Category Archives: featured post

International Medical Travel Show Dubai 2020

On February 2, 2020 at Dubai World Trade Center, UAE an extraordinary high-end event dedicated to medical tourism will be held, – the International Medical Travel Show Dubai 2020.

The growth rate of the global medical tourism sector is currently considered to be one of the highest compared to other tourism segments. More than 50 countries claim the development of medical tourism at the level of state policy. Each of the countries can offer the most developed medical field and something unique in the healthcare system. The entire global marketing toolkit is fully involved in this sector. Medical tourism has created a new concept of modern healthcare.

IMTS. Dubai 2020 is an advanced Medical and Healthcare Travel networking platform, a unique hub aimed to develop relationships with government authorities and hospital executives, investors, healthcare authorities, buyers, insurance & travel companies, medical tourism facilitators, – professionals from all over the world. IMTS. Dubai 2020 is about to help to unleash the potential of the industry, both for service providers and service consumers of the health tourism market. 

The 10 th annual edition of MCE Central & Eastern Europe is coming soon!

Freesun News is proud to be media partner with Europecongress which specialises in organising top quality MICE B2B forums, reaching business synergy through intelligent participant selection

With a new decade started the new year brings the celebrative 10 th annual edition of MCE Central & Eastern Europe.The event has been moving throughout the region to highlight the MICE progress within the region, started out in 2011 in Prague and now will be held in Vienna.

Vienna is in many ways a frontrunner and an example for many other regional destinations, hence the excitement of Europe Congress hosting its tenth edition in this marvellous city. Alain Pallas, the Managing Director of Europe Congress stated: ‘We feel honoured and privileged to have been able to offer our services for this period of time to the many participants. To have been creating so many new cooperation’s benefiting the MICE industry and to have been organizing these events in so many destinations. Vienna is hosting our 10 th annual MCE Central & Eastern Europe event which promises to be very special’.

Being free from any visitors, this boutique forum will be held at the InterContinental Vienna at the famous Stadtpark. It brings together key MICE solution providers from the entire Central & Eastern European region to meet with carefully selected worldwide event buyers for effective two and a half days. Within this short period of time Europe Congress is able to connect planners with industry suppliers and to offer a clear understanding of the MICE possibilities in the host destination.

International aviation growth slowed to 4.5% in 2019

Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys

The latest data from ForwardKeys, which analyses global aviation capacity, flight searches and over 17 million flight booking transactions a day, reveals that in 2019 growth in international air travel, as measured by passenger journeys, grew by 4.5%. That is healthily ahead of global economic growth, but it is significantly slower growth than last year, 6.0%; and it is slower than the trend over the last decade, which averages 6.8% per annum. However, the outlook for the coming three months is considerably more optimistic, with international flight bookings as at 1st January 2020 standing 8.3% ahead of where they were at the start of 2019.

Olivier Ponti, VP Insights, ForwardKeys, commented: “Usually, aviation grows around three percentage points ahead of global GDP. However, in the past year, we have seen several events which have held back growth; these include US trade disputes with Canada, China, Mexico and the EU, riots in Chile, France, Hong Kong and India, the grounding of the relatively new Boeing 737 Max aircraft, terrorism in Sri Lanka, the emergence of ‘flight shaming’ and the bankruptcy of Jet Airways.”

airBaltic to Launch New Route between Riga and Yekaterinburg

Riga. The Latvian airline airBaltic will launch a new summer seasonal route between Riga and Yekaterinburg in Russia on April 1, 2020. The new connection will offer more convenient travel options for travellers from the Baltics and Russia to airBaltic network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic: “We are delighted to add Yekaterinburg as the 14th new destination to our summer 2020 route map. Every year more than half of all passengers from Russia are choosing Riga as transfer hub to over 70 destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East served by airBaltic. By launching flights from Riga to Yekaterinburg, we are offering one additional gateway between Europe and Russia and vice versa.”

Yekaterinburg will be the sixth destination airBaltic serves in Russia, in addition to convenient connections between Riga and Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Sochi and Kazan. The number of passengers grows each year. Thus, in 2019 airBaltic has carried by 16% more passengers than last year on Russian routes.

Brussels Airlines simplifies its loyalty offer

Miles & More to become the sole loyalty program of Brussels Airlines

To simplify its loyalty program offer, Brussels Airlines has decided to offer its customers only one attractive loyalty program, Miles & More. Consequently, the in 2015 launched program LOOP will be discontinued as from 1 February 2020. LOOP members can however still use their LOOPs for a period of 12 months, until 31 January 2021.

