mount Brè, both offering

breath-taking views of the city, the lake

and the alpine scenery.

The strong Mediterranean flair can be

enjoyed with a stroll through the town centre,

with its beautiful squares and arcades, along

the tree-shaded lake promenade and in the

numerous parks with typical sub-tropical

plants, like the Parco Ciani.

Top-rated gastronomy and prize-winning

wine production, along with Mediterranean

temperatures, splendid views and a packed

calendar of events, all invite visitors to this

corner of Switzerland – best enjoyed while

relaxing in the shade of the ubiquitous palm

trees!

To simplify the registration process to

the event, a dedicated website has been

EHMA

LUGANO 2020

The 47 th Annual General Meeting will

take place in Lugano, from March 20-22

created with an on-line application form

and a programme with all the details

of the two fantastic days that await the

EHMA Members. Those who haven’t

yet registered are invited to do so on:

www.ehmalugano2020.com

For further information, the Organising

Committee can be reached at contact@

ehmalugano2020.com, while EHMA

International Secretariat can be reached at

secretariat.ehma@ehma.com


EVENTS

© WTM Africa

World Travel

Market Africa 2019,

Cape Town,

South Africa

EVENTS CALENDAR

22-26 JANUARY 2020

FITUR

Feria Madrid, Madrid, Spain

www.ifema.es

30 JANUARY-2 FEBRUARY 2020

EMITT - East Mediterranean

International Travel & Tourism

Exhibition

Tüyap Fair Convention and Congress

Centre, Istanbul, Turkey

www.emittistanbul.com

9-11 FEBRUARY 2020

BIT - International Travel Exhibition

Fieramilanocity and MiCo, Milan, Italy

https://bit.fieramilano.it/?lang=en

11-12 FEBRUARY 2020

International Mediterranean Tourism

Market (IMTM)

Expo Tel Aviv, Rokach Blvd 101,

Tel Aviv, Israel

www.imtm-telaviv.com

12-14 FEBRUARY 2020

Adventure Travel Conference and Mart

Sutera Harbour Resort, Kota Kinabalu,

Sabah, Malaysia

www.pata.org/atcm/

13 FEBRUARY 2020

Hospitality Tech Summit

Okura Hotel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

www.htng.org/page/HTS_2020

26-27 FEBRUARY 2020

Travel Technology Europe

Olympia, London, UK

www.traveltechnologyeurope.com

27-28 FEBRUARY 2020

LTM - Luxury Travel Mart Moscow

Hyatt Regency, Moscow, Russia

www.luxurytravelmart.ru

2-4 MARCH 2020

International Hotel Investment Forum

(IHIF)

InterContinental, Berlin, Germany

www.berlinconference.com

4-8 MARCH 2020

ITB Berlin

Messe Berlin, Berlin, Germany

www.itb-berlin.com

CLEVERDIS

PARTNER

CLEVERDIS

PARTNER

5 MARCH 2020

European Group Travel

Awards (EGTA)

Hotel De Rome, Rocco Forte Hotels,

Berlin, Germany

https://europeangrouptravelawards.com

17-19 MARCH 2020

Moscow International Travel & Tourism

Exhibition (MITT)

Crocus Expo, Moscow, Russia

www.mitt.ru/Home

20-22 MARCH 2020

47th EHMA (European Hotels

Managers Association) Annual General

Meeting

Lugano, Switzerland

www.ehmalugano2020.com

24-25 MARCH 2020

Rendez-vous en France Travel Market

Parc des Expositions, Nantes, France

www.rendezvousenfrance.pro/en

31 MARCH-2 APRIL 2020

World Travel Market (WTM)

Latin America

Expo Center Norte, Sao Paulo, Brazil

www.latinamerica.wtm.com

2-4 APRIL 2020

International Luxury Travel Market

(ILTM) Africa

Moyo, Kirstenbosch National Botanical

Garden, Rhodes Dr, Newlands, Cape Town,

South Africa

www.iltm.com/africa/Home/

6-8 APRIL 2020

World Travel Market (WTM) Africa

Cape Town International Convention

Centre (CTICC), Cape Town, South Africa

www.africa.wtm.com

14-16 APRIL 2020

Kazakhstan International Exhibition

(KITF)

Atakent International Exhibition Centre,

Almaty, Kazakhstan

www.pata.org/event/kitf-2020-kazakhstaninternational-exhibition/

21-23 APRIL 2020

WTTC Global Summit

San Juan, Puerto Rico

www.wttc.org/events/summits/globalsummit-2020/

21-23 APRIL 2020

HITEC Europe

Palau de Congressos, Palma Mallorca,

Spain

www.hftp.org/hitec/europe/

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ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 11

11

© Michal Klajban

WHERE, WHY, AND HOW

“ELITE” TRAVELLERS

WILL VOYAGE IN

THE COMING YEAR

With travel as the means but not an end

in itself, individuals in higher-income

categories no longer always feel the need

to upgrade into luxury as income and

wealth rises. Instead, travel categories

are converging, and travel brands find

themselves at the centre of a vast new,

eco-system.

So, how do we respond? What do we

need to know to navigate through this

transformation, and what will “luxury”

look like in the future? Virtuoso’s annual

global travel forecast has travellers hitting

honky-tonks in America’s Music City,

Nashville, seeing the Summer Games in

style in Tokyo, hiking in New Zealand and

getting wild in Africa’s emerging safari

spot. Traveling sustainably is increasingly

important, as is seeking antidotes to

overtourism, and getting a healthy dose

of urban renewal (think digital detox and

sleep coaching during your next city stay).

The trend is increasingly towards

“different” ideas – even within “classic”

tourism destinations. Nowhere was this

more evident than at the recent ILTM trade

show in Cannes. In the following pages,

you will find some highlights from the

show.


In The Field

with Mary Gostelow

THE "INSIDE LINE" ON WHAT'S HOT IN HOSPITALITY

PART VI

WINE TOURISM

FROM CALIFORNIA

TO THE RIOJA

REGION IN SPAIN,

FRANSCHHOEK,

SOUTH AFRICA AND

ON TO TASMANIA…

SOME NEW AND

DIFFERENT IDEAS IN

WINE TOURISM…

Mary Gostelow is Editor-in-Chief of

Luxury Travel Essential, Cleverdis’ new

unique daily global briefing: sign up, free,

on www.luxury-te.com.

In this edition, she takes us on a tour of

some of her “top picks” when it comes to

wine tourism destinations.

In St Helena, California, 20 minutes’

drive north of Napa, Las Alcobas, a

Luxury Collection hotel, is adjacent to

the famous Culinary Institute of America,

CIA, and the state’s oldest continuallyoperating

winery, Beringer, established

1876 and today supervised by winemaker

Mark Beringer. Many of the hotel’s 68

bedrooms overlook well-manicured

vineyards. The hotel has a tasting

salon, and indoor and outdoor

events spaces, ideal for

weddings. Food at Acacia

House, named for

the 1907-vintage

home

that

grew into this

mighty

hotel,

is supervised by

Delicious, from Las

Vegas, whatever you

choose, pair with a Beringer

Winery Exclusives, say a 2016

Cabernet-Sangiovese Blend.

The 43-room Hotel Marques de Riscal,

also Luxury Collection, is on the 1,000-

ha Marques de Riscal winery in Rioja,

one hour’s drive from Bilbao, Spain. As

with his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao,

architect Frank Gehry has here produced an

undulating “sculpture”, topped by a roof

canopy in vine hues – best room is #3, the

Gehry Suite. There’s an indoor vitality pool

and a Caudalie spa and walk the vineyards

and tour cellars that date back to 1858.

Marques de Riscal’s 2012 Frank Gehry

Selection, 100% Tempranillo, garnered 94

points in Wine Spectator.

FOR

SOMETHING

COMPLETELY

DIFFERENT, LET’S

INCLUDE AUSTRALIA’S

ALL-INCLUSIVE SAFFIRE

FREYCINET, OPENED

2010 IN FREYCINET

NATIONAL PARK,

TASMANIA.

In South Africa, Babylonstoren, in

Franschhoek, is a 200-hectare community

with vineyards, a busy farm, restaurants

and an 18-room hotel. Babylonstoren was

developed in 2011 by Naspers media guru

Koos Bekker and his wife, Karen Roos. Most

lodging is in individual whitewash-and-thatch

cottages in Cape Dutch style. The five-room

manor is popular with families and groups

of friends but others prefer #12, the

Honeymoon Suite. Several dining

venues attract locals, especially

during weekends, and many

come to buy wine, say a

2018 Babylonstoren

C a b e r n e t

Sauvignon from

eight

pickings,

matured in oak for 18

months.

For something completely

different, let’s include Australia’s allinclusive

Saffire Freycinet, opened 2010

in Freycinet National Park, Tasmania. To

avoid a four hours’ drive from Hobart airport,

take a 20-minute helicopter ride, and overfly

a 200-metre long silver “stingray” atop the

forest. This is, in fact, the main building, a

Robert Morris Nunn design, and it, like the

20 individual steel and concrete villas, look

across Wineglass Bay to five mountain peaks,

The Hazards (the four 140 sq m Pavilion

Suites have plunge pools). Don’t miss the

free oyster shucking experience. Wearing

shoulder-high waders, you “dine” at a

water-set table, shucking until you can eat

no more, drinking delightfully chilled Pooley

Cooinda Vale Chardonnay 2017.

