NASA’s Lucy mission is ready to launch and explore never-before-seen asteroids


By Ashley Strickland, CNN

The first NASA mission to fly by a total of eight ancient asteroids is ready for launch.

Weather conditions will be 90% favorable on the morning of October 16, when the Lucy mission is set to leave Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 5:34 a.m. ET. If it doesn’t launch at that time, the window for liftoff remains open for 75 minutes.

Lucy will embark on a 12-year mission to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroid swarms, which have never been observed. The Trojan asteroids, which borrow their name from Greek mythology, orbit the sun in two swarms — one that’s ahead of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, and a second one that lags behind it.

So far, our only glimpses of the Trojans have been artist renderings or animations. Lucy will provide the first high-resolution images of what these asteroids look like.

Lucy is the first spacecraft designed to visit and observe these asteroids, which are remnants from the early days of our solar system. The mission will help researchers effectively peer back in time to learn how the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago. Lucy’s 12-year mission could also help scientists learn how our planets ended up in their current spots.

“At the heart of Lucy is the science and how it’s going to talk to us about the Trojans,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

“It’s so important to go observe them because these asteroids tell us about a chapter of our own story — in this case, the history when the outer planets were forming in the solar system,” Zurbuchen said. “I’m still amazed by the fact that if you pick up a rock or you look at one of those planetary bodies and you add science to it, it turns into a history book.”

Visiting mysterious asteroids

There are about 7,000 Trojan asteroids, and the largest is 160 miles (250 kilometers) across. The asteroids represent the leftover material still hanging around after the giant planets in our solar system, including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, formed. Even though they share an orbit with Jupiter, the asteroids are still very distant from the planet itself — almost as far away as Jupiter is from the sun, according to NASA.

The spacecraft is set to fly by an asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and then it will explore seven of the Trojans. Over the course of its mission, Lucy will end up swinging back to Earth’s orbit three separate times for gravity assists that can slingshot it on the right path. That will make Lucy the first spacecraft to travel to Jupiter and return to Earth.

The mission borrows its name from the Lucy fossil, the remains of an ancient human ancestor discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. The skeleton has helped researchers piece together aspects of human evolution, and the NASA Lucy team members hope their mission will achieve a similar feat regarding the history of our solar system.

The Trojans “are held there by the gravitational effect of Jupiter and the sun, so if you put an object there early in the solar system’s history, it’s been stable forever,” said Hal Levison, the principal investigator of the Lucy mission, based at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “These things really are the fossils of what planets formed from.”

Both the fossil and the mission are a nod to the Beatles tune “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” which is why the logo for the Lucy mission includes a diamond.

Over 12 years, Lucy will travel nearly 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) moving at about 400,000 miles per hour (17,881.6 meters per second).

Lucy will specifically visit these asteroids, all named for heroes you might recognize from Homer’s “The Iliad”: Eurybates, Queta, Polymele, Leucus, Orus, Patroclus and Menoetius.

Eurybates is not one of the Trojans, but it was chosen because it’s the largest remnant of an ancient massive collision, meaning that it could reveal a look at what’s inside an asteroid. Observations made using the Hubble Space Telescope found that the small asteroid named Queta is a satellite of Eurybates.

Each of the asteroids Lucy will fly by differ in size and color.

“One of the really surprising things about the Trojans when we started to study them from the ground is just how different they are from one another,” Levison said. ” So if you want to understand what this population is telling us about how the planets formed, you need to understand that diversity and that’s what Lucy is intended to do.”

A feat of engineering

The Lucy spacecraft is more than 46 feet (14 meters) from tip to tip, largely due to its giant solar panels — each about the width of a school bus — designed to keep up a power supply to the spacecraft’s instruments. But Lucy also has fuel to help it execute some skilled maneuvers on the way to the asteroids.

It took a team of more than 500 engineers and scientists to conceptualize and build the spacecraft, said Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

“Lucy will be NASA’s first mission to travel this far away from the sun without nuclear power,” said Joan Salute, associate director for flight programs at NASA’s Planetary Science Division.”In order to generate enough energy, Lucy has two very large circular solar arrays that open up like Chinese fans. These open up autonomously and simultaneously, and it happens about one hour after launch.”

