Biden will travel to Europe to meet with world leaders


WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden is set to travel to Europe at the end of October for several key events, including a meeting with the pope.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday that Biden will travel to Italy, Vatican City, and the United Kingdom.

The president and first lady Jill Biden first visit Vatican City and have an audience with Pope Francis on Oct. 29.

“They will discuss working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, and caring for the poor,” wrote Psaki in her statement.

The president and first lady Jill Biden will then travel to Rome for the G20 Leaders’ Summit from Oct. 30 to Oct. 31. Psaki said additional information about individual bilateral engagements on the margins of the G20 will be released at a later date.

From Rome, the White House says Biden will travel to Glasgow, Scotland, from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2 to participate in the World Leader Summit at the start of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26).





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77% of travelers want to travel in the next year, with Europe reigning as top destination, according to new traveler research commissioned by Amadeus


LONDON–()–The survey of 9,074 consumers across France, Germany, India, Spain, Russia, Singapore, the UAE, the UK, and the US shows the appetite to travel is high. At the same time, it reveals that greater clarity on restrictions and guidelines will be key to unlocking increased traveler confidence. Over a third (35%) of travelers said the current international guidelines around where and how to travel are confusing, making them less likely to book business and/or leisure travel.

At the same time, travelers are exhibiting increased openness to embrace technology and a willingness to share health data so they can start traveling again.

When asked about the receptiveness to share personal health data, the survey results show:

  • 93% of travelers would be willing to provide personal data for the effective use of digital health passports or certificates, a slight increase from 91% in February 2021
  • Almost half (48%) of business travelers would be willing to provide their health data to visit a conference or event, while 36% of leisure travelers would be willing to for an excursion or activity at destination.

When asked which technology would increase confidence to travel in the next 12 months, mobile solutions continue to be the most popular, with the top technologies including:

  • Mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts (44%)
  • Self-service check-in (41%)
  • Contactless mobile payments (e.g., Apple or Google Pay, Paypal, Venmo) (41%)
  • Automated and flexible cancellation policies (40%)

Mobile applications and contactless technology have remained top technologies across all three studies, with the addition of automated and flexible cancellation policies in this final instalment.

The research is the third in a series of traveler sentiment surveys, where Amadeus takes a regular checkpoint on traveler sentiment and concerns to help the industry rebuild travel in the most effective way. Both the 2020 Rethink Travel survey (Sept 2020) and Rebuild Travel Digital Health (Feb 2021) survey revealed how technology can help to increase traveler confidence and Amadeus revisited this question to see how traveler confidence has changed since September 2020. 97% of travelers now say that technology will increase their confidence to travel, up from 91% in February 2021 and 84% in September 2020, showing a growing sense of traveler confidence in technology.

When considering the future of travel and sustainability, the survey highlighted what solutions travelers believe might help the industry to become more sustainable long-term. The results showed:

  • Nearly half (46%) of travelers said greater availability of green modes of transport, e.g., electric planes or trains
  • A similar percentage (44%) believe making sustainable travel more cost effective would be beneficial
  • 41% say transparency around travel companies’ sustainability policies would help.

Although receptiveness to travel in the next year is high, the travel industry needs to consider how to respond to changing traveler concerns as the travel environment continues to adapt. The three main concerns travelers have, are:

  • Fears of catching COVID-19 while traveling (41%)
  • Self-isolation or quarantine before and after travel (41%)
  • Changing restrictions resulting in last minute cancellations (37%)

In comparison to the previous studies, fears of catching the virus maintain a top concern for travelers, alongside self-isolation, or quarantine.

Decius Valmorbida, President, Travel, Amadeus, says, “The travel industry still faces many challenges in light of COVID-19, but we are seeing positive steps taken as restrictions lift and developments in digital health certificates continue around the world. This research demonstrates the appetite to travel continues to grow, and that travelers are looking forward to advancements in areas such as touchless technology, digital health and sustainable travel. Now is the time to listen even more closely to travelers’ needs so we can rebuild our industry in a way that is more traveler focused, resilient and sustainable.”

Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, President, Hospitality, Amadeus, comments, “This three-part series of research has highlighted the essential role that both technology and data have to play in the recovery of our industry and increasing traveler confidence. In hospitality specifically we are seeing how our hotel customers are implementing solutions that complement and streamline experiences without losing the human touch while using data to better prepare for guest demands. At Amadeus we are committed to rebuilding a better industry and working closely with our customers to provide the tools to achieve this.”