SEE YOU AGAIN IN THE NEXT EDITION


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

WINE TOURISM

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 13

13

NEW LUXURY

VILLAS SET TO

OPEN IN APRIL

The village of Castello Banfi

in Southern Tuscanny

THE CHANGING

WINESCAPE

“Oenotourism” hits a new high in Italy

While wine tasting is an essential element of wine tourism, it’s not limited

to the simple emotions and senses connected to the consumption of the

beverage. Beyond wine and the visiting of vineyards, entire regions are

part of the attraction. And in that sense, Italy’s wine regions continue to

be a major growth zone.

Indeed, it’s all about the overall

“experience”: being immersed (in the

figurative sense) in a region’s wine culture.

A perfect example is that of Castello Banfi

in Southern Tuscany – member of Relais &

Châteaux, where visitors literally stay at a

working winery – experiencing the region’s

culture “just like a local”. Strategically

positioned just over 12 miles from the

town of Brunello, and 44 miles from

Siena or, in the opposite direction, the

marvellous Tuscan seaside, Il Borgo offers

the pleasure of living and discovering

Tuscany at its most authentic. It is possible

to organize a rich selection of customised

activities, such as cycling on the private

roads of the estate, a balloon flight, a visit

to nearby natural thermal spas, or tours

of local cities famous for their history and

shopping.

“The castle is from the 12th Century, and

beside it there was a small village, which

has now become the hotel”, explains

Hospitality Director Juan Miquel. “There

are 14 rooms overlooking the vineyards,

the hills and the olive groves. The property

has private sections that are only open to

people staying on-property, making this

place very exclusive”

Also in Tuscany, Borgo 69 is set to open

in 2020 – with 12 villas – featuring

one, two or three bedrooms, and sized

from 75 sq m to 190 sq m.

“It’s a fantastic area for

oenogastronomic tourism or

sightseeing along the little hilltop

villages. We have been building for

14 months, and we are opening on

April 5, 2020 - just before Duco. We

run as a hotel, with daily breakfast,

maid service and a concierge. There is

a restaurant, a bar-lounge and a shop

selling organic food,” explains owner,

Paolo Kastelec.

The architect-designed villas have a

contemporary country style, using

natural materials such as wood,

marble, travertine, local stone and

linens, in earthy Tuscan colours and

beautiful private terraces and gardens

planted with Mediterranean aromatic

herbs and shrubs making for easy

alfresco living.

All Villa Suites have a luxury bathroom

for every bedroom, open plan living

areas, handmade kitchens and

panoramic views over the Cyprus

tree peppered landscape; with on-site

concierge services, what more could

you require from your Tuscan Villa

Holiday

Paolo Kastelec

Owner, Borgo 69


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

GASTRONOMIC TOURISM

THE FRESH FLAVOUR OF

THE SPANISH ISLES

Menorca nominated as “European Region of Gastronomy

The International Institute of

Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and

Tourism has nominated the Spanish

island of Menorca as “European

Region of Gastronomy 2022”.

A jury visiting Menorca in November

2019 said it recognised the excellent

quality gastronomy and the endeavours

of the hotel and restaurant associations to

promote and embed Menorca’s gastronomy

on local menus, as well as the work of

many other cultural and gastronomy related

stakeholders.

“The recognition of the IGCAT is not just

about the food itself, but also everything

that is involved in the making of the food,

said Estefi Clavell of Menorca’s Tourist

Board.

“It involves the fishermen, the farmers,

the traditional recipes, right up to how the

food is presented. Being a gastronomic

region puts Menorca on the map, and

helps us promote this aspect, along with

sustainability, which is one of the main

aspects that has to be respected with

regard to the nomination. It confirms the

philosophy of the island,” she added.

© Marinainuria

Menorca boasts its own cheese, renowned

across Spain, and one of the only Spanish

cheeses sold abroad. The island has its own

vineyards and olive plantations, enabling

the island destination to offer an incredible

array of local produce much to the delight

of foreign travellers. Not only that, not

many people know that Mayonnaise –

thought by many to have originated from

France, actually, according to the locals,

comes from Menorca.

“It was in the mid-1700s that mayonnaise

emerged here on Menorca,” says Estefi

Clavell. “The French had laid siege to the

island and the duke heading these forces

enjoyed his food. It was his chef who

brought mayonnaise to him. It is not sure

whether he was forced to create it through

experimentation, or if the locals showed

him how to make it because they already

knew”

The old fishing port

of Cales Fonts in Menorca

AUBERGE DU PÈRE BISE RE-OPENS

ON SHORES OF LAKE ANNECY

After three years of complete

renovation and embellishment, the

115-year-old Auberge du Père Bise

has regained the beauty of its youth.

The Auberge is a gastronomic

institution located in the Geneva-

Lyon-Chamonix Golden Triangle that

has built its international reputation

on the quality of hospitality and

French gastronomy. The restaurant

is run by talented two-star chef Jean

Sulpice. A final work plan has been

launched with the spa opening this

coming summer to make the place

an iconic space on the shores of Lake

Annecy in the Village of Talloires

The Auberge du Père Bise on the

shore of Lake Annecy.


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

WEDDING TOURISM

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 15

15

DESTINATION WEDDING

PARADISE? VENICE.

WHERE ELSE?

The San Clemente Palace Kempinski

Venice is officially “Europe’s Leading

Luxury Wedding Resort 2019” –

according to the World Travel Awards - a

magical and romantic retreat for couples

looking for an unforgettable wedding.

“Our private island enclave has an

illustrious history spanning almost 900

For those seeking a wedding destination

with the romantic edge of Italy, but with

a “different” touch, the Golfo dei Poeti

Relais & Spa is situated in Montemarcello

(a Ligurian Luxury Destination), one of

the 100 most beautiful villages in Italy.

It is an ideal place to relax away from

the mass tourism, and to visit the most

suggestive landscapes of the Gulf of La

Spezia and the Cinque Terre National

Park.

Relais owner Dante Venturini explains,

“Our Relais has 27 large rooms,

equipped with the best comforts, guests

will find a new outdoor Spa area with

heated Jacuzzis and a panoramic sauna,

a sea view terrace for lunch, dinner and

aperitifs and a very natural space where

years as a way station for pilgrims and

crusaders and home to monks and

healers”, explains Carmen Hackmann,

Director of Sales & Marketing. “Vestiges

of the past are everywhere and include

a well-preserved 12th-century church.”

Surrounded by centuries-old gardens,

courtyards and terraces, the hotel has 62

suites, boasting picture windows

in every room, raised ceilings

with wood beams original to the

monastery and a private pier.

One is located in a secluded wing

that can be reserved as an eightbedroom

palazzo

Wedding at San Clemente

Palace Kempinski, Venice

… OR FOR THE “POETIC”

TOUCH…

Dante

Venturini

Owner, Golfo dei Poeti Relais & Spa

people can enjoy the silence. It is the

perfect location for a romantic wedding.

Guests can fully enjoy the charm offered

by the Gulf and we can create an event

that will remain in the heart of everyone

for a very long time. If we had to indicate

4 words to describe our concept of

hospitality they would be: genuineness,

authenticity, reality and sustainability”

Villa D'este

ENZO MICCIO

AND ITALY

LUXURY TRAVEL

ANNOUNCE JOINT

VENTURE TO

“REDEFINE THE

DESTINATION

WEDDING

EXPERIENCE”

Enzo Miccio luxury events and

weddings agency based in Milan,

and Italy Luxury Travel, a DMC

focused on bespoke luxury travels

and experiences, have announced

a joint venture aiming to manage

all aspects of event and wedding

planning. The new venture is

designed to satisfy newlyweds'

and guests' expectations for

tailor-made, integrated solutions

that ensure “the perfect Italian

luxury wedding experience”.

“Our goal is to provide to agencies

and partners all around the globe

with a solid team of professionals

in the event planning with Enzo

Miccio and luxury incoming in

Italy with Italy Luxury Travel”,

said group CEO, Enzo Miccio


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

LUXURY CRUISING

The Seabourn Venture

Bow Lounge

SEABOURN ANNOUNCES “BOW LOUNGE”

ON ITS NEW ULTRA-LUXURY PURPOSE-

BUILT EXPEDITION SHIP

Seabourn plans to open a “window on

the majesty of nature” for guests of its

new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition

ship, Seabourn Venture, which is set

to sail to the world’s most coveted

and remote destinations beginning in

June 2021. The Bow Lounge is designed

to further enhance the perspectives that

the natural world presents, increasing the

sense of discovery that is sure to captivate

guests by bringing a view of the outside

inside combined with direct access to

the outdoors. Located on Deck 6, at

the forward-most part of the vessel, the

Bow Lounge will provide the closest

access to water level via the foredeck,

making it the perfect spot for guests to

spend some time watching for marine

life. Within a few steps, guests can be

outside, with a vantage point that is ideal

to watch the ship’s course, spot wildlife,

or take in the beautiful natural scenery

The new Crystal Endeavor,

launching in August 2020

SILVERSEA

CELEBRATES

QUARTER-

CENTURY IN

STYLE

In the year of its 25th anniversary,

Silversea Cruises has a number

of new announcements

including: Silver Origin, described

by the shipping line as “the

most elegant ship to ever sail the

Galapagos”, will launch in summer

2020; S.A.L.T., Silversea’s pioneering

new culinary programme, which will

unlock immersive travel experiences

through culinary discovery when it

launches aboard new ship Silver

Moon in August 2020; and the

world’s first-ever Expedition World

Cruise for 2021. Silversea meanwhile

has opened sales on the world’s

first ultra-luxury fly-cruise service to

Antarctica. “Antarctica Bridge” will

provide travellers with the “fastest,

most direct route” to the White

Continent, as they will fly over the

Drake Passage in business-class

comfort in approximately two hours

each way. Departing from December

2021, the collection of 12 fly-cruise

voyages aboard Silver Explorer will

further enhance Silversea’s allinclusive

Polar offering

NEW JEWEL ON THE CRYSTAL CROWN

In August 2020, Crystal will launch Crystal

Endeavor, what the shipping line describes

as the world’s largest and most spacious

luxury expedition yacht. Built to PC6 polar

class specifications, she will explore the

farthest reaches of Earth, accommodating

just 200 guests with luxurious amenities.