Lucy will use three science instruments to study the asteroids, including color and black-and-white cameras, a thermometer, and an infrared imaging spectrometer to determine the composition of the asteroids’ surface materials. The spacecraft will communicate with Earth using its antenna, which also can be used to help determine the masses of the asteroids.

The instruments will enable the science team to search for moons around these asteroids as well as craters on their surfaces, which can help determine their ages as well as the origin and evolution of the asteroids.

Lucy will fly by the asteroids at about 15,000 miles per hour (6,705 meters per second), about four times slower than when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft zipped by Pluto and the distant object Arrokoth, said Hal Weaver, principal investigator for Lucy’s L’LORRI instrument at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

Lucy will also be about 600 miles (965 kilometers) away from each asteroid during its flyby, as opposed to around 2,000 miles (3,218 kilometers) away from the Arrokoth flyby, which means the Trojan images will have four times better resolution.

Once the Lucy mission has finished, the team plans to propose an extended mission to explore more Trojans. The spacecraft will remain in a stable orbit that retraces the path of its exploration between Earth and Jupiter, and it won’t have a chance of colliding with either for over 100,000 years. Eventually, if the orbit does grow unstable, it will likely head on a doomed mission to the sun or get kicked out of our solar system.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.



Source link

NASA’s Lucy mission is ready to launch and explore never-before-seen asteroids


Weather conditions will be 90% favorable on the morning of October 16, when the Lucy mission is set to leave Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 5:34 a.m. ET. If it doesn’t launch at that time, the window for liftoff remains open for 75 minutes.

Lucy will embark on a 12-year mission to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroid swarms, which have never been observed. The Trojan asteroids, which borrow their name from Greek mythology, orbit the sun in two swarms — one that’s ahead of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, and a second one that lags behind it.

So far, our only glimpses of the Trojans have been artist renderings or animations. Lucy will provide the first high-resolution images of what these asteroids look like.

Lucy is the first spacecraft designed to visit and observe these asteroids, which are remnants from the early days of our solar system. The mission will help researchers effectively peer back in time to learn how the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago. Lucy’s 12-year mission could also help scientists learn how our planets ended up in their current spots.

“At the heart of Lucy is the science and how it’s going to talk to us about the Trojans,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

“It’s so important to go observe them because these asteroids tell us about a chapter of our own story — in this case, the history when the outer planets were forming in the solar system,” Zurbuchen said. “I’m still amazed by the fact that if you pick up a rock or you look at one of those planetary bodies and you add science to it, it turns into a history book.”

Visiting mysterious asteroids

There are about 7,000 Trojan asteroids, and the largest is 160 miles (250 kilometers) across. The asteroids represent the leftover material still hanging around after the giant planets in our solar system, including Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, formed. Even though they share an orbit with Jupiter, the asteroids are still very distant from the planet itself — almost as far away as Jupiter is from the sun, according to NASA.

Fastest orbiting asteroid found in our solar system

The spacecraft is set to fly by an asteroid in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and then it will explore seven of the Trojans. Over the course of its mission, Lucy will end up swinging back to Earth’s orbit three separate times for gravity assists that can slingshot it on the right path. That will make Lucy the first spacecraft to travel to Jupiter and return to Earth.

This graphic shows Lucy's impressive trajectory to reach the asteroids over 12 years.
The mission borrows its name from the Lucy fossil, the remains of an ancient human ancestor discovered in Ethiopia in 1974. The skeleton has helped researchers piece together aspects of human evolution, and the NASA Lucy team members hope their mission will achieve a similar feat regarding the history of our solar system.

The Trojans “are held there by the gravitational effect of Jupiter and the sun, so if you put an object there early in the solar system’s history, it’s been stable forever,” said Hal Levison, the principal investigator of the Lucy mission, based at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “These things really are the fossils of what planets formed from.”

How did Lucy, our early human ancestor, die 3 million years ago?

