Travel agent business is driving their overload Information

 Travel agent business is driving their overload Information  

According to new research consumers back to travel agent, their information are  overload.

Independent research conducted for the operator’s annual Trends report found that 79% of holidaymakers were overwhelmed by online searches, with 59% saying they wanted experienced help when booking. A majority – 52% - said they were unsure which online sites, reviews and data to trust when booking their reservations.

The research found that most customers spent an hour carrying out Online research before seeking  a professional's opinion. 

Derek Jones, chief executive Der Touristik UK, Said: "Increasingly People end up with so much incompatible information when they start searching that it ends up being more of a headache than a holiday". Jones added there was a "growing thirst for truly expertise".

Since 2013 Kuoni has opened 50 shops and implants, Including 22 in the high street, 10 in shopping centers and 18 in John Lewis stories. In 2017 the company saw appointments in them jumped up to 38%, with the average length of consulting lasting around two hours. Perhaps surprisingly 59% of those who enter in shops do not have a destination in mind and are happy to be guided.

Technology is still vitally important, however, and the report said internet browsing using a mobile device became more popular than using a desktop computer in 2017. Another shift is towards web chats, which Kuoni introduced four years ago.

“Increasingly online chats go on to more detailed conversations about the trip face-to-face at an appointment or on the phone,” the report added.

Elsewhere, the survey analysed destinations, with the Maldives retaining its crown as Kuoni’s biggest-selling destination for the 15th consecutive year as the the operator added that it showed “no signs of slowing down”.

Arrivals to the islands grew nearly 19% year-on-year in November, with Kuoni estimating that “at least” 27 resorts have opened in the Maldives since 2013, broadening its appeal to markets other than couples. Another 23 resorts are due to open by 2019. Kuoni will feature the new Bathala resort from May, a favorite of divers.

Second place Mauritius is also set for a good year, with the island marking 50 years since independence and with British Airways increasing frequencies.

Kuoni describes Thailand as “one of the start performers for 2018”, overtaking Sri Lanka in third place. It says this was mainly due to new Qatar Airways flights to Chiang Mai, Krabi and Pattaya.

Further down the scale, South Africa is edging into the top 10, having risen from 15th to 12th place. Kuoni says the favorable exchange rate means the country will make the top 10 this year despite Cape Town’s drought issue. It has been beaten to it by Mexico, which climbs from 14th to 10th place driven by Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

The company also tips Costa Rica to enter the top 25. The country is now the operator’s biggest-selling Latin American destination following the launch of direct BA flights in 2016. More beach resorts have been added plus wildlife-spotting locations.

Only one European country, Italy, makes the top 10, rising one place to sixth. Kuoni has added the islands of Ischia, Vulcano and Lipari for 2018.

Meanwhile the report also noted that around half of Kuoni’s bookings are now for special occasion trips.

Honeymoons still top the list, followed by landmark birthdays, weddings and vow renewals, bucket list trips and family gatherings, with overseas engagements becoming a trend.

The Maldives tops the list of special trips destinations, with an average spend of £6,000 per couple.

Kuoni is also benefiting from older clients who have released equity from their homes or who have cashed in some of their pensions following changes to regulations. “Older, wealthier consumers who are fit and healthy are investing in seeing the world as they continue to live life to the full,” the operator added. 


Cheval Blanc Randheli Makes Nast Traveler 2018 Gold List

Cheval Blanc Randheli has made the Condé Nast Traveler 2018 Gold List.

Reviewing Cheval Blanc Randheli for the Gold List, Condé Nast Traveler’s Maria Shollenbarger praised the “supremely elegant” and “completely private” villas of the resort.

“As looks go, it doesn’t get chicer than this, but the whimsical touches — turtles drawn in the sand along the path to my villa, thoughtful little notes from my butler left alongside the pitchers of fresh juice — are what truly give this place its character,” she wrote.

“And the overwater restaurant, Deelani, was my dream combination of beach shack and high-style seafood emporium.”

This win for Cheval Blanc Randheli comes less than a month after it secured a spot amongst the best resorts in the world in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.