Meanwhile, when Crystal River Cruises’

2020 season embarks next spring, it will

be the youngest fleet of luxury ships

in the river industry with four ships, all

under three years since launch, sailing

Europe’s most picturesque rivers. Crystal

Cruises 2022 all-inclusive ocean sailings

are now available for booking aboard the

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity,

journeying to 219 destinations in 83

countries. Crystal Cruises was voted the

best cruise line of the year 2019 at the

Virtuoso Travel Week

Silversea Cruises new ship, Silver Moon,

launching in August 2020


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 17

17

“Suite Life” onboard a Uniworld

boutique river cruise

UNIWORLD SETS SAIL IN SOUTH

AMERICA FOR THE FIRST TIME

The Uniworld boutique river cruise

collection is, for the first time, offering two

new itineraries on the Peruvian Amazon

this year, aboard the Aria Amazon.

The new itineraries, set to debut in

September, include a 15-day Peruvian

Amazon and Machu Picchu exploration

that begins with a land portion in Lima.

Also on offer is an 11-day Peruvian rivers

and rainforest discovery trip. The Aria

AQUA

EXPEDITIONS

LAUNCHES

“THE GREATEST

LUXURY CRUISE”

EXPEDITIONS IN

SOUTHEAST ASIA’S

CORAL TRIANGLE

Presenting a brand-new cruise

experience in the pristine East Indonesian

Archipelago, Aqua Blu, a former British

navy ship, took its maiden voyage in

November 2019 as a long-range explorer

yacht, sailing the region’s most prized

destinations, including Komodo National

Park, the Spice Islands and Raja Ampat on

seven and 12 night itineraries.

A 2019 refurbishment of the five-deck

15-suite ship, overseen by a Dutch yacht

Amazon is an all-suite ship with floorto-ceiling

windows, giving guests an

extraordinary panoramic views of the

rainforest at every corner.

New ships will also be launched by

Uniworld this year on the Nile in Egypt,

the Douro in Portugal and the Mekong in

Vietnam, followed by a new ship on the

Volga in Russia in 2021

Aqua Expeditions new

vessel: Aqua Blu

design company has brought the vessel to

world-class cruising specifications. Guests

can expect to embrace a distinguished

sense of history and seafaring evolution

when they set foot on this one-of-a-kind

cruise ship. Able, according to Aqua

Expeditions, to cover vast distances in

a short span of time — and in any sea

condition — the vessel enables explorers

on board to experience the most varied,

enjoyable and rewarding coastal cruise

itineraries in this wild and stunningly

beautiful region of the world

PAUL

GAUGUIN

CRUISES

TRIPLES

CAPACITY

A memorandum of agreement has

been signed for the construction and

design of two new-generation luxury

expedition cruise vessels operating in the

South Pacific for Paul Gauguin Cruises,

bringing the company’s fleet from one to

three ships. The two new ships are due

for delivery in 2022 with a capacity of

230 guests for each ship. Paul Gauguin

Cruises currently operates one ship, the

332-guest m/s Paul Gauguin, providing

a luxury cruise experience around French

Polynesia and the South Pacific.

2021 ITINERARIES

AND DEPLOYMENT

New for 2021, is an 11-night Tuamotus &

Society Islands voyage which visits Motu

Mahana, Paul Gauguin Cruises private

islet, twice in one voyage. For 2021, The

Gauguin will also be sailing its signature

itineraries: 7-night Tahiti & the Society

Islands; 7-night Society Islands & Tahiti

Iti; 10-night Society Islands & Tuamotus;

11-night Cook Islands & Society Islands;

and 14-night Marquesas, Tuamotus &

Society Islands. Also featured are 12-

and 13-night Fiji, Tonga, Cook & Society

Islands sailings

Built specifically to

navigate the islands

of French Polynesia,

the m/s Paul Gauguin

offers luxurious,

small-ship voyages.


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

ILTM CANNES FEATURE

WALDORF ASTORIA, LXR AND

CONRAD TAKE BIGGER STRIDES

With record new openings, the top-end brands are driving

Hilton to new highs

2019 was the busiest year ever for Hilton Luxury Group’s, with the

opening of 11 new properties. We asked Dino Michael, recently

named as Global Head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and

Conrad Hotels & Resorts, to tell us more.

Dino Michael

Global Head, Waldorf

Astoria Hotels & Resorts

We’ve had some key openings this

past year, with Waldorf Astoria Los

Cabos Pedregal , Waldorf Astoria

Dubai International Financial Centre

and Waldorf Astoria Maldives

Ithaafushi, along with six Conrad

openings including Conrad New York

Midtown, Conrad Washington, DC

and four more openings in China. So,

for us, 2019 has been an exceptional

year.

How important is the Chinese

market for you?

It’s not just about the domestic market

in China, it's outbound travellers.

We opened a great marquee asset in

Bangkok in 2018; our first Waldorf

Astoria in Southeast Asia that follows

Conrad’s strong presence in the

Asia Pacific region, with properties

in destinations such as Hong Kong,

Beijing and Singapore. But now having

the flagship property in Bangkok, this

has spurred a great deal of interest in

the region.

What is changing in the way you

do business and the way people

perceive your properties?

The landscape is becoming very

crowded with a lot of great operators;

a lot of competition. It is always

possible to build a great hotel, but

you need to get the software right,

you need to get the service right, and

get the personal connection right. In

luxury, technology lives to make the

stay easier, without friction, but that

human touch continues. We put a lot

of focus on culture, on development,

on making sure our team members

understand the arriving guests to offer

an anticipatory yet graceful service

that is truly unrivaled. Each Waldorf

Astoria property has dedicated

Personal Concierges that work

tirelessly to anticipate our guests’

needs to make their stay frictionless

and highly personalised.

Could you tell me a little more

about your new property in

Mexico?

The new Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos

Pedregal is situated on Cabo San

Lucas’ most coveted parcel of land –

an extraordinary, 24-acre site at the

southernmost tip of Mexico’s Baja

California Peninsula. The conversion

of Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos

Pedregal reflects Hilton Luxury Group’s

commitment to expand our portfolio

and bring our True Waldorf Service

to the world’s most sought-after

and inspiring destinations. Waldorf

Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal debuts

as the premier offering in the region,

with an array of best-in-class facilities

and immersive experiences such as

concierge services, a private chef

upon request, transportation via the

resort valet, and customised daytime

itineraries


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 19

19

VALERIE WILSON WINS 2019

MARY GOSTELOW AWARD

Valerie Wilson accepts

Mary Gostelow award from

2018 winner, Geoffrey Gilardi

ILTM Cannes kicked off on 3 December

with its usual annual global forum,

capped-off with the crowning of this year’s

Mary Gostelow award laureate – New

York based travel advisor, Valerie Anne

Wilson. Accepting the award, Ms Wilson

stated, “I just love this industry beyond

description. I think that travel is probably

the best education you can give to a child

and an adult today, because with each

trip you take, you have a new experience,

a new exposure, and hopefully you have

done something a little better – to make

the world a better place. ILTM has certainly

done that for many people in the travel

industry. I think that probably Matthew

Upchurch and Virtuoso did it most for me;

because I was not afraid to be outspoken. I

was not afraid to try and create a business

38 years ago when luxury travel really

didn’t exist from the agency side in a big

way. We all have the opportunity to share

this around the world, and make it a better

place”

NEW CAPELLA BANGKOK

– THE “DISRUPTOR”

John Blanco, GM of the new Capella

Bangkok says his property has some strong

selling points: “Bangkok has always had

two key sub-markets – the mad Riverfront

and the CBD. Most of the luxury brands,

including Rosewood and Waldorf were

installed in the CBD area, and it’s been

about 25 years since something important

and new has happened on the riverside.

This area is home to legacy properties such

as the Mandarin Oriental and the Peninsula

- large properties that have been there a

long time. The Capella comes in as a bit

of a disruptor. The ethos of our brand is

that of much smaller properties, hence the

ability to tailor and personalise at a much

higher level, and with more authenticity.

The property consists of 101 river-facing

suites and villas, beginning at 70 sq m –

up to the only riverfront villas in Bangkok,

including private pools”

John Blanco

General Manager, Capella

Bangkok

MADRID AND BEYOND:

A PRODUCT BASED ON PEOPLE

Nigel Hack

Founder,

Madrid and Beyond

Nigel Hack, founder of inbound operator

Madrid and Beyond organises itineraries

throughout Spain and Portugal. He says for

today’s travellers, it’s all about the “carpe

diem” experience: “You can talk about

transformative travel, experiential travel,

behind closed doors, insider access… that’s

what we are trying to do. When travellers

go to restaurants, they don’t want to sit

with tourists all around them, they want to

be with locals. They want to meet artisans,

and be in contact with local people. I

believe we do this better than anyone else,

because we have a much broader range of

people with whom we work”


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

ILTM CANNES FEATURE

RELAIS

& CHÂTEAUX

NEW

MOBILE APP

Matías de

Cristóbal

Director General,

Awasi

Arnaud Wielgus

Chief Commercial,

Marketing & Digital Officer,

Relais & Châteaux

Arnaud Wielgus, Chief Commercial,

Marketing & Digital Officer at

Relais & Châteaux tells us that the

organisation has launched a brandnew

app, which has already received,

at the eCommerce awards in France,

the “Best Mobile Initiative” of the

year – across all categories.

