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Ryanair random seat allocation is not so random. Passengers have more chance of winning the National Lottery jackpot than being allocated middle seats at random on a Ryanair flight. In recent weeks Ryanair have faced mounting customer criticism, with some accusing the airline of splitting up groups and families, who do not pay an additional charge for reserved seating. These claims have been rejected by the airline which says that customers who do not wish to pay for their preferred seat are randomly allocated one, free of charge. The BBC Consumer affairs programme, Watchdog, ran its own investigation to test how random the airline's seating algorithm is. As part of their tests, groups of four people were sent on four separate Ryanair flights. In each instance every single person was allocated a middle seat. Dr Jennifer Rogers, Director of the new Oxford University Statistical Consultancy was then invited to analyse the data, to work-out the chances of every person getting a middle seat allocated randomly. By looking at the amount of window, aisle and middle seating available on each flight, at the time of check-in, Dr Rogers, calculated the chances of all four people being randomly given middle seats on each of the flights, to be around 1:540,000,000. The chances of winning the National Lottery jackpot are 1:45,000,000. (This means that you are 10 times more likely to win the lottery than be in a group who are all randomly allocated middle seats.) Oxford University

Win a Trip to Paris Fashion Week - Ello has teamed with noted ad-free, fine-Art and slow fashion photography magazine SPOON Magazine to present an ongoing online/offline SPOON x Ello collab to help discover and feature emerging leading edge creators at the nexus of fashion and art. To enter interested artists must simply have or create an Ello account, and post three images as one post on Ello with the following information: @spoonxello/Name/portfolio/website. The three images will be used to do initial selection, and a member's stream and portfolio will be used to make final selections. The submission period runs from July 5th to July 24th. Any submission received later than 12 am MST on the 24th of July will not be accepted. Tell anyone and everyone you know doing cutting edge work that touches fashion and art to make an Ello account and enter.

Next-generation travel agency - Sabre Corporation gave travel consultants and suppliers across the airline, hotel, cruise and car rental industries a sneak peek at its game-changing Sabre Red Workspace. The software solution will harness the changes in the industry and provide both retailers and suppliers with a content rich marketplace, intelligent decision support tools and predictive data insights that enable agents and suppliers to more easily create personalized experiences for travelers.

The World Legacy Awards Call for Entries - Applications are being accepted now through Aug. 20, 2016, at Celebrating National Geographic's mission of inspiring people to care about the planet, the World Legacy Awards honor today's leading sustainable tourism destinations, organizations and businesses, and share their stories with travelers around the world. Any travel and tourism company, organization or destination—ranging from airlines to hotels, from cities to countries, and from luxury tour operators to adventure travel outfitters—is eligible to apply for the awards in one of the five categories.

Cruise Holidays - Cunard's flagship liner Queen Mary 2 set sail on her first voyage following an investment in the region of $132 million, one of the most significant refurbishments undertaken by the world's most venerable passenger shipping line, now marking 176 years in operation.

Trends in travel - The most striking trend of the past half-century is that individuals are travelling further but not more often. The total number of trips people make on average in a year has remained fairly stable since 1965, as has the time we spend travelling, but the distance we travel has almost doubled over the same period. National Travel Survey. Significance

Travel industry heavy weights are taking a stand for elephants - Right alongside protecting vulnerable children, communities and the environment, animal protection is now a top priority for global travel brands like G Adventures, Intrepid Travel, The Travel Corporation (including well-known brands like Contiki, Trafalgar and Insight Vacations) and World Expeditions. With the world's spotlight recently on the cruel killing of Cecil the lion people are becoming more aware of the exploitation of wildlife in tourism. In the last month alone, twenty travel companies across the world have stopped selling elephant rides and shows, and signed the World Animal Protection Elephant-friendly Tourist Pledge.

Solo travel - Professor Constanza (Connie) Bianchi, from QUT Business School, said there were a growing number of people who preferred to travel alone, despite having family and friends. She said solo travellers were choosing freedom, uncompromised fun and meeting new people over the desire to have a companion to share their experiences. "Understanding tourist satisfaction and dissatisfaction, especially in this growing but not very well researched group, will help tourism operators ensure solo travellers are not being ignored." International Journal of Tourism Research

Business Travel to India - "India is poised for economic harmony as the region is strongly growing in the short-term and is also in an excellent position for the long-term," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO. "If India continues on its current growth path, it will be a world leader in business travel for decades to come."
"The combination of an aspirational middle class, positive government reforms and strong economic sentiment has resulted in an increased demand for business travel. The shift towards electronic payments is making it easier for companies to track travel expenditure and more convenient for employees to manage their spending when abroad and reconcile their expenses on return," said TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager India and South Asia. Global Business Travel Association

Grand Cayman Resort - The Reef Resort located in the Cayman Islands has recently joined the highly respected and extremely popular North American Wyndham brand, becoming the Wyndham Reef Resort Grand Cayman.