Both the fossil and the mission are a nod to the Beatles tune “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” which is why the logo for the Lucy mission includes a diamond.

Over 12 years, Lucy will travel nearly 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) moving at about 400,000 miles per hour (17,881.6 meters per second).

Lucy will specifically visit these asteroids, all named for heroes you might recognize from Homer’s “The Iliad”: Eurybates, Queta, Polymele, Leucus, Orus, Patroclus and Menoetius.

NASA's Lucy mission will explore seven Trojan asteroids.
This illustration shows the binary asteroid Patroclus/Menoetius, Eurybates, Orus, Leucus, Polymele and the main belt asteroid DonaldJohanson.

Eurybates is not one of the Trojans, but it was chosen because it’s the largest remnant of an ancient massive collision, meaning that it could reveal a look at what’s inside an asteroid. Observations made using the Hubble Space Telescope found that the small asteroid named Queta is a satellite of Eurybates.

Each of the asteroids Lucy will fly by differ in size and color.

“One of the really surprising things about the Trojans when we started to study them from the ground is just how different they are from one another,” Levison said. ” So if you want to understand what this population is telling us about how the planets formed, you need to understand that diversity and that’s what Lucy is intended to do.”

A feat of engineering

The Lucy spacecraft is more than 46 feet (14 meters) from tip to tip, largely due to its giant solar panels — each about the width of a school bus — designed to keep up a power supply to the spacecraft’s instruments. But Lucy also has fuel to help it execute some skilled maneuvers on the way to the asteroids.

It took a team of more than 500 engineers and scientists to conceptualize and build the spacecraft, said Donya Douglas-Bradshaw, Lucy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

NASA spacecraft carrying history-making asteroid sample now heading toward Earth

“Lucy will be NASA’s first mission to travel this far away from the sun without nuclear power,” said Joan Salute, associate director for flight programs at NASA’s Planetary Science Division.”In order to generate enough energy, Lucy has two very large circular solar arrays that open up like Chinese fans. These open up autonomously and simultaneously, and it happens about one hour after launch.”

Lucy will use three science instruments to study the asteroids, including color and black-and-white cameras, a thermometer, and an infrared imaging spectrometer to determine the composition of the asteroids’ surface materials. The spacecraft will communicate with Earth using its antenna, which also can be used to help determine the masses of the asteroids.

The nearly assembled Lucy spacecraft is shown in late 2020.

The instruments will enable the science team to search for moons around these asteroids as well as craters on their surfaces, which can help determine their ages as well as the origin and evolution of the asteroids.

Lucy will fly by the asteroids at about 15,000 miles per hour (6,705 meters per second), about four times slower than when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft zipped by Pluto and the distant object Arrokoth, said Hal Weaver, principal investigator for Lucy’s L’LORRI instrument at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
Lucy will also be about 600 miles (965 kilometers) away from each asteroid during its flyby, as opposed to around 2,000 miles (3,218 kilometers) away from the Arrokoth flyby, which means the Trojan images will have four times better resolution.

Once the Lucy mission has finished, the team plans to propose an extended mission to explore more Trojans. The spacecraft will remain in a stable orbit that retraces the path of its exploration between Earth and Jupiter, and it won’t have a chance of colliding with either for over 100,000 years. Eventually, if the orbit does grow unstable, it will likely head on a doomed mission to the sun or get kicked out of our solar system.



Source link

DigiTravel and partners launch hotel programme analysis tool


DigiTravel Consulting, Business Travel Performance
Automation and About Partners Luxury Brands Collection have joined forces to
create a new tool to assess corporate hotel programmes and improve upon the
annual hotel request-for-proposal process, DigiTravel announced.

Dubbed Hotel Program Opportunity Analysis, the service is
available for free globally.

“The Opportunity Analysis has been carefully designed
by real industry experience to outline value and savings for companies and
hotels without going through the cumbersome RFP process every year, driving
continuous improvement, innovative services and smarter sourcing,” said
DigiTravel managing partner Susan Lichtenstein in a statement.