“It is very simple to use, and brings

together all the tools people have

been accustomed to using over

time. In the app, we are increasingly

working on customer recognition.

As we are a group of independent

hoteliers, one of the main challenges

is that of recognising the customer

from one property to another. So,

we are henceforth encouraging our

clients to create a GDPR compliant

detailed profile, enabling the

information to be shared by member

hotels to improve their welcome”

PERSONALISED

LUXURY IN PARADISE

Why stay two nights at Iguaçu when you

can stay five?

Matías de Cristóbal is Director General of Awasi, a company with

three lodges in South America. He is also on the board of directors

of Relais et Châteaux. We asked him to tell us about his newest

property that has just opened in Argentina, in the region of Iguaçu.

Until we arrived in Iguaçu, it was a

place where people could stay one

or two nights, because travellers just

wanted to see the Brazilian side, the

Argentinian side, take a selfie, and then

leave. But after analysing this place, we

realised that the Atlantic rainforest has

a huge number of endemic species. We

discovered, thanks to local naturalists

and archaeologists that there are lots of

things to see besides the falls. Of course,

the waterfalls are a huge attraction, and

we go there before the park opens, so

our guests can see the falls without

the crowds. But then we take them to

14 different places, connect with the

local communities and Guarani tribes,

the local flora and fauna, exploring

the jungles, the river, and other hidden

waterfalls, not to mention the Jesuit

missions.

Our clients do not do group excursions.

They are all personalised and private.

Each room is assigned a private

guide and a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

And from the moment we receive a

reservation, a personal reservation

assistant starts working on designing

the trip specifically for that guest. We

have a personnel-to-guest ratio of six-toone.

The reservation assistant ascertains

the preferences and expectations. This

information goes to the chef, the hotel

manager, the housekeeping team, and

to the head of excursions, who assigns

a particular guide with the greatest

knowledge on the topics of interest to

that guest. No two visits are ever the

same


Hotel & Tourism

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2020 Winter Edition 21

21

OPENING HIDDEN

DOORWAYS

JoAnn

Kurtz-Ahlers

Owner,

Hidden Doorways

JoAnn Kurtz-Ahlers, owner of

Hidden Doorways – representing

and consulting for exceptional

hotels, yachts and destinations,

each year has a more active,

buzzing stand at ILTM, Cannes. At

the show, we asked her what’s new.

There’s such great development going on

around the globe. More special projects

seem to be opening all the time, and

even our current clients keep expanding.

We are about to take on a new property

in Madagascar, and that will be very

interesting for people doing “post safari”

tourism – especially from Europe and

North America. Six Senses are opening

in the desert in Israel and we are very

excited about that. Our client, Vik retreats,

who were in South America, just took

over a Milan property and brought in

100 artists, putting art installations in all

the guest rooms overlooking the Galleria

area in Milan. Our client in Africa has just

opened up some new small tented camps

in Zimbabwe, which is exciting to see. We

are working a lot in Bolivia. There were

some governmental issues over the past

month or so, which have been resolved,

and we see that as the next new frontier

for travel in a place that hasn’t had a lot

of development. Bolivia is bringing to life

a number of places that never had a lot

of tourism in the past. In Cuba, we have

a very interesting DMC there. A lot of

Americans think you can’t go to Cuba,

but that’s not the case. There are a lot of

interesting things going on!

NEW

INTERNATIONAL

AMBITIONS FOR

RWANDA IN LUXURY

TRAVEL SECTOR

Bisate Lodge, Rwanda

Rwanda is increasingly under the

spotlight as a luxury destination;

reinforced by recent news that

Qatar Airways was to take a 60%

stake in the nation’s new €1.2bn

international airport project.

At ILTM Cannes, Visit Rwanda

hosted a breakfast session

bringing together a number of

key Rwanda-based DMCs and

properties, underlining the will

of the nation’s government to

place this destination firmly in

the luxury nature / adventure

category.

Ariella Kageruka, Head of Tourism

and Conservation Department

for Rwanda, confirmed that

Rwanda was, according to the

World Economic Forum, the #1

safest country in Africa – and #5

globally in 2018.

The number one attraction in

Rwanda remains the Volcanoes

National Park – home to the

world-famous mountain gorillas.

One of the most remarkable

properties alongside the park

is the Bisate Lodge, which was

recently added to the Condé

Nast Traveler’s 2020 Gold List

of exceptional places to stay

in the world. Bisate claims to

be Rwanda’s first “genuinely

luxurious and eco-sensitive

safari lodge”, centred on Africa’s

most immersive wild primate

experience


ELITE TRAVEL TRENDS

LUXURY IN OMAN

Ahmed Bin Nasser

Bin Hamed Al

Mahrizi

Tourism Minister,

Sultanate of Oman

WE INTEND

TO LIMIT THE

NUMBER OF

TOURISTS, BUT

CONCENTRATE

ON THOSE WHO

SPEND MORE.

Oman’s population is tiny compared to other big-hitters in the tourism

industry, but that has not prevented the country’s Ministry of Tourism to

take the role of official partner country of ITB Berlin 2020, highlighting

the diversity of internal destinations and the exceptional luxury

accommodations on offer.

OMAN: EXPECT THE

UNEXPECTED

The pearl of the Middle East to spotlight

luxury and diversity at ITB Berlin

Tourism Minister Ahmed Bin Nasser

Bin Hamed Al Mahrizi, explains that his

government has created a long-term

plan: “We have created our own strategy

up to 2040. We want to target adventure

tourism, with hiking, biking and climbing,

and so on. We have mountains, desert

and beautiful seas for diving. MICE is

another sector we want to grow. We

intend to limit the number of tourists, but

concentrate on those who spend more.

Recently, the Sultanate has taken certain

important measures that have had positive

impacts on the tourism sector of our

country. These measures included making

tourism visa easy, increasing investment

in the sector, establishing more hotel and

other related establishments, increasing

promotional drive and exploring new

markets.”

The Sultanate often surprises with the

extraordinary diversity of its tourism

offering, and eco-tourism is a key growth

area. Ras Al Jinz, a fishing village located

in the Ras Al Hadd, on the eastern shores

of the Arabian Peninsula, is world renown

for the nesting endangered green turtle,

probably the most important nesting

concentration on the Indian Ocean. This

is the only official place where the public

can watch the nesting process of these

amazing sea giants. The Turtle Reserve

was established by Royal Decree in 1996,

and the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Centre was

established in 2008 to help conserve the

fascinating and amazing nesting processes

of these fascinating marine animals. Total

accommodation at the reserve includes

31 units including luxury Eco-tents.

From the rocky sea-shores to majestic

mountains, Oman has a swathe of

tourism ideas.

Every Thursday from 8pm to 9pm, guests

at the Alila Jabal Akhdar resort in Oman’s

high country are invited to meditate

under the stars. This magical location

offers some of the clearest night-time

views of the sky, making it a paradise for

celestial enthusiasts and romantics alike.

Committed to a sustainable future, this is

one of Oman’s most sought-after luxury

resorts. Its signature features include fortlike

doors crafted from solid wood; the

iconic rose pattern that adorns the lobby,

inspired by the damask roses that grow

in this region; and a large fireplace in the

lobby that warms guests in the chillier

months after an invigorating day out in

the mountains. The resort grounds also

feature aflaj water systems, mirroring

Oman’s traditional system of irrigation

channels


EUROPE

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 23

23

SPOTLIGHT ON EUROPE

– WITH SOME EXTRA

ITALIAN FLAIR

Europe’s nations – as a collective

destination - continue to be the

most popular tourist attraction

in the world when taken “as

a whole”. For the European

economy alone, travel and

tourism is reported to have directly

contributed an estimated €782bn

to GDP in 2018 and 14.4 million

jobs through direct employment

in the sector. The southern /

Mediterranean region of Europe

is the most popular destination

region in terms of international

arrivals, followed by Western

Europe.

Italy has long been high on the list

for international travellers, along

with France and Spain, and to

this end, Italy’s national tourism

authority, ENIT, has been pushing

much more strongly in the past year

or so - especially since the arrival of

the organisation’s new President,

Giorgio Palmucci (see interview -

page 4) to grow inbound tourism

figures. Working much like a

“conductor” for an orchestra of

different regions, all pushing their

own wares, ENIT has done an

admirable job of enhancing “Italy

as a brand”. In this section, we take

a look at what’s new and exciting

across Europe as a whole, but in

particular, we are highlighting a

number of new initiatives when it

comes to inbound tour operators

and hospitality players in Italy. You’ll

see for yourself… The dynamic is

incredible.

We also spotlight a number of

other “hot ideas” in the industry

on the continent. Enjoy!


EUROPE

FACTS & FIGURES

EUROPEAN TOURISM DEMAND

REMAINS STABLE DESPITE WOBBLY

WORLD ECONOMY

European tourism demand remained in

positive territory, albeit with a slower

expansion rate compared to the past two

years, according to the European Travel

Commission's (ETC) report "European

Tourism - Trends & Prospects” for Q3 2019.

