WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A pedestrian was hit and killed on the Roosboom road this morning (Monday, December 8).Paramedics responded to the scene, as well as SAPS (including the Dog Unit).Traffic flow was not obstructed, but moved with caution.
Staff of the Ladysmith Gazette, together with ABI and Sharaj Ambulance Services have gathered at the Engen service station at the bottom end of Murchison Street to collect funds for the annual Toys for Joy campaign.The Ladysmith community is encouraged to make a turn and donate whatever they can spare towards this very worthy cause.The Gazette team will be here for the morning and possibly into the afternoon. Get into the Christmas spirit of giving, and put a big smile on a child’s face. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
A BMW and a Toyota Fortuner have collided on the N11 near the Modelkloof turn-off.It is alleged that one of the vehicles tried to make a U-turn and crashed into the other.No injuries were reported.Public Safety, police and towing services responded.Traffic was controlled by Public Safety while police cleared the scene. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite You’ve probably worried or maybe even dreamt about catching the dreaded Ebola virus. But don’t forget that there are other things out there that can also kill you, and are closer to home than Ebola!“What?” you may ask. Well, consider these five scenarios:* Flesh-Eating Bacteria. Necrotizing fasciitis is a life-threatening illness caused by the strep bacteria. It can enter your body through a minor opening in the skin and destroy your soft tissue. * Appendicitis. That pointless organ, the appendix, can become diseased and kill you if it ruptures and you don’t get treated in time.* Complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Yes, even in our days of modern medicine, it’s still risky to have a baby.* Lightning Striking. This stereotypically rare cause of death is not as unusual as you may think.* The Flu. Though most people who get influenza will recover within two weeks, some will develop life-threatening complications, especially those with asthma or heart problems.Maybe you’re not fixating as much about Ebola now that you’ve read the above list.You can make up your own mind how likely it is that they will befall you!
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Ladysmith Deepavali Celebration Committee, in association with other religious institutions in town, held their Diwali celebrations on Sunday morning at the Civic Hall.Young and old gathered together to enjoy the entertainment and music on offer, which included various dance and song performances.The Prakash Orchestra was also on hand to provide soothing melodies.After the well-organised entertainment programme, a scrumptious lunch was served to all.
WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Water flow from Spioenkop Dam is supplied by gravity feed, which is a constant flow and cannot be increased. The town’s water supply is supplemented by pumping water directly from the Klip River. However, when it falls below the required level, this cannot be done, forcing large parts of town to rely on what comes from Spioenkop.In the past, this problem was addressed by opening the sluice gates of Windsor Dam to increase the water flow level of the Klip River. However, since the drowning of four children at Black Rock in July 1998, Windsor Dam was decommissioned.Historical InterestDuring this process, the sluice gates were welded open and the dam fell into disrepair. Four children – Anisa Patel (20), Asmaah Patel (17), Ebrahim Patel (7) and Mohamed Motala (8) – tragically drowned when the sluice gates at Windsor Dam were opened, causing a flash flood which swept them away while they were picnicking at Black Rock. The six accused (allegedly responsible for opening the sluice gates) could not be charged, as Magistrate Patrick Madida found that the police had bungled the case. uThukela District Municipality has issued a warning to Ladysmith residents that water restrictions could be imposed if drought-like conditions affecting the Klip River do not ease.According to Deputy Water Services Manager Glen Singh, the Klip River is abnormally low for this time of year. “Should there be no rainfall to increase the amount of water flowing past the water treatment plant situated along the banks of the Klip River near 5SAI, then water restrictions will be introduced,” warned Mr Singh.
