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Southeast Asia’s Hospitality Leaders Fight For Sustainability at PHIST 5

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Southeast Asia's Hospitality Leaders Fight For Sustainability at PHIST 5 - TRAVELINDEX - VISITPHUKETPhuket, Thailand, September 30, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism) is back as a live, in-person gathering, this important annual forum embraced the combative, cultural spirit of Muay Thai to spark candid conversation and instigate positive change in the travel and tourism industry. The theme of PHIST 5 was Muay Thai, the high-energy, culturally-rich sport of Thai boxing, which has gained global popularity and represents the battle to preserve authentic art and heritage

PHIST, Southeast Asia’s biggest and best responsible travel and hospitality forum, returned on Monday 26th September to deliver a knockout blow to unsustainable tourism in Southeast Asia! Back as a live, in-person gathering, this fast-paced event tackled the key topics impacting the region and supported the green recovery of hotels and tourism operators following the global pandemic.

Hosted at ACES, Angsana Laguna Phuket, the theme of this year’s PHIST was Muay Thai, the high-energy, culturally-rich sport of Thai boxing, which has gained fame and popularity around the world and represents the battle to preserve authentic art, heritage and tradition. Muay Thai fighters from Australia, Brazil, Thailand and the USA faced off in the main hall of ACES on Monday in a series of “super fights” for the Nai Khanom Tom belt, which is partly woven by the Me Fah Luang Foundation in the hills of northern Thailand.

Following these physical battles, keynote speakers delivered verbal blows as they provided unique insights on the critical issues facing the industry, including community tourism, green operations, ocean health, destination management, post-COVID trends and more. This included the “Rumble in the Jungle” – seven verbal bouts between two speakers, culminating in a battle of the heavyweights.

A series of expert-led workshops focused on practical subjects such as “Green Finance for Hotels,” “Zero Waste” and “Materials for Sustainable Tourism,” and a Green Expo presented a comprehensive selection of innovative, eco-friendly products from approximately 30 exhibitors. Finally, delegates were able to discuss the day’s events with evening networking drinks.

Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks and the co-founder & co-organiser of PHIST, said: “We are so pleased that PHIST returned this week as a live, face-to-face event. The global pandemic disrupted every aspect of our lives, but perhaps if it had one positive outcome it is that it forced the world to live, work and think more sustainably. At PHIST 5, we dug deep into the most important trends effecting the industry and delivered practical, workable solutions that hoteliers and business owners can use to boost their operations at this challenging time – and future-proof them for years to come.”

Bjorn Courage, President of the Phuket Hotels Association, commented: “Last year, even when many businesses were struggling to stay above water, we saw the travel trade come together at our virtual forum to advance the cause of sustainability. This week, as 500 delegates from across Southeast Asia met face-to-face at PHIST 5, we were able to share more ideas and put our pledges into action. Collaboration is the key – when people come together, great things can happen. What we decided at PHIST can drive positive benefits for your business and the entire region. It was great to see everyone jumping in the ring and getting involved!”

Hope Uy, Managing Director of South Palms Resort in Panglao, stated: “Islands such as Panglao and Phuket feel environmental and social issues even more acutely than other destinations. Fresh water, waste disposal, coral bleaching; these are not only concepts – they impact our lives and operations on a day-to-day basis. The only sustainable solution is to work hand-in-hand with communities and to create a circular economy. I was delighted to come together with like-minded people at PHIST 5 to share our experiences and offer workable solutions.”

Kevin Deisser, CEO & Founder of Invest Islands, added: “In a diverse archipelago such as Indonesia, preserving the integrity of island life is at the heart of everything with do. Every development we undertake must have a positive impact on local people, and, if undertaken in the right way, this will drive long-term benefits to all parties. In Indonesia and across Southeast Asia, indigenous people have already established highly sustainable ways of life. As outsiders, tourism providers and developers need to work with the islanders and learn from them.”

Eric Ricaurte, founder & CEO of Greenview, concluded: “Prior to the pandemic, traveller mindsets were already changing. Now, with travel and tourism at a crossroads, people are wanting more authentic experiences that connect them with their chosen destination. Our PHIST workshops were designed to create best practices for hotels that will not only strengthen their sustainability objectives, but also bring them closer to the local community. Tourism plays a pivotal role in the development of islands, so it is critical that we act responsibly.”

An exciting new feature at this year’s PHIST was the inaugural award for “Sustainable Design Innovation”, which was presented to Patrick Keane, founder of Enter Projects. Founded in 2005, Enter Projects has created myriad award-winning projects and continues to gain global acclaim for its eco-master planning, architecture and interior services.

