Breaking Travel News interview: Andreas Scheck, vice president, sales, LATAM | Focus

first_imgAndreas Scheck: This is an award given by passengers, therefore, having been recognised by them gives us great satisfaction and it inspires us to continue looking for innovative ways to fulfil our customers’ needs and improve their travel experience.BTN: How useful are accolades such as the World Travel Awards for airlines such as LATAM when it comes to promoting the brand to consumers?AS: We have focused on understanding the new needs of the Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 customer – focusing on how much travellers value safety in their journey, flexibility in the purchase decision process and connectivity across the network. – Advertisement – OlderBTN interview: Alexandra Vila, global senior manager, brand strategy and communications, LATAM BTN: Can you describe the mood in South American aviation in late 2020 – are we looking for a recovery as we head into next year?AS: As IATA announced, we expect the industry to recover pre pandemic demand by 2024, at a much slower pace than what the industry projected. But we are optimistic: LATAM Group is ready to fly when our customers are by implementing the highest safety standards, offering passenger peace of mind when they purchase their tickets through commercial flexibility and servicing, to date, 106 destinations around the world. Our mood is of service: we will be ready when you decide to fly. BTN: How will the new LATAM relationship with Delta Air Lines help both carriers meet the needs of passengers moving forward?AS: Our long-term alliance with Delta is focused to allow our passengers to access more connectivity with our complimentary destination networks. This alliance will offer our clients a better travel experience between Latin America and the USA.More InformationLATAM Airlines Group is the leading airline group in Latin America with one of the largest route networks in the world, offering services to 145 destinations in 26 countries, including six domestic markets in Latin America – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru – in addition to international operations in Latin America, Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Oceania, Africa and Asia.Find out more on the official website. This recognition motivates us to keep improving every day. We have never stopped flying during the pandemic, despite the multiple restrictions imposed by the authorities worldwide. More than 33,000 people returned home within the region thanks to the special flights we carried out, despite the limitations of the pandemic. – Advertisement – Voters at the World Travel Awards have honoured LATAM with a number of top titles – here we find out how it feels to have won from vice president of sales, Andreas ScheckBreaking Travel News: Congratulations – LATAM has been recognised as South America’s Leading Airline by voters at the World Travel Awards – how does it feel to have won?- Advertisement – NewerBTN interview: Gloria Gallardo, president, Guayaquil Public and Municipal Company of Tourism – Advertisement –last_img read more

Chile leads winners at 2020 Latin America World Travel Awards | News

first_img– Advertisement – World Travel Awards – the global initiative to recognise and reward excellence in travel and tourism – has unveiled its Latin America 2020 winners.The release coincides with the inaugural Latin America Winners Day from the prestigious programme. – Advertisement – Winners include Chile – with its dazzling array of natural wonders – voted ‘South America’s Leading Destination’.Mexico won a raft of destination awards, including Tulum (‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading Beach Destination’); Puerto Morales (‘Mexico’s Leading Adventure Tourism Destination’); and Rio Secreto (‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading Nature Reserve); while Mazatlán – with its tropical neoclassical architecture and a paradise beach – was named ‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading City Destination’.The mesmerizing beauty of the Atacama Desert was recognized with the award for ‘South America’s Most Romantic Destination’. – Advertisement – The rapidly-emerging tourism hotspot of Guayaquil, Ecuador was named ‘South America’s Leading City Destination’. While another tourism rising star, Santiago de Cali, Colombia was declared ‘South America’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination’.In the hospitality sector, Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena won ‘South America’s Leading Hotel’ and Wyndham Guayaquil, Ecuador walked away with ‘South America’s Leading City Hotel’. – Advertisement –center_img OlderDunn steps down from chief financial role at Gatwick Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, Mexico picked up ‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading Hotel’ and Gaia Hotel & Reserve, Costa Rica was voted ‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading Green Hotel’.In the aviation sector, LATAM was named ‘South America’s Leading Airline’, while Copa Airlines scooped ‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading Airline’.New arrival on the Peruvian luxury hospitality scene, CIRQA – Relais & Châteaux, which is set in a medieval monastery and surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes, was voted ‘South America’s Leading New Hotel’.The results follow a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands. Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and the public, with the nominee gaining the most votes in a category named as the winner.Graham Cooke, founder, World Travel Awards, said: “Our winners represent the very best of Latin America’s travel and tourism sector and my congratulations to each of them. “They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.”He added: “The World Travel Awards 2020 programme received a record number of votes cast by the public. “This shows that the appetite for travel and tourism has never been stronger and bodes well for the industry’s future as the global recovery begins.”Other winners include the recently reopened Machu Picchu, Peru (‘South America’s Leading Tourist Attraction’); Colombia (‘South America’s Leading Culinary Destination’); Explora (‘South America’s Leading Expedition Company’); Barceló Hotels & Resorts (‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading Hotel Brand’); Avis (‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading Car Rental Company’); and FCM Travel Solutions (‘Mexico & Central America’s Leading Travel Management Company’).WinnersFor a full list of winners visit here.World Travel AwardsWorld Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.For more information about World Travel Awards, visit the official website.Image: Benedicte Desrus/SIPA USA/PA Imageslast_img read more