Peruvian authorities have reportedly commenced the construction of an alternative route to the ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru.The route leading to the ancient site was damaged two weeks ago after a series of floods and landslides blocked railway access and led to the emergency evacuation of tourists.Popular trekking route to the ruins, the Inca Trail, has since been closed for the month for maintenance and the National Institute of Culture will decide whether to reopen it in March.The Hiram Bingham luxury train travel option from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes has also closed and is not expected to be operational until June. Travel wholesaler South America Tourism Office (SATO) warned that the Machu Picchu Archaeological complex is currently closed to the public and it is not guaranteed it will be re-opened by April.However, it said the alternative route to Machu Picchu is expected to be completed by March and would combine paved and unpaved roads as well as a train link.It will take longer than the original train route, between 7.5 – 9 hours from Cuzco, and will pass through Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Malaga, Santa Teresa and Aguas Calientes.Despite this, SATO said tourist activities in Cuzco and Sacred Valley had resumed with city tours, cathedrals, nearby markets and ruins all operating as usual.“The floods were concentrated in the Andes area surrounding Cuzco and did not affect other parts of Peru” said SATO Director Delfor Pelletti, urging travellers to not be deterred from visiting Peru.“Whilst Machu Picchu is a highlight of the continent itself, Peru is a country rich in culture and history with plenty of other attractions including the colonial city of Arequipa, the mysterious Nazca lines and the wildlife sanctuary of the Ballestas islands.” <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/24836/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L
For the first time ever, the Dorchester Collection Hotels has visited Australia on a roadshow meeting agents from the three cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.While Dorchester Collection Hotels have previously made sales calls down under to individual travel agencies, this is the first time a roadshow including all the properties has been embarked on in Australia.“Australia is a niche market for our brand,” says Francois Delahaye, Dorchester Collection COO, to e-Travel Blackboard. “There are specific properties that Australians visit, like the flagship Dorchester in London.”“But it’s a market which has performed well and we see a lot of potential… So we decided to organise a tradeshow this year and we will now be doing this annually.Representatives from the properties all seven properties were present at this year’s tradeshow, and information was also available on the properties two new developments in London.“There’s a lot to talk about,” continues Mr Delahaye. “All of the properties have used the last year of downturn in order to update their hotels with million dollar projects… A lot has been invested so that we can be ready for the rebound.”One of the major projects underway is the brand new 50-room 45 Park Lane property which is being built opposite the flagship Dorchester London. Launching later this year, the hotel will complement the existing property and even be linked by underground service tunnels.The other new London development, Corworth Park Ascot, will also launch later this year but offer more of a provincial English experience spread out across 240 acres of land. The restored property will feature 11 separate cottages, a dowager house, and 30 rooms in the Main House.But this won’t be the end of expansion plans for the group, as a major project will soon be announced for the New York Palace property, an iconic hotel which is now also the home of much of the filming for hit TV-show Gossip Girl.“We’re not saying anything yet, but it will be huge.”Also the group continues to scout out unique properties to add to their portfolio, with their eyes firmly in Europe and North America.“Singapore and Hong Kong would be the only places in Asia that we’re looking at right now,” adds Mr Delahaye. “We’re very focused on Europe and North America.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X The Dorchester Collection team: (L-R Back) Julie, Giulia, Francois and Peter. (Front) Paris and Lai.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A It is no longer a ‘bricks and mortar’ versus online debate, says the head of an international software development company, who believes a strategic online presence is key to the success of the travel agent today.WebSource Pacific managing director Mark Luckey told e-Travel Blackboard that while the traditional travel agency model is not likely to change “overnight”, the influx of online offerings has many a travel agent contemplating a virtual leap into the online world.Mr Luckey, who also manages the sales and business development for roomsXML in Australia and New Zealand, regularly deals with queries from travel agents wanting to turn their successful shopfront into a successful online business. “Should a travel agency create their own B2C website?” Mr Luckey posed. “For most, in Australia at least, the answer is a clear no.“To get a return on investment, our experience suggests travel agents need to spend at least AUD15,000 up front to get a good, functional, powerful website and then spend approximately that much money again, per month, on ‘marketing’ activities for at least six months, to get a worthwhile and sustainable ROI. “To build it does not mean they will come.”According to Mr Luckey, travel agents can “cash in” on the online bandwagon, with social media operations more likely to deliver a return on investment compared with going B2C.“We’ve seen a number of successful travel agencies get more people through their shopfront doors by implementation of some simple strategies,” Mr Luckey said.A road map for growing your business via social media:Get in an expert: formulate a strategy, set some goals and guidelines. Just because you have a Facebook account does not mean you are an expert. Fix up your existing website: if it looks average, it is doing more harm than good. Tune it for social media, make it a hub.Get a LinkedIn profile for you and all of your staff. Build up your Twitter followers and mailing list: what better way to let your customers know of special offers.Get a Facebook page: it’s a massive engine, get onto it, get professional.Allow your staff to use social media at work: it’s a great way to them to let their friends know about specials and get ongoing brand exposure.Use Video: it’s engaging, great for brand exposure and building personal profiles.