A collaboration between the Phuket Hotels Association, Greenview and C9 Hotelworks, with support from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, American Chamber of Commerce Thailand (AmCham), QUO, Creative Concept AV, Delivering Asia Communications, Banpu NEXT, Indorama Ventures, Junkyard Theatre Phuket, GIZ, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Blue Tree Phuket, XCO2, ZeroWater Thailand, Revolution X, AustCham Thailand, Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, Thaiger, Travel Daily, Teak Timber Phuket, Mbs Thai, Cocktails & Co, Wine on Tap, FullMoon Brewworks, and Kombuchawow.

For more information, please visit: phist.phukethotelsassociation.com

Exhibitors: Royal Phuket Marina, Reddonatura India Private Limited, Sentinel Solution (Thailand) Co.,Ltd, Development Management Group Co., Ltd., Ecolab LTD, Reef Repair, OKLIN (THAILAND) CO., LTD, Hoteliers.Guru, CREATIVE MOVE COMPANY LIMITED, Green Footprint Solutions Ltd, PHUKET TEINTHONG, EHL Hospitality Business School, Good Drop Water, SensorFlow, Sustainable Maikhao, SOS, Zero water, Seeds of Change, Hobart Thailand, Smarter Enegy Solution, Diversey Hygiene (Thailand) Co.,Ltd., Sunsear Phuket, Banpu NEXT Co., Ltd., Blue Tree, and BAAN SAIJAI CO., LTD.

Phuket Hotels Association members are as follows:
Absolute Twin Sands Resort, Amanpuri, Amari Phuket, Amatara Resort & Wellness, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, Anantara Maikhao Phuket Villas, Anantara Vacation Club Maikhao Phuket, Andara Resort & Villas, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Angsana Villas Resort Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket, Burasari Resort Phuket, Cape Sienna Hotels & Villas, Centara Grand Beach Resort, Club Med Phuket, COMO Point Yamu, Dewa Nai Yang, Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Grand Mercure Phuket Patong, Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, Holiday Inn Maikhao, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Patong, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Impiana Resort Patong, InterContinental Phuket Resort, JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Kata Rocks, Keemala, Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, Maikhao Dream Villa Resort & Spa, Manathai Surin Phuket, Millennium Resort Patong Phuket, Movenpick Resort Bangtao Beach Phuket, Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach, Novotel Phuket Phokeethra, Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort, Paresa Resort, Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa Merlin Beach, Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa Nai Yang Beach, Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach, Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort, Ramada Plaza Chaofa, Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa, Rosewood Phuket, SALA Phuket Resort & Spa, Serenity Resort and Residences, Splash Beach Resort, Swissotel Resort Phuket Patong Beach, Thanyapura Sports Hotel, The Bell Pool Villa Resort, The Boathouse Phuket, The Clover Hotel Patong, The Nai Harn Phuket, The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, The Nature Phuket, The Pavilions Phuket, The Slate, The Surin, The Village Coconut Island, The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa Phuket, Trisara, Twinpalms MontAzure, Twinpalms Phuket, U Zenmaya Phuket, Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay, Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

UNWTO at G20: Putting People & Small Enterprises at Centre of Recovery

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UNWTO at G20 Putting People & Small Enterprises at Centre of Recovery - TRAVELINDEXBali, Indonesia, September 30, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO, the G20 Indonesian Presidency and the G20 Tourism Working Group have collaborated over the past year to deliver the G20 Guidelines on Strengthening MSMEs and Communities as Agents of Transformation in Tourism on the occasion of the G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting in Bali.

The Guidelines provide guidance for key policies that can create resilient and sustainable MSMEs and communities spanning five key pillars:

  1. Human Capital
  2. Innovation, digitalization and the creative economy
  3. Women and youth empowerment
  4. Climate action, biodiversity conservation, and circularity, and
  5. Policy, governance and investment

They also draw up over 40 cases studies from G20 members and guest countries focused on the promotion of MSMEs and communities

MSMEs and communities, the backbone of our sector, need strong support to be agents a people centred transformation

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Accelerating positive action

Addressing the G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Our sector has now recovered almost 60% of pre-pandemic levels. However, we are falling behind in our efforts to reach the climate action goals of the Paris Agreement. We are also behind in progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. “

“Tourism can help us get back on track. But we need to speed up. And we need to scale up. MSMEs and communities, the backbone of our sector, need strong support to be agents a people centred transformation” he added.

The Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, Sandiaga Uno said “I am truly delighted that the G20 Tourism Working Group is able to adopt the G20 Bali Guidelines. The Guidelines embody a number of policy best practices in the five main lines of actions. These lines of actions are essential to put the holistic wellbeing of our people at the heart of tourism recovery. We do not wish for tourism to just simply rebound, we need it to be better in serving the needs of our communities by creating good jobs, empowering the marginalized and safeguarding our planet, which our guidelines aim for.”

“I earnestly applaud UNWTO as the key institutional partner of our G20 presidency for steadfastly working together with us to continuously improve the Guidelines,” the Minister added.