To learn more about the results of the survey, read our global report here: https://amadeus.com/en/insights/themes/rebuild-travel



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E.U. weighs covid travel restrictions on American tourists, U.S. says avoid Europe


The possibility of a review looms as U.S. authorities are urging Americans to avoid much of western Europe. On Monday, the State Department issued “Do Not Travel” advisories for France and Iceland, citing the virus levels in those countries, which are similar to U.S. rates. Officials had already attached that highest-level warning to Britain, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.



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MSC Cruises to sail northern Europe this winter | News


MSC Cruises will introduce a northern Europe itinerary in the coming months, the first time the company has offered a winter programme in the region.

UK holidaymakers will have direct access to cosmopolitan cities, medieval culture and quaint villages right on their doorstep with weekly embarkation at Southampton’s brand-new Horizon Cruise terminal from November to April.

Starting from November 14th, MSC Magnifica will offer seven-night cruises visiting five of Europe’s most popular cities – the Northern Pearls.

The ship will call Hamburg, Germany; IJmuiden/Amsterdam, Netherlands; Zeebrugge for Bruges and Brussels, Belgium; Le Havre for Paris, France; Southampton for London, UK.

With extended stays in port of up to 12 hours, guests can really make the most of their time ashore.

Embarkation will be possible in each port, ensuring that there are plenty of convenient connections close for guests.

Antonio Paradiso, managing director of MSC Cruises UK & Ireland, said “Following on from a full summer season with one of our newest ships, MSC Virtuosa, sailing in the UK, we are pleased to be able to bring another first to our British guests with a winter itinerary in northern Europe.

“MSC Magnifica, a popular ship with our guests, will offer weekly embarkation in Southampton from the brand-new Horizon Terminal at ABP Southampton that opened this summer.”





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TravelPerk makes another acquisition | Business Travel News Europe


TravelPerk is to acquire the UK-based corporate travel sustainability consultancy firm Susterra. The acquisition continues a spending spree which has seen the travel management platform buy Click Travel in the UK and NexTravel in the US.

Susterra, founded by environmental scientist James Dent, uses data analytics technology to offer companies a holistic view of their entire business travel-related environmental impact, covering flights, hotels, car hire, and rail travel.

The acquisition follows TravelPerk’s $160 million Series D funding round earlier this year, which brought the total investment raised for the platform to $294 million. The platform is backed by investors such as DST, Kinnevik, Target Global, Felix Capital, Greyhound Capital, Spark Capital, Heartcore, LocalGlobe, Amplo and 14W.

Dent will join TravelPerk as a sustainability data analyst to help further develop the company’s sustainability product offering. Susterra’s technology will be integrated with TravelPerk’s existing GreenPerk carbon offsetting offering. 

“The path to more sustainable business practices starts with visibility,” said Dent. “Increasingly, businesses do want to take the right steps to reduce their carbon footprint, but they are unsure of what actions they can take to make a positive impact.”

Ross McNairn, TravelPerk’s chief product officer, said, “The meetings that matter will always happen in person so companies will always need their employees to travel in order to meet customers, prospects and teams face to face. That said there is massive demand from our clients to enable these meetings with the lowest possible impact on the environment. It’s for this reason that we are investing heavily in helping our clients get a true representation of their footprint so that they can consciously take mitigating action both through TravelPerk and their own programmes. Sustainability is a long game and we want to be leaders in this transition.”



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Travel limits leave Europe without many fans at Ryder Cup


SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (AP) — The sea of red that fills the galleries every time the United States hosts the Ryder Cup will have fewer European blue dots than usual this year.

Pandemic-related travel restrictions are giving the U.S. a far bigger edge in fan support than the home team normally receives.

“You only have to look around and all the grandstands are red,” Europe’s Ian Poulter said. “Everything that you look at, the fans, 98% are obviously going to be U.S. fans this week.”

When this biennial event normally comes to the United States, there are as many as 5,000 European fans, still a clear minority but enough to be heard. There weren’t anywhere near that many European supporters watching Thursday’s practice at Whistling Straits.

“I think you could probably count them on your hands,” quipped Amanda Carle, a Team Europe fan from Dundee, Scotland, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

European residents aren’t permitted to fly directly to the United States due to the pandemic. The U.S. announced Monday it would allow foreigners to fly into the country if they have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test, but those changes don’t take effect until November.

