Global Travel News

IN THE LINE OF FIRE: Florida law threatens Caribbean

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Florida legislation preventing cruise lines operating in the state from barring non-vaccinated passengers puts Caribbean islands in the “direct line of fire” by threatening the health and wellbeing of millions of residents when cruises to the region resume, says the governor of the US Virgin Islands.

Albert Bryan Jr. is urging Florida governor Ron DeSantis to reconsider the state’s legislation and honour the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines requiring cruise ships operating this summer from US ports to sail with 95% of passengers and crew members vaccinated.

USVI governor Albert Bryan, Jr.

“The bill you signed into law (which goes into effect July 1, 2021) may negatively impact the United States Virgin Islands and other port of call destinations in the Caribbean region,” Bryan said in a communiqué, adding that ensuring the cruise industry reopens with vaccinated passengers is essential to the tourism economies of the US Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean.

With Florida serving as the nucleus and biggest embarkation point for cruises in the United States that dock in the US Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean, the governor warned that “our ports… are in direct line of fire,” noting that while the two hospitals in the US Virgin Islands are equipped to care for the Territory’s residents, they lack the resources to address a potentially larger public health crisis.

“The lack of infrastructure puts us at a disadvantage for any crisis – health or mother nature. This is true of not only the Virgin Islands but most of the countries in the region,” Bryan said, adding, “This is why I implore you to reconsider with a lens to the negative impact that your legislation may have on residents in the Caribbean… Please consider the exemption proposed above so… Caribbean (destinations) can feel safe on arrival and disembarkation of cruise passengers and crew.

“This will be a big win for the people of the Caribbean and the Caribbean expatriates that live in your state. It is my hope that you can assist us in moving in the same direction while respecting regional health liberties,” he affirmed.

Bryan has also shared a communiqué with the leadership of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) inviting support from regional leaders to work with the USVI in finding an agreeable path forward to welcoming cruise ships and their passengers back to the islands in as safe a way as possible.

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at – Global Travel News

ROUND-UP:June 7-11, 2021

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Feds signal end to quarantine measures for vax pax; Transat announces new fly date; Air Canada extends refund deadline; and Carnival readies to resume sailing July, along with the rest of last week’s news.


The federal government says it intends to lift some quarantine measures for fully vaccinated Canadians returning to the country beginning in early July. Arrivals would not have to spend three days in a government-sanctioned hotel (at their own expense) but would still be subject to a COVID test upon arrival and self-quarantine until receiving a negative result. Industry groups welcomed the news but said it was lacking in detail and did not yet constitute a “clear plan” for a restarting travel.

Notwithstanding that Americans cannot travel to Canada (on a non-essential basis), the US government has adjusted its travel rating for this country from a level 4 “do not travel” to level 3 – “reconsider.”

European Union lawmakers endorsed a new travel certificate that will allow people to move between European countries without having to quarantine or undergo extra coronavirus tests, paving the way for the pass to start in time for summer. Several EU countries have already begun using the system, including Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Poland.

Effective June 8, the Megabus stop location in Toronto relocated to the new Union Station Bus Terminal located at the corner of Bay St. and Lakeshore Blvd. next to the train station. The location at 610 Bay St. is no longer in use.


An official restart of operations in Europe and Africa for Tauck will begin with selected departures of its “Iceland” and “Treasures of the Aegean” small ship ocean cruises this month and in July. Also scheduled for July are the resumption of the company’s cruises in the Galapagos Islands as well as its Tauck Bridges family adventure in Costa Rica. Tauck’s guided safaris in eastern and southern Africa will resume in August, as will its land tours in Spain, France, and Portugal. August will also mark the resumption of Tauck’s European river cruises, with yet-to-be-determined departure dates for sailings on the Rhône and Seine in France and the Douro River in Portugal.


Holland America is cancelling the remainder of the summer 2021 European sailings aboard two ships, Nieuw Statendam and Volendam. This affects cruises that were scheduled to depart from September through November, along with the Collectors’ Voyages (combined cruises) associated with those departures. Guests automatically will be moved to a 2021 cruise on Eurodam in the Mediterranean, beginning with the Aug. 15 cruise through the Oct. 30 transatlantic crossing or they may choose to move to an equivalent cruise in 2022 at the 2021 fare or receive a Future Cruise Credit of 110% of any cash paid.


The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) surpassed the two-million threshold for travellers screened in one day on Friday 11, when 2,028,961 people were screened at airport security checkpoints. It marked the first time that more than two million individuals were screened since March 2020. The milestone represents 74% of travel volume versus the same day in 2019 and 1.5 million more travellers than the same day in 2020.


Air Canada has extended its COVID-19 refund window for 30 days until July 12. The policy allows eligible customers who purchased a non-refundable ticket before April 13, 2021, for travel on or after Feb. 1, 2020, but who did not fly for any reason, to submit their request for a refund online or with their travel agent. The airline also said it is calling back 2,600 workers as it prepares for an increase in demand for flights.

Transat AT Inc. says it is planning to resume flying starting July 30. The travel company suspended operations on Jan. 29 after Ottawa’s request to not travel to Mexico and the Caribbean as well as new quarantine measures and testing requirements.

More Dreamliner flight options from Western Canada to Maui and new non-stop service from Calgary to Kona and Lihue will highlight WestJet’s winter program to Hawaii. The carrier will offer 57 weekly roundtrip flights on 10 non-stop routes, more than any other airline.


More than 300 trips worldwide from G Adventures are being discounted by 15 or 20% (including all Sailing adventures) when booked by June 30 and departing before June 30, 2022. All Summer Sale bookings feature G’s ‘Book With Confidence’ policy, which enables travellers to change their tour dates free-of-charge up to 30 days before the trip departs.

Through June 30, Collette is offering $500 off p.p. on new bookings for any travel beginning in May of 2022, through to September, and including itineraries featuring the Oberammergau Passion Play in Germany. Use the offer code JUNESAVINGS.


Aurora Village

Dates and prices have been released for 50 Degrees North’s 2022 and ‘23 ‘Chase the Northern Lights’ and ‘Follow the Northern Lights’ small group tours in Norway and Finland, as well as four more shorter escorted tours. The former tours will now continue with scheduled departures from October, 2022 and March, 2023 respectively.

Starting July 15, the Globus family of brands – Globus, Cosmos, Avalon Waterways and Monograms – will require guests on its upcoming international tours, river cruises, and independent vacation packages to provide proof of vaccination to join. The requirement will last until Oct. 31, after which the company plans to revert to its policy of proof of vaccination, negative COVID-19 test, or immunity for travel.


Carnival Cruise Line says it plans to return to guest operations from Port of Galveston on July 3 with Carnival Vista, followed by the return of operations on Carnival Breeze on July 15. Only vaccinated passengers (14 days before) are eligible. Carnival Horizon is also expected to cruise again from PortMiami, pending negotiations with the state over proof of vaccine.

Six new departures have been added to Crystal Cruises Luxury Bahamas Escapes program aboard the Crystal Serenity. The seven-night all-Bahamas itineraries include three cruises round-trip from Nassau on Oct. 23, 30 and Nov. 6, and three from Bimini on Oct. 24, 31 and Nov. 7.


All 42 properties that RIU Hotels & Resorts has on the American continent are now operational, says the company. That includes Mexico (20), Jamaica (6), the Dominican Republic (6), the United States (3), Aruba (2), Costa Rica (2), Panama (2) and the Bahamas (1).

Symbolizing the post-pandemic resurgence of Chicago and the US, the Sheraton Grand Chicago, which has been in hibernation since last March, has re-opened with updated accommodation, new amenities and a one-of-kind safety “Pointes” program demonstrated with ballet movements by Ballet Chicago and Deeply Routed Dance Theatre. “Performed around the hotel, each graceful act reveals changes made inside the Sheraton Grand and manifests Chicago’s cultural experiences returning back to life,” says GM Mark Lauer.


The St. Regis Bermuda Resort

Now open, The St. Regis Bermuda Resort blends the timelessness of a bygone era with avant-garde Bermudian design and cultural influences. Set on St. Catherine’s Beach and overlooking the fort in historic St. George, the resort is the first Marriott International luxury brand property to debut on the island. Features include 120 elegant guest rooms and 21 suites, top-rate amenities, signature butler service, plus spa, golf course, fitness centre, kids club, and the brand’s first casino, due to open later in the year.


Universal Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure theme park has unleashed what it says is a “game-changer for the industry – Florida’s fastest, tallest, and most intense launch coaster ever created.” The Jurassic World VeliciCoaster catapults riders 47 m. into the air at extreme speeds up to 112 kph while racing alongside a ferocious Velociraptor pack, inspired by the blockbuster “Jurassic World” films. The thrill ride propels guests into an immersive dinosaur habitat complete with 360-degree inversions, an 80-degree drop, and a dynamic inverted stall that alone spans more than 30 m.


AmaWaterways has announced a series of executive-hosted FAM sailings for travel advisors this summer in Europe. Agents making three new FIT bookings on the same sailing qualify for the “Sail with Me” promotion, which allows agents to earn back the cost of their stateroom. Check out Ama’s travel agent portal for full details and dates.


June 23: Brand USA is preparing for the resumption of cross-border travel by planning a special virtual training day for Canadian travel agents, hosted on the Brand USA Global Marketplace on Wednesday June 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. Through live training sessions and pre-recorded segments, agents will learn about the latest products, protocols, and information on what’s new in the US travel and hospitality industry (including a keynote address from US National Parks), ensuring they are equipped with the tools necessary to promote and sell the US. All pre-recorded content will also be translated into French. Register HERE – deadline is June 21.


WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims has announced that he will retire at the end of the year, though he will stay on in a senior advisory role with Onex Partners.

The Globus family of brands has hired Fiona Schonewille for a contract role as Business Development Manager (BDM) in British Columbia to cover a parental leave. Based in Vancouver, Schonewille is responsible for building and maintaining travel partner relationships and regional sales goals for Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways.


Miami is ready, willing, and almost able to able to welcome Canadians to south Florida pending the potentially imminent easing of border restrictions in early July. City tourism representatives and partners hosted a virtual travel agent networking event last week, at which counsellors were updated on the latest news in the city and reminded of the ongoing “Miamiland” campaign, which promotes the many activities and opportunities beyond the city limits, such as nearby Everglades National Park. It was also pointed out that research into the Canadian market has identified three key demographics suited to the city: Experience Seekers under the age of 30; Affluent Wanderers who earn $200,000-plus a year and want to stay longer; and Sun Season Baby Boomers, who tend to book with travel agents. Agents were also advised to check out a recently introduced travel agent specialist program offered by the Greater Miami CVB and to head to its website for more INFO.

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First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at – Global Travel News

Phuket TAT Workshop Prepares for 1 July 2021 Reopening

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Phuket TAT Workshop Prepares for 1 July 2021 Reopening - - TRAVELINDEXPhuket, Thailand, June 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in collaboration with Phuket Province today hosted a ‘Phuket Sandbox Workshop’ to prepare Thailand’s most popular beach destination to safely reopen to local and international visitors from 1 July, 2021.

The comprehensive workshop brought together key decision-makers from TAT and Phuket Province, including TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn and three of Phuket’s Vice Governors – Mr. Piyapong Chuwong, Mr. Pichet Panapong and Mr.Vikrom Jakthee – as well as TAT Deputy Governors.

Discover Phuket’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at

Also presenting at the workshop were President of the Phuket Tourist Association Mr. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, along with representatives and figures from Phuket’s tourism-related public and private sectors.

The Phuket Sandbox Workshop is a vital opportunity for government officials, business operators, and community leaders to address in detail on all points concerning the reopening of Phuket as a pilot destination to welcome fully vaccinated foreign visitors from 1 July, 2021, onwards.

The workshop consisted of four key discussions: marketing strategy and communications plan to promote Phuket in Q3/2021; standard operating procedures and specified routes for vaccinated foreign visitors during their stay in Phuket; COVID-19 restrictions, entry/exit measures and contract tracing guidelines on traveller’s journey, and the importance of the SHA Plus certification.

Discover Phuket’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at

While the final official details of the Phuket Sandbox model are currently under review by the Royal Thai Government, the initial information is available here.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

WTTC Calls on Boris Johnson and G7 Leaders to Recover Jobs in Tourism

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WTTC Calls on Boris Johnson and G7 Leaders to Recover Jobs in Tourism - TRAVELINDEXLondon, United Kingdom, June 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council has called on Boris Johnson and the G7 Heads of State, to lead a coordinated response to restart international travel safely, which it says will be critical to the global economic and social recovery.

WTTC, which represents the global private sector, made the plea in an open letter to UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Chair of the G7 group of nations in 2021, just days before leaders are due to meet at Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

The letter laid out the critical role the G7 must play to drive real change and save the global Travel & Tourism sector by safely restoring international travel and mobility through three key measures.

The first is to put Travel & Tourism at the heart of all governmental decision making globally, recognising its economic and social importance and committing to stronger global public-private collaboration.

Secondly, to commit to implementing a consistent framework to safely reopen international travel, through the use of testing, health & hygiene protocols, and digital health travel passes to ensure the safe and seamless flow of people.

Finally, to reopen international borders between countries with similar successful vaccination rollouts and low levels of infection, such as the US and the UK. This move would unlock both inbound and outbound travel and provide a significant boost to both economies, based on clear, consistent metrics and following a data-driven approach.

Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, said:  “With the global Travel & Tourism sector hanging by a thread, Boris Johnson is in a unique position to lead the G7 response to restart international travel and save the millions of jobs and livelihoods that depend on a thriving sector.

“The situation is critical, so we must put Travel & Tourism at the heart of all governmental decision making globally and agree a consistent framework to reopen international borders. 

“The risks of not doing so are enormous. In the G7 countries alone, the sector accounts for 5.11% of the total economy and almost one in 10 of all jobs globally (9.07%). If we don’t save international travel, we simply won’t achieve global socio-economic recovery.

“However, we can and should harness the opportunity presented by the hugely successful vaccination rollout, to remove travel restrictions and build bridges not walls, which will allow the safe and free movement of people who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative test.

