The new Rome-Riyad route was presented by Visit Saudi and ITA Airways in Rome.

100 million tourist arrivals in just three years 

For the occasion the downtown Rinascente Roma store was transformed into a living showcase of Saudi Arabia with dedicated panels, videos and corners with tourist information about the country.  In the just three years since it opened to tourism, the country has exceeded 100 million tourist arrivals, said Hazim Al-Hazmi, president Europe and Americas of the Saudi Tourism Authority, Visit Saudi, who expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration with Rinascente. 

“Saudi Arabia is now closer than ever”

"For us, this represents an extraordinary opportunity to inspire Italians and introduce them to the wonders of Saudi Arabia, while offering a unique and unforgettable immersive experience for all who enter the store. Thanks to the opening of direct connections between Riyadh and Rome, and the flights to Jeddah which ITA Airways will introduce in August, Saudi Arabia is now closer than ever.” 

New ITA flights from Jeddah to Rome in August 

Saudi Arabia is a strategic market, and one in great expansion for ITA Airways especially for business traffic, said Emiliana Limosani, chief commercial officer ITA Airways and CEO Volare. “Having a prestigious partner like Visit Saudi marks a further step towards the growth of our international network. Thanks to this collaboration,- continued the CCO, -not only will travel between the two nations be facilitated, so will the power of cultural exchange in building bridges and promoting relations between our peoples.  Our commitment to the Middle East region will continue with the introduction of new direct flights from Jeddah to Rome in August."  

Published in Transportation

More and more international travellers are boarding Italo trains, and the company's web domain has changed to italotreno.com. 

A new web domain name

The change in the name of the web domain reflects the new clientele, with an increasing proportion of tourists and visitors from all over the world. With this change for Italo it will be easier to reach beyond Italy’s borders, inviting even those planning their first trip to Italy to discover the service it offers on high-speed trains, which stand out for their quality, comfort and safety. 

“Our plan is to conquer markets such as South America and Korea”

The aim is to offer international tourists better services both on digital channels and at the station, with language assistance, exclusive Italo Club lounges throughout the country, while working with various partners involved in international mobility. “The start of the year saw the launch of the first international Display and Sem campaigns, flanked by SEO and digital PR activities aimed at introducing the Italo name to the US and UK markets,- says Gianluca Marchio, Italo's head of digital & loyalty, who is leading the international digital transformation. -Thanks to the changeover to the .com domain, we will be able to boost our trust and accelerate our visibility plan, conquering new markets such as South America and Korea.

New multi-modality bus and regional services

In addition, to meet the demand of domestic and foreign tourists, Italo has extended its network with multi-modality bus and regional services, which now make it possible, for example, to reach the main Italian airports, such as Leonardo Da Vinci in Rome Fiumicino with the combined high-speed train and regional ticket which can be purchased from the Italo Treno website and from the mobile app. This also applies to locations not reached by high-speed with the combined Italo plus Itabus ticket, such as the tourist destinations of Sorrento, Pompeii and Salento.

“Travelling ‘plus’ is a good choice for everyone”

"For tourists fond of Italy, Italo is working to launch its Italo Più loyalty programme also to non-Italian residents. With the launch in April, on the occasion of Italo's 12th anniversary, of the new edition of the programme, the “Più” became “+”, a simple graphic change which sums up a new approach: travelling “plus” is a good choice for everyone and signing up becomes possible and easy even for non-residents.”

Published in Transportation

Discover Sorrento, a sun-soaked paradise of charm, history and beauty where lemon trees and pastel buildings meet turquoise waters. 