Lichtenstein explained in an email how it works; after a
company fills out a questionnaire on the DigiTravel website, the three partners
use their expertise along with technology, including the BTP Index, to review
the data and present back to the company opportunities in the area of savings,
cost to manage, booking channels, sourcing, benchmarking, process optimisation
and procurement.

“There’s a lot of confusion in hotel procurement right
now,” said BTP CEO Bruce Yoxsimer in a statement. “Unless you really
have your arms around your position as a buyer, it’s very difficult to build a
programme that supports your goals as an organisation. Our goal as partners is
to provide a clear path forward for companies as travel ramps back up.
Data-driven analytics, automation of manual processes and continuous sourcing
is the key.”

DigiTravel specialises in the business travel market.
Newcomer BTP partnered with Traxo earlier in 2021 to create a hotel programme
automation and performance platform to analyse both in-channel and off-channel
hotel bookings. About Partners represents independent hotels and serviced
apartments and formed an alliance with DigiTravel in November 2020.



Source link

SpaceX will launch four space tourists on a three-day trip in space. Here’s everything you need to know


By Jackie Wattles, CNN Business

On Wednesday, four people — none of whom are professional astronauts — will strap themselves into a capsule atop a 200-foot-tall SpaceX rocket that will blast them past the speed of sound and up to 17,500 miles per hour.

This mission, dubbed Inspiration4, is the first orbital mission in the history of spaceflight to be staffed entirely by tourists or otherwise non-astronauts.

Launch is slated for Wednesday between 8:02 pm and 1:02 am ET from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County, Florida, though forecasters are keeping a close eye out for storms that could impact the mission.

The three-day journey will see the quartet free-flying through Earth’s orbit, whipping around the planet once every 90 minutes while the passengers float, buoyed by microgravity, and take in panoramic views of our home planet. To cap off the journey, their spacecraft will dive back into the atmosphere for a fiery re-entry and splash down off the coast of Florida. And yes, for all three days in space, the passengers will all have to share a special zero-gravity-friendly toilet located near the top of the capsule. No showering will be available, and crew will all have to sleep in the same reclining seats they will ride in during launch.

This is far from the first time civilians have traveled to space. Though NASA has been averse to signing up non-astronauts for routine missions after the death of Christa McAuliffe, a New Jersey school teacher who was killed in the Challenger disaster in 1986, a cohort of wealthy thrill-seekers paid their own way to the International Space Station in the 2000s through a company called Space Adventures. American investment management billionaire Dennis Tito became the first to self-fund a trip in 2001 with his eight-day stay on the International Space Station, and six others came after him. They all booked rides alongside professional astronauts on Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

This mission, however, has been billed as the beginning of a new era of space travel in which average people, rather than government-selected astronauts and the occasional deep-pocketed adventurer, carry the mantle of space exploration.

But to be clear, we are still a long way from that reality, and this trip is still far from “average.” It’s a custom, one-off mission financed by a billionaire founder of a payment processing company, and though pricing details have not been made public, it likely cost upward of $200 million. (According to one government report, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule costs roughly $55 million per seat.)

Here’s a rundown of what’s happening and why it matters.

The passengers: A billionaire, a cancer survivor, a geologist and a raffle winner

  • Jared Isaacman, 38, the billionaire founder of payment processing company Shift4, who is also personally financing this entire mission
  • Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old cancer survivor who now works as a physician assistant at St. Jude, the hospital where she was treated, in Memphis, Tennessee. She’ll be the first person with a prosthetic body part to go to space, and she’ll serve as the flight’s chief medical officer. St. Jude selected Arceneaux for this mission as Isaacman’s request, according to a Netflix documentary, and, at the time, she said she was so unfamiliar with space travel that she asked if she would be traveling to the moon, unaware that humans have not set foot on the moon in 50 years.
  • Sian Proctor, 51, a geologist and educator who was selected for a seat on this mission through a post on social media in which she highlights her space-related artwork and entrepreneurial spirit. She’ll be only the fourth Black woman from the US to travel to orbit.
  • Chris Sembroski, a 42-year-old Seattle-based Lockheed Martin employee and former camp counselor at Alabama’s famed Space Camp. He won his seat through a raffle he entered by donating to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, though he wasn’t the official winner. His friend snagged the seat and, after deciding not to go, transferred it to him.