Skills, inclusion, sustainability and governance

The Guidelines focus among others on:

  • developing targeted policies based on social dialogue and multi-stakeholder collaboration to promote vocational education and training, skills development, and lifelong learning of the tourism workforce by engaging industry and technology partners;
  • stimulating entrepreneurship including through tourism business incubation and promoting the creation of decent jobs in tourism;
  • strengthening linkages between the tourism sector and local communities by encouraging partnership with local suppliers;
  • bridging the innovation gap and promoting responsible innovation;
  • developing guidance for MSMEs to enable them to tap into digitalization, improve their products and boost their productivity through the creative economy;
  • ensuring equality and non-discrimination, with particular attention to young people in vulnerable situations, promoting the application of gender-equality and equal opportunity principles for all youth in tourism including equal remuneration for work of equal value, equal participation and equal treatment;
  • implementing, within respective national policy, more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices; and
  • Improving tourism data, including the use of big data, the implementation of international statistical standards and the development of adequate methodology for Measuring the Sustainability of Tourism as evidence-based policy-making as well as facilitating data sharing including through public-private partnerships.

Research developed for the guidelines by UNWTO with G20 countries highlights the need to address challenges for MSMEs of lack of access to finance, lack of access to market intelligence, market uncertainty, the volatility of the workforce, changing consumer trends and needs and low levels of innovation.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

For communities, the most relevant challenges include the uncertainty of the market and changing consumer trends, leakages (revenue generated by tourism in the community which does not stay in the community), lack of education and skills, lack of adequate infrastructure and governance and excessive dependence on tourism.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Best Western Hotels Boosts Pakistan Portfolio with Four New Signings

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Best Western Hotels Boosts Pakistan Portfolio with Four New Signings - HOTELWORLDS.com - TRAVELINDEXIslamabad, Pakistan, September 29, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Best Western Hotels and Resorts is rapidly becoming one of the leading international hotel operators in Pakistan. Having achieved the highest number of signings in the country of any global hotel chain in 2021, and again this year, it has now confirmed the signing of four new properties in this dynamic Asian country, increasing its nationwide portfolio by 200%.

The company currently operates two Best Western Premier hotels in Pakistan, offering stylish upscale stays in the bustling metropolis of Lahore and the capital city, Islamabad. Now, Best Western has announced the signing of four additional properties, comprising 293 rooms and suites: Best Western Plus Hotel Lake Junction Rawalpindi, Best Western Premier Hotel Kalam Heights Swat, Best Western Premier Hotel Malam Jabba, and Best Western Premier Hotel Karim Abad Hunza.

Best Western Premier Hotel Kalam Heights Swat is nestled in a scenic mountainous setting in the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Upon opening in December 2025, this upscale hotel will feature 80 upscale rooms and suites, plus a complete range of facilities.

Best Western Premier Hotel Karim Abad Hunza will bring the company’s international upscale brand to the Hunza Valley, a stunning natural landscape in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. Due to opening in December 2025, this hotel will provide 50 rooms.

Best Western Plus Hotel Lake Junction Rawalpindi will introduce the group’s elevated midscale brand, Best Western Plus, to Pakistan for the first time. Scheduled to open in October 2026, this new-build hotel will offer 113 rooms in the country’s fourth largest city.

Best Western Premier Hotel Malam Jabba will be a stylish upscale hotel located in the scenic hill station of Malan Jabba, in northern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. When it opens its doors in December 2026, this new-build property will feature 50 rooms and suites.

Every Best Western hotel in Pakistan offers contemporary in-room amenities, including comfortable beds, spacious bathrooms with power showers, flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, work desks, USB ports and complimentary Wi-Fi, making them ideal for business and leisure travelers alike. All guests will also be able to earn and redeem points and benefits with the award-winning Best Western Rewards®, loyalty program.

“The world’s fifth most populous country, Pakistan holds a huge amount of potential for a well-known and respected hotel group like Best Western. These four new signings will bring internationally branded accommodation to major cities and up-and-coming regions, creating outstanding options for local leisure guests, families, corporate travelers and more. We will continue to seek new opportunities to expand into even more parts of Pakistan in the future,” said Olivier Berrivin, Vice President of Operations – Asia-Pacific, BWH Hotel Group.

About Best Western Hotels and Resorts
Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand within the BWH Hotel Group® global network. With 17 brands and approximately 4,500 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market. Brands include Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, Vīb®, GLō®, Aiden®, BW Premier Collection®, and BW Signature Collection®. Through the acquisition, WorldHotelsTM Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive, and WorldHotels Crafted collections are also offered. Completing the portfolio are SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection®, and SureStay Studio® franchises**.

* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.
**All Best Western, WorldHotels and SureStay branded hotels are independently owned and operated.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Amari Watergate Bangkok Completes Renovation of Premier Rooms

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Amari Watergate Bangkok Completes Renovation of Premier Rooms - HOTELWORLDS.com - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, September 28, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Amari Watergate Bangkok announces the completion of the redesigned Premier Rooms and Two-Bedroom Suites that have been ready to welcome guests since the re-opening of Thailand to international travellers. The announcement heralds a new era of opulence and great comfort for the Hotel’s discerning clients ranging from leisure to MICE sectors.

The redesign of each Premier Rooms and Two-Bedroom Suites embodies a sense of unique modernism and tradition, with contemporary interiors inspired by life and culture along Khlong Saen Saeb, the city’s central canal with its vibrant interchange pier located just steps from its main entrance.

From the updated interpretations of the ‘Lai Thai’ (traditional Thai motifs) woven into the rugs and imprinted into the wall panels, custom lighting fixtures inspired by classic street lamps that dot the canal side promenades to framed wall art depicting the old town landmarks a short stroll from the westernmost pier of the waterway, these rooms and suites offer subtle reminders of the hotel’s unique central Bangkok location at the crossroads of tradition and modernity.

The Hotel stands tall amidst Bangkok’s fashion, shopping and culinary district, and these influences are reflected in the illuminated open access clothes rail commonly seen in the boutiques nearby.

All guest bathrooms have also been completely remodelled with double vanities, enlarged walk-in rain shower and backlit mirrors.

With added motifs based on the iconic La Thai and pops of vibrance that reflect Thai vibrancy to the spaces, the renovation of the Premier Rooms as well as the Two-Bedroom Suites and the refurbishment of the rest of the guestrooms including the entirety of the meeting rooms on the 5th and 7th floors, aims to highlight the uniqueness of the Thai heritage.

Inspired by its rich history and a melting pot of communities, the City of Angels offers a unique contemporary culture unlike any other – and Amari aims to translate that energy into a unique hotel experience through design and unparalleled service. Keeping up with the exciting growth of Bangkok and the culture of modern ‘Thainess’, Amari Watergate Bangkok sets off on a journey of rediscovering its roots and translating them into stylish new room designs, a resort- style pool and landscaped terrace on the eight floor which are completely renovated and smart meeting spaces for the contemporary business traveller to experience.

‘Brighten Your World’ and be among the first to experience (if you haven’t) these new rooms and suites at Amari Watergate Bangkok.

About Amari
The Amari collection of hotels and resorts by ONYX Hospitality Group brings to life a contemporary re-imagining of Thailand’s rich cultural roots and the influence of its dynamic creativity to locations both near and far. Each property in the Amari portfolio highlights the textures and flavours of its unique setting through architecture, design, art, cuisine and service complemented by touches of contemporary Thai-ness. Amari’s network of properties spans Thailand and beyond, from scenic seaside locations to vibrant urban settings, including Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui, Bangkok, Buriram, Dhaka, Maldives, Johor Bahru, Galle, Vang Vieng and Yangshuo.

About ONYX
ONYX Hospitality Group operates several diverse yet complementary brands – Amari, Shama and OZO – each catering to the distinctive requirements of today’s business and leisure travellers. ONYX reaches beyond its Thai roots to offer innovative management solutions across Asia-Pacific regions.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Overseasinfo.tv Video Review Site for Travel Promoting Direct Bookings

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Overseasinfo.tv Video Review Site for Travel Promoting Direct Bookings - TRAVELINDEXBelek, Turkiye, September 28, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Imagine sitting watching television and the adverts come on and your screen is filled with some pictures and a load of words? Would it excite you? Would it make you want to buy something? Of course not.

And yet a holiday which is one of the most emotional high value purchases people make, is what the tourism industry is expecting people to do.

No video, no moving images just lots of photos and loads of words. And in today’s world especially with the explosion of TikTok, video is king.

Now imagine, no matter how big or small your business is, if you were to bring life to your facility (hotel, restaurant, theme park, museum, tour, tourist attraction) wouldn’t that encourage more guests?

However, you see three problems.
1. You have a website but it is not designed to host videos. To compensate you might be uploading to YouTube and more recently TikTok
2. Much of your sales are handled through the large OTA’s none of which accommodate videos
3. Your perceived cost of video production

Overseasinfo.tv – the first video review site for travel promoting direct bookings was created to address these problems bringing life at the point of sale for the tourism industry and potentially saving companies like yours the high commissions you are paying to the OTA’s. Our company can also advise on where to get low budget high quality videos. Or with a phone you can make them yourself. The latest trend for videos and photos on social media is ‘simple and honest’.

Martin Rosenberg the founder of Overseasinfo .tv Ltd said, “From both my business and personal travel, from pre and early internet days obtaining information and securing direct discounted room rates was a challenge. With the current internet this should be easy. But it isn’t.

Unless I search YouTube (sometimes lucky, sometimes not) alongside Google which mostly directs me to the big OTA’s, I struggle. Overseasinfo .tv addresses this making it easy for people to search what they are looking for and where they are looking for it and all on one site.