Accessible by a scenic 40-minute seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport, Cheval Blanc Randheli is one-of-a-kind exclusive property from the luxury fashion group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH). Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, the creative mind behind some of the world’s most stunning resorts including the Chedi Muscat and many Aman resorts, Randheli marries contemporary aesthetic with the traditional Maldivian craftsmanship.

The resort offers 46 villas in three different categories to choose from; Island, Water or Garden. They have a variety of contemporary design elements, high doors and ceilings, outdoor areas for relaxation, pool terraces, a 12.5m long private swimming pool and lagoon-side pontoons.

The award-winning Owner’s Villa at Cheval Blanc Randheli sprawls across its one-hectare dedicated island, and is accessible from a private berth and jetty. This four-bedroom villa is the epitome of exclusive privacy with unique facilities including its own spa, oversized 25-metre long outdoor pool, pristine beaches and exotic gardens.

The resort’s award-winning Le 1947 fine dining restaurant offers an exceptional nine-course culinary experience, which pays tribute to French cuisine, interpreted with delicacy and creativity in a Maldivian setting.

Meanwhile, the Cheval Blanc Spa offers exclusive Guerlain treatments in special treatment villas, while the Hair Spa by Leonor Greyl doubles as a beauty studio and barber shop. For guests with children, there is a Le Carrousel Kids Club and Le Paddock Teens Club on the premises to keep them occupied.

The annual Gold List is Condé Nast Traveler’s list of the best hotels in the world; the ones its editor’s keep coming back to time and again. It is described as the world-leading travel publication’s “love letter to the hotels that make us feel sexier, smarter, flirtier…that make us walk with a little more swagger and remind us who we want to be and how we want to live.”

This year’s Gold List spans six continents and 54 countries.

Maldives Gaining In popularity Amongst Australians

Maldives is becoming more and more popular amongst Australian travellers, a new survey has revealed.
Australia-based booking agency looked at emerging destinations that are seeing huge growth in search numbers and said that the Maldives has seen an year-on-year growth of 86 percent. This puts the Maldives amongst the five destinations that have seen the strongest growth over the past year.
Other destinations that made it to the list include the Chinese city of Chengdu (133 percent growth), Da Nang in Vietnam (109 percent growth), Athens in Greece (100 percent) and Ulan Bator in Mongolia (81 percent).
Australia has posted significant gains recently, with arrivals to the Maldives increasing by 9.1 percent in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period of last year.
The Australian market, however, continues to face several challenges, especially due to the lack of air connectivity. With no direct flights between Australia and the Maldives, travellers now have to opt for transit flights with layovers in Singapore, Bangkok or Colombo.
After years of double-digit growth in tourism, the Maldives has over the recent years observed a slowdown in growth, mainly due to a slump in arrivals from China. However, the decline in the Chinese market has been largely offset by a strong recovery in the traditional European market, contributing to promising gainsin overall tourist arrivals.
Despite tourist arrivals crossing the one million milestone and on course to reach 1.5 million by the end of this year, the Maldives has struggled to create demand amidst a significant increase in bed capacity.
However, the latest figures and the emergence of new markets are welcome signs for the Maldives tourism industry, which is the main economic activity in the island nation.

Superlative Dining,Entertainment Events for Festive Season | Outrigger Konotta

Outrigger Resorts has announced a mouth-watering array of dining and entertainment options in the Maldives for Christmas and New Year.

little funny santa with a cocktail on the beach
The Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort is pushing the boat out big style from Dec 19 to January 1, 2018.

Guests on the idyllic isle in the Ghaafu Daalu atoll can enjoy sensations such as Around the World Gourmet Dinner, Santa visits, cocktails by the pool, DJ chill sessions, beach BBQs, open air movie nights, treasure hunts for kids, yoga on the beach, chocolate Santa and cookie decorating, sunset parasailing, semi submarine mermaid shows, trips to see authentic Maldivian island life, and more.

The Outrigger also offers a selection of “Out of the Ordinary Stuff” such as local island excursions, equator cruises, luxury yacht trips, renewal of vows, sunken beach table dining, and cooking classes.