It has been over four years since Brussels Airlines launched LOOP, designed for Brussels Airlines customers who travel on a regular basis but don’t fly enough to receive significant benefits from traditional frequent flyer programs. However, Miles & More has extensively developed its offer in recent years and the possibilities to earn and spend miles, herewith coming very close to the customer advantages offered by LOOP. Knowing that many of the Brussels Airlines LOOP members are also member of Miles & More and looking at the developments of the Miles & More frequent traveler program, the Brussels based airline has decided to cease LOOP and to focus on the attractive program features of Miles & More instead.

Brusselse events om het jaar goed te beginnen

Ook bij de start van 2020 zijn er heel wat niet te missen evenementen in Brussel. Bezoekers uit binnen- en buitenland krijgen de eerstkomende maanden een bijzonder breed scala voorgeschoteld. Van het unieke BRAFA en het schitterende Bright Brussels tot het prestigieuze Brussels, Dance! Er is voor elk wat wils, in alle disciplines.

Dat het cultureel jaar in Brussel uitstekend startte, bewijst het enorme aanbod aan festivals en culturele activiteiten voor een breed publiek. Wie houdt van kunst, moderne dans, clubbing of strips moet zeker naar de Europese hoofdstad. Hier is een overzicht.

Nouveau record de fréquentation avec plus de 5,7 millions de visiteurs et le plus grand investissement de l’histoire de l’entreprise Mack

La série des records de fréquentation se poursuit : avec plus de 5,7 millions de visiteurs en 2019, Europa-Park a atteint le plus grand nombre de visiteurs de son histoire. À cela s’ajoutent les premiers explorateurs du nouvel univers aquatique indoor « Rulantica », ouvert fin novembre. L’année 2019 a été marquée par des investissements très élevés : l’univers aquatique « Rulantica » et l’hôtel adjacent ont coûté à eux seuls environ 180 millions d’euros. C’est le plus grand investissement jamais réalisé par la famille Mack. Le quartier scandinave, détruit en 2018 par un incendie, a également été reconstruit et accueille désormais la nouvelle attraction « Snorri Touren ». Roland Mack, propriétaire d’Europa-Park, est ravi : « Depuis son ouverture, Rulantica attire déjà de nombreux visiteurs et obtient d’excellentes notes. Nous en sommes très heureux car l’univers aquatique est un nouveau domaine d’activités pour nous. Le taux d’occupation de l’hôtel « Krønasår », ouvert depuis mai 2019, est également remarquablement bon avec plus de 90% ». Retour sur les grands événements de 2019 qui ont fait le succès d’Europa-Park.

Finavia airports had 26 million passengers in 2019 – a year of moderate growth in air traffic

2019 was a busy year at Finavia’s airports even though growth in air traffic was more moderate than in previous years. A total of 26 million passengers (+4,2%) travelled on scheduled and chartered flights.

Last year, 21,9 million passengers (+4,9 %) travelled through Helsinki Airport, the largest international airport in Finland. The number of passengers using Finavia’s other airports increased to a total of 4,2 million (+0,6 %). Out of the larger airports, the number of passengers increased the most at Turku Airport (+22,6 %), Helsinki Airport (+4,9 %) and Rovaniemi Airport (+2,6 %). A total of 1.5 million passengers (+1,5%) used Finavia’s airports in Lapland in 2019. The number of passengers declined slightly at Oulu Airport (-3,6 %) and Tampere Airport (-2,5 %) due to a decrease in the number or flights.

Number of transfer passengers continued to grow at Helsinki Airport
The number of passengers transferring from one international flight to another at Helsinki Airport increased by 16,7 per cent. Flights to and from Japan, Germany, China and Sweden had the most international transfer passengers. Last year, international transfer passengers amounted to 38.6 per cent of all passengers passing through Helsinki Airport.

A total of 659 000 passengers (+18,2 %) travelled on flights to and from China in 2019. For the Japan routes, the number of passengers was 837 000 (+11,2 %). Currently, flights are operated from Helsinki Airport to nine destinations in China. Helsinki Airport also offers flights to five destinations in Japan, which is more than any other European airport offers. In addition, three weekly flights also started to operate to Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport last autumn. In December, Helsinki Airport opened Europe’s only direct connection to Sapporo, Japan.