And then I can see it and breathe it from videos.

Also, if a facility has a Sponsored Ad I can easily click through to their website for more information, communicate and book directly with them”.

Overseasinfo .tv also has the feature for guests to upload their videos too. This allows the industry to take advantage of the millions or even billions of unpaid salespeople who are posting of their holidays on social media. What better way to advertise than by word of mouth, and it’s all free?

The company will never charge a commission, instead relying on a very affordable annual subscription for a Sponsored Ad. These Ads links all content posted by an advertiser to their website. Advertisers content will always be at the top of the page and can be updated as often as required taking account of seasonal programmes and special offers.

Part of every annual subscription will go on advertising overseasinfo .tv as the ‘go to’ site for travel and the company is heavily committed to SEO.

As Martin said, “It’s time to make it easy and exciting for potential guests.

As well as this we want to help companies increase their bottom line because for every 100k being sold through the OTA’s 15k+ is lost, and they don’t own the customer”.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

SUNx Malta Launches Climate Friendly Travel Podcast Series

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SUNx Malta Launches Climate Friendly Travel Podcast Series - TRAVELINDEX - SUSTAINABLEFIRST.comBrussels, Belgium, September 27, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / In celebration of World Tourism Day, and its theme of “Rethinking Tourism,” SUNx Malta has launched a new Podcast series, designed to help tourism companies and communities to stay on target for the Paris 1.5 degrees temperature limit.

Announcing this, SUNx Malta President Professor Geoffrey Lipman said, “Our goal is to encourage tourism stakeholders to take concrete actions to respond to the Code Red Climate Crisis and publicly stand behind them.”

He added “We now have 100 companies from 37 countries who have signed up to our Climate Friendly Travel Registry and are receiving free climate resilience analysis and free support for their Climate and Sustainability Plans. We will showcase their ground-breaking efforts through our weekly Podcasts. And hopefully help others to engage in this transformation for our kids’ future”

The Podcasts will be hosted by long-time industry “green advocate” Ged Brown – Founder of Low Season Traveller and will start in November to coincide with COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

To find out more about SUNx Malta and Climate Friendly Travel go to www.thesunprogram.com

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

World Tourism Day 2022 – Sector United Around Rethinking Tourism

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UNWTO NEWS - World Tourism Day 2022 - Sector United Around Rethinking Tourism - VISITBALI.org - TRAVELINDEXBali, Indonesia, September 27, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Positive transformation for both people and planet was the central message of World Tourism Day 2022. Held around the theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’, the Global Day of Observation emphasized the sector’s unique potential to drive recovery and deliver positive change for people everywhere.

Hosted by the Republic of Indonesia, in the popular destination of Bali, the official celebrations brought together leaders from across the public and private sector, including the largest and most diverse number of Ministers of Tourism in the history of World Tourism Day. They were joined by tourism stakeholders around the world celebrating in their own countries, united around the timely theme of rethinking and transforming the sector.

Seizing the opportunity

Opening the celebrations, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed the unique opportunity presented to tourism to pause, reflect and recalibrate. He said: “The restart of tourism everywhere brings hope. It is the ultimate cross-cutting and people-to-people sector. It touches on almost everything we do – and everything we care about. Tourism’s potential is now recognized more widely than ever. It’s up to us to deliver on this potential.”

Tourism’s potential is now recognized more widely than ever. It’s up to us to deliver on this potential

Joining UNWTO in emphasizing the potential of tourism to deliver wide-reaching change, the Minister of Tourism for the Republic of Indonesia, Sandiaga Uno, noted: “The most important assets in tourism are its people and the planet. We must ensure the best support for both.” In Bali, UNWTO commended Indonesia for going beyond words and taking concrete steps to transform tourism, notably by becoming the first country in the Asia and the Pacific region to sign up to the ambitious Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism and its goals to reach Net-Zero emissions for the sector by 2050 at the latest.

Also adding his voice to the celebrations, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said: “Tourism has the power to foster inclusion, protect nature & promote cultural understanding. We must rethink and reinvent the sector to ensure its sustainability.”

World Tourism Day Report Launched

To mark the day, UNWTO launched its first World Tourism Day Report, the first in an annual series of updates and analysis of the Organization’s work guiding the sector forward. The inaugural report is titled “Rethinking Tourism: From Crisis to Transformation”, reflecting the timely relevance of the 2022 theme as well as the unprecedented crisis that hit the sector in 2020.

The report charts UNWTO’s work uniting the sector in the face of crisis, leading tourism’s response and laying the foundations for a more inclusive and resilient future, with updates on work in every global region as well as in key areas including gender equality, sustainability and climate action, tourism governance and investments and innovation.