Kamala Harris Makes California History

first_img“She maybe didn’t quite imagine this moment,” Ms. Harris said of her mother. “But she believed so deeply in an America where a moment like this is possible, and so I am thinking about her and about the generations of women, Black women, Asian, white, Latina, Native American women — who throughout our nation’s history have paved the way for this moment tonight.”There is one more historic distinction that in some ways encapsulates all of the above: Ms. Harris is a Californian. Her casual use of the Tamil word “chittis” to refer to her aunts in her nomination acceptance speech was remarkable largely because it was onstage at the Democratic National Convention.“I’m Tamil myself and it has a resonance for people who use that word as part of how they talk about their families,” Mr. Ramakrishnan said. “But things like that, immigrants in general can relate to — even if you don’t understand the word.”Ms. Harris’s long career in the Golden State also means that for Californians especially, her status as a barrier-breaking politician is only one part of a complex legacy as San Francisco’s and the state’s former “top cop.”And while representation can be powerful, as we saw repeatedly during the presidential race, it’s not everything. Todd Gloria, who will be San Diego’s next mayor, will be the first person of color to have the job, as well as the first openly gay man. He’s also entering the office with new mayoral power. [The San Diego Union-Tribune] What’s in a name? For Kamala Harris, like many other Americans, it’s a way of expressing identity. [NBC News] – Advertisement – Read the full story about Ms. Harris’s ascension to the vice presidency. [The New York Times] Read more background on the bitter fight. [The New York Times] On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom, in addition to describing Ms. Harris, a fellow San Francisco politician and friend, as “a walking, whip-smart embodiment of the California Dream,” tweeted a celebratory video of her dancing in the rain soundtracked by a song popular on TikTok that says, “I’m sorry for drippin’, but drip is what I do.” In the video, Ms. Harris sported her signature combination. Listen to Ms. Harris talk about growing up with Indian and Jamaican roots in Northern California on the Asian Enough podcast. [The Los Angeles Times] If you missed it: A crowd danced in the streets outside Ms. Harris’s childhood home in Berkeley. [The San Francisco Chronicle] His vice president will be Senator Kamala Harris.Her rise to the highest office in the nation ever occupied by a woman has been full of historic milestones: the first Black woman to become San Francisco’s and then California’s top prosecutor, the second Black woman to become a senator.Now, not only will she be the first woman vice president, she will also be the first Black woman, the first South-American woman, and the first daughter of immigrants to hold the role.- Advertisement – In her speech on Saturday night, she drew a direct line from her mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who came to the United States when she was 19, through her own career and to generations of women in the future. Diana Gutierrez, 26, who joined a group parading through downtown to a rally at Pershing Square on Saturday morning, said she was undocumented in 2016 when President Trump was elected; she had come from Peru with her family in 2002 as a young child.She and Cori Bratby-Rudd, 26, said they hadn’t been dating long when they decided to get married four years ago, in part because they were worried Ms. Gutierrez would be deported.But a Biden victory brought enormous relief. Ms. Harris’s ascension was a significant factor.“I can’t even explain it,” she said, “for there to be a Black woman vice president with the ability to speak for immigrants. ”Ms. Bratby-Rudd added, “We’re elated.”Shanyn Stokes, 28, said: “I think she’s been doing the best she can. I do believe her heart’s in the right place.”Ms. Stokes, who is Black, said Ms. Harris’s victory was an encouraging sign that Americans increasingly see women — and Black women specifically — as capable of any job a white man could do.Now, Ms. Stokes said, “I’m very hopeful to see what she does.” Read about what a Californian vice president means for the state. [The New York Times] Ms. Harris’s ancestral town in southern India also rejoiced at her win, but across the country, Indians wondered how things will change under a Biden-Harris administration. [The New York Times] Read about how her parents found a home, and each other, in a Black study group in Berkeley. [The New York Times] Here’s a guide to the races we’ve been watching in the Golden State. [The New York Times]And see all California results, including how each county voted in the presidential race. [The New York Times]California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com. Were you forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read every edition online here.Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from U.C. Berkeley and has reported all over the state, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles — but she always wants to see more. Follow along here or on Twitter.California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley. Read a deeper dive into how Ms. Harris broke California’s “curse.” [New York Times Opinion] Darrell Issa, the Republican former congressman, beat Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat, for the San Diego-area seat formerly occupied by Duncan Hunter. [The New York Times] George Gascón, San Francisco’s former district attorney who pitched himself as a progressive reformer, will become Los Angeles’s district attorney. District Attorney Jackie Lacey conceded on Friday. [The Los Angeles Times] Read more: Good morning.Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been elected president of the United States.- Advertisement – (This article is part of the California Today newsletter. Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox.)Here’s what else to know today For many Californians, Ms. Harris’s comfortable embrace of her multicultural upbringing and her decidedly West Coast vibe have felt familiar.“She brings a California sensibility, you know: the blazers with the Chucks,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, a professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside, told me. “I think it will be a breath of fresh air in D.C.” Ms. Harris has spoken out on issues of police misconduct, but she has struggled to reconcile her calls for reform with her record as California’s “top cop.” Here’s a look at how that’s played out. [The New York Times] – Advertisement –last_img read more