The Outrigger’s festive experts include Bali based Matty Wainright, executive chef Christopher Long, yoga and fitness trainer Roopesh Mohan, spa therapist Li Thy ‘Bobby’ Thuy, kids club manager Meliza Ricafrente, sommelier Dora Dzurjak, mixologist Don Sheehan, and ‘dream maker’ Santa Claus.

Ahead of the festive season, Outrigger announced its best rates of the year, offering huge savings for travellers to holiday at several of its resorts around the world, including in the Maldives.

Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort is accessible via a 55-minute flight from the main Velana International Airport to Kaadedhdhoo Airport followed by a scenic 30-minute journey on a luxurious private speedboat. The resort comprises 29 Beach Pool Villas, 21 Ocean Pool Villas, two Lagoon Pool Villas and a masterful three-bedroom Grand Konotta Villa, offering guests a complete sense of privacy and intimate luxury.

Capella To Make Maldives Entry With Capella Maldives Resort at Rah Falhu Integrated Development

Capella Hotel Group has announced its entry to the Maldives with the planned opening of Capella Maldives resort.

The 65-key Capella Maldives is part of the integrated luxury development of Rah Falhu Huraa lagoon, located in North Male Atoll and accessible by a 45-minute speedboat ride from the Maldives main airport.

Proposed design of a villa at Capella Maldives resort. PHOTO/ PGAGC
No details have yet been made public, but the group’s official website says that “the potential synergies between the various components of Capella Maldives are poised to create a truly spectacular resort that is authentic and imbued with vibrancy and choice.”

In a July interview with Destinations of the World News, Capella CEO Nicholas Clayton said the resort was being designed by world-leading Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and Hong Kong based interior design firm Andrew Fu.

Proposed design of a unit at Capella Maldives resort.
According to Clayton, half of the rooms will be built overwater. Of the 64 units, approximately 14 will be for sale, he added.

“The Capella is developed at that location to be the leader, targeting customers at the Cheval Blanc price point,” Clayton said, referring to the ultra-luxury Cheval Blanc Randheli resort, which is managed by luxury fashion group Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.

Early design proposals seen by Maldives Insider show 27 Sunset Villas, which includes a combination of land and overwater units, 25 beachfront Sunrise Villas, three beachfront Northern Bay Villas, and nine overwater Southern Ocean Villas.

Singapore based developer Pontiac Land Group in May kicked off the Rah Falhu integrated luxury development.

Officials of Pontiac and the Maldives tourism ministry attend the ceremony held in May to inaugurate the Rah Falhu integrated development.
Slated to be the first of its kind in the Maldives, the USD 500 million integrated development consists of three resorts — each with its own characteristics and managed by renowned international brands — linked to a vibrant lifestyle hub island with a marina within the same lagoon to create a unique selling point for the entire development as the preferred tourist destination.

Rah Falhu will also host a tourism academy, which is to be run in collaboration with the Maldives tourism ministry and other relevant local authorities.

Pontiac had earlier said the integrated development would be fully operational by the end of 2019.

Capella, which was founded in 2002 by legendary hotelier Horst Schulze, moved its headquarters from the US to Singapore in October after the company was acquired by Singapore’s famous Kwee Family, who owns Pontiac.

With offices in China, Europe and the US, Capella offers global hospitality management services through two distinct brands: Capella Hotels and Resorts, and Solís Hotels and Resorts.

Capella Hotels and Resorts is an ultra-luxury hotel, resort, and residential concept designed for the most discerning travellers and offering personalised attention, with locations in Düsseldorf, Saint Lucia, Shanghai and Singapore as well as hotels planned for Ubud, Bangkok, Maldives and Sydney.