Isaacman — who will become the third billionaire to self-fund a trip to space in the past three months and the first to buy a trip to orbit on a SpaceX capsule — is billing this mission as one that he hopes will inspire would-be space adventureres, hence the missions’s name, Inspiration4. He’s also using it as the centerpiece for a $200 million fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, $100 million of which he donated personally and the rest he is hoping to raise through online donations and an upcoming auction.

So far, a fundraiser has brought in $30 million of its $100 million goal.

How did all this happen?

Inspiration4 is entirely the brain child of Jared Isaacman and SpaceX.

Isaacman began flying single-engine prop planes recreationally in the mid-2000s and developed an insatiable thirst for going higher and faster, eventually moving into twin-engine planes, then jets, then military-grade aircraft that can zip past the speed of sound.

Each of Isaacman’s fellow passengers was selected in a different way: He asked St. Jude to select a cancer-survivor-turned-healthcare-provider, and the organization chose Arceneaux. Proctor won an online contest specifically for people who use Shift4, the payment platform Isaacman runs. And Sembroski was given his seat by a person who won a raffle for people who donated to St. Jude. (Sembroski also entered the raffle but was not the original winner.)

Isaacman told CNN Business that he sat down with SpaceX to hash out the flight profile. He specifically wanted the Crew Dragon to orbit higher than International Space Station, which is why the spacecraft will orbit about 350 miles above Earth — roughly 100 miles above where the space station orbits.

How risky is this?

Any time a spacecraft leaves Earth there are risks, and there are no perfect measurements for predicting them.

But NASA estimates Crew Dragon has a 1 in 270 chance of catastrophic failure, based on one metric the space agency uses. For comparison, NASA’s Space Shuttle missions in the 1980s to early 2000s ultimately logged a failure rate of about 1 in every 68 missions.

Because of the inherent risks of blasting a spacecraft more than 17,500 miles per hour — the speed that allows an object to enter Earth’s orbit — Inspiration4 is more dangerous than the brief, up-and-down suborbital jaunts made by billionaires Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson.

Apart from the many perils of the launch itself — in which rockets essentially use controlled explosions more powerful than most wartime bombs to drum up enough speed to rip away from gravity — there’s also the re-entry process. When returning from orbit, the Crew Dragon’s external temperatures can reach up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit, and astronauts can experience 4.5 Gs of force pushing them into their seats, all while the ever-thickening atmosphere whips around the capsule.

During a Netflix documentary about the Inspiration4 mission, Musk described a capsule going through reentry as “like a blazing meteor coming in.”

“And so it’s hard not to get vaporized,” he added.

After that the Crew Dragon then has to deploy parachutes to slow its descent and make a safe splashdown in the ocean before rescue ships can whisk the four passengers back to dry land.

Despite the risks, a former NASA chief and career safety officials have said the Crew Dragon is likely the safest crewed vehicle ever flown.

The vehicle: SpaceX’s Crew Dragon

All four passengers will spend the entire missions aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, a 13-foot-wide, gumdrop-shaped spacecraft that detaches from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket after reaching orbital speeds.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule was developed by Elon Musk’s rocketry company for the specific purpose of ferrying NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station, which it did for the first time ever in May 2020.

Since then, SpaceX has launched two additional Crew Dragon missions for NASA.

SpaceX is allowed, however, to sell seats — or entire missions — to whoever the company chooses. Although NASA paid for much of the Crew Dragon’s development, under the terms of the deal between the federal agency and the company, SpaceX still technically owns and operates the vehicle and can use it for whatever commercial purposes it wishes.

Crew Dragon’s missions in the near future also include a mix of NASA-commissioned flights to the ISS and space tourism missions.