Tianguis Turístico to take place in person in September next year | News

first_imgMiguel Torruco Marqués, minister of tourism for Mexico, and the governor of the state of Yucatán, Mauricio Vila Dosal, have boldly confirmed Tianguis Turístico will take place in person next year.With other events – including industry leader ITB Berlin – going virtual once again in 2021, Mexican authorities are confident they have measures in place to allow a physical show.- Advertisement – “We are confident that this change will benefit the Mexican tourism industry, as it will allow to have the necessary conditions to host a successful face-to-face Tianguis Turístico México in Mérida,” declared Torruco Marqués. NewerWorld Travel Awards honours Maldives with top Indian Ocean prizes Preserving the health of attendees, both national and foreign, as well as the local population, is the priority.The new dates were selected after analysing the calendar of international trade events, which will allow greater attendance based on this agenda, since the main tourist fairs and trade events in the world of the first half of 2021, have been postponed.These include FITUR, in Madrid, which will now be held in May.- Advertisement – OlderNew ONS figures reveal collapse of UK tourism sector The event will take place in Merida from September 26th-29th. However, this is later than the initially planned dates of March 21st-24th.Organisers argued, given the prevailing uncertainty, postponing this event will allow mobility to normalise and will help participants to be in optimal conditions to conduct business in a face-to-face format. – Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Missing From State Plans to Distribute the Coronavirus Vaccine: Money to Do It

