Home Internet Good news for roos Down Under. Singapore’s Internet speed sets the pace. Amadeus support programme. More.

Good news for roos Down Under. Singapore’s Internet speed sets the pace. Amadeus support programme. More.

Good news for roos Down Under. Singapore’s Internet speed sets the pace. Amadeus support programme. More.

VW’s life-saving RooBadge

In good news for those taking road trips around Australia, Volkswagen has developed a device that could protect kangaroos and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in vehicle damage.

Developed over three years by Volkswagen Australia and the DDB Group in consultation with the University of Melbourne and WIRES, the device emits a warning signal to alert kangaroos, which comprise some 90% of on-road wildlife accidents in Australia.

Connecting to an in-car app, RooBadge calibrates a vehicle’s GPS coordinates with kangaroo distribution data. The ‘badge’ itself is a circular disc some 17cm in diameter that would act as a protective shield, replacing the current Volkswagen roundel/badge.

This conveys a unique audio deterrent for the kangaroo species that inhabits the vehicle’s particular location.

A mixture of natural and artificial sounds is mixed in real time and projected in a high frequency audio signal. Trials of the device involving kangaroos in the wild will begin shortly.

“[RooBadge does] something no kangaroo deterrent has been able to do before,” Melbourne University’s associate professor Graeme Coulson said.

“We have worked on sounds that will be meaningful to Eastern Grey Kangaroos, things like dingo calls, alarm calls made by birds and the alarm thumps that kangaroos make to warn each other. We will then be able to tweak the sound for other species.”


Singapore No 1 for internet speed

If you’re looking for a country with super-fast internet speeds, look no further than Singapore.

Hong Kong would be the second-best option for digital nomads, followed by Iceland, according to a survey of internet speeds carried out by software and technology experts increditools (https://increditools.com).

Singapore has the fastest internet on Earth, highlighting its advanced digital infrastructure, the report found.

Cuba has the slowest broadband connection, reflecting the country’s restricted access to global telecommunications networks and the lack of investment in the country’s internet infrastructure.

Also lagging are Afghanistan and Syria, countries that have both been affected by long-term conflicts that have destroyed their infrastructure.

“Just as richer, more well-developed nations dominated the faster list, it’s obvious that the opposite is happening on the slower list,” increditools noted.


Travel4Impact launches support programme worldwide

Travel4Impact, the innovation programme and network run by Amadeus and IE University to support small sustainable enterprises (SMEs) in the travel and tourism sector, is inviting applications worldwide for the first time.

IE University is a private university with campuses across Spain.

Around 40 small and medium-sized companies will be selected to join the new launchpad phase, which will start in September 2024.

During the phase, Travel4Impact will provide leaders (C-level executives and founders) from small companies with a fully funded online six-month training and tutoring programme taught by IE University professors.

As part of the programme, SMEs participate in work sessions to further develop their digital strategies and incorporate new sustainable practices into their business model.

Amadeus global head of social impact, Esther Villena, said, “Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of our industry as they account for over 80% of all global businesses in travel and tourism.

“At Amadeus, we are working to empower small businesses, especially those who have sustainability at the heart of their business strategy, to collaboratively build a more sustainable, inclusive, and responsible travel and tourism sector that capitalises on digitalisation.”

The deadline for applications is 30 April 2024.

Interested participants can find more information here and apply by filling out this form.


Ryanair relents with new trade agreements

Low-cost carrier Ryanair has called a partial truce with UK tour operators and online travel agencies which the airline had previously banned from selling its flights without an agreement.

The airline has announced new deals with tour operator TUI and UK-based OTA On the Beach.

TUI Group chief strategy officer and CEO holiday experiences, Peter Kruger, said the agreement would allow TUI to further digitalise its business, and expand the range of TUI dynamically packaged holidays.

Ryanair director of marketing, communications and digital Dara Brady said the deal would mean TUI customers can now book flights, seats and bags with full transparency of pricing.

He added, “This deal separates TUI from the OTA pirates who continue to dupe and scam customers by unlawfully screen scraping Ryanair’s website and miss-selling our flights with egregious hidden mark ups and overcharges.”


CO2 and seven billion trees

Tourism intelligence company Mabrian has released the results of a study on the impact of aviation on the carbon footprint and tourism sustainability of European destinations in 2023.

The analysis was shared during Mabrian participation in a virtual session organised by UN Tourism and the European Travel Commission (ETC) on measuring the carbon footprint of the tourism sector.

Specifically, in 2023, the United Kingdom led the ranking with 31.4 million tonnes of CO2 generated, representing 18% of the total emissions in Europe.

Germany and Spain followed with 20 million tonnes each, both accounting for 12% of the share in total emissions in Europe. Russia and France ranked fourth and fifth, contributing 18 million tonnes each, equivalent to 10% each.

Mabrian said there is a significant variation in emissions generated compared to 2022, increasing by 16% overall. This is especially notable in the United Kingdom with an increase of 24.20%, followed by Italy with an increase of 22.69%, and France with an increase of 15.93%.

According to the data, in 2023 the aviation sector generated approximately 172 million tonnes of CO2 in Europe, equivalent to 4% of the total CO2 generated on the continent.

To offset this carbon footprint, an estimated seven billion trees per year are needed, which represents 11% of the total forest mass in Europe, according to the European Union’s estimates.




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