For this mission, the Crew Dragon will be retrofitted with a giant glass dome at the tip of the spacecraft specifically for the crew to soak in panoramic views of the cosmos.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.





Source link

Sixt to launch robotaxis in Munich with Intel partnership | News


Sixt co-chief executive, Alexander Sixt, has announced a collaboration with Intel to begin offering autonomous ride-hailing services in Munich next year.

The deal was confirmed during a keynote at IAA Mobility, alongside Intel chief executive, Pat Gelsinger.

The collaboration between Intel subsidiary Mobileye and Sixt, an international provider of mobility services headquartered in Germany, also aspires to scale driverless ride-sharing services across Europe later this decade.

Riders will be able to access the service via the Moovit app as well as the Sixt app.

The autonomous robotaxi option will be part of the ride-hailing service Sixt ride and was demonstrated during a keynote walk-on.

Mobileye also unveiled the vehicles – branded with MoovitAV and Sixt – that will be produced in volume and used for the robotaxi service in Germany.

It is the first time Mobileye has publicly displayed its fully integrated self-driving system, known as Mobileye Drive, in a vehicle that will be used for commercial, driverless ride-hailing services.

A recently enacted autonomous vehicle law permits driverless vehicles on German roads, allowing Mobileye robotaxis to begin early-rider testing on Munich streets in 2022.

The fleet will thereafter move from test to commercial operations upon regulatory approval.

“Germany has shown global leadership toward a future of autonomous mobility by expediting crucial AV legislation,” Gelsinger said.

“Our ability to begin robotaxi operations in Munich next year would not be possible without this new law.”

Mobileye will own the robotaxi fleet used in the Munich service, while Sixt will draw upon its established expertise in providing, maintaining and operating the fleet.

Alexander Sixt added: “We are delighted to leverage the remarkable technology leadership of Mobileye to bring driverless mobility to customers in Germany and beyond.”





Source link

business trip

Aventri to Launch Solution for Small Events


Event management software company Aventri plans to launch for clients a solution for small, less complex meetings and events on Sept. 30, the company announced. 

Dubbed Express Events, the solution—which will not be sold as a standalone product—uses templates to help planners create an event within five clicks, according to Aventri. The templates are designed for different event types, and planners select a theme and provide event details. Express Events then produces elements including invitations, registration forms, emails and landing pages. The organizer does not have to upload images, design color palettes, compose emails or deal with merge codes, according to the company.

The product includes real-time activity dashboards, with metrics such as email opens, clicks, registrations and attendance. Express Events also features an RSVP functionality for instant registration, meaning registrants need not enter information the event organizer already has in the system, according to Aventri.

Aventri created the solution as in-person meetings that are being planned are trending smaller in response to the continuing pandemic, according to the company.

“Some of our clients report events with less complex requirements comprise up to 75 percent of their meetings portfolio,” said Aventri CEO Jim Sharpe in a statement. “With today’s smaller teams of events specialists, the task of handling this vital segment often falls on infrequent planners, whose main job function isn’t event planning.”

Express Events includes the same security and privacy capabilities of the Aventri platform and works with other Aventri solutions for virtual, hybrid and in-person events, according to the company.



Source link

Wyndham to launch Registry Collection in Georgia | News


Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has debuted its newest brand, Registry Collection Hotels, in Georgia with a flagship 100-room newly-built property in the heart of the capital city of Tbilisi.

Slated to open in early 2023, the ART Tbilisi, a Registry Collection Hotel, will be located in the picturesque district of Abanotubani, one of the most sought-after locations in the old town.

Nestled on a hill with views of the bustling old city and its traditional brick houses, the new build property will offer guests a tranquil retreat in a stunning part of Tbilisi with easy access to many attractions, including its historic hot springs and sulphuric baths, located just opposite the hotel.

It will boast sophisticated interiors and stylish guest rooms, including a mix of suites, deluxe and executive accommodation options.

Dimitris Manikis, president for Europe, Middle East, Eurasia & Africa (EMEA) at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said: “Our newest brand is the perfect option for independent luxury hotel owners who want to maintain their independent spirit while tapping into the global scale, capability and loyalty of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which is even more relevant as the industry recovers from the challenges of the global pandemic.