first_imgThe C.D.C. advisory group has also stressed the importance of a campaign to persuade the public to take the vaccine, noting that messages were likely to be more effective if they came from community leaders than from the federal government. North Carolina says its campaign will use “photos, video, and personal testimony of celebrities, leaders of historically marginalized populations, and other trusted messengers receiving vaccine as early adopters.” As soon as the F.D.A. approves a vaccine, the C.D.C.’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet to issue recommendations, already in the works, on how it should be distributed. It will almost certainly say that health care workers should be the group with the highest priority for vaccination, followed by essential service workers, people with high-risk medical conditions and those older than 65.But states will be allowed flexibility within those guidelines; Maryland, for example, plans to include its prison and jail populations in its “Phase 1” priority group. State officials also have to figure out whom to focus on within priority populations if they get less vaccine than they need.During the C.D.C. advisory committee’s meeting last month, some members said they wanted to ensure that information about any safety problems would be made public quickly. The Department of Health and Human Services has said its goal is to start shipping a vaccine within a day of F.D.A. authorization. Until now, the F.D.A. and the C.D.C. have maintained one data system for patients or providers to report bad reactions to vaccines. They plan to supplement that system with a smartphone-based tool that checks in with individuals who have been vaccinated to see whether they have had any health problems.- Advertisement – Record-keeping requirements will also be an overwhelming task, officials said. The C.D.C. wants to track, in real time, the age, sex, race and ethnicity of everyone who is vaccinated — states usually provide such data quarterly, at best — so it can analyze how well the vaccination campaign is going among different demographic groups day by day and make adjustments if certain populations or regions have low vaccination rates. The C.D.C., which holds frequent planning calls with state and local health officials, is also still working on persuading states to hand over the personal data of their citizens. In its data use agreement with the states, the agency has requested each vaccine recipient’s name, date of birth, address, race, ethnicity and certain medical history.“States have never had to report that to the federal government,” said J.T. Lane, the chief population health and innovation officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, adding that his organization was seeking clarity on exactly how the information would be used. In particular, the organization’s members worry that the information could be used by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to track undocumented immigrants.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Representative Cedric Richmond Set to Be a Senior Biden Adviser

first_imgMr. Richmond, who maintains an extensive political network and is known for delivering candid advice, will be a senior adviser to Mr. Biden and the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, roles that will allow him to build on his deep relationships in Congress, with key political constituencies and with Mr. Biden himself.“He’s going to give straight advice,” said Marc H. Morial, the president of the National Urban League and a former mayor of New Orleans, who has known Mr. Richmond since his days serving in the Louisiana state legislature. “He’s not a yes man.”“It sends a really powerful signal to the Black community that Cedric is going to be in that core group,” added Mr. Morial, also describing Mr. Richmond as a “team player.” During the past 10 years, Representative Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana has represented most of New Orleans in Congress, led the Congressional Black Caucus and steadily emerged as one of the most influential Black voices on Capitol Hill, a reputation he cemented when he joined President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign as its first national co-chairman.Now he is poised to become one of the highest-ranking Black officials in the Biden administration.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Public health worker shortage could imperil terrorism preparedness

first_imgJan 14, 2003 (CIDRAP News) – The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) says the present is an excellent time for states to prepare for the next influenza pandemic and has issued a report to help show the way.Although 47 states are working on or have completed draft plans for coping with a “flu” pandemic, the United States is not prepared for a event like the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed at least 550,000 Americans, according to the ASTHO document.Now is the right time to prepare, because a pandemic is inevitable and because federal grants for public health infrastructure and planning have greatly increased in response to terrorism worries, according to ASTHO. The group’s recently published report is titled “Preparedness Planning for State Health Officials: Nature’s Terrorist Attack: Pandemic Influenza.”The report says an influenza pandemic may cause far more harm than a bioterrorist attack: an estimated 89,000 to 207,000 deaths, 314,000 to 734,000 hospitalizations, 18 million to 42 million medical visits, and 20 million to 47 million additional illness cases. State health officers must take the lead in planning because, in a pandemic, the public, governor, and legislature will look to them for “significant leadership to mobilize and sustain private and public healthcare resources.”The public health resources needed to cope with bioterrorism overlap substantially with those needed to deal with a flu pandemic, the report states. “The overlap demonstrates why state health officials have an unprecedented opportunity, using their bioterrorism assessments and plans as scaffolding, to help create strategies that will improve their states’ response to future pandemics.”Pandemics occur when a wholly new subtype of influenza A virus emerges, the document explains. “There is no way to predict when the next pandemic will occur, but most experts agree that it will happen.” After the 1918 Spanish flu, pandemics occurred in 1957 and 1968, causing a total of 104,000 deaths.When a pandemic comes, it will probably bring two waves of cases, separated by between 3 and 9 months, the report says. Thus health officials should be prepared for a pandemic period lasting longer than a year.The United States has a National Pandemic Influenza Plan prepared by agencies in the Department of Health and Human Services, the report says, but ASTHO does not comment on the adequacy of that plan. In addition, 12 states have completed draft preparedness plans, and another 35 states are working on such plans, ASTHO reports. Some public health experts say those plans identify the major issues in a pandemic but don’t spell out specific steps for responding to such an event, says the report.The likelihood of vaccine shortages is a key reason for each state to have its own plan, according to ASTHO. Because it will take an estimated 6 to 8 months to produce an effective vaccine, there will probably be severe shortages or even a total lack of vaccine in the early stages of a pandemic.Consequently, “There is a need to identify priority groups (i.e. high risk individuals, health care workers, law enforcement) that should first receive the influenza vaccine,” the document says. “Although this has been discussed at the national level, there is no definitive guidance that identifies the priority groups. The CDC Pandemic Influenza Planning Guide for State and Local Officials offers a default list for use in planning activities until decisions are finalized.”The report notes that states may want to link their pandemic flu vaccination plans with their smallpox vaccination plans, which were developed after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines last September.Other issues discussed in the document include the use of antiviral drugs, quarantine and containment, laboratory protocols, provider and workforce shortages, use of volunteers, facility and equipment needs, and communication with the public. The report includes detailed checklists regarding legal and policy issues, authority, vaccination/antivirals, surge capacity; communications and education, and laboratory surveillance.The ASTHO report was funded by the CDC and researched and written by Lara Misegades, MS, ASTHO’s senior analyst for infectious disease policy.See also:Full text of report on the ASTHO sitehttp://www.astho.org/Programs/Infectious-Disease/Emerging-Infectious-Diseases/Pan-ASTHO-Pandemic-Influenza-2002/last_img read more

