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News 05.11.15

Malaysia Airlines’ ‘moral obligation’

Patrick Whyte

THE BOSS of Malaysia Airlines has insisted the carrier is not yet ready to “draw a line” under the twin tragedies that hit the airline in 2014. Speaking prior to his session on day

GETTING WIGGY WITH IT: World-renowned cyclists Sir Bradley Wiggins (right) and Sean Kelly joined the Mallorca Tourist Board to promote the 312 cycle race – the longest cycle event held in Spain, covering 312 km.


WTM escapes brunt of strike

Edward Robertson

THIS WEEK’S strike on the DLR has had no discernible impact on the number of visitors to WTM London 2015. Senior exhibition director Simon

Press said although it was too early to view the final figures, initial reports suggested the action had little impact on overall numbers. He added this was largely down to the decision by TfL and the DLR to work closely with ExCeL and WTM to run a regular service from Canning Town to the venue while other options such as the Emirates Air Line cable car across the Thames also offered free travel on Tuesday and Wednesday. Press said: “There was very little

impact from what we can see. By Tuesday lunchtime it was incredibly busy in both the halls and the main boulevard and the feedback we had was very positive. “WTM is one of those things that people

will try and get to as it is so important to their businesses throughout the year.” He said the UNWTO and WTM Ministers’ Summit had been one of the best events when it took place on Tuesday, as ministers met to discuss destination branding and marketing, adding it was standing room-only.

04 05.11.2015

three at WTM London, chief executive Christoph Mueller admitted to TTG that the company was still suffering from the memory of what happened to flights MH370, which disappeared from radar in March 2014, and the downing of MH17 later that year. “We feel a moral obligation to take

good care of the next of kin and to do everything we can to contribute to the ongoing investigation,” he said. “I have been involved in a lot of

incidents in my aviation life and one thing I have learned is to never interfere

with the officially appointed investigators and what they communicate. “When I joined [the company earlier this year], I have to say that our employees were still in a deep state of shock. I’ve never seen that in another airline... “We all suffer

still from the memory but we also have the obligation to move on, because we have to take care of ourselves as a community of employees looking forward to create

a company that is profitable and can survive on its own means without any support from the government.” Meanwhile, Mueller refused

to give any details about the much-talked about rebranding of the airline. Following the

catastrophes, Malaysia Airlines’ owner decided to take it private before relaunching it as a new company in September. “I think it is justified to

Christoph Mueller

give the company a new raison d’etre. It might be expressed by a new brand, it might be expressed by a new logo. But I think


Best stands of the show honoured

Patrick Whyte Route 66 Atlanta TOURISM STRATEGY

Illinois boosts its focus on UK

Katherine Lawrey

THE TOURISM boss of Illinois has reassured the trade that the US state is still investing in the UK market, despite high-profile budget cuts. Speaking to TTG, Cory Jobe, director, Illinois Office of Tourism, said: “We’re very committed to the UK market and we’re not going anywhere. We have 82 UK tour operators carrying our product.” He explained that the state

government was responsible for tourism budgets and there had been a delay in confirming allocations. “Once we get

through this budget cycle, we’ll be out there stronger than ever,” he said. Last year Choose Chicago closed tourism offices in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan and Brazil. Jobe insisted that Illinois was supporting Chicago and the wider state, and no focus had been lost on the Windy City, which attracted 110 million visitors in 2014. “Our unified effort shows a strong

commitment [to increasing tourism]. Where the Illinois Office of Tourism can help prop up our partners, including Choose Chicago, we will.” The office’s tourism strategy is pinned

by using Chicago as a gateway, and encouraging visitors to tour the state: “75% of visitor expenditure is created outside of Chicago, and we have many scenic byways that can be explored with a seven-day fly-drive programme,” he said.

JAPAN, THE Canary Islands and Egypt were among the exhibitors honoured with awards for their stands. The competition was judged by a

panel made up of: Russell Smith, managing director of Intuitive Design; Beryl Preuschmann, managing director and founder of; and Bill Richards, founder of Tours

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