Window on Europe
Travel and tourism will continue to be among the leading economic and employment generating industries in both mature and emerging economies, the World Travel and Tourism Council has said in its 2001 Economic Forecasts report.It said the sector is expected to yield 207 million jobs worldwide this year and 53 million potential new jobs in the next decade. By 2011, the travel and tourism economy will constitute 11 per cent of global GDP, it added. The council's central goal is to work with governments to realise the full economic impact of travel and tourism through renewed public/private sector cooperation, it said. Virgin Atlantic Airways has announced another profitable year for the airline and its related cargo and holiday operations. The results for the year ending April 2001 showed an increase in turnover from £1.27 billion ($1.83 billion) to £1.52 billion and an increase in profits, before tax and exceptional items, from £40 million to £45.5 million. Highlights of the year May 2000 to April 2001 included the launch of new services to Las Vegas and Delhi, increased frequencies to San Francisco, Cape Town and Shanghai, fleet growth, and the award winning Upper Class seat and cabin. Recently, Virgin Atlantic launched a new onboard workout video featuring exercises designed by physiotherapist Jan Vickery, which aim to help passengers keep active during long haul flights. Furthermore, Virgin signed a codeshare agreement with Midwest Express Airlines, which enables Virgin Atlantic passengers to fly to Milwaukee and Kansas City from London Gatwick via Virgin's connecting service through Boston. The agreement will come into effect by the end of 2001. Sabre has signed an agreement with SAP AG, a leading provider of e-business software solutions, to integrate Sabre's Global Distribution System (GDS) with the mySAP Financials Travel Management Solution (TMS) - an online self-booking tool for corporate travellers used extensively by companies around the world. The agreement allows corporate travel managers to specify the Sabre GDS when using mySAP Financials TMS. "Accessing the integrated mySAP Financials TMS, powered by the fully synchronised engine of Sabre, provides SAP customers with a convenient single point of access via mySAP.com," said SAP GBU Financials Senior Vice President Hans-Dieter Scheuermann. Cunard has launched its 2002 "American Dream" brochure featuring a series of package holidays that combine a transatlantic voyage on the most famous ship in the world, Queen Elizabeth 2, with a stay in a choice top US cities and destinations: Orlando, New York, Niagara Falls and Toronto, Boston and Cape Cod, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and Washington. These packages include a one way QE2 Atlantic crossing, flight to or from the States, all connections, transfers and hotel stays in the chosen destination. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will respond to general stagnation and diminishing demand on some routes by trimming frequencies and deploying smaller aircraft on certain routes at the start of the 2001/2002 winter schedule. The capacity that is freed up will be used to raise frequency on profitable routes, it said. Overall capacity will be reduced by three per cent at the start of the 2001/2002 winter schedule on October 28, compared to the 2000/2001 winter schedule. Meanwhile, KLM's operating income for the quarter ending June 30 decreased to 23 million euro ($20.9 million) from 100 million euro last year. "Despite the deterioration of economic conditions and the adverse effects on our operating environment, we still achieved an operating profit. This is a relatively robust performance in our industry," said president and CEO, Leo van Wijk.