China : the country where not to go

European nations are evacuating, more and more quickly, residents from Chinese cities as the deadly coronavirus spreads, with new cases in Finland, Germany and China, where 170 people have “officially” died and thousands infected.
With 5,974 confirmed cases in China – according to Chinese authorities – as of Wednesday, the coronavirus has now infected more people than during the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak.
Most airlines are canceling flights to and from China as the number of coronavirus cases increase rapidly and that further deaths are expected.

St. Lucia, one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the Caribbean, on Wednesday called on the World Health Organization (WHO) to allow the full participation of Taiwanese authorities in its response to the spread of a deadly new coronavirus.
In a press release, the St. Lucian embassy in Taiwan said that in order to effectively prevent the spread of a virus that “respects no borders,” the WHO must “ensure the full involvement of Taiwanese authorities” in its response to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

“Short-term or myopic considerations must not be permitted to impede international information exchange, consultation and collective action,” the embassy said in the statement.

The virus has already spooked stock markets over the past week amid the growing threat to the global economy. Tourism industry, Airlines, hotel groups and luxury goods firms have been among the worst hit. IAG, the owner of British Airways, is down 12 percent. Intercontinental Hotels Group has lost 10 percent.
Shortly, the ongoing coronavirus outbreaks is hitting the tourism industry in China, Japan and Thailand “hard,” industry experts have claimed. In one recent example, about 20,000 tourists canceled trips booked with a Tokyo-based tour company. Group travel to China are stopped and tour operators specialized in Asia are hard hit and lot of those “niche” operator could experience serious difficulties in the future.

The impact on the mondial economy will be very important this year, especially as the situation is expected to persist for some time.


Anti-Infiltration Act passed by Taiwan’s Legislature

The Anti-Infiltration Act is passed by the Legislature Dec. 31 in Taipei City. (CNA)

The Anti-Infiltration Act was passed by the Legislature Dec. 31, 2019, underscoring the commitment of the government to safeguarding national security and Taiwan’s democracy.

Described as an effective democratic defense mechanism by the Ministry of the Interior, the legislation complements existing regulations governing lobbying, political donations, and presidential, vice presidential and civil servant elections and recalls.

It prohibits intervention in Taiwan’s democratic political system through infiltration sources—namely, individuals, institutions or organizations affiliated with or sponsored by a government, political party or other political group of a foreign hostile force, the MOI added.

Aeroflot and Brussels Airlines sign codeshare agreement

Aeroflot – Russian Airlines and Brussels Airlines have signed a codeshare agreement to offer customers a bigger selection of flights and more flexibility when travelling between Brussels and Moscow. Tickets for flights under the new agreement are on sale, and jointly operated flights begin on 20 January 2020.

 The Russian flag carrier and Belgium’s national airline are joining forces to offer their guests even more choice, thanks to a newly established codeshare agreement. Сustomers can now book flights with Aeroflot or Brussels Airlines and travel between Brussels and Moscow from 20 January 2020.Booking a codeshare flight means that flights operated by one airline can be booked with either of the partners under the agreement. The new agreement allows travellers flying from Moscow easy connections to the entire Brussels Airlines network, while travellers from Brussels will enjoy better connections to the Russian capital and Aeroflot’s global routes. Thanks to ‘through check-in’,passengers with connecting flights can check in their baggage at their departure airport and reclaim it at their final destination.

Targets smashed at Budapest Airport

Budapest Airport continued the seasonal celebrations today as its 16-millionth passenger walked through its doors, marking the highest-ever number of passengers served in the airport’s history. Driven by the dynamic expansion of its route network and airline partners, the Hungarian gateway effortlessly reached another passenger traffic milestone, witnessing a solid 9% year-on-year traffic growth.

The outstanding landmark represents six million more passengers than in 2015, an extraordinary 63% increase: “It’s quite something to not only witness the growth of an airport but also to be part of the development and progression,” enthuses Kam Jandu, CCO, Budapest Airport. “Today’s memorable moment speaks volumes for the hard work of everyone at the airport which was unforgettably recognised when we were crowned this year’s World Routes Marketing Awards Overall Winner – a first for the airport. But we won’t rest, we will always continue to ensure Budapest remains an attractive market for our passengers, as well as our partners, and look forward to another thriving year ahead,” added Jandu.