Good news for Australian kangaroos. Singapore leads the way with internet speeds. Amadeus Support Plan. more.

Good news for Australian kangaroos. Singapore leads the way with internet speeds. Amadeus Support Plan. more.

Volkswagen’s life-saving RooBadge

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

The device, developed over three years by Volkswagen Australia and DDB Group in consultation with the University of Melbourne and WIRES, emits a warning signal to alert kangaroos, which account for around 90 per cent of wildlife incidents on Australian roads.

When the RooBadge is connected to an in-vehicle app, it uses kangaroo distribution data to calibrate the vehicle’s GPS coordinates. The “badge” itself is a disc approximately 17cm in diameter that acts as a protective shield and replaces the current Volkswagen roundel/badge.

This provides a unique audio deterrent to kangaroo species that reside in specific locations on the vehicle.

A mixture of natural and artificial sounds is mixed in real time and projected into a high-frequency audio signal. Field trials of the device on kangaroos are about to begin.

“[RooBadge does] “No kangaroo deterrent has ever been able to do this before,” said Graeme Coulson, associate professor at the University of Melbourne.

“We looked at sounds that are meaningful to eastern gray kangaroos, such as dingo calls, bird alarm calls and the alarm calls kangaroos make to warn each other. We will then be able to tune the sounds of other species.”

Singapore has the highest Internet speed

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

Hong Kong would be the second-best choice for digital nomads, followed by Iceland, according to an internet speed survey conducted by software and technology experts increditools (

The report found that Singapore has the fastest internet on earth, highlighting its advanced digital infrastructure.

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

Also lagging behind are Afghanistan and Syria, both countries affected by long-running conflicts that have devastated infrastructure.

“Just as wealthier, more developed countries dominate the faster list, it’s clear that the reverse is also happening on the slower list,” increditools noted.

Travel4Impact launches support program globally

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

IE University is a private university with campuses throughout Spain.

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

During this phase, Travel4Impact will provide small company leaders (C-level executives and founders) with a six-month fully funded online training and coaching program taught by IE University professors.

As part of the program, SMEs participate in working sessions to further develop their digital strategies and incorporate new sustainable practices into their business models.

Esther Villena, global head of social impact at Amadeus, said: “SMEs are the backbone of our industry as they account for more than 80% of global travel and tourism business.

“At Amadeus, we are committed to helping small businesses, especially those that have sustainability at the heart of their business strategy, use digital collaboration to build a more sustainable, inclusive and responsible travel and tourism industry.”

The application deadline is April 30, 2024.

Interested participants can find more information here and fill out this form to apply.

Ryanair softens stance on new trade deal

Low-cost carrier Ryanair has reached a partial truce with British tour operators and online travel agencies, which it had previously banned from selling its flights without a deal.

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

Peter Kruger, TUI Group Chief Strategy Officer and CEO of Holiday Experiences, said the agreement will allow TUI to further digitize its business and expand TUI’s range of dynamically packaged holidays.

Ryanair marketing, communications and digital director Dara Brady said the deal means TUI customers can now book flights, seats and luggage at fully transparent prices.

He added, “This deal separates TUI from the OTA pirates who continue to trick and deceive by illegally screen scraping the Ryanair website and misselling our flights with shocking hidden markups and overage fees client.”

Carbon dioxide and 7 billion trees

Travel 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’s participation in a virtual conference on measuring the carbon footprint of tourism, organized by the United Nations Tourism Office and the European Travel Council (ETC).

Specifically, in 2023, the UK topped the list with 31.4 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for 18% of Europe’s total emissions.

Germany and Spain follow closely behind, emitting 20 million tons each, accounting for 12% of Europe’s total emissions. Russia and France ranked fourth and fifth, each contributing 18 million tons, equivalent to 10% each.

Mabrian said there was a significant change in the emissions produced compared to 2022, with an overall increase of 16%. The UK was particularly significant, with an increase of 24.20%, followed by Italy, with an increase of 22.69%, and France, with an increase of 15.93%.

Data shows that in 2023, the European aviation industry will produce approximately 172 million tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 4% of the continent’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

To offset this carbon footprint, an estimated 7 billion trees would be needed each year, accounting for 11% of Europe’s total forest area, according to EU estimates.

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