Wonder Woman Star Gal Gadot's Favorite Holiday Destination is..........Maldives

Happy anniversary, Wonder Woman! Gal Gadot on Monday celebrated four years of being Wonder Woman. The Israeli actress and model retweeted the DC Comics announcement of her casting from 2013, and remarked, “Wow 4 years ago?! And forever grateful to be able to play this character!”
It’s not the only happening this week concerning Gadot, most famous for portraying Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe. Adding to Gadot’s memorable week is the revelation that her dream holiday destination is none other than the Maldives!
It was revealed by Kate McKinnon, a regular cast member on NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL).
McKinnon was on NBC’s The Tonight Show Tuesday night and she brought some stories about this season of SNL with her. None of them were any better than the week Gadot hosted SNL at the beginning of this season.
McKinnon talks about how Aidy Bryant, a fellow SNL cast member, spent a lot of time with Gadot during the week, listening to her stories and marvelling at her life compared to theirs.
“Everything she says is like a prophecy. I asked her, like, do you have hobbies, Gal? And she was like, ‘I love to go to the beach. I love to paddleboard. I love to watch my children run on the sand. I love to go to the Maldives’,” McKinnon says.
Born and raised in Israel, Gadot began modelling in the late 2000s, and made her film debut in the fourth film of the Fast and Furious franchise, Fast and Furious (2009), as Gisele. Her role was expanded in the sequels Fast and Furious 5 (2011) and Fast and Furious 6 (2013), in which her character was romantically linked to Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang). In the films, Gadot performed her own stunts.

She also appeared in the 2010 films Date Night (2010) and Knight and Day (2010).

In early December 2013, Gadot was cast as Wonder Woman in the superhero team-up film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and filming began in 2014 for a March 2016 release. Gadot received swordsmanship, Kung Fu kickboxing, Capoeira and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training in preparation for the role. As a result, her performance as the superhero, which is the first time for the character on film, was hailed as one of the best parts of the otherwise poorly-received film.

Gadot plays the role again in the solo film Wonder Woman (2017), which was received very positively, and superhero team-up Justice League (2017).

Maldives is amongst the most sought after destinations by celebrity travellers from around the world.

Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and American TV personality Paris Hilton have recently partied in the Maldives.

The likes of English singer and television presenter Rochelle Humes and her husband Marvin, and British TV personality Billie Faiers have all declared the Maldives as their favourite part of the world for a relaxing getaway. Another British singer Perrie Edwards and English actress Millie Mackintosh have also fell in love with the white sands, turquoise waters and the blue skies of the Maldives.

Hollywood and Bollywood personalities such as Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Alia Bhatt, Priyanka Chopra and the Bachchan family as well as world-renowned music artists such as Robin Thicke have declared their love for the Maldives.

Sports personalities, including the likes of David Beckham, Carlos Tevez, Arjen Robben, Miroslav Klose, Franz Beckenbauer, Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcel Desailly have also spent their hard-earned vacations in the tropical paradise.

Maldivian Expands Seaplane Fleet

Maldivian has brought in another seaplane, expanding the Maldives flagship carrier’s seaplane fleet to 11.

The new DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft landed at the Maldives main Velana International Airport Wednesday afternoon. It will be fitted with floats before it enters into service.

According to Maldivian, it will take delivery of another Twin Otter aircraft by the end of this month.

Maldivian has recently announced a major expansion of its seaplane operations, with plans to add four Twin Otter aircraft by the first quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, the airline has entered into an agreement with Quest Aircraft Company to begin a new seaplane operation that uses a fleet comprising the Japanese-owned company’s Kodiak aircraft. An initial order of four Kodiak 100 aircraft has been placed to kickstart the new programme.

However, it is yet unclear whether the joint venture will operate as part of Maldivian’s existing seaplane operation or as an independent entity.

Maldivian began seaplane operations in 2014 and has since expanded its seaplane fleet. The airline currently flies to six resorts in the Maldives.

Seaplane is the preferred mode of transport between the main Velana International Airport and dozens of resorts, especially those located in the outer atolls.

In addition to Maldivian, privately run Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) operates a fleet of 49 seaplanes, making it the largest seaplane operator in the world.

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Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives Officially opens

Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives has been officially inaugurated.