UNWTO Delivers Guidelines to G20

On the eve of World Tourism Day, UNWTO also presented the G20 Guidelines on Strengthening MSMEs and Communities as Agents of Transformation in Tourism on the occasion of the G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting in Bali. The Guidelines provide guidance for key policies that can create resilient and sustainable MSMEs and communities around the pillars of human capital, innovation, youth and women empowerment, climate action, and policy, governance and investments. They also draw up over 40 cases studies from G20 members and guest countries focused on the promotion of MSMEs and communities.

Joining UNWTO in Bali for the World Tourism Day celebrations were Ministers of Tourism of Indonesia, as well as of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of Korea, Fiji, Spain, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, alongside the Vice Ministers of Tourism for Cambodia and Japan and high-level representatives from Germany, Canada and the United States of America.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Speakers and Tours Announced for Mekong Tourism Forum

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Speakers and Tours Announced for Mekong Tourism Forum - TRAVELINDEXQuang Nam, Vietnam, September 26, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Private and public sector leaders from across the Greater Mekong Subregion will assess how to rebuild tourism resilience. Twenty-five speakers from six Greater Mekong Subregion countries have been confirmed for the Mekong Tourism Forum 12-13 October in Quang Nam, central Vietnam.

Forum organisers are ensuring that both private and public sector voices will be well represented. Panelists will make recommendations on three focus areas: Social Enterprises, New Ways of Connecting Sustainable Tourism Suppliers and Buyers, and Technology.

Leading private sector panelists addressing those issues include Daniel Gelfer of Agoda, Willem Niemeijer of YAANA Ventures, Tean Ly of Seeva Capital, Jason Lusk of Clickable Impact, Mika Cui of JNE Group, Duangmala Phommavong of EXO Travel Lao, Mayur (Mac) Patel of OAG, Thuy Phuong Nguyen of Plan International/Travelife, and others.

From the public and third sector, there will be contributions from leaders and senior executives of the Asian Development Bank, the Pacific Asia Travel Association, and the ASEAN Tourism Association.

Government sector contributions will be led by H.E. Nguyen Van Hung, Minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Vietnam. Senior representatives from ministries and national tourism offices from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand will also address the Forum’s overarching theme of “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience.”

As Quang Nam province is the host destination, on 13 October delegates will have the opportunity to join any of three local themed tours: Culture – a visit to two World Heritage sites: My Son Sanctuary and Hoi An ancient town; Nature – Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve and Tra Que vegetable village; Green & Agritourism – the story of organic agriculture and the circular economy, using Tra Que vegetable village as an example.

The Mekong Tourism Forum will also host a Sustainable Tourism Exhibit comprising 18 tables showcasing sustainable tourism, community-based tourism and local community products. The exhibit will run from 10 to 12 October.

The Mekong Tourism Forum will take place in Hoiana Resort & Golf (Hoiana), on a beach setting just south of Hoi An UNESCO-listed heritage city. Da Nang international airport is 40 minutes from the conference venue.

The Mekong Tourism Forum is free to attend for genuine Greater Mekong Sub-region travel and tourism stakeholders.

Further information and registration: MekongTourismForum.org

Quang Nam and green tourism are the focus of Visit Vietnam Year 2022.

About The Mekong Tourism Forum
First held in 1996, the Mekong Tourism Forum is an annual government-led event dedicated to the tourism industry in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The event provides a cooperative platform for travel and tourism stakeholders to discuss regional tourism development, along with the marketing and promotion of travel to, from, and within the GMS. It presents an inclusive, interactive, and results-oriented opportunity to encourage public- and private-sector participation in promoting the GMS as a single destination.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

IAN SLAMS FLORIDA:

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Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the US, swamping city streets with water and smashing trees along the coast. The hurricane’s center struck Wednesday afternoon near Cayo Costa, a protected barrier island just west of heavily populated Fort Myers.

The massive storm was expected to trigger flooding across a wide area of Florida as it crawls northeastward across the peninsula.

Mark Pritchett stepped outside his home in Venice around the time the hurricane came ashore about 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the south. He called it “terrifying.”

“I literally couldn’t stand against the wind,” Pritchett wrote in a text message shortly after landfall. “Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river. Limbs and trees down. And the worst is yet to come.”

The Category 4 storm slammed the coast with 150 mph (241 kph) winds and pushed a wall of storm surge accumulated during its slow march over the Gulf of Mexico.

About 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate southwest Florida before the storm hit. Though expected to weaken as it marched inland at about 9 mph (14 kph), Ian’s hurricane force winds were likely to be felt well into central Florida.

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, stressing that people in Ian’s path along the coast should rush to the safest possible shelter and stay there.

Off the coast on Sanibel Island, just south of where Ian made landfall, traffic cameras hours earlier showed swirling water that flooded streets and was halfway up mailbox posts. Seawater rushed out of Tampa Bay as the storm approached, leaving parts of the muddy bottom exposed, and waves crashed over the end of a wooden pier at Naples.

