In Brief


WTM admission policy ‘all change’
THE admissions policy to this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) from November 10 to 13 has changed to better facilitate business across all four days of WTM.

On the opening day on November 10 admission is by invitation only, open to pre-registered guests. Exhibitors will be asked to submit the names of key trade professionals that they would like to meet and do business with on the opening day. On November 11 through to 13 admission is open to all pre-registered travel trade industry professionals including Meridian Club members, trade visitors, exhibitors and international press. Only pre-registered World Travel Market visitors who are badge holders, trade visitors who register on the day and exhibitor badge holders will be able to attend World Travel Market. The deadline for submission is August 18.

Bright future for Victoria Falls
It’s business as usual for Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls operators, who opened their whitewater rafting season on the Zambezi River last month. Tour operators here are extremely confident about the destination despite the current election turmoil. Blessing Munyenyiwa of Wilderness Safaris said there is ‘huge’ interest from international buyers given that Zambia is increasingly perceived as being an expensive destination. The Africa Albida Tourism Group (AAT), which launched at Indaba in May expanded its property portfolio which includes Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, to also include the upgraded Imbabala Zambezi Safari Lodge which reopened in April 2008; the  Wild Horizons Sanctuary Lodge and the Bumi Hills Safari Lodge (extensively renovated) both due to open late 2008.  Zimsun Leisure also unveiled its new identity - African Sun. The group has plans to grow its property portfolio throughout the continent.

Tangula Train delayed
Despite the very encouraging announcement on 25 June 2008 from the Chinese Government that Tibet will be reopening to foreign tourists, Tangula Group has made the decision to delay the launch of its luxury train business, along both the Northern and Southern routes. The revised launch date will be finalized in the upcoming months. In the meantime, Tangula Group's reservations systems will remain open for bookings for journeys from April 2009 onwards.
To ensure that guests will have the ultimate luxury rail travel experience, Tangula Group will require several months to finalize all operations on the Tibetan leg of the journey now that access to the region has been opened.  Furthermore, given that the opening of the railway itself beyond Dali to Lijiang on the Southern Route is delayed, Tangula Group said that 'we feel it is better to be cautious and allow sufficient time for all operational details to be completed and thoroughly tested.
'We apologize for any disappointment this may cause to guests who have already made a booking and to our valued partners, and we will do everything possible to minimize any inconvenience,' Tangula Group's press statement said.

Three legged stool management
Leslie Grogan, training and development consultant at Marketboomer International, explained to delegates at a seminar at the Hotel Show 2008 last month how “a three legged stool” management approach paid off and helped retain staff. “The basic principle lies in the “three legged stool” concept, that is, talk to me, develop me and thank me,” she told managers at the conference held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre. The UK based supply chain management solution company combines technology with end user simplicity. It provides training programmes to the hospitality industry which have been tried and tested in a wide range of ‘live’ environments including five star hotels, casual theme restaurants, Michelin rated operations and event caterers in New York and London.