Although external risks were failing to

dissipate, destinations continued to grow

at a modest pace and the overarching

regional outlook remained positive (3-4%

in international tourist arrivals in 2019). Of

particular interest in Q3 was Montenegro’s

maintained growth momentum at 18% as

it welcomed a soaring influx of Western

European holidaymakers, while the

depreciation of the lira continued to play

a vital role in Turkey’s tourism performance

with an equally impressive 15% increase in

tourist arrivals.

According to ETC, while things appear

stable in the European tourism sector amid

the poor shape of the global economy,

the greatest risk lies in not seizing the

opportunities at hand by encouraging

more sustainable and inclusive tourism

approaches.

"This latest report highlights that travel

demand in Europe is in a good place, with

steady increases in tourism numbers across

the board,” said Eduardo Santander, ETC

Executive Director. “Despite very real

challenges, such as the looming threat

of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, and the collapse of

several airlines, European destinations

continue to post healthy rates of arrivals,

which of course is to be welcomed.

Meanwhile, European tourism needs to

focus on developing long-term sustainable

Reflecting a general slowdown in the global

economy, the report notes that average

increase in global revenue passenger

kilometres (RPKs), which is an indicator of

airline demand, was 4.1 % y/y in Q3, well

below the average rate of expansion over

the past 10 years of 6.1%.

“No Deal” Brexit likely to have

permanent effect on UK travel volumes

According to the ETC report, the combined

effect of the economic and non-economic

factors associated with a “no deal” Brexit

AIR PASSENGER GROWTH

SLOWING IN EUROPE

management solutions to enable tourism

to flourish, rather than just merely grow.”

American and Chinese tourists continue

to flock to Europe, while intra-regional

demand plays a key role in increasing tourist

numbers in Europe. Large long-haul source

markets continue to make a significant

contribution, particularly from the US with

the dollar up against many other currencies.

would cause a 7% drop in UK outbound

trips in 2020 and an 8% drop in 2021.

More significantly, the report states that

a no deal Brexit would have a permanent

downward effect on UK outbound travel

volumes, which is sure to cause concern

amongst many destinations across Europe.

Spain is likely to be the most heavily

impacted per traveller volumes with an

estimated 1.3 million fewer UK arrivals to

the country in 2021 relative to baseline

projects, and Ireland the most impacted in

percentage terms (-5%) in 2021


Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 25

25

EUROPEAN CAPITALS

OF CULTURE

Galway, Ireland and Rijeka, Croatia host cultural events

as part of celebration of cultural diversity

The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union

for a period of one year during which it is given a chance to showcase its

cultural life and cultural development. A number of European cities have

used the City of Culture year to transform completely their cultural base

and, in doing so, the way in which they are viewed internationally.

© László Szalai

2020 is a “double whammy” for Rijeka since

Croatia is also holding the presidency of the

EU. As the largest Croatian port, the city

has become the centre of a significant and

extensive culture and arts programme and

host for a swathe of artists from the global,

Croatian and European cultural scenes.

A NUMBER OF

EUROPEAN CITIES

HAVE USED THE CITY

OF CULTURE YEAR

TO TRANSFORM

COMPLETELY THEIR

CULTURAL BASE

Nestled between the Mediterranean,

Central European and Eastern European

influences, Rijeka has been part of as many

as seven different countries over the past

century of its development. A small-scale

Europe of sorts, it has become a place

for dynamic life, a symbol of the spirit of

libertarian and progressive ideas, and a city

where everyone is always welcome. As part

of the European Capital of Culture project

in 2020, Rijeka has built and opened new

cultural buildings and facilities, which cofinanced

by EU funds, offering over 600

cultural, arts and other events involving

more than 250 cultural institutions and

organisations from Croatia and 40 other

countries from Europe and the rest of the

world.

The cultural programme in 2020 introduces

Rijeka and its distinctive features to Europe,

while at the same time placing current

European cultural and social issues at the

forefront. The three main programme

themes were chosen as symbols of the

intertwining identities of Rijeka and

contemporary Europe: water, work and

migration.

Meanwhile, in Ireland, the Galway

2020 programme brings to life themes

of language, landscape and migration.

Structured around the old Celtic calendar

of Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasa and

Samhain, Galway 2020 begins in February

and runs through until the end of January

2021. During the year, visitors will discover

events imagined into existence by artists

who have Galway running through their

veins, interwoven with an outsider’s

view, as European artists unveil their own

interpretations of these themes. Marking

the passing of winter and the blossoming

of an extraordinary new year, the opening

event celebrates the quintessential values

of “Irishness” – courage, creativity and

resilience. Taking place in the open air,

everyone is welcome and the event is free

to attend

Hill fort in Trsat district,

Rijeka, Croatia

An old street in Galway,

Ireland


EUROPE

AIR TRANSPORT NEWS

A POSITIVE OUTLOOK

FOR AIR TRANSPORT IN 2020

The International Air Transport

Association IATA predicts strong

growth for the airline industry in

2020, although concerns about

the environment and tensions in

the Middle East could dampen the

demand…

If 2019 was a more challenging year for

airlines, 2020 should bring back a smile

to the industry, according to the latest

forecasts released by the International Air

Transport Association in December.

Airlines suffered a difficult year in 2019

as numerous factors impacted market

demand. The first factor was the revival of

trade wars between the United States and

various countries such as China. Another

factor was the suspension of all flights by

the Boeing 737MAX which translated into

capacity cut for many airlines. Uncertainty

over the Brexit dampened also demand.

"They all came together to create a tougher

than anticipated business environment for

airlines,” comments Alexandre de Juniac,

IATA's Director General and CEO.

2019 was also one of the worst years for

airline bankruptcies. Half a dozen carriers

disappeared, from India’s second largest

carrier Jet Airways to Slovenian national

carrier Adria Airways, from holiday giant

Thomas Cook to low cost carrier WOW

Air or from French Caribbean carrier XL

Airways to Britain regional airline Bmi.

According to de Juniac, it appears that

2019 will be the bottom of the current

economic cycle and the forecast for 2020

is turning brighter.

Forecasts are for the global airline industry

to produce a net profit of €26.2bn in

2020, improved over a net profit of

€23.2bn expected in 2019. The latter was

revised downward from a €25bn forecast

last June.

EUROPEAN AIRLINES FORECAST A GROWTH

IN PROFIT BUT WEAKENING DEMAND

European carriers are forecast to report

a €7.05bn net profit in 2020 (up from

€5.52bn for 2019) as airlines in the region

will benefit from stronger economic

growth and the consolidation of airlines

network. Expansion is expected to be

moderate, helping to improve the supplydemand

balance. The net profit per

passenger is expected to be €5.70.

The consolidation movement follows

a series of European airline failures,

which translated into capacity cuts.

Another factor is the “flight shaming”

effect launched in Scandinavia to fight

climate change. This translated already

into a decline in air travel in Sweden by

4% in 2019 and the movement could

further expand to other countries such

as Denmark, the Netherlands or Austria

in 2020. Passengers capacity is due to

grow by 3.7% in 2020, its smallest gain

since 2015; while passenger traffic in RPK

(revenue Passengers/km) would grow by

3.8%.

PASSAGER DEMAND AND CAPACITY GROWTH

BY REGION

GLOBAL PASSAGERS (billion, segment basis)

© IATA


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27

LUFTHANSA

FLIES FROM

MUNICH TO

PARIS-ORLY

FOR THE

FIRST TIME

BRITISH AIRWAYS OFFSETS

CARBON EMISSIONS ON LOCAL

FLIGHTS

Since January 2020, British Airways has

become the first UK airline to offset carbon

emissions on all its flights within the UK. All

customers flying within the UK this year on

flights operated by British Airways have the

carbon emissions from their flights offset by

the airline and invested in carbon reduction

projects around the world. These projects

will include renewable energy, protection of

rainforests and reforestation programmes.

The announcement came as British Airways’

parent company, International Airlines

Group (IAG), became the first airline group

worldwide to commit to achieving net zero

carbon emissions by 2050, contributing to

both the UK Government’s commitment to

a net zero carbon economy by 2050 and

the United Nations’ objective to limit global

warming to 1.5 degrees

A Lufthansa

Bombardier CRJ900

AIR FRANCE KLM ENTERS

NEW CODESHARE

AGREEMENT WITH JETSTAR

After the resumption of codeshare

cooperation in 2018 with Qantas, both

Air France and KLM have, since January,

launched a codeshare cooperation with

JetStar Airways and Jetstar Asia Airways, two

airlines which are part of the Qantas Group

portfolio. Under this agreement, Air France

and KLM customers have access to a wider

range of destinations in Southeast Asia.

Connecting in Singapore from Amsterdam

or Paris, Air France and KLM will place their

code on 12 additional destinations operated

by Jetstar Asia Airways: Da Nang (Vietnam),

Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Denpasar

(Indonesia), Medan (Indonesia), Surabaya

(Indonesia), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Siem

Reap (Cambodia), Kula Lumpur (Malaysia),

Penang (Malaysia), Phuket (Thailand),

Yangon (Myanmar), and Darwin (Australia)

10 additional A350-900s have been

ordered from Airbus by Air France-

KLM Group in December 2019

From 16 March Lufthansa will include

Orly airport (ORY) in its flight schedule

for the first time. In the 2019/20

winter timetable, a Bombardier

CRJ900 will take off twice daily from

Munich to the French capital. Flights

to Orly complement Lufthansa’s 40

weekly flights between Munich and

Paris Charles-de-Gaulle, offering

ideal travel connections to the

French capital for any purpose and

time of day. "Paris is one of the

most important destinations in the

world for the Lufthansa Group. With

Paris-Orly, our guests for the first

time have a direct connection from

the south of the metropolis to our

Munich hub," says Wilken Bormann,

CEO Hub Munich. Orly Airport is

located nine kilometres south of

Paris and is easy to reach by public

transport. Last year, Orly had 33

million passengers


EUROPE / ITALY

Pool view at Castello Banfi

Mount Fuji

ITALY…

YOU HAVE

TO LOVE IT!