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J In the spirit of corporation International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Tony Tyler has urged airports and airlines to work together and build a better aviation future.Speaking at the Airports Council International World Annual General Assembly earlier this month, the aviation leader stressed that both parties “need a common and forward-looking agenda” to make air travel safer, user friendly and environmentally responsible.He stressed that among the most important adjustments needed in the sector is improvement to security and safety, with the industry needing to improve dialogue with government stakeholders on a Checkpoint of the Future (CoF) system that will allow passengers to pass through security without taking off their clothes or unpacking their bags.He said there was a need for the two Groups to re-think security standards and implement news ones that make the customer travelling experience less invasive.As well airlines and airports need to focus on customer satisfaction by improving baggage delivery accuracy.According to the aviation head, a simple support system set up to assist airlines as they handle luggage could see mishandling reduce by up to 75 percent as it did when Air New Zealand and Auckland International Airport implemented a Baggage Improvement Program.By working together, My Tyler said the two Groups could also tackle carbon emissions and reach the industry’s goal of improving fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent annually by 2020.“Some airports—Madrid-Barajas, Detroit and Stockholm-Arlanda have allocated land to grow source crops for sustainable biofuels,” he explained. “Zurich Airport has mandated the used of fixed ground power. “These are all important moves to improve our environmental performance.”Infrastructure investments and spending were also key initiatives airlines and airports could team up to tackle.“Building infrastructure to handle growth is a challenge best handled in close cooperation between airports and airlines,” he highlighted. “This includes working together in the airport master planning to ensure that investments are being made that match the needs of airlines.”He explained that while the two organisations discuss price and affordability they need to delve further into common future expenditures and ways they plan to accommodate and build aviations nature. “But let’s keep focused on the fact that airlines and airports both need to be financially sound financial partners that are able to plan and grow our businesses together,” he concluded.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J It’s an exciting time for tourism in Sydney, according to DestinationNSW chief executive Sandra Chipchase, however there is major room for improvement in the tourism sector to keep the state for failing.Speaking at the 2011 Australian Export Council Meeting in Sydney yesterday, the organisation’s head explained while Sydney “is one of the most beautiful cities in the world”, the industry needs to lift its game to keep up with travellers visiting.She said as an initiative to improve the state and city’s appeal, DestinationNSW and ATEC are planning to release details of a new strategic partnership early next year.Ms Chipchase explained that although the two Groups were already under a partnership, they would officially launch a formal agreement in 2012 that will focus on improving Sydney’s “competitive edge”.“It is critical for us that our products and services particularly in this state become more export ready,” the organisation’s head said.“We have to build that capacity and capability within our state that’s what gives us the competitive edge.“And while we have enjoyed a really great strategic alliance with ATEC over the last few years now we are going to step that up to a brand new level and we really looking forward to working with the team on that.”She added the over the coming years Aussies can expect to see DestinationNSW and ATEC create new partnerships, alliances, markets, customers, revenue streams as well as step up benchmarks of success.As well as planning future growth, Ms Chipchase took the time to emphasise the “exciting time” NSW was in, in regard to tourism with a Premier and Tourism Minister committed to visitor economy and reaching 2020 goals.For more information on the conference stay tuned to e-Travel Blackboard over the next few days.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Recovery operations on board the Costa Concordia have been suspended as rough Tuscan seas cause the capsized ship to move four centimetres in up to six hours. Officials told media yesterday that they were forced to suspend fuel removal and the search for missing people on the half sunken ship as waves more than one metre continue to hit on the Tuscan coast, News.com reported.The news comes almost two weeks after the vessel suffered rock inflicted damages off the coast of Isola del Giglio, Italy.Officials said suspended operations meant that it could now take up to ten months to remove the ship from its current location.”Our first goal was to find people alive,” National Civil Protection official Franco Gabrielli told media. “Now we have a single, big goal, and that is that this does not translate into an environmental disaster.”According to Mr Gabrielli, the ship’s 15 tanks of fuel would take up to 28 days to remove, however workers are also required to locate 350 cubic metres of diesel and fuel from the engine room.Meanwhile to date up to 18 bodies have been retrieved from the capsized ship with one remaining unidentified.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Young visitors to Australia stay for around eight months and spend over $13,000 each. Planned increases to the cost of working holiday visas (WHV) will impact Tourism Australia’s youth marketing initiatives, according to Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC).ATEC managing director Felicia Mariani said the youth travel market plays an important role in our inbound visitation, spending considerably more than the average international visitor.“Young people visiting Australia, and working holiday makers in particular stay around eight months and spend over $13,000 each,” Ms Mariani saidA recent meeting of the Executive Council of the UN World Tourism Organisation highlighted the value of youth travel in the tourism mix, with the sector reported to be worth over $185 billion US dollars globally.It is crucial Australia taps into this increasingly valuable market and looks to more effectively target the youth market, according to Ms Mariani.The 28.6 percent increase to the WHV fee outlined in last month’s Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook adds pressure on industry operators.“It further undermines the industry’s international competitiveness, compounding the view that Australia is an expensive destination for youth travellers,” Ms Mariani added.“If the WHV is one of our major drawcards in an increasingly competitive global tourism landscape, the Government should be supporting the industry by bringing down the barriers and increasing our competitiveness.”