Ian had strengthened rapidly overnight, prompting Fort Myers handyman Tom Hawver to abandon his plan to weather the hurricane at home and head across the state to Fort Lauderdale.

“We were going to stay and then just decided when we got up, and they said 155 mph winds,” Hawver said. “We don’t have a generator. I just don’t see the advantage of sitting there in the dark, in a hot house, watching water come in your house.”

The governor said the state has 30,000 linemen, urban search and rescue teams, and 7,000 National Guard troops from Florida and elsewhere ready to help once the weather clears.

Florida residents rushed ahead of the impact to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and join long lines of cars leaving the shore.

Some decided to try and ride out the storm. Jared Lewis, a Tampa delivery driver, said his home has withstood hurricanes in the past, though not as powerful as Ian.

“It is kind of scary, makes you a bit anxious,” Lewis said. “After the last year of not having any, now you go to a Category 4 or 5. We are more used to the 2s and 3s.”

Ian made landfall more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Tampa and St. Petersburg, sparing the densely populated Tampa Bay area from its first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921. Officials warned residents that Tampa could still experience powerful winds and up to 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain.

“Please, please, please be aware that we are not out of danger yet,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said in a video on Twitter. “Flooding is still going to occur.”

Ash Dugney warily watched ocean water being sucked out below a Tampa Bay pier Wednesday morning. He said he didn’t trust Tampa’s storm drainage system to keep his corner tuxedo rental business safe from flooding that he said has happened even during mild storms.

“I don’t care about the wind and the rain and the stuff like that, I just care about the flooding,” Dugney said, adding that he moved essentials out of the shop and moved other items up to above waist-high level.

Flash floods were possible across all of Florida. Hazards include the polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry, more than 1 billion tons of slightly radioactive waste contained in enormous ponds that could overflow in heavy rains.

Isolated tornadoes spun off the storm well ahead of landfall. One tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast.

More than 1 million homes and businesses were without electricity, and Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to brace for days without power.

The federal government sent 300 ambulances with medical teams and was ready to truck in 3.7 million meals and 3.5 million liters of water once the storm passes.

“We’ll be there to help you clean up and rebuild, to help Florida get moving again,” President Joe Biden said Wednesday. “And we’ll be there every step of the way. That’s my absolute commitment to the people of the state of Florida.”

Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops onto standby.

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Bonvoy Celebrate Traveling NFL Fans, Launching “This is Where We Fan”

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Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Bonvoy - Official Sponsors of the NFL

Entering its 12th year as the NFL’s official hotel partner, Courtyard by Marriott® – part of Marriott Bonvoy’s® portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands – today announced the new “This is Where We Fan” season-long program to inspire NFL fans to follow their passion for football, near and far, while exploring new places and connecting with their fandom.

“This is Where We Fan” officially launches with a contest offering multiple chances to win prizes, including the first-ever “Fansgiving” Dinner on the New York Giants home field, followed by the grand prize of the Courtyard Super Bowl Sleepover, where winners will enjoy an overnight stay inside the stadium over Super Bowl LVII weekend. NFL fans can enter by sharing stories of how they celebrate their unique NFL fandoms, even while on the road.

The 2022-23 programming arrives on the heels of Courtyard and Marriott Bonvoy’s announcement of a new, exclusive five-year partnership with the NFL, expanding its existing relationship of more than a decade. The partnership will continue to bring fans closer to the game they love, both in the U.S. and internationally, by offering access to unique, shared experiences that no other travel program can offer.

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership as the Official Hotel of the NFL to curate once-in-a-lifetime memories for our guests,” said Tonia Constable, Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships at Marriott International. “In celebration of our continued relationship, we’re launching even more consumer experiences that grant unparalleled access for passionate NFL fans throughout the season and beyond.”

Connect With Your Fandom at Courtyard
For the first time on record last season, the notion of home-field advantage became a relic of the past when road teams won at a higher percentage than home teams. Passionate fans travel far and wide to rally behind their teams on the road, and Courtyard is calling on fans to share their favorite football travel stories for the chance to win one of these bucket-list experiences, along with a Courtyard hotel stay throughout the season:

  1. Courtyard “Fansgiving” Dinner on the 50: The two great Thanksgiving traditions of travel and football will come together for the ultimate celebration this year. Lucky fans and their guests will be invited to partake in an exclusive dinner on the 50-yard line of the New York Giants home field, the week before Thanksgiving, coupled with a one-night hotel stay. A select number of seats will also be available exclusively to Marriott Bonvoy members for redemption. Contest will be open until October 15, 2022.
  2. Courtyard by Marriott Super Bowl Sleepover: The winner of the Super Bowl Sleepover and their guest will have exclusive access to an overnight stay inside a stadium suite transformed into a Courtyard guest room overlooking the field — becoming the first to wake up inside the stadium on Super Bowl Sunday. In addition to the sleepover, Courtyard will host the winner and three friends for a weekend of awe-inspiring experiences with access to exclusive events, culminating with tickets to Super Bowl LVII. Contest will be open from October 8, 2022 – November 18, 2022.
  3. VIP Tickets to the 2023 NFL Draft: The most passionate fans follow their teams to the NFL Draft to witness history in the making. Contest winners will get the VIP treatment at the NFL Draft in Kansas City, Mo., with exclusive access to the weekend’s biggest events leading into the next season. Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to redeem VIP tickets as well as the chance for one member to announce a draft pick on the big stage. Contest will be open from February 15, 2023 – March 15, 2023.
  4. Tickets to Your Team’s Away Games: There is no better feeling than taking over a stadium with kindred visiting fans to challenge the home team at an away game. Throughout the regular season, a handful of entrants will get to attend an away game of their choice, inclusive of a one-night hotel stay. Giveaway will be open until November 13, 2022.

Fans can enter the contest during each entry period by submitting a video or photo on TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #CourtyardFanContest and tagging @CourtyardHotels, showcasing where they fan and who they fan with.

Entries will be judged on creativity, relevance, originality, and impact. Winners for each event will be announced in phases throughout the NFL season. Finalists for the Super Bowl Sleepover at Super Bowl LVII will advance to an interview round and the contest winner will be announced by December. For more information on the official rules, visit www.Courtyard.com/NFL.

For travelers staying at Courtyard hotels across the U.S. and Canada during the season, Courtyard’s Bistro Bar offers favorite game day food and drinks to enjoy while relaxing and watching the game. Marriott Bonvoy members can also receive up to 2,000 bonus points per night any day of the week as part of the 2K Everyday promotion available now through December 31, 2022, at participating Courtyard hotels.

“Being away from your home team doesn’t mean you have to leave your fandom behind,” said Sarah Lipton, Vice President, Premium & Select Brand Marketing at Marriott International. “Courtyard empowers fans to follow their passion for football – whether it’s traveling to see their team dominate in a new city, heading to a nearby stadium with a staycation at one of our hotels, or even rubbing elbows with rivals at our Bistro Bar. Courtyard is the place where fans can look forward to embracing their fandom.”

This is How We Fan with Marriott Bonvoy
Members of Marriott’s award-winning travel program, Marriott Bonvoy, will have the opportunity to experience the football season like no one else thanks to the program’s bucket list experiences platform, Marriott Bonvoy Moments™.

“Marriott Bonvoy has been proud to offer its loyalty members unrivaled access to some of the biggest events of the NFL season,” said Jackie McAllister, Vice President, Loyalty Brand & Moments Marketing at Marriott International. “We have some really exciting Moments experiences planned for the 2022-23 season, both domestically and internationally, that champion the connection between NFL fans’ passion for the game and travel.”

In addition to the “Fansgiving on the 50” experience, members can use Marriott Bonvoy points earned from travel at more than 8,100 hotels and everyday activities, such as cobrand credit card purchases, ridesharing, or food delivery, to bid for the chance to take part in exclusive Marriott Bonvoy Moments experiences throughout the season, including:

  • Behind-the-scenes access to a live taping of the NFL Network’s NFL Gameday show
  • Tickets and experiences at NFL International Games, including Munich, London, and Mexico City
  • Access and experiences at the Pro Bowl Games in Las Vegas in 2023
  • Exclusive VIP experiences and premier tickets to Super Bowl LVII and NFL Honors
  • Tickets for exclusive Courtyard Row seating at select stadiums all season long

About Courtyard by Marriott®
Courtyard by Marriott is the hotel brand of choice for trailblazing guests who are inspired by a passion to do great things. With more than 1,265 locations in 60 countries and territories, Courtyard is passionate about empowering its guests and serving the needs of travelers everywhere, no matter the purpose of their trip. Its thoughtfully designed guestrooms provide an elevated experience to relax and recharge, complete with plush bedding and flexible workspaces. Guests are able to work, eat well, connect, and be at their best to keep moving forward to succeed. Courtyard is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments, and unparalleled benefits, including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit www.marriottbonvoy.com. For more information or reservations, visit www.courtyard.marriott.com, become a fan on Facebook, or follow @CourtyardHotels on Twitter.

About Marriott Bonvoy®
Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s award-winning travel program and marketplace, gives members access to transformative, eye-opening experiences around the corner and across the globe. Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands offers renowned hospitality in the most memorable destinations in the world. Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences, including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit www.marriottbonvoy.com. Download the Marriott app. Travelers can also connect with Marriott Bonvoy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Media Contact
Christine Lin
Senior Manager, Global Communications, Select Brands
Marriott International
Christine.Lin@marriott.com

Read original article at Marriott Hotels

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News