August 3, 2005 
(STAR) (AP) Fuel surcharges failed to dampen air travel, and about 62 million international passengers traveled on top airlines in Asia-Pacific in the first half of this year, an increase of 7.5 percent, an industry group said.

A total of 57.7 million passengers were carried by 17 international carriers across the region between January and June 2004, the Kuala Lumpur-based Association of Asia Pacific Airlines said in a statement on its Web site seen Wednesday.

The 7.5 percent growth "is quite encouraging and seems to indicate that travel demand is holding up well despite the impact of high oil prices," Association Director General Andrew Herdman said in the statement.

Herdman was traveling overseas and was not immediately available for further comment, association officials said.

The association has previously said travel demand prospects for the aviation industry in 2005 remain positive, though soaring fuel prices could affect profitability.

The group represents Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Dragonair, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qantas Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International and Vietnam Airlines.

Cebu’s tourism entrepreneurs honored C‘EST CEBU By Honey Jarque Loop The STAR 07/28/2005

Cebu’s dynamic enterprises, which set the framework for the economic and cultural development of the island, together with two mega institutions, which act as trailblazers in leading the community into global prominence, were honored by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry during its Grand Chamber Awards dinner held recently at the Pacific Ballroom of the Cebu Waterfront Hotel.

The following Cebuanos and institutions were named 2005 Chamber awardees:

• Tourism Entrepreneur of the Year: Austrian Consul General Arcadio Alegrado, for his entrepreneurial skills in developing the Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort from a modest beach house to a premier class AAA resort, consistently maintaining standards of excellence. His extensive support of tourism-related programs contributes substantially in accelerating tourism arrivals in Cebu making a mark in the global market.

• Success Story in Entrepreneurship: Steve Benitez, for his passion and entrepreneurial energy, as well as youthful dynamism, which gave birth to Bo’s Coffee Club, a chain of specialty coffee shops, with 22 outlets all over the country.

• Lifetime Achievement Award: Anos Fonacier, for being the exponent of the travel and tourism industry, specifically in Cebu, having pioneered the establishment of the Cebu Plaza Hotel, the first premier hotel in Cebu, and the chain of resort hotels, namely the Tambuli East and West Beach Club and Cebu Beach Club, as well as the Argao and Bohol Beach Clubs, setting the trend in world-class hotel, resort and restaurant industry.

A special distinction award went to Monique Lhuillier Bugbee for her impeccable talent in fashion craft and entrepreneurship, which placed Cebu in the prestigious international couture scene.

The Chamber also honored the innovators who continuously spearhead the development and growth of trade and industry in Cebu – all moving toward a more productive tomorrow. They are:

• The Aboitiz Group of Companies, the Cebu-based conglomerate in the country today that continues to lead in quality and excellence in all its businesses that include various industries, such as power generation and distribution, banking, transportation and logistics, food production, construction and shipbuilding.

• The Ayala Group of Companies for believing in the potentials of Cebu as a business destination and in the Cebuano’s entrepreneurial spirit. Ayala is helping the island meet the challenges of the global economy.

Special citations were conferred on three establishments, namely the Cebu Visitors and Convention Bureau, for its worthy concept of branding Cebu as a convention and events destination; Big Foot Global Solutions Inc., for its long-term investment in Cebu to promote IT-related projects; and the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa, for having built and maintained world-class facilities and resources with concern for ecology and the protection of the environment.

A dance interlude led by the club’s president Robert Go and his wife Judith was well applauded. Active members, such as Tess Chan, chairman of the Grand Chamber Awards, with husband David, Tetta Baad, chairman for tourism of the Cebu Business Month (CBM), Francis Monera, CBM 2005 chairman, tour specialists Maris Araneta, Marisol Barria and newly-elected president of Women in Travel Marilou Pintor, joined them.

Popular television personality Angela Calina and gentleman-banker Michael Go were the evening’s hosts.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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