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Tourism Malaysia plans to discuss connectivity issues with airlines in anticipation of two million visiting Chinese tourists for the upcoming Visit Malaysia Year 2013/2014.Malaysia received 1.25 million tourists from China in 2011 and is targeting 1.5 million this year, according to The Star.“By 2014, we hope we will receive up to two million Chinese tourists. We really need to collaborate with the provincial tourism bureaus,” Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said.Dr Ng met senior officials from the Hubei and Henan tourism bureaus to consider connectivity issues between Malaysia and cities in the two provinces.“We have discussed about flight connectivity with the Hubei tourism bureau and we will now talk more with the interested airlines to establish a direct flight between Wuhan and Malaysian cities like Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu or Langkawi in March next year,” Ms Ng said.Tourism Malaysia is also in discussions with Chinese travel agencies, Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia X and other Chinese airlines in the hopes of cooperating to meet 2013/2014 targets. Malaysia analyses airline capabilities ahead of Visit Malaysia Year 2013/2014.
Source = HotelClub HotelClub for Travel Agents has declared a five percent back promo for all ‘hard working’ travel agents.Recognizing the substantial efforts put in by every agent and not just top sellers, HotelClub travel agent manager & marketing Steven Voak believes that every agent that supports HotelClub Travel Agent Program should be thanked with personal and real rewards.HotelClub are running competitions at the moment not seen in the agent playground for some time, with Mr Voak explaining that although HotelClub for Travel Agents is part of the Orbitz Worldwide family, a globally recognized leader in the travel industry, he is still able to focus on giving every agent access to a real and tangible rewards club.This Travel Agents Rewards Club gives real monetary value back to the agent to use on their own well deserved break – be it a weekend in the city or a week long break at a resort, according to Mr Voak. “The HotelClub for Travel Agents Rewards Club is more than just a nett rate website it’s a club that offers agents a long awaited thank you for their continuous efforts,” Mr Voak added..Latest promos HotelClub for Travel Agents will be featured across e-Travel Blackboard under the Agent Incentives and Competitions pages.
UAE’s ‘out-of-this-world’ plans. Jumping on the space fad, the Middle East has unveiled new plans to take travellers out into space without leaving the planet in a new concept hotel – the ‘Space Hotel’.Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha are pegged to be the first cities in the region to home the Mobilona Space Hotel, and an official announcement is expected to be made once the group commences construction of the first out-of-this-world property on an island off the coast of Barcelona, Emirates 24|7 reported.Construction group, Mobilona Global claims the new concept will perfectly blend design and technology to give travellers the option to visit any place on earth, and even in the universe.According to the company, the windows of the hotel will be made of transparent glass displays that give the effect of being on a space flight, the hotel’s suites will also be equipped with surface displays that provide guests with the best views from any location or angle.The property group is expected to commence construction of the first Space Hotel on an artificial island off the coast of Barcelona.In addition to the UAE cities, Los Angeles and Hong Kong are also pegged to home the space-like hotel.The going price for a night at the Space Hotel will start from €300 to over €1,500.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: NJ
Source = ETB News: P.T. Caribbean airline LIAT has come under fire from a savvy passenger whose exceptionally sarcastic complaint letter has garnered the attention of aviation magnate Sir Richard Branson.Mr Branson said he was “tickled” to read the brilliant note, retweeting the letter through his personal Twitter account, news.com.au reported.Mr Branson was hailed the recipient of the ‘world’s best airline complaint letter’ in 2009, when a passenger sent the Virgin Group founder a disgruntled email, with images attached.The LIAT complainant said that on his journey to the Caribbean he was forced to fly to six different airports, change planes on numerous occasions and was constantly patted down when clearing customs during each leg of the voyage.He also wrote that when he finally arrived at his destination, it was so late that the ferry had stopped running and all the restaurants and bars had ceased trading.As for his luggage… “Keep the bag, I never like it anyway,” the complainant said in his sign-off.The letter to LIAT, which has a partnership with Virgin Atlantic, was penned by Arthur Hicks. Passenger complains about Caribbean airline journey.
