An investigation has begun into a ferry accident in Hong Kong which left 85 people injured. According to reports, the high-speed ferry from Hong Kong to Macau hit an unidentified object off an outlying island in the early hours of the morning. The TurboJet ferry, owned by Shun Tak Holdings, was carrying 107 passengers and 10 crew. Three of the injured are in a serious condition and 46 are stable in hospitals. The Marine Department has launched an investigation. In October 2012, 39 people were killed and 100 injured when a commuter ferry collided with a smaller boat.
Premier Inn Outlines Employment Expansion Plans
Premier Inn has announced it will create 8,000 new jobs over the next five years due its rapid expansion plans, with the chain planning to open a new hotel every ten days. The announcement was made at the official opening of Premier Inn’s latest hotel, London City (Monument), by Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants managing director, Patrick Dempsey and the minister for employment Esther McVey. From the 8,000 jobs being created, which equates to over four jobs a day, Premier Inn has targeted 50 per cent of them to long term unemployed people aged 16-24. Premier Inn has also pledged an additional 2,000 Apprenticeships and 4,500 work placements for young people in the UK by 2018. Within the M25 Premier Inn is targeting to have 20,000 rooms by 2018 and will be creating around 2,500 new jobs over the next five years. Premier Inn has already created 1,100 jobs in the past year and the new 184 bedroom Premier Inn at Monument has provided 20 new jobs, all of which have gone to the long term unemployed. In the past three years, Premier Inn and Whitbread’s restaurants have helped team members achieve over 6,500 qualifications through its Apprenticeships. A total of 415 apprenticeships were successfully completed in Whitbread in 2012, a number which is set to increase considerably under the new programme. Dempsey said: “We’re committed to doing what we can to offer opportunities to unemployed people to get their first job or to get back into work. “We have a target of recruiting half of our new team members from the long-term unemployed, and we offer a robust and structured qualification pathway.” Source: Breaking Travel News
Qatar ‘Top Destination for Sports Tourism’
Qatar was recognised as the World’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination at a grand final ceremony of the World Travel Awards (WTA) 2013 held at Doha’s La Cigale Hotel yesterday. Qatar clinched the award among other top contenders comprising Abu Dhabi, Auckland, Beijing, Dubai, Durban, London, Melbourne, New Orleans, Rio de Janerio, Seoul, Tokyo and Vancouver. The award was received by three representatives of the Qatar Tourism Authority. Described as the “Oscars of the Travel Industry”, WTA is marking its 20th anniversary this year and the Doha ceremony completed the “World Grand Tour” which has seen awards presented across five continents. Qatar Museums Authority chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani and Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz al-Thani were guests of honour at the event. WTA was established in 1993 to “recognise, acknowledge and reward” leading travel, tourism and hospitality organisations in the world. In all, over 1,500 nominees in 173 categories competed for an award at the ceremony which was attended by crème de la crème of the travel, hotels, airlines and hospitality industry. While most of the awards for the region went to the UAE, a number of organisations and hotels in Qatar proved their mettle by winning some of the honours. The La Cigale Hotel won two awards, World’s Leading Hotel Dining and Entertainment Experience and World’s Excellence in Service, and St Regis Hotel World’s Leading Business Hotel. While the World’s Leading Travel Agency awards went to the Regency Travels and Tours, the Katara Hospitality won the World’s Leading Hospitality Company. The Royal Villa at the Sharq Village and Spa was given the World’s Leading Villa award. The W-Doha Hotel and Residences bagged the World’s Leading Hotel Residences. Source: Gulf Times