A grand opening ceremony at the resort Saturday evening saw the official opening of the first property in Maldives by Singapore-based Park Hotel Group and its partner Chip Eng Seng Corporation. The function, which featured traditional Bodu Beru performances, fire dances as well as live music, was attended by Allen Law, the CEO of Park Hotel Group, Raymond Chia, the Executive Chairman and Group CEO of Chip Eng Seng Corporation, and Lim Tiam Seng, Advisor of the corporation.

Located in North Male Atoll and a 15-minute speedboat ride away from the main Velana International Airport, Grand Park Kodhipparu began welcoming guests in June.

The resort features a collection of 120 villas, including idyllic beachfront pool villas, breathtaking overwater villas and palatial two-bedroom villas. Sixty-five of the 120 villas come with their own private pools and the five two-bedroom suites feature extensive private terraces.

Aerial view of the villas at Grand Park Kodhipparu.

Ocean Pool Water Villas at Grand Park Kodhipparu.
Designed by world-renowned hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates, the resort showcases sophisticated architecture, state-of-the-art interior, high ceiling of palm fringed roof, and contemporary exterior with Maldives’ traditional influence of wood and rattan, inventive rustic appeal and inviting peaceful atmosphere. Neutral tones, natural fundamentals and spacious social settings balance the unrivalled beauty of the cobalt sea and tranquility.

Living room of the Grand Residence at at Grand Park Kodhipparu.

The Sunset Terrace of the Grand Residence at Grand Park Kodhipparu. PHOTO/ PARK HOTEL GROUP
Grand Park Kodhipparu offers three restaurants and a pool bar, including the overwater Edge restaurant, which offers a wide selection of international culinary creations, Breeze poolside restaurant and bar, which serves lunch and light bites throughout the day followed by inventive cocktails and fine wines in the night, and the Firedoor speciality restaurant, which offers grilled meats and fish coupled with the finest wines.

The Breeze pool bar at Grand Park Kodhipparu. PHOTO/ PARK HOTEL GROUP
Recreational facilities at the resort include an outdoor swimming pool, gymnasium, sunrise yoga deck, wellness centre with spa and salon treatments, water sports and dive centre, children’s activity centre, and specialty shops.

The spa at Grand Park Kodhipparu.
To celebrate its opening, Grand Park Kodhipparu has also announced a limited-time opening offer of 50 percent off on beach and water villas.

Park Hotel Group owns and manages 15 properties in eight countries and 11 cities. Named Best Regional Hotel Chain in the TTG Travel Awards for five consecutive years (2012-2016), the group endeavors to create unique and memorable travel experiences, and to bring joy to its guests as it continues to grow its footprint across Asia Pacific.

Since August last year, the group has been expanding into new destinations in Australia, Malaysia and in South Korea. In addition to Grand Park Kodhipparu, the group is set to open two other hotels, Park Hotel Farrer Park in Singapore and Park Hotel Yeongdeunpo in Seoul this year.

Dedicated Television Service for Maldives Guesthouses from Dhiraagu

Telecom giant Dhiraagu has introduced the first ever dedicated TV service for guesthouses in the Maldives.

Unveiled at the Guesthouses Maldives Conference 2017 held at Paradise Island Resort and Spa in September, the Dhiraagu Guesthouse TV is available for guesthouses based in all the islands with the company’s fixed broadband internet service.

The Dhiraagu Guesthouse TV comes with the option of three packages.

In addition to a wide range of local and international satellite TV channels, the Dhiraagu Guesthouse TV service offers several value added digital features, including guesthouse operator service as well as the ability to request room service and recreational activities via the TV set. Clients can also customise the interface to suit their needs.

“Introduction of the all-new Guesthouse TV service will help guesthouses enhance customer experience,” a statement issued by Dhiraagu said.

As the first Maldivian telecommunications company, Dhiraagu offers a comprehensive range of mobile, internet, data and fixed line services throughout the Maldives. The company has also introduced special internet packages for guesthouses.

These initiatives by the country’s largest telecommunications company come amidst a significant increase in the number of guesthouses across the archipelago. Some 450 guesthouses have started operations over the past five years as the number of travellers that choose to stay in guesthouses rise.