Every year, more and more

foreigners come to Italy to discover

the real Italian dolce vita – breathtaking

landscapes, rich history,

great art, interesting culture and

delectable cuisine.

With 62 million visitors registered in

2018, Italy was the world’s fifth most

visited country in international tourism

arrivals, according to the UNWTO,

ranking sixth in terms of tourism receipts.

The tourism industry is one of the most

important sectors of the country’s

economy. According to Statista Research,

it constituted about 13% of Italian GDP

in the past year and is predicted to reach

14.3% in 2028, at around €269bn, up

from €223.2bn in 2017. Direct tourism

spending is forecast by Statista to reach

€56.8bn by 2028.

In this section, we take an up-close and

personal look at this land that instills so

much passion in travellers, still a dream

destination for many

JW MARRIOTT VENICE

NAMED “ITALY’S BEST

RESORT SPA 2019”

The idea of creating a private

island resort in the lagoon of

Venice was quite unique.

Designed by Matteo Thun, Isola delle

Rose – or Rose Island – is the only

property managed directly by Marriott

in Italy and has recently been named

in the World Spa Awards as the best in

the nation.

“We are a flagship for the brand – a kind

of test bench,'' says Marta Camozza,

Senior Leisure Sales Manager for the

resort. “The history of the island is a bit

odd. Between the 30s and the late 70s

it was a sanatorium, as they discovered

the island had a better climate than the

city centre of Venice. It gets more fresh

air and is sunnier. We still have the

century-old olive tree grove, planted by

the friars. It is still productive, and it’s

the only place in Venice that produces

its own pure virgin olive oil – around

150 litres per year – that we use in our

own restaurant.”

The current owner began a huge

renovation project on the 16 hectares

of the island around ten years ago,

renovating the ancient buildings in

a modern way, opening four years

ago. It has already scooped numerous

awards, including making it to Conde

Nast’s Gold List in 2018 as one of the

best hotels in the world.

The “pearl” of the property is the Villa

Rose – an island within the island –

a 215 sq m private villa with 420 sq

m of private gardens, featuring a

private pool three bedrooms and three

bathrooms

Marta Camozza

Senior Leisure

Sales Manager,

Rose Island,

Marriott


Hotel & Tourism

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29

DISCOVERING

THE GENUINE ITALY

Piccolo Sant’Andrea

SUSPENDED

BETWEEN SEA

AND SKY ON THE

AMALFI COAST

“Firstly, I love my work;

secondly, I love my country;

and thirdly, I love the people

who come to visit,” says

Moreno Moretti, founder and

President of inbound tour

operator, Italy Charme.

Italy Charme is working on

the luxury niche of seeing

artisans of all kinds in Italy.

“My mission is to bring

people to see the artisans at

Moreno Moretti

Founder and President,

Italy Charme

work – it can be pottery or

hand-made shoes… and by

buying these products, they

genuinely support the local

communities.”

“Travel is not just about

growing – yourself – as a

person, but can also be about

helping people, and getting a

different kind of experience.

People take home much

more than just memories”

Opened in the summer of 2017, the 27-key Piccolo

Sant’Andrea Luxury Suite Hotel & Spa in Praiano,

on the Amalfi coast, boasts the fact that many of its

clients are already coming back for their third stay at

the property.

The 5-star hotel in Praiano, on

the Amalfi coast, is a corner of

paradise perched on a rock,

suspended between the blue

sea and the azure sky, where

the air has the heady scent

of orange blossoms. The

panoramic view is breathtaking,

encompassing the

whole coast from Praiano to

Positano, continuing to Punta

Campanella, the Archipelago

Li Galli and right up to the

profile of the isle of Capri.

According to the owner and

general manager, Igea Sartori,

the main clientele of the

hotel is American, followed

by Australians, and Saudi

Arabians. The property works

primarily through OTAs and

direct bookings, with relatively

small commissions for agents

(10-15% max): “38% of all

our reservations come directly

through our own website,''

says Ms Sartori, “And we are

working on growing that even

more.”

“Nowadays, luxury can be

seen in many different ways.

But the real luxury for busy

people is to feel free to do

whatever you want whenever

you want when on holidays.

So, we don’t have any dress

codes or any scheduled

programmes,” explains Dilara

Sadiker, Sales and Marketing

ITALY… I DID IT MY WAY!

Creator of private and

corporate events, Italy

My Way is the brainchild

of Nadia Colaiuda, a

luxury travel and event

professional who has come

up with a new business

model – partnering with

selected partners who are

all specialists in their fields.

According to Ms Colaiuda,

“No request is ever too big

or small for our partners.”

Italy My Way caters for

MICE of all kinds, right up to

provision of private yachts,

jets, luxury limousines,

bodyguards and security

services

Getting the real taste of Italy –

thanks to Italy My Way


EUROPE / ITALY

THE FRENCH

TOUCH IN

ROME

Modern luxury voyageurs are

invited to eat, sleep, enjoy, travel,

stay, celebrate and live the French

way at “new look” Sofitel Rome

Villa Borghese. The redesign of the

Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese has

transformed the property into an

elegant Roman retreat, fusing La

Dolce Vita heritage with modern

French art de vivre.

Situated in the heart of

Rome, Sofitel Rome Villa

Borghese reopened last summer,

unveiling extensive renovations

by contemporary architect and

interior designer, Jean-Philippe

Nuel.

Situated on a quiet street in

the centre of Rome, this former

19 th century Roman palazzo lies

within walking distance of some

of the city’s best-known cultural

landmarks and parks, including

the Trevi Fountain, Villa Medici

and the Spanish Steps.

“Evoking the feel of a Roman

home, guests appreciate the

hotel’s relaxed and laid-back

atmosphere and the sense of

being truly immersed in the

essence of this picturesque Italian

city,” explains Sales and Marketing

Manager, Manuela Rampado.

The hotel offers 78 rooms and

suites, with the unveiling of larger

suites, a new fitness centre and

new wellbeing programme, and

three large event rooms. Sofitel

Rome Villa Borghese is also home

to Settimo, a new rooftop lounge

and restaurant, offering panoramic

views overlooking the picturesque

Villa Borghese gardens and St.

Peter’s Basilica

The newly designed rooms

at the Sofitel Rome

Katharina Allès

Trauttmansdorff

Founder, Trust&Travel

PARIS-BASED

EXCELLENCE.VILLAS

LAUNCHED TO CATER

FOR GROWING HIGH-END

NICHE MARKET IN ITALY

A niche agency, excellence.villas has been launched

by Katharina Allès Trauttmansdorff, founder of

Trust&Travel, to provide villas in Italy for the world’s

most demanding clients.

With Excellence Villas, Katharina takes up a brandnew

challenge. “This latest venture, directed

exclusively at high-end travel agents enables us to

cater for an affluent clientele interested in worldclass

luxury residences in Italy.”

“We provide Italy at its very best. They are literally

hand-picked, thoroughly inspected world-class villas

or city apartments, in outstanding locations, with

impeccable service… totally personalised attention.”

Trauttmansdorff and her team claim to have intimate

knowledge of each listing, and work closely with the

owners to maintain quality control.

Indeed, excellence.villas benefits from the

considerable experience acquired over the past 20

years by its sister venture Trust&Travel, an agency

specialised in the rental of select villas on Italy’s finest

historical estates. Since 1995, the highly seasoned

and dedicated team has attended to demanding and

discriminative clients, anticipating their needs and

creating fully satisfying experiences. Trust&Travel

has been highlighted in publications such as Elle,

The Independent, Vogue, Geo, Marie-Claire and Le

Figaro, to name but a few


Hotel & Tourism

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2020 Winter Edition 31

31

Thomas Sirago, Valentina

Recanati, Guido Spinello,

and Salvatore Lo Giudice,

Managing Director – Sicily

Lifestyle

SICILY MY LOVE

How one Taormina-based DMC leverages fabulous video images

to promote its region

Salvatore Lo Giudice, Managing

Director of Sicily Lifestyle, had a

clear concept of his company’s

brand image: “It should be

the perfect combination

of tourism, fashion and

cinema”. To underline this,

he commissioned Vanity Fair

fashion editor Michael Roberts

to create a 13-minute short

film to set the stage, called

“Sicily My Love”; and for this,

he enlisted the talents of the

Brazilian supermodel, Raica

Brito Oliveira. We asked him to

tell us more.

Above all, it is the story that Michael wanted

to share with us about how he fell in love

with this island, an island that knows how

to welcome and captivate like no other. It’s

a live story, incorporating all our services and

the beautiful aspects of our region. The film

was produced in 2018, and first presented at

the Bulgari Hotel in London. It has also been

shown locally in Sicily, and the next screening

will be at a private members’ club in New

York, with the attendance of Michael Roberts

and Raica Oliveira. Through the images of

the movie, we have done our rebranding.

The images on our website have been taken

from the movie itself. It was a different way of

rebranding, through cinema and fashion.

What are your company’s three key

differentiation points?