That meant fans living in Europe who wanted to watch the Ryder Cup in person had to take indirect routes.

For instance, Ashley Pearson of Hertfordshire, England, was among a group of four people who flew to Mexico and spent two weeks there. Then they flew from Mexico to Chicago before driving to Wisconsin.

Pearson watched the European team practice Thursday while holding a custom-made thermos with the words, “Ryder Cup or Die!!” on one side and “3 Years & 14,767 Miles” on another side to reflect how long he’d waited and how far he’d traveled to get to this point.

“Whatever we had to do, we were always going to do it,” Pearson said.

There were so few European fans watching Thursday’s practice that they quickly bonded with one another. While Pearson was discussing his circuitous path to Wisconsin, William May of Milwaukee and Ed Cook of Chicago – both originally from England – shouted “Let’s Go, Sergio!” as Sergio Garcia walked up the fairway.

“I just said to these guys a few holes back, ‘Oh, I finally found some English guys,’” Pearson said. “I’d been here for two days and hadn’t found anyone English.”

While the advantage in U.S. fans has been overwhelming, it thus far hasn’t been intimidating.

Carle said the reception from the American fans had been “really positive.” Chris Wipaki, Carle’s husband, noted how one fan dressed in an Abraham Lincoln costume had a polite chat with Carle while they watched the Europeans tee off.

“People are being pleasant and polite and nice,” said Haydn Grounds, an Englishman who lives in Ocean Pines, Maryland. “There’s not as many ‘Ole, Ole’s’ as I’d like to hear or you’d typically hear in a normal Ryder Cup, but it’s fun.”

Knowing they’d be small in number, European fans did their best to make their presence felt.

Grounds was one of a few spectators wearing European flags around their necks. Gavin Kidd, a Houston resident originally from Liverpool, England, wore a homemade mailbox costume to honor Poulter, who has been nicknamed “The Postman” because he delivers so often at the Ryder Cup.

Kidd’s outfit drew a mixed reaction.

“The European fans know it straight away,” Kidd said.

“The American fans don’t understand whatsoever,” said his wife, Lesley Kidd.

The Kidds decided to attend the Ryder Cup after noticing how significantly European fans were outnumbered at the Solheim Cup that took place earlier this month in Toledo, Ohio. Without much time to prepare, they bought plane tickets and found lodging about an hour away in Glendale, Wisconsin.

“I felt obligated to do the right thing and support the boys,” Gavin Kidd said.

It’s worth noting that Europe still managed to win the Solheim Cup even without having the crowd in its favor. Europe’s Ryder Cup team hopes to give its own small cheering section reason to celebrate as well.

“I guess everything is stacked against us,” Poulter said. “When you have that, when you can go in as underdogs, when you can turn the tide and actually come out victorious, it means a little bit more.”

___

For more AP golf coverage: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright
© 2021 . All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.





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Business Travel Show Europe Innovation Faceoff: Meet the finalists


The Business
Travel Show Europe Innovation Faceoff finalists represent the most cutting-edge products, tech
and services developed by start-ups to address big challenges facing the business travel
industry.

The Innovation
Faceoff takes place online and will be streamed live to visitors attending the
in-person event at ExCeL London on 30 September-1 October 2021. Register at
businesstravelshoweurope.com to for a free pass to both.

PredictX logo 2

Zenab
Ishani, sales and marketing associate, PredictX

What do you
do?

PredictX is a Software-as-a-Service
(SaaS) company that develops, delivers and manages decision support
applications. Our mission is to empower businesses to make better strategic
decisions while automating tactical ones, all based on better and more accurate
data. Our AI technology allows our clients to predict future business costs and
trends, see the likely future impacts of their decisions today and use this to optimise
their policies and strategies.

What problem
do you solve?

Our advanced
analytics platform gives companies the power and independence to improve
sourcing and policy decisions for all aspects of employee generated spend (EGS). EGS is any spend
which is produced by the employees of a company while conducting business activities, and thus includes travel and expense
as well as meetings and events, subscriptions, home office applications and a
host of other spend areas.

We use
ground-breaking technology that enables users to improve stakeholder engagement,
manage risk and achieve – and exceed – savings goals. In addition, our
investment in R&D enables innovative applications to solve complex travel
and other EGS problems.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

For travel
specifically, we use technology like machine learning to combine data sources
including TMC, card, expense, corporate hierarchy, supplier and meetings data
and provide a 360° travel programme view. Our intuitive analytics applications
provide travel‐related data on demand at an executive summary and category
manager level while simultaneously allowing drill‐downs to supplier,
department, trip and detailed transactions.

