EVA Air has rolled out the red carpet to its luxurious new $5
million VIP lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal of Los
Angeles International Airport. Available for the comfort and
convenience of the airline’s Premium Laurel Class and Silver, Gold
and Diamond Card frequent-flyer club passengers, the
8,000-square-foot Los Angeles International Lounge is located on
the fourth floor in the north wing of the terminal and can be
accessed after passing through security checkpoints.
EVA’s Super Business and Super First Class passengers are also
entitled to lounge access. Diamond and Gold Card members of EVA’s
Evergreen Club frequent-flyer program can bring one guest into the
lounge. In addition, Evergreen Club members at these levels can
redeem 5,000 mileage points to bring one family member or guest
into the lounge. The spacious lounge has 186 seats, Wi-Fi and a
business center equipped with individual work stations that have
laptop hook-ups and telephones plus photocopier and fax services.
It has its own showers for guests. And one section can be
partitioned to give dignitaries or celebrities privacy.
While waiting to board one of EVA’s 17 weekly flights to Asia or
in transit, guests can relax and enjoy delicious ethnic and local
foods, including sushi, sandwiches, fresh fruit and favorite
snacks. The lounge also has a full bar.
Overseas Travel to Top U.S. Cities Declines
Overseas tourism has dropped 22
percent in Seattle, a trend seen in other cities.
Despite the drop in the value of the dollar, which makes America
a relative travel bargain, overseas travel to top U.S. cities
remains depressed. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has called for the
creation of a nationally coordinated promotion campaign to welcome
more overseas visitors. A study by Oxford Economics shows that the
promotion, combined with visa and entry reforms already passed by
Congress, would yield 1.6 million new visitors per year. Those
visitors would spend an estimated $8 billion per year, yielding an
additional $850 million per year in new federal tax revenue.
The Travel Promotion Act of 2007 (S.1661 / H.R. 3232) would
establish the nationally coordinated travel promotion campaign U.S.
mayors have called for, at no cost to the American taxpayer. The
Act requires matching funds from industry, which would finance more
promotion, yielding even higher returns than those cited by Oxford
Starwood Joins Galileo Best Available Rate
Global Distribution System Galileo has announced that its
industry-leading Best Available Rate (BAR) guarantee program now
includes hotel and leisure market leader Starwood Hotels &
Resorts Worldwide Inc. Starwood joins the list of over 150 hotel
brands participating in the BAR program.
The Galileo BAR program enables major hotel chains to provide
travel agents with access to the best available published,
non-restricted rates offered through any other GDS or online
distribution channels. Hotels that participate in Galileo’s BAR
program have committed to ensuring that their lowest unrestricted
public rates are made available for sale in Galileo. The BAR
program was first launched two years ago.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is one of the largest hotel and
leisure companies in the world, with over 870 properties in over 95
countries. Its globally renowned brands include Westin, Sheraton, W
Hotels, St. Regis, Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Four Points, and
the upcoming aloft and Element.
“Starwood places great value in the service provided by travel
agents around the globe,” said Linda Kent, vice president,
Electronic Distribution for Starwood. “Our participation in the
Galileo BAR program is an extension of the partnership we have with
Galileo in providing the best information possible to the agency
community and their customers.”
Carnival Forms Spanish Cruise Line
Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise
vacation company, and Orizonia Corporacion, Spain’s largest travel
company, have finalized an agreement for a multi-ship cruise brand
serving the Spanish market.
The agreement will give Carnival a 75 percent interest in the
joint venture, and 25 percent to Orizonia. The new company will be
In addition to Orizonia’s 1,244-passenger Grand Mistral and
834-passenger Grand Voyager, the 1,486-passenger Celebration from
Carnival Cruise Lines’ fleet will be transferred to the new
company. After an extensive renovation, the Celebration is
scheduled to enter service in late spring 2008.
Alfredo Serrano, currently general manager of the Iberojet
fleet, has been appointed general manager of Iberocruceros, which
will be headquartered in Madrid. Serrano will report to the newly
formed Iberocruceros board whose chairman will be Pier Luigi
Foschi, chairman and CEO of Carnival’s Costa Cruises unit.
“The new Iberocruceros joint venture will build upon the
tremendous brand awareness of Orizonia’s Iberojet operations one of
Spain’s leading vacation companies while providing a solid platform
for expanding in the fast-growing European marketplace,” said Micky
Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc’s chairman and CEO. The
three Iberocruceros ships will fly the Italian flag.