Firstly, we are a small team… in Sicily, family

is a strong value. Every team member is like

a family member, and we transmit this value

to our guests visiting Sicily. The second point

is the fact that we work with very high-end

clients and have a lot of people coming from

the fashion industry around the world. The

third point is the continuous relationship we

keep with our clients, even after they leave

Sicily – a sense of friendship and family that

remains after the travel

A HIDDEN GEM IN SARDINIA

Hotel Su Gologone reopens in April 2020

with two new “Country Suites” whose

interior design have been inspired by the

cultivation of the land and the produce it

yields, and Orto, a new restaurant, which

will open three times a week and serve

dishes created using the produce from Su

Gologone’s vegetable garden. Located in

the Oliena region of Sardinia, Su Gologone

hotel embraces authentic Sardinian

tradition. Each bespoke hotel room

embodies Sardinia's history, embracing

the lives and labours of the island’s

weavers, nomadic shepherds and talented

artists. Su Gologone experiences include

traditional local activities such as art and

craft workshops as well as cooking and

sampling authentic local cuisine.


EUROPE

BRITANNIA

REOPENS IN NORWAY

Britannia Hotel in Trondheim, Norway reopened in April

this year, after a three-year, €134m renovation (one

of the largest such projects in Scandinavia). As the

world’s northernmost Grand Dame hotel, it’s storied

past includes hosting royalty and dignitaries since the

19th century. Now the northernmost member of The

Leading Hotels of The World, Britannia Hotel features

257 rooms, 1,400 sq. m Spa, world-class dining, and

an 8,000-bottle wine cellar.

The Britannia

Hotel Exterior

in Trondheim

The new Galeria

Canalejas in the heart

of Madrid

GALERÍA CANALEJAS

THE NEW INTERNATIONAL ICON

OF LUXURY SHOPPING AND HAUTE

CUISINE IN THE HEART OF MADRID

With the opening of Galería Canalejas, planned in the first

half of 2020, a new concept of luxury department store and

gastronomy is born in Madrid. Relocating in the heart of the

Spanish capital, it aims to be the new “golden mile” of luxury.

It will boast more than 15,000 square metres distributed on

three floors with the most prestigious fashion, fine jewellery,

and gastronomy brands in the world.

A HIGH-END SHOPPING SPREE

ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA?

YES, YOU CAN!

With the opening in 2019 of “The Mall Sanremo”, The

Mall Luxury Outlets, already known for The Mall Firenze

(opened in 2001), has inaugurated a new destination for

luxury shopping.

The selection of brands includes Balenciaga, Dolce &

Gabbana, Ermenegildo Zegna, Etro, GCDS, Giorgio

Armani, Gucci, Karl Lagerfeld, Loro Piana, MSGM, Poltrona

Frau, Santoni, Versace and a Luxury Multi Brand where

it’s possible to find products by Roberto Cavalli, Missoni,

John Richmond, Brioni, Corneliani, Ermanno by Ermanno

Scervino. Stage two of the complex, set to open later in

the year, will offer new, equally exclusive brands. To reach

The Mall Sanremo, shuttles leave every hour from the

centre of Sanremo (roundtrip) as well as buses from Nice

and Monaco and private shuttles upon request.

The new Mall Sanremo

Clients making

their own luxury

watch

TRAVELLERS CAN MAKE THEIR OWN

LUXURY SWISS WATCH IN GENEVA

THANKS TO A NEW PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN

CELEBRATED WORKSHOP INITIUM AND

5* HOTEL BEAU-RIVAGE

Geneva’s last-remaining family-run luxury hotel, Beau-Rivage,

has just partnered with celebrated Old Town watchmaking

workshop Initium giving visitors the chance to spend a weekend

in the city, returning home with a personalised automatic or

mechanical Swiss timepiece, made with their own hands, using

the same fine quality components used by the region’s foremost

watch manufacturers. Initium offers a complete immersion in

the fascinating world of Swiss timepieces. Its ambition is to

reveal the secrets of watchmaking, an ancestral skill which over

the centuries has become synonymous with Switzerland and

the region around Geneva. Lessons in theory and practice from

a master watchmaker help the visitor get behind the mysteries

of a mechanical movement.


EUROPE

TRENDING DESTINATIONS

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 33

33

Joseph Istria, President,

Louis, Event Assistant

and Nathalie Bar,

Communications Director of

Cors’Alpha Touring

DISCOVERING AUTHENTIC CORSICA

Cors’Alpha Touring sells what the travel world is increasingly seeking:

“real” experiences in paradise

Joseph Istria, President of Cors’Alpha Touring in Corsica, has a particular

passion for the creation of unforgettable itineraries, having been a tour

guide himself before founding the company over 16 years ago.

“He is Corsican, he loves ‘his’ Corsica,

and began his career by criss-crossing

the island, accompanying groups on tour

buses,” explains Nathalie Bar, Head of

Communication and MICE for Cors’Alpha.

“Mr Istria came to know a huge number

of people around Corsica as a guide; and

it’s a family. Corsica is a mountain in the

middle of the sea; it’s like a big village,” she

continues. “Everybody knows each other,

and Mr Istria, along with his mother, who

founded the business, are very well known.”

For more than 16 years, Cors'Alpha Touring

has been the specialist in travel and events

on Corsica: a human-sized structure that

allows visitors to have a single contact. The

follow-up of jobs is entirely carried out by

real specialists, at “ultra-negotiated rates”.

Over time, thanks to the Istria family’s

network, the company has been able to

surround itself with quality providers. But

not only that. They have an entire swag of

unusual and unique addresses and ideas in

order to make a visit to the Isle of Beauty

very special.

“All our bilingual guides who will follow

you on your tours and your events are

unique to the Cors'Alpha Touring agency.

They are empowered to all management

of the ‘last-in-time’ and changes to the

customer's request to satisfy, at best, all

your requirements” says Bar..

Bar came onto the scene a few years

back to head up the MICE division of

Cors’Alpha, and she says the company’s

main asset when it comes to planning

events is “genuine” experiences.

“Cors’Alpha Events sells tailor-made

authenticity, and in the MICE sector, we

have a huge playing field. We have the sea

and the mountains within ten minutes of

each other. We have an incredible choice

WE HAVE THE SEA

AND THE MOUNTAINS

WITHIN TEN MINUTES

OF EACH OTHER

when it comes to team building and

other group activities in such a way as to

create unforgettable experiences for those

companies looking for real, authentic and

meaningful experiences with the ‘plus’ of

real service Corsican style,” explains Bar.

Bar says her company is seeing an

increasing number of small groups – 10-15

people, mostly groups of senior corporate

executives, who choose Corsica for

seminars and incentive visits. New air links

from Portugal and London are adding to the

internationalisation of the offering


EUROPE

TRENDING HOTELS

TRENDING IN THE EASTERN

MEDITERRANEAN

While much of Western Europe is already

very much “said for” when it comes to

holiday accommodation, it’s in the Eastern

Med that a lot has been happening of late.

Here are just a few of our top picks.

Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas,

in north-western Greece, is using

its wild and rugged location to

attract experienced trekkers and

intermediate hikers alike. The

resort is in west Zagori, Epirus,

off-the-beaten-track for most

tourists and even the trekking

community.

TREKKING OFF

THE BEATEN TRACK

The natural attractions include the

Vikos Gorge, the deepest gorge in

the world, the Towers of Astraka

and Drakolimna Lake. The crystalclear

waters of the Voidomatis

River create an idyllic backdrop.

Old arched stone bridges, cobbled

streets, picturesque village

squares are also featured.

A typical room of the Elounda

Peninsula All Suite Hotel

NEW SUITES SPARKLE

FOR ELOUNDA

Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel has opened two

new luxurious “Diamond Residences” at its property

on the Greek island of Crete. The two-bedroom

seafront suites have two master en-suite bedrooms,

a large sitting room with dining area, kitchenette

and another bathroom, with access to a 90 sq m

terrace with a private heated pool, seating area,

loungers and outside dining. The residences have

been created in collaboration with award-winning

interiors studio, Wimberly Interiors.

The stunning

landscape around

Aristi Mountain

Resort and Villas

DANAI CREATES A BUZZ

AROUND HONE

Danai Beach Resort & Villas in

Greece is promoting bee and

honey experiences for guests

as its property on the Sithonia

peninsula, located by the

turquoise Aegean Sea.

The luxury resort in Halkidiki

is close to Nikiti, Europe’s first

beekeeping village, where

residents have been breeding

bees and harvesting honey for

The Danai Beach Resort and

Villas on the Aegean sea

over 500 years. It is renowned

for its pine and flower honeys,

as well as rarer varieties such as

orange, heather, chestnut and

thyme honey. Nikiti is home to

the Agricultural Beekeeping

Cooperative, founded in 1952.

The Halkidiki peninsula is home to

more than 6,500 apiculturists and

generates over 30% of Greece’s

total production.

The Clock House, a new

luxury accomodation in

Istanbul’s Old City

NEW ACCOMMODATION IN THE

BUSTLING HEART OF ISTANBUL

Buyers looking for a more experiential type of stay

in Istanbul are invited to find out more about a

new upmarket home-style accommodation. Ajwa

Hotel Sultanahmet, the luxury hotel in Istanbul’s

Old City, has opened a new Ajwa Home, The

Clock House.

The four-storey, three-bedroom house has been

designed to replicate the traditional Turkish home

with a sophisticated twist, with a fully equipped

kitchen, sauna, penthouse and partial views

of the Sea of Marmara. Coupled with all the

amenities and services of a present-day five-star

hotel, guests can sleep in the same level of luxury

associated with the hotel.


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 35

35

© iStock Photo - Ekkasit919

WHEN

ARTIFICIAL

INTELLIGENCE

BRINGS

REAL-LIFE

ADVANTAGES

In the month of January every year, for a period of

three days, Las Vegas becomes the capital of hightech.