Israel among countries reporting new H5N1 outbreaks

first_imgJan 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Animal health officials in Israel today notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) of an H5 avian influenza outbreak at a site near Haifa, and media outlets are reporting that final tests have confirmed the virus is the lethal H5N1subtype.Eighteen of 20 chickens at a petting zoo adjacent to a kindergarten in the city of Binyamina in northern Israel were found dead this morning, reported Xinhua, China’s state news agency.Shmuel Rishpon, a Haifa district physician, said the kindergarten staff has been given preventive medicine and authorities believe none of the children or parents had contact with the birds.According to the OIE report, only chickens at the zoo were struck by the virus. Eight ducks and four pigeons were also housed with the chickens in a small enclosure.Polymerase chain reaction testing at Israel’s national laboratory at Kimron Veterinary Institute on samples from the infected birds were positive for the H5 serotype, but neuraminidase inhibition assay tests were pending, the OIE report said.However, the agriculture ministry said today the birds had the lethal H5N1 strain, according to the Jerusalem Post. Israel’s agriculture ministry received final test results from its department of veterinary services, indicating the birds had the H5N1 subtype, Globes Online, an Israeli business media outlet, reported today.The remaining birds were destroyed, and health officials placed a 3-kilometer protection zone and a 10-kilometer surveillance zone around the outbreak area, said the OIE report.Israel’s last H5N1 outbreak, which hit domestic poultry, occurred in March 2006, according to reports from the UN Food and Animal Organization (FAO). No human H5N1 cases or deaths have been reported in Israel.Elsewhere, animal health officials in Vietnam said the H5N1 virus killed 350 white-winged ducks in northern Vietnam’s Thai Nguyen province, according to a Reuters report today. The outbreak occurred at a farm in 2-month-old ducks. Animal health workers culled the remaining birds, the report said.The H5N1 virus also struck ducks and chickens in Tra Vinh province in southern Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Reuters reported.Officials in Bangladesh yesterday said the H5N1 virus was detected on a poultry farm in Dinajpur in the northern part of the country, prompting the culling of 300 chickens, according to another Reuters report.In other developments, the state media in Myanmar on Dec 29 reported an outbreak of the H5N1 virus in chickens in a village near the Myanmar border with Thailand, the Associated Press (AP) reported.The New Light of Myanmar, the state-run newspaper, said the outbreak occurred in a village in Shan state among domestic chickens and was reported to livestock officials on Dec 23, according to the AP report.See also:OIE reports on Israeli avian flu outbreakFAO update on H5N1 in birdslast_img read more