Dubai Hotels - Taj Group announced the opening of its highly anticipated luxury hotel Taj Dubai, located in the prestigious Burj Khalifa downtown area.

Carnival Cruise Line - Carnival Sunshine – the first ship to feature all of the line's spectacular Fun Ship 2.0 dining, bar and entertainment innovations – will offer a unique schedule from New York in 2016 encompassing 20 voyages departing between June and October 2016.

Enriching Travel Experiences - Cunard has come together with The New York Times to offer stimulating speakers as part of its long-running, award-winning Insights programme. The exclusive offering will debut on Queen Mary 2 on 3 January 2016 and will be on tap during all East-bound Transatlantic Crossings in 2016.

Hyatt Regency - Following a distinguished career in hospitality and with over 20 years of experience, Mr. Rajesh Ramdas has been appointed General Manager of Hyatt Regency Ludhiana. His most recent assignment was as Executive Assistant Manager - Rooms at Hyatt Regency Mumbai.

Delhi Flights - Air Canada will begin non-stop service from Toronto to Delhi beginning in November 2015.

Mumbai, India - The Ritz-Carlton Hotel will open the first Ritz-Carlton in Mumbai, the entertainment, commercial and financial capital of India, and the second in the country following the recent opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore in Karnataka.

The newly built structure will be a beacon on the coastline of the Arabian Sea with magnificent views of the Mumbai skyline, and the social heart of Mumbai, home to Bollywood, historic attractions, and upscale shopping and dining. Among the hotel's vibrant experiences will be an ocean-view bar, two specialty and fine dining restaurants, a Ritz-Carlton Spa and extensive banquet and meeting spaces for the high profile events and society weddings for which Mumbai is renowned.

Ocean Cruises - Viking Ocean Cruises will launch two additional ocean ships, bringing the total number of ships in its new fleet to three. Viking Sea and Viking Sky will both debut in 2016.

Goa, India - Sereno Spa at Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa was awarded the 'Hall of Fame' award for 'Best Resort Spa' at the recently concluded asiaSpa India Awards. Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa and Sereno Spa have been the recipient of a host of prestigious awards and accolades, including 'Favourite Destination Spa' at the Conde Nast Traveller India Readers' Travel Awards, 'Favourite Leisure Hotel in India' at the Conde Nast Traveller India Readers' Travel Awards and Best Resort Spa at the asiaSpa India Awards.

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts - Oberoi Hotels & Resorts Present 'Unforgettable Holidays' at The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur; The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur; The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra and The Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore.

East Africa - Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda - The meeting of the Ministers/Cabinet Secretary responsible for Tourism, Wildlife Management, and EAC Affairs of the Republic of Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda to resolve their ongoing differences in tourism and wildlife management under the auspices of the EAC Secretariat concluded at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. East African Community Secretariat (EAC)

Barbados' Island Inclusive Package Boasts Added Value With "Free Spending Money" On-Island - Travelers seeking the ultimate Caribbean getaway need look no further than the sun-drenched island of Barbados, now offering even more of a reason to flock to the destination this year -- free spending money for island experiences! This exciting offer is available for travel May 01-December 21, 2013 inclusive but trips must be booked during the period April 29- June 22, 2013 in order to experience the island known for mastering the art of fine living with daily lessons offered to those seeking to do the same!

With the Barbados Island Inclusive , guests receive "free spending money" based on their length of stay for use at participating attractions and restaurants while on-island. With a minimum stay of 5 nights guests will receive $150.00 per person and on stays 7 nights or longer guests will receive $200.00 per person based on a maximum of two (2) persons per room. Vouchers will be distributed to guests upon hotel check-in. This added value promotion is the perfect reason to escape to this lush Caribbean island – offering travelers a destination rich in history, culture, food, music, and a passion for living life to its fullest.
Barbados Tourism Authority. 042013

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