Luxury hotels and quaint cobbled streets

Sorrento which is on the Sorrentine Peninsula across the bay from Naples, the home of the much-loved Limoncello liqueur and luxury hotels, and attracts visitors with its charming streets and proximity to some of Italy’s most iconic destinations like Amalfi and Positano, without forgetting the city of Naples and, of course, Mount Vesuvius.  Starting at Piazza Tasso which is the heart of Sorrento, visitors wander along narrow cobbled streets lined with little shops, stopping at pavement cafés for a leisurely lunch.

sorrento 2

Hidden Mediterranean coves and luxury dining

Culture vultures will not want to miss a visit to Queen Giovanna's Baths. This is a stunning natural swimming spot and archaeological site where, it is said, the Anjou queen bathed in the 14th century.  Many like to take boat trips to enjoy the Mediterranean coast’s breathtaking cliffs and hidden coves and these tours can include stops at Amalfi and Positano as well as on Capri, the renowned celebrity playground. With its luxurious shops and restaurants, take time for the Monte Solaro chairlift, coastal walks, and for a boat trip to the famous Blue Grotto. For Capri it’s best to beat the crowds by arriving from the mainland on an early-morning ferry or hydrofoil.  

Ancient history, and stunning nature

Not far from Sorrento there is Pompeii which offers a glimpse into ancient Roman life and has been preserved by Mount Vesuvius’s 79 A.D eruption. Walk the historic streets, exploring houses, temples, and amphitheaters frozen in time. Nature lovers will not want to miss climbing Mount Vesuvius, which towers over the city of Naples and is one of the world’s most monitored volcanoes. Coaches also depart for Vesuvius from Sorrento and Pompeii, and the more adventurous will want to hike the final stretch to the crater for the stunning panoramic views. Back in Sorrento many of the best sights are accessible by walking the numerous trails and mountain paths that lead from the town center through lush greenery, lemon groves, and charming hillside villages. 

Published in Cities & Regions

The new Neos route from New York JFK to Palermo will be operated for the entire summer season with two frequencies a week, on Saturdays and Mondays.

“We aim to carry 20,000 passengers in summer 2024”

Operated with a 355-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner the flight, the only one from the United States to Sicily, is already reconfirmed for next year with the introduction of one more frequency, for a total of three weekly flights. “We aim to carry 20,000 passengers in the summer of 2024,- says Carlo Stradiotti, Neos’ CEO. -Thanks to our latest-generation aircraft and high standards of service we are offering a new traffic basin a connection in which we strongly believe towards a destination, New York, which perfectly sums up Neos’ development strategy.”  

Neos NY Palermo taglio nastro

B2B meetings between US and Sicilian tour operators

The Neos network to North America includes three weekly flights on the New York-Milan Malpensa route and a Toronto-Milan Malpensa flight that doubles its frequency during the summer season. “We are actively promoting Sicily through an advertising campaign with dedicated space on the aircraft and with B2B meetings between US and Sicilian tour operators,” added the general manager of the tourism department, Maria Concetta Antinoro. -We are of course working to significantly implement tourist flows to our island; this is a priority for our department.”

A possibility of extending the flights into the winter months

“The route to New York operated by Neos is a great opportunity for Sicilians,- commented Vito Riggio, CEO of Gesap, the management company of Palermo's Falcone Borsellino International Airport. ”Of course we are aiming at the presence of Americans in the Palermo area, which is rich in traditions and our culture which nurtures experiential tourism. The mere fact that the increase in frequencies for the 2025 summer season is being announced today gives us high hopes for the success of the flights, and the possibility that they will also be extended into the winter months.” 

Published in Transportation

For the past five years Japan and Singapore have tied for the top spot on the Henley Passport Index for the number of destinations their passport holders can access without obtaining a visa before arrival. 

They have now been joined by four European countries: France, Germany Italy and Spain, with citizens of these six nations now also having visa-free or visa-upon-arrival access to 194 destinations. So now six countries can claim to have the most powerful in the world. 

The London-based Henly & Partners survey ranks the passports of 193 United Nations member countries plus six other nonmembers  - ROC Taiwan, Macao, Hong Kong, Kosovo, Palestinian Territory, and the Vatican,- in its ranking of the 227 possible travel destinations worldwide that passport holders can travel to.

In second place on the most powerful list we find Finland, South Korea, and Sweden tying with visa-free access to 193 destinations. In third place there is another tie between Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and the Netherlands which are now accessing 192 destinations each. The last name on the list is Afghanistan at 104th place with access to only 28 destinations. 