“We are incredibly proud to introduce our Registry Collection Hotels brand and this spectacular property to Georgia, a stunning destination that has become hugely popular thanks to its charming architecture, rich culture, delectable cuisine, and many historic sites.”

Wyndham’s portfolio in Georgia includes Wyndham Grand Tbilisi, Wyndham Batumi, Ramada By Wyndham Tbilisi Old City, Ramada Encore Tbilisi, in addition to a development pipeline of 11 hotels across the country.

In recent years Georgia has experienced a record number of visitors, with tourism accounting for around 18 per cent of the country’s GDP.

Despite the pandemic, according to GlobalData, by 2025 the total travel and tourism spending by all visitors in Georgia is forecast to grow by 40 per cent, highlighting the high potential of the destination.





Source link

National Express Leisure to launch this month | News


National Express has announced the creation of a new business focusing on the UK holiday and leisure travel market.

The transport provider will bring together a number of existing businesses and brands, including Fareham-based Lucketts and Woods Coaches of Leicester, under the single banner of National Express Leisure.

The move will take effect from this month.

The new entity aims to become the number one place to go for holidays and leisure travel by coach with a full range of great value options of ready-made or build-your-own packages.

National Express Leisure will consolidate the skills and experience of different teams from across the business with operations in both Fareham and Birmingham.

As part of the plan, new roles are being recruited for in marketing, sales, product development, management and distribution.

Investment is also being committed to public-facing marketing and digital capabilities.

Tom Stables, chief executive National Express, UK and Germany, said: “We already have significant experience in offering travel in the UK, whether it’s a build your own package with Holidays by National Express, a coach holiday or day trip

“There is a lot more opportunity in this market which we believe we can best tap into by building on our work with existing partners as one business being managed by a single expert team.”





Source link

Take a sneak peek at Disney’s Space 220 restaurant at EPCOT ahead of its launch next month


The countdown is back on for your chance to dine in Earth orbit.

Walt Disney World Resort has set mid-September for the highly-anticipated and long-awaited opening of Space 220, a new restaurant at Epcot set aboard a space station high above the planet.





Source link

business trip

Marriott to Launch Enhanced Human Trafficking Awareness Training


Marriott International will launch an expanded version of its human trafficking awareness training on July 30, the United Nations’ World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the company announced. Marriott’s goal is to have all on-property staff by 2025 trained to recognize and respond to possible indicators of human trafficking at hotels.

Marriott was among the first lodging companies to address the challenge of human trafficking in hotels when it launched its initial awareness training program in 2016 and made it mandatory for on-property staff in both managed and franchised hotels globally in January 2017. To date, more than 850,000 Marriott employees have completed the training, according to the company.

As with its initial program, Marriott plans to work with ECPAT-USA, a nonprofit specializing in combatting human trafficking, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association Foundation to make the training available in early 2022 to the hospitality industry.

“Half a million hotel associates [from other companies] have already completed the existing e-learning program since we made it available in 2020, and the new information and innovative features of this updated training will facilitate an even greater impact,” said ECPAT-USA CEO Lori Cohen in a statement.

Contactless and mobile hotel experiences, accelerated by Covid-19, can make spotting potential indicators of trafficking more difficult, according to Marriott. The company worked with Polaris, which operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline in the United States, to develop storyboards and select scenarios based on calls to the hotline. In addition, the new training was developed in collaboration with survivor consultants and ECPAT-USA’s Survivors’ Council “to incorporate meaningful input from survivors throughout the training development.”

Many hospitality companies have pledged to fight human trafficking. In a 2019 BTN poll, 40 percent of travel manager respondents indicated they had received training in how to spot the signs of human trafficking. Further, in July 2019, ECPAT-USA launched a training module geared toward training travel and event professionals in how to spot and respond to potential trafficking situations.

RELATED: Moving Human Trafficking Awareness Beyond the Travel Industry’s Front Lines



Source link