The night’s big winners included Life’s An Adventure, which won three awards in the tour and transport operators, ecotourism and adventure tourism categories; Fairmont Resort Mgallery won the deluxe accommodation and business tourism categories; and Billabong Retreat was the winner of the health and wellbeing tourism (a new category) and unique accommodation awards. Outstanding contribution to tourism in NSW by an individual was awarded to YHA Australia chief executive Julian Ledger, while the young achiever in tourism award went to Tilma Group managing director Linda Tillman. Tourism businesses in New South Wales were recognised and celebrated last night at the 2013 NSW Tourism Awards, during a lavish black tie gala dinner at Royal Randwick in Sydney. Source = ETB News: L.B. NSW Tourism Award winners automatically become finalists in the Qantas Australian Awards in Sydney, to be held in February 2014. “Tourism currently contributes more than AU$50,000 every minute to the NSW economy, reflecting an increase of over 6 percent since 2011,” Minister for Major Tourism and Events George Souris said. Taronga Zoo Sydney was the proud winner of the Destination NSW sponsored award for major tourist attraction, while Byron Bay Bluesfest won the major festival and events award. “Tourism is the lifeblood of many of our State’s regional towns and we are committed to promoting tourism in the regions, as well as supporting events that create local jobs, providing a boost to regional economies even further.” 32 categories across the state’s travel and tourism sector were recognised, including attractions, festivals and events, ecotourism, tour and transport operators and accommodation.
Yesterday, Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) released a study into the impact of mobile has in the travel industry.Tap into mobile: managed travel in the digital economy, suggests that mobile bookings are set to climb steeply over the next decade.In addition, CWT’s research predicts that mobile bookings will more than double in the next two years and will influence the entire traveler experience.As booking or buying anything is so easy and convenient via mobiles, the industry is expecting mobile booking increase significantly, reaching 25 percent of total transactions by 2017.The study highlights that 62 per cent of business travelers already carry company smart phones and 56 per cent of companies have a ‘bring your own device’ policy for their travelling workers.CWT executive vice president, global marketing & enterprise strategy, David Moran, said that as there isn’t an app on the market that allows for easy mobile travel bookings, they have been preparing a new one-stop-shop for mobile travel booking.“We have been planning for this shift for some time and are getting ready to launch new mobile services, CWT To Go will create the corporate travel app that appeals to both travel managers and travelers,” Mr Moran said.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wiseman
Brisbane has its sights set on becoming the “New World City” with a new plan to help drive the Australian city’s economic growth over the next seven years.More than 100 recommendations have been made in the recently released Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan, including a shift in the city’s approach to economic development.The economic plan, prepared by the Lord Mayor’s Economic Development Steering Committee (LMEDSC), was compiled through consultations with over 1000 representatives of local, national and international organisations.Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk, supports the New World City model and said this is an exciting opportunity for the city.“This report is about positioning ourselves to drive job creation relevant to a globalising economy which benefits our whole community,” Cr Quirk said. “Four years ago we delivered the Window of Opportunity plan that underpinned the city’s growth strategy beyond the resources boom. “And again, we must continue to keep pace with change, tackle emerging challenges and take advantage of every opportunity.“My aim is to ensure Brisbane’s influence as a serious player in the Asia Pacific region continues to grow and we are recognised globally as a new world city full of opportunity that attracts and retains talent.”The report highlights seven economic priorities, eight specific industry growth sectors and ten competitive platforms to form the groundwork of a New World City economy.Brisbane Marketing board chairman Ian Klug said these components have a clear impact on how the city plans its growth and maintains an “enviable lifestyle for residents and visitors”.“We hand this report to the Lord Mayor confident that we have an extraordinary opportunity to deliver a bold step change that will bring with it a new kind of economic prosperity, one which has its focus firmly on the global economy,” Mr Klug said.Mr Quirk is yet to announce which recommendations will be adopted and said he will firstly consider the full implications of the report.“This report sets the scene for economic prosperity but this is a whole of city project and I want to invoke the spirit of ‘Team Brisbane’ to collaboratively deliver initiatives that will ensure we achieve our goal of doubling the economy by 2035,” he said.Source = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinson