News

News in Brief: Wednesday December 4

The Australian Shareholders Association’s objection to a $350 million foreign capital injection in Virgin Australia by Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines has been rejected by the Australian Government’s Takeover Panel.

The application dated November 22 from ASA spokesman Stephen Mayne called for a “declaration of unacceptable circumstances” regarding the deal after accusing the airline of making “deliberate complicated transactions with cornerstone shareholders”

However, the Panel decided it was not against the public interest to decline to make such a declaration.

“The Panel concluded that any shortfall will be dispersed effectively between Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines through the sub-underwriting and synthetic sub-underwriting arrangements and that the outcome of the entitlement offer will be to maintain substantially the structure of Virgin Australia’s share register,” a statement said.

It confirmed it will publish its reasons for the decision “in due course”.

 

China continued to show impressive growth as a source market for visitors to Australia, but traditional Western markets also put in a strong performance, the latest International Visitor Survey statistics have revealed.

For the year to September, China grew 30% in terms of holiday spend. However, the figures also recorded healthy growth in holiday spend from the US, UK and Europe.

“We’ve always said that the key to achieving the industry’s potential is maintaining a ‘balanced’ portfolio approach, and these figures certainly show that the overall growth in our visitor economy is nicely spread across a good range of key markets,” chief executive Andrew McEvoy said.

In the year to September, total international arrivals grew 5% to 5.9 million with total trip spend up 5% to $28.4 billion – a sign that TA’s focus on the economic contribution of tourists is “paying dividends,” he added.

 

Trinity Hastwell of Hastwell Travel & Cruise and Phillip Dalley of Travel Makers were voted on to the Travellers Choice board of directors at the national retail group's annual general meeting in Hobart at the weekend.

 

Sunshine Coast Destination Ltd (SCDL) has held a tourism forum in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland to develop a plan to achieve targets set by the State Government to the year 2020.

SCDL chief executive, Simon Ambrose explained the strategy would take into consideration the needs and requirements of the “broader visitor economy” including events, conferences, education, sports and leisure.

“The Plan is expected to be completed in early 2014 and will inform future Sunshine Coast tourism initiatives,” he said.

 

President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau will reopen Fiji's Treasure Island Resort on December 17 marking one year since Cyclone Evan wrought destruction across the Mamanuca Islands.

The resort is now fully operational and accepted its first guests on December 1.

 

Starwood's hip W Hotels brand has opened its 45th hotel, W Verbier, 15 years after its 1998 debut in New York City.

 

Restaurateur Justin North has been appointed as culinary ambassador for Accor’s five-star Pullman Hotels and Resorts portfolio.

In the advisory role, North will oversee the culinary direction of the brand’s 11  properties across Australia.

 

Pan Pacific Hotels Group has announced the appointment of Bernold Olaf Schroeder, formerly of Jin Jiang International Hotel Management Company, as its new chief executive effective 2 January 2014.

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