What are
your plans for future growth?

We envisage
several areas that are key to growth. The pandemic has refocused corporations’ outlook on how
travel should be managed and created an environment where programmes need to be
reimagined and seen in the context of the holistic management of employee
mobility.

We believe that
our approach leaves us uniquely qualified to address these issues and enable
our partners in travel to emerge from the pandemic reformed but empowered.

Climate Neutral logo 2

Willem
Melis, carbon advisor, Climate Neutral Group

What do you
do?

We offer accurate
calculations for the CO2 emissions of flights, giving companies a clear insight
on their emissions
and allowing them to compensate these via climate offsetting projects directly via the travel
agent or in after‐calculation.

What problem
do you solve?

By using a
variety of data we guarantee flight-specific calculations. Rather than
averages, we offer accurate data giving the correct CO2 information to
companies.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

A traveller
sees the correct CO2 emissions when making a reservation and can decide on taking
another airline using a less polluting plane, as this information can be shown directly in the
tool. This indirectly pushes airlines to use the most modern aircraft. This accurate data
is no longer based on averages and as such a company will only have to
compensate their effective
CO2 emissions. Very often our tool calculates lower emissions thanks to the
variety of criteria taken
into account.

What are
your plans for future growth?

We want to
create impact and have as many travel agents as possible proposing this
solution to their clients. People
can continue flying if necessary but should take account of their emissions. Our
core markets are
France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

PayPense logo 2

Christopher
Hecht, co‐founder and CEO, PayPense

What do you
do?

PayPense is a
corporate credit card and expense management system in one. Employees receive a PayPense card
and an app that can be used to apply for funds in real time. This results in
budgets that can be
defined in terms of amount, occasion and duration. Payments can be made at any Mastercard
acceptance point worldwide. For each payment, a receipt is captured, digitised
and checked
according to country‐specific requirements.

What problem
do you solve?

We avoid any
cash advance payment by employees. With PayPense everything is company billed
and paid without
having a time‐consuming reimbursement process afterwards.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

For travellers
as mentioned above – there is no need to pay in advance for any company expenses. For companies
we’re offering a safe and compliant way to support employees with liquidity
when and wherever it’s
needed. Which means instead of giving them cash in advance or handing out corporate
credit cards, where the spend behaviour cannot be controlled by the firm, we’re
taking care of that.
An employee gets liquidity for a particular request and only if that demand was approved by the
line manager can money be spent. The solution today is already integrated into
Amadeus Cytric and the corporate booking portal of HRS. PayPense can be used
for any kind of payment. Travel is an important case, but the system works for
any B2B purchases.

What are your
plans for future growth?

Bring your own
bank – as we’re focused on the big corporates, we bring our intelligence into
the corporate’s card programme. Corporate doesn’t want to move away from their
existing suppliers, especially when it comes to the finance part. Therefore, we
want to offer them the ability to stay with their current supplier (like
Citibank) with our solution on top, making it even more convenient for
the corporate in the future. We also want to offer carbon offsets.

Element logo 2

Gavin Smith,
director, Element Travel Technology

What do you
do?

We make
selecting, adopting and maximising the value of tech easy. We are travel
technology specialists
with over 20 years’ real‐world experience in TMC operations and corporate
travel. Whether it is
corporate online booking systems, mid‐to‐back-office software, or chatbot
servicing, our
partnerships with leading travel tech providers give TMCs access to new,
cutting-edge technology, backed by the all‐important layer of personalised
consultancy, service and on‐going support. In an
ever‐evolving technological landscape, smaller TMCs can find it hard to support
the increasing
technological demands of their customers.

We have focused
on developing our ability around NDC to advise the SME market and connect them to the right
suppliers. We work with a carefully selected group of tech products from the
world’s leading providers, helping our TMC customers select and implement the
best choice for them.

What problem
do you solve?

Element enables
smaller TMCs to compete with their larger industry peers and to continue to
grow their
businesses in line with client demands for technologies and associated
services.

There is no one
else that we know of who can provide expense management and three online
booking tools, with more tech to come, on one contract with one service
package. Straight away our clients can offer their clients a choice – something
they cannot do now, as they can only focus on one product due to resource and
investment restrictions.

We support a
couple of clients with SAP Concur – they have a resell deal, but we do all the
support for them and their clients. This has helped them win business off other
TMCs due to our experience.

The primary
suppliers have demand for their products from smaller TMCs and they cannot
fulfil this requirement.
This has led to dissatisfaction from travel managers, travellers and their
businesses in general, as
they cannot get the tech they want from the service provider of their choice.

Grapevine logo

Jack Dow, founder
and CEO, Grapevine

What do you
do?

Grapevine is an
AI engine designed specifically to improve how corporate TMCs engage with
travellers and drive revenue. Our AI engine Marvin integrates with TMC data
sources, identifies booking opportunities and then retargets travellers with ‘right
time, right channel’ personalised and bookable recommendations, providing total
trip value to the traveller and increased booking commissions for the TMC.

What problem
do you solve?

TMCs currently
leak more than 70 per cent of non‐air and rail bookings to external sources.
Not only does this impact TMC revenues, but it impacts corporates’ travel
policy and duty of care obligations.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

Travellers get
a great end‐to‐end booking experience and a trusted source of personalised recommendations.
Corporates ensure that their employees book in‐policy, as well as having confidence to
meet their duty of care obligations.

What are
your plans for future growth?

We’re initially
focused on driving value to TMCs and their corporate clients. Once we have
established ourselves, we plan to offer additional tools to corporate travel
bookers before rolling out to other travel verticals.

hubli logo 2

Ciaran
Delaney, founder and CEO, hubli

What do you do?
Hubli is the
first enterprise platform for in‐person connections. We combine meetings,
workspaces and group stays
in one platform, allowing teams to succeed from anywhere without sacrificing sustainability,
safety, or control.

What problem
do you solve?

15 million US
employees have left their jobs since April 2021, while 67 per cent of employees
are craving in‐person connections. They want social and interpersonal time with
colleagues. Group travel for distributed teams is set to become a rapidly growing
segment in business travel. Hubli is the online booking tool powering these
connections.

What are the
benefits to travellers and organisations with travellers?

Travellers have
access to a state‐of‐the‐art booking solution with more than 185,000 spaces
around the world available on demand when they need them. Travellers can
self‐serve booking in‐policy while also easily managing invites and rooming
lists in one place.

Organisations
have the controls they need to ensure safety, sustainability and savings. Hubli
is now used by organisations
like BP that have more than 10,000 employees on the platform with the ability
to connect in‐person following central safety and security controls.

What are
your plans for future growth?

Hubli will
shortly launch a new sustainability module which will help organisations to
track savings from less team
commuting and travel while also giving them the tools they need to drive
increased carbon savings.
Travellers will be able minimise their carbon footprint by picking meeting
cities based on the
lowest carbon emissions while also booking spaces based on their sustainability policies. All
carbon savings will be also reported back to the travel management team.



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8 Of The Oldest Stores In Europe That You Can Still Visit


There is something special about popping into a store that has been selling the same things for years, decades, and even centuries. The interior design harks back to olden times, and just the thought of all the people who have come into the shop over the previous generations, dressed in the fashion of the times and living a life so different from ours, makes old stores a worthwhile addition to any travel itinerary. And gives you some confidence in the products sold as well. After all, if the product survived progress, wars, modernization — even online shopping — then it can’t be too bad, can it?

Going through the list of shops I have visited over the years of traveling, in no particular order, I realized without intention, that all the shops listed are in Europe. To narrow it down even more, most stores are in London and Paris, giving some kudos to my love for those cities, where history is still alive and well. And to be honest, this is really quite handy, as you can not just search out one store next time you find yourself in London and Paris, but several.

Please note that, while the foundation dates of the stores mentioned below are correct, whether they are all indeed the oldest examples of their individual genre, is at times questionable. Just like many cities around the world claim to be the oldest and longest settled, there are many shops that make claims that might just contradict others. The fact remains, these are beautiful and very old stores well worth visiting for a shopping experience coupled with a bit of time travel.

Le Bon Marche; Rive Gauche, Paris, France
Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

1. Le Bon Marche, Paris, France

Hands down my favorite department store of all time, Le Bon Marche on Rive Gauche in Paris, is also the oldest department store in the world. Opened in 1852 by Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut, it pioneered a way of shopping that was until then unheard of: a one-stop multi-story shop, where you could get pretty much everything you would normally have had to travel across Paris to get.

The store is beautifully designed inside and out and puts on a show regularly when its iconic escalators get dressed up for Christmas and other special occasions. Ever so photogenic, the store also sells utterly desirable items. Ironically called “The Bargain,” it sells luxury goods from high-end fashion to beautiful kitchen wares, from perfect gifts to gorgeous jewelry, and at Christmas, the most unusual Christmas Tree baubles. This is where you can spend a fortune in no time. Add to that the superb food hall, to be locked into the store overnight, or make that for a week, would be a delight.

Pro Tip: Go to the top floor, the shoe department, under the beautiful stained-glass roof. And bring a camera!

Livraria Bertrand; Lisbon, Portugal
moralophotography / Shutterstock.com

2. Livraria Bertrand, Lisbon, Portugal

Livraria Bertrand is the oldest bookstore in the world, dating to 1732. In the heart of the bustling shopping precinct of Chiado in the center of Lisbon, this store is decorated on the outside with those gorgeous blue and white Azulejo tiles. Inside, history is palatable, with books on display under ancient arched ceilings, and on shiny wooden shelves. There is also a rather pretty café inside, with a savory and sweet menu paying homage to many book titles and authors. Settle down with your new purchase (they do sell English books as well as Portuguese ones) and stay awhile. Please note not to mix this bookstore up with the equally famous and very beautiful Livraria Lello, which is located in Porto.

Pro Tip: You are steps away from the iconic Tram 28, which trundles through the old city center, and is worth squeezing onto.

3. Queen’s Lane, Oxford, UK

The city of Oxford is old, its university the oldest in the English-speaking world, with colleges dating to the 1200s. And, as students and coffee usually go well together, it is not necessarily surprising that, if not the world’s, but Europe’s oldest still-going coffeehouse is found in Oxford. The Queen’s Lane Coffee House was established back in 1654, before the plague and the Fire of London. While the building is a little crooked, the inside is a higgledy-piggledy mix of corners and tables, with decent coffee and great sweet nibbles — with a lot of students there revising.

Pro Tip: I don’t mean to take you away from this old coffeehouse, but just opposite is another little beauty, the Grand Café. It might not have the history, but it is beautiful and they make a great afternoon tea.

Lock & Co Hatters; London, UK
Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

4. Lock & Co. Hatters, London, UK

You would not have thought that hats were still that popular, but Lock & Co. Hatters, handily located between the Ritz London and St. James’s Park, still does a roaring trade. And has done since 1676. Be they old-fashioned straw hats, trilbies, fedoras or pork pies, boater hats, weatherproof or packable, they also do a fine wedding collection and some stylish caps. They’re all made to measure, with a storeroom full of famous heads made from wood, with personal measurements noted for repeat business. In their old ledgers, you can find illustrious names such as Admiral Lord Nelson, Oscar Wilde, Sir Winston Churchill, and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Pro Tip: Two shops down, you’ll find Berry Bros & Rudd, the world’s oldest wine store, dating to 1698.

Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy; Florence, Italy
mazarekic / Shutterstock.com

5. Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, Florence, Italy

Reportedly the oldest pharmacy in the world, it is also one of the prettiest: Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy in Florence. Named after the Basilica Santa Maria Novella behind it, it was founded in 1221 by the Dominican monks connected to the church. It all started with humble rose water, which was popular not solely for its sweet smell, but also as a means to keep the plague and other diseases at bay. The pharmacy, while plain outside, so plain you could easily walk past, is stunning inside, complete with a chandelier, black-and-white-tiled floor, and arched ceilings.

Pro Tip: The pharmacy still sells its rose water, and you can even buy it online, if your baggage allowance is tight.

Hamleys; Regent Street, London, UK
Willy Barton / Shutterstock.com

6. Hamleys, London, UK

The oldest toy store in the world, Hamleys was founded in 1760 under the name Noah’s Ark. To be fair, it only moved to its current flagship store location on Regents Street in 1881, but it is still the first, and as the tag line claims, it’s the “finest toy shop in the world.” The store was so popular that it used to have a fleet of horse-drawn carriages delivering parcels across the city, and even stayed open during WWII, despite being bombed. Today the emporium has 160 stores worldwide, but nothing beats the seven-floor magic on Regent Street. I dare you to go in and come out with nothing — not even one little teddy bear.

Pro Tip: It’s a 5-minute walk to Piccadilly, where you can find Fortnum & Mason, London’s oldest department store, dating to 1707.