And for the first time, the travel sector has

been singled out for attention.

It’s true that many travel companies use virtual

assistants to answer questions, facial recognition

software to read customer sentiment and virtual

reality to tour venues, among other advanced

technological functions.

So, the question is asked, “In a saturated market,

are artificial intelligence and VR the only way to

stay competitive?” One conference session at

CES spotlighted how artificial intelligence

is changing daily routines, responding

to commands, anticipating needs and

taking action when needed.

One of the speakers, Carnival Cruise

Line’s Chief Experience Officer John

Padgett (designer of the Ocean

Medallion), said AI was the only way

to power guest experiences based on

the massive quantity of information

being created by these connected

devices on-ship. In the end, the

key is for all the technology to

be invisible, and for the guest

experience to improve across the

board.

In the next pages, we take a closer

look at AI, along with the brave

new world of robotics, and the

great advances being made in

the field of translation devices

(yes, also based on AI!).


In The Field

with David Esseryk

THE "INSIDE LINE" ON WHAT'S HOT IN HOSPITALITY TECHNOLOGIES

PART 26

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

IN HOSPITALITY

HOW CHATBOTS

AND OTHER A.I.

ARE CHANGING

BUSINESS

With technology becoming more and

more sophisticated, it has disrupted

almost all industries across the world.

In this edition, David Esseryk - Chief

Digital & Marketing Officer – HDC

Consulting – Hospitality, Travel,

Tourism & Food Services Expert,

explains that the hospitality industry

is one such industry that has seen

the rise of technology significantly

impacting the way that hotels operate

and perform today.

Hospitality industry leaders are

increasingly leveraging the use of one

specific tool in their hotels to increase

personalisation and exceed customer

expectations: artificial intelligence,

more commonly known as AI. More

and more hotels, especially large

global hotel chains such as Marriott

International and Hilton Hotels &

Resorts, have started implementing

the use of AI in the form of chatbot

messaging, AI powered customer

service, and data analytics in hopes

of redefining the current industry

standards when it comes to

creating a personalised

guest experience.

Chatbot messaging

services are the

most basic way

in which AI

has altered the

guest experience.

Marriott has multiple

AI WILL

BECOME

MORE AND

MORE ADVANCED

AND GUEST CENTRIC

AS TIME GOES

ON

chatbots including

Marriott Rewards chatbots,

which are available on various

platforms such as Facebook

Messenger, Slack, and WeChat.

These chatbots not only increase

convenience for guests but also reduce

labour costs for the hotel operator. By

having a chatbot answer questions

and address concerns guests may

have at any time of the day, Marriott is

able to significantly cut down on hotel

operator expenses. Because chatbots

are offered in multiple languages, they

enable guests to communicate in their

native language, seamlessly removing

the language barrier.

Going one step further, in 2016, Hilton

introduced the world’s first AI powered

hotel concierge robot named Connie,

after its founder Conrad Hilton, at their

McLean, Virginia property. Connie

was developed in collaboration with

IBM with three main goals in mind:

to decrease wait time in line, provide

added efficiency in hotel operations,

and surprise guests with an innovative

and completely unique tool. The robot

concierge is powered by domain

knowledge acquired from a “cognitive

computing technology platform” called

Watson. Connie is able to inform guests

on hotel features, local attractions and

dining recommendations, just like any

front desk agent, concierge, or hotel

phone operator.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment

Corporation in Las Vegas is

using data analytics to

further enhance guest

personalisation and

satisfaction within

its properties.

C a e s a r s

Entertainment’s

Total Rewards Loyalty

Program established the

company as an industry leader

in incorporating “Big Data driven

marketing and customer service”

into all its business and marketing

strategies.

AI technology has completely disrupted

the hospitality industry by shaping the

way that hotels operate today. With

Marriott’s chatbot messaging, Hilton’s

robot concierge Connie, and Caesars

Entertainment’s Total Rewards Loyalty

Program, AI demonstrates a real

promise in increasing convenience,

enhancing personalisation, as well

as raising satisfaction and loyalty for

hotel guests. It is evident from the

AI powered technologies currently

employed in large hotel chains that

the future of AI will become more and

more advanced and guest centric as

time goes on.

SEE YOU AGAIN IN THE NEXT EDITION


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

Hotel & Tourism

SMARTreport #45

2020 Winter Edition 37

37

ROBOTICS GET SERIOUS

IN HOSPITALITY

No longer just a gimmick, robots are now an integral part

of the hospitality ecosystem

Over the past couple of years, we have begun to see service robots

appearing on the scene for use in the hotel industry. Only today, with

competition starting to kick-in, and the bugs of the first-generation devices

being somewhat ironed-out, are we starting to see a serious offering of

robots on the broader hospitality market.

Already several years ago, a Travelzoo

survey indicated that international

travellers would be largely comfortable

with robots playing a role in their holiday,

though some nations appear more

cautious than others. German and French

respondents were the most averse, while

Chinese and Brazilians were the most

positive about how robotics and artificial

intelligence could enhance a holiday or

travel in general – 92% of Chinese were

comfortable with the idea. More than

three-quarters of respondents think that

robots would be better than humans at

handling data (81%) and dealing with

different languages (79%), while 76%

believe robots have better memories.

81% of respondents selected their

untiring energy as an advantage.

There are several kinds of robotic devices

that are useful for hotels. Industrial robot

vacuum cleaners have already been

deployed for some time in large areas

such as ballrooms. In the same ilk come

floor-mopping robots, such as those

offered by Everybot Inc. The RS700 and

Edge cleaners by Everybot claim to be

the world’s first dual-spinning technology

floor mopping cleaner, performing both

driving and cleaning at the same time

using two mop-pads without wheels.

New Era AI Robotic Inc. recently presented

a “Smart Service Robot” at IFA, Berlin,

named the C-01. Henceforth, time spent

running errands, transporting supplies

and data can now be re-allocated to

value-added work. Providing a solution

for the mechanisation of these tasks is,

says the manufacturer, a crucial step

in solving today’s challenges. Equipped

with autonomous indoor navigation,

voice interaction and facial recognition,

the robot is designed for guiding,

real time customer service and mobile

broadcasting, thus providing smart

solutions for hospitals, hotels, banks, retail

stores and airports. With autonomous

indoor navigation

and fleet

management,

it can safely

navigate

its environment independently and be

controlled remotely. New Era AI Robotic

Inc. is backed by the giant Taiwanese

manufacturer, New Kinpo Group (NKG).

Korean-based Rastech has developed

service robots specifically for hospitality.

The i CLRO hotel service robot is a

comprehensive service robot providing

carpet cleaning, delivery of goods and

various information within the hotel

environment. i CLRO moves about freely

through autonomous driving and obstacle

avoidance, and can thus be a great help

for hotel guests and staff alike

New Era AI

Robotic C-01


INNOVATIONS & TECHNOLOGIES

WHEN

LANGUAGE

IS NO LONGER

A BARRIER

Better than having a Babel fish

in one’s ear, translation devices

transform the travel market

It is an ongoing in-joke – applying to those who have read the Hitchhiker’s

Guide to the Galaxy: The Babel fish was a very strange creature, which,

when placed in one’s ear, translated any incoming language into that of

the listener. That’s why you will often see “Babel” touted about when

people talk about instant translations.

for wi-fi or connecting via a phone that

might incur excessive roaming charges.

Vasco claims to be the largest company

in the world that specializes in designing

and manufacturing electronic translators.

The language translating devices market

will likely reach around €171m by 2024,

growing at a CAGR of approximately

13% during 2018–2024, according to

recent reports. The language translating

devices market is undergoing tremendous

technological transformations, which are

accelerating sales of language devices

across the world. The availability of realtime

language translation capabilities,

and increased investments on AI has

helped the market to increase revenues

significantly. The emergence of innovative

technology in these devices is having

a profound effect on product design,

development, manufacturing, marketing,

sales, and the aftersales market.

CM TRANSLATOR COVERS

42 LANGUAGES

CM Translator, winner of the 2019 iF

Design Award, automatically recognises

and translates the input language. Unlike

translation apps, CM Translator is a

standalone device that frees up people's

phones. The device now translates 42

popular languages including English,

Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese,

Japanese, German, and Portuguese,

covering more than 90% of the countries

across the world. It is, according to its

manufacturers, the best-selling foreign

language instant AI translator, having sold

over 300,000 cumulative units to date.

Additional languages are available through

an in-app upgrade to CheetahTALK (the

latest version of the app).

VASCO ELECTRONICS

LAUNCHES PREMIUM

TRANSLATOR

Vasco Electronics launched its new

translating device at CES 2020 in Las

Vegas, on Jan 7th 2020. One of the most

innovative features of the new Translator

is that it includes a built-in SIM Card

with free, unlimited and lifetime Internet

access for translations in more than

150 countries. It gives the freedom to

translate 50+ languages without hunting

ITRANSLATE LAUNCHES

CAPSULE IN SAMSUNG

BIXBY MARKETPLACE

iTranslate, reported to be the leading

translation app with over 100 million

downloads, has collaborated with

Samsung to bring a hands-free translation

experience to the Bixby platform. With

the iTranslate capsule, users can issue

commands in a conversational manner,

such as "tell me how to say 'where is

the nearest train station' in French" and

immediately receive a translation from

the iTranslate capsule without having to

call out the capsule's specific name. The

iTranslate Capsule will be available in over

40 languages to start with more on the

way

The CM Translator includes

unlimited and lifetime internet

access



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