Pamela McCourt FrancesconePamela McCourt Francescone
Executive Editor

Published in Editorial

A Sardinian new entry for the Virtuoso network: the Abi d'Oru hotel in Porto Rotondo brings to six the Sardinian hotels in the luxury agency network’s portfolio of 154 properties in Italy.  

The hotel has 130 rooms and a new pool

The Abi d'Oru - Sardinian for the Golden Bee - opened its doors in 1963, just four kilometres from Porto Rotondo and directly overlooking the Gulf of Marinella. In 2023, it launched new rooms and suites (and the new swimming pool with a pool bar) for a total of 130 different rooms designed by Sardinian architect Antonio Simon Mossa.  

mini 24.05 Abi dOru 1

Many of the suites are named after local celebrities

The mainstay of Abi d'Oru's hospitality is its strong link with the territory, which is why many of the suites are named for local celebrities: from the Nobel Prize winner for literature Grazia Deledda to politician Antonio Gramsci and from the great artist Maria Lai to Eva Mameli, Italo Calvino's mother and the first woman in Italy to a university lecturer in botany. And with its three different restaurants, the Abi d'Oru is offering a new range of menus. 

mini 24.05 Abi dOru 2

“The Virtuoso affiliation is right for a destination like Sardinia”

“I am delighted to announce the entry of the Abi d'Oru into the Virtuoso network, which is thanks to our sales team headed by Nicola Monello, and all the hotel staff,- said the general manager Diana Zuncheddu. -With the investments and the restyling undertaken in recent years, the hotel has reached the level of hospitality we set ourselves, and it is now at a true international level thanks to Virtuoso. I believe the Virtuoso affiliation is right for a destination like Sardinia as well as for a pioneering hotel and icon of quality hospitality like ours.” 

Published in Hospitality

ITA Airways will inaugurate a new route from Dubai to Rome Fiumicino on 27 October, operating daily flights.

A year of satisfactory results and revenue growth

“This new route is a further step forward in our airline's growth process,- said chairman Antonino Turicchi. -In the first four months of 2024 we recorded very satisfactory results that went beyond expectations, with more than five million passengers carried, which was +29% over the previous year, generating 38% higher revenues than the same period of 2023. This is thanks to the performance of the intercontinental sector, which posted revenue growth of over 50% compared to the first four months of 2024. Moreover, our average load factor stood at 78% which was 3.6% higher than last year, with peaks of 82% on the intercontinental sector.”

Ita Airways Dubai A321neo BusinessIta Airways A321neo Business

“We expect to carry 25% more passengers this summer”

“Things are also looking positive for the summer season, during which we expect to carry more than 25% more passengers than last year. From January to April this year we recorded 99.9% regularity and around 85% on-time arrival at 15 minutes. These results have allowed us to move forward and invest in carving out a leading role for ourselves in air transport also domestically, as a carrier with solid prospects.” 

The new Airbus A321neo has three separate cabins

Flights on the Rome-Dubai route are on sale with the following schedule: departure from Fiumicino at 10:40 and arrival in Dubai at 19:50 (local time); return from Dubai at 01:50 and arrival in Rome at 06:00 (local time). ITA will use the new Airbus A321neo, which boasts more than 20% lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per seat. It is the first narrow-body aircraft configured with three separate cabins: Business Class (12 seats), Premium Economy (12 seats) and Economy (141 seats, 12 of which are dedicated to Comfort Economy).

This summer ITA will operate flights on 57 destinations

Meanwhile, the airline's summer schedule includes 57 destinations, including 16 domestic, 26 international and 15 intercontinental. ITA recently inaugurated new direct flights to Rome Fiumicino from Chicago (April 2024) and Toronto (May 2024),  Riyadh (2 June) and Accra (6 June.) Dakar and Kuwait City will follow in July and Jeddah in August 2024.

Published in Transportation

The Minor Hotels Tivoli brand will officially open in Florence this June with the former Nh Collection Palazzo Gaddi, the brand's second property in Italy after Portopiccolo Sistiana. 

A historic building with 86 rooms and a Michelin chef

Formerly Nh Collection, the building, located in the city's historic centre, dating back to the 16th century and recently restored, has 86 rooms, including four suites. In addition, there is a fine dining restaurant with a winter garden helmed by Michelin-starred chef Iside de Cesare.

mini 29.05 Tivoli Firenze 3

A rooftop bar and five meeting rooms

The hotel also has a rooftop and a lobby bar. There are also five meeting rooms with a maximum capacity of 200 delegates. “We are delighted to become part of the Tivoli brand,-  says Pierluca Chiavetta, general manager of Palazzo Gaddi. “This historic property will be a perfect addition to the portfolio, representing a hotel where the brand's hospitality will blend with Florentine history, in terms of service, experiences and cuisine.”

mini 29.05 Tivoli Firenze 5

Published in Hospitality

Sea Prime is investing in Milan Linate Airport where it will expand both the terminal and the parking areas in view of the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan-Cortina.

Enlarging the lounges and passenger service areas

Sea Prime, which is part of the Sea group that manages all the airport infrastructures dedicated to business and general aviation at both Linate and Malpensa airports, is to enlarge the lounges and passenger service areas. This will be done by incorporating the adjacent hangar, increasing the overall surface area of the Linate Prime terminal by about 2,000 square metres. At the same time, a functional overhaul and extension is planned, as well as a restyling of both the landside and airside facades.

Materials that enhance the terminal's essential and elegant design

This extension is an opportunity to give the area a new identity that reflects the service offered which is iconic and respectful of the surrounding landscape. A reflective, undulating metal exterior was designed adding brightness and integrating with the environment thanks to its reflective properties. Inside a dynamic layout has been designed to accommodate the flow of passenger movement, together with material selections that enhance the terminal's essential and elegant design. 

The first Saf incentive programme

Sea Prime has also launched the first Saf incentive programme aimed at business aviation operators refuelling at Linate and Malpensa Prime airports, with the Saf “drop in” programme. This will be launched in 2024 and will provide a contribution of €1,000 per tonne of certified pure Saf, with a proportional adjustment mechanism in case demand exceeds the available funds of €50,000 for the current programme.

Creating a modern and sustainable terminal”

“Sea Prime is constantly striving to meet the growing demand for business aviation services and infrastructures in Milan,-says Chiara Dorigotti, CEO of Sea Prime. -The main objective of the terminal expansion is to create a modern and sustainable terminal while respecting the surrounding environment, embodying principles of environmental responsibility and innovation. The new Saf contribution programme, the first of its kind in Europe, is a tangible support to the sector's decarbonization commitment”.

Published in Transportation

SAS has inaugurated a new summer route between Copenhagen and Genoa, which will operate every Saturday until 19 October.

Facilitating travel to Scandinavian cities

Between 2 July and 8 August the route, using a 90-seat CRJ900 aircraft, is already scheduled to be upgraded with the introduction of two additional frequencies on Tuesdays and Thursdays to meet the demand of the Scandinavian market at the peak of the summer season. This will facilitate travel to Scandinavian cities such as Oslo, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Aalborg, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, and Hamburg will be also be easily reachable, with a stopover on the flight from Copenhagen to Genoa’s Cristoforo Colombo airport. 

“Boosting connections for the benefit of the local economy”

"Northern Europe is the market we look at with the greatest interest for traffic development,- says Francesco D'Amico, general manager of Genoa Airport,  -and the return of SAS, which we thank for deciding to invest in our region again with a direct flight from Copenhagen, gives us hope. Our goal is to boost direct connections for the benefit of the local economy, and to do this we count on the cooperation of all stakeholders interested in increasing tourist flows. The other strategic objective is the recovery of connections with the main intercontinental hubs, which are of particular interest to Ligurian companies that need to travel to and from Europe and the rest of the world.”

Published in Transportation
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