Twinings Tea Flagship Store; London, UK
Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey

7. Twinings Tea, London, UK

The narrow premises of the Twinings Flagship store on the Strand, just opposite the Courts of Justice, have been continuously occupied by the tea company since 1706, when Britain’s first tearoom was opened by Thomas Twining. Tea was introduced to Britain in 1662 but reserved for royalty at first. Opening a tearoom in the heart of old London made it available to the public, and, as they say, the rest is history.

Twinings owns the world’s oldest continually used company logo, and the slender and very easily missed building is one of the oldest shops in London still in its original location. Today the beautiful and historic setting houses a store, a museum, and of course, a tearoom. Here you can do tea tastings, working your way through some of the more exotic varieties of their assortment of 200-odd teas.

Pro Tip: At 440 The Strand, you can find Coutts & Co. Bank, which was founded in 1692, just 2 years before the Bank of England was founded. But it is not the oldest bank in the world; that honor goes to Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in Italy, which dates to 1472.

A La Mere De Famille; Paris, France
Petr Kovalenkov / Shutterstock.com

8. A La Mere De Famille, Paris, France

Started in 1761 by Pierre-Jean Bernard, A la Mere de Famille is said to be the world’s oldest chocolate shop. Monsieur Bernard set up shop at 35, rue du Faubourg Montmartre, and the very same shop is still there today, looking gorgeous as ever. A beautiful exterior with gold lettering, the inside of the old-fashioned shelves are crammed with goodies displayed in jars on counters, in antique display cabinets, all set off with old light fittings and a lovely tiled floor — just as it was some 260 years ago, and just as popular. Indeed, in Paris alone, there are now 12 other branches of the chocolate store. At popular celebrations, such as Easter and Christmas, the window display, and the seasonal specialties, are an absolute delight to see and taste.

Pro Tip: Between the Louvre and the Palais Royale, there lies A la Civette, reportedly the oldest cigar shop in Paris, if not the world. Founded in 1716, this is heaven for cigar lovers.



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Industry hails ‘perfect flight’ | Business Travel News Europe


A group of companies in the travel industry have joined
together this week to demonstrate that the perfect net zero flight can be
achieved.

Heathrow Airport, British Airways, Airbus, bp, Glasgow
Airport and NATS worked together to operate a flight between London and Glasgow
demonstrating how the industry could decarbonise aviation.

The BA flight, operated by an A320neo, was powered directly
by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), provided by bp, blended at 35 per cent with
traditional jet fuel. The remaining emissions produced by the flight were
offset.

The aircraft was pushed back at Heathrow using electric
Mototok vehicles powered by the airport’s supply of renewable electricity while
air traffic controllers at NATS optimised the routing and flight level to avoid
additional fuel burn.

The companies said carbon emissions were 62 per cent lower compared
to a comparable flight a decade ago – with 34 per cent of the savings coming from
efficient aircraft and operations, 28 per cent from the use of SAF and the
remaining 38 per cent offset using high quality, verified carbon offsets.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said: “[This] shows that the
solutions to deliver net zero flight exist, we just need to scale them up. The
faster we scale up supply and use of SAFs, the faster we can decarbonise
aviation and protect the benefits of flying in a world without carbon. What is
needed urgently is for Government to introduce policies to increase the supply
of SAF and to provide the right price incentives for airlines to use it.”

British Airways’ chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle said: “This
flight offered a practical demonstration of the progress we’re making in our
carbon reduction journey. By working together with our industry partners we’ve
delivered a 62 per cent improvement in emissions reductions compared to a
decade ago. This marks real progress in our efforts to decarbonise and shows
our determination to continue innovating, working with governments and industry
and accelerating the adoption of new low carbon solutions.”



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Munckhof launches technology platform | Business Travel News Europe


Dutch travel management company Munckhof has launched
a new technology platform for its clients.

The AVA platform offers interconnecting modules for
travel booking, reporting and analytics, quality control and profile management, ensuring data is synchronised.

Tom Roefs, CEO of Munckhof, said, “Our travel
division is known for its personal customer approach, customer knowledge and
comprehensive service. In today’s digital world, these values are still important when organising business trips. 

“Munckhof Business Travel will now
support this service even better through smart travel technology. The AVA
platform assists our customer and our colleagues in making smart
choices. We will continue to invest in improving the platform by adding
new functionalities and even completely new modules.” 



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