“We urge Boris Johnson‘s government which led the world by administering the very first COVID-19 vaccination dose, and the other Leaders of the G7 to take this courageous step and save a sector which will be crucial in saving their economies.”

In the letter to Boris Johnson, WTTC said the Travel & Tourism sector will play a key role in achieving the G7 policy priorities set by his Presidency.

The global tourism body said we will not achieve global recovery unless international mobility resumes and helps bring back millions of jobs into the economy; enabling free & fair trade to flourish once again. Travel & Tourism will also play a key role in enhancing our preparedness and resilience against future pandemics, as well as tackling climate change.

According to WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report (EIR), in 2019, Travel & Tourism contributed to 10.4% of global GDP and created more than 330 million jobs, that’s one in ten jobs across the world.

However, following a year of global lockdowns and closed borders, some 62 million jobs in Travel & Tourism have been lost around the world, with many more at risk, and the sector’s contribution to global GDP has slumped by US$4.5 trillion (-49.1%).

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

New Dates Announced for World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

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New Dates Announced for World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism - - TRAVELINDEXBruges, Belgium, June 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization, Basque Culinary Center, VisitFlanders and the city of Bruges have announced new dates for the 6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.

Held under the theme ‘Gastronomy Tourism: Promoting Rural Tourism and Regional Development’, the Forum will take place 31 October – 2 November 2021 in Bruges, Belgium.

The event will focus on the contribution of gastronomy tourism to social and economic integration. It will also highlight its untapped potential for job creation, regional cohesion and sustainable growth. Building on UNWTO’s work on advancing innovation across the tourism sector, the Forum also represents a unique opportunity for experts from across the growing field of gastronomy tourism to share new ideas and best practices and place the two sectors at the center of plans for recovery.

Gastronomy continues to prove its ability to help destinations diversify and to stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world

In order to welcome and connect participants from around the world, the Forum will be held in a hybrid format. This way, delegates meeting in the Concertgebouw of Bruges will be joined virtually by participants from every global region via a special online platform.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili says: “There is no better time than now to re-shape the future for food and tourism. Gastronomy continues to prove its ability to help destinations diversify and to stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world. This is especially true for rural communities where it can help preserve the identity and authenticity of local traditions.”

Joxe Mari Aizega, Director of the Basque Culinary Center, remarked that “We are currently in a particularly challenging and unique time, and rural communities, innovation and creativity will be key to transition successfully towards a new scenario. That is the reason why it is necessary to increase the contribution of the entire value chain of gastronomy for the future, generating a suitable institutional framework through specific policies. This kind of forums are essential to encourage projects that generate and develop sustainable gastronomic initiatives that transform and have a positive impact on the sector”.

Flemish Minister of Tourism, Zuhal Demir says: “We are very much looking forward to welcome participants, both live and online, to explore culinary Bruges during the Forum in November. This is a great opportunity for destinations to exchange experiences facing challenging times and putting gastronomy and tourism at the centre of recovery plans. Flanders, as one of Europe’s gastronomic hubs, is ready to lead the way for a sustainable future of gastronomy tourism.”

The Forum has been co-organized by UNWTO and the BCC since 2015 with the aim of promoting the exchange of experiences between experts in tourism and gastronomy, identify good practices and promote gastronomy tourism as a driver of sustainable development.

About BCC

Basque Culinary Center represents a unique ecosystem where training, innovation, research and entrepreneurship coexist with the aim of developing and propelling gastronomy, which is understood as reasoned knowledge about what and how we eat.

Its mission is rooted in values such as passion, innovation, excellence and social commitment. Located in San Sebastian since September 2011, Basque Culinary Center is a pioneer institution conformed by the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences, and the Centre for Research and Innovation in the field of gastronomy.

In 2021 Basque Culinary Center celebrates its 10th anniversary. Since its origin, the institution has developed its 360º vision of Gastronomy through different initiatives and projects. This year, we celebrate our achievements and the challenges to come, always rooted in our values: passion, orientation towards excellence, innovation and social commitment.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

Mastercard Foundation to Deploy $1.3B to Save Lives and Livelihoods in Africa

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Mastercard Foundation to Deploy $1.3B to Save Lives and Livelihoods in Africa - - TRAVELINDEXAddis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Mastercard Foundation has announced that it will deploy $1.3 billion over the next three years in partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa and hasten the economic recovery of the continent.

The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more across the continent, lay the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa through a focus on human capital development, and strengthen the Africa CDC.

“Ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent. This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation. “In the process, this initiative will catalyze work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy,” she added.

The African Union’s goal as set out in the African COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy is to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its population – approximately 750 million people or the entire adult population of the continent – by the end of 2022. To date, less than two percent of Africans have received at least one vaccine dose.

The new partnership builds on the efforts of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX), the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and the global community to expand access to vaccines across Africa. The number of vaccines available to Africa represents a small portion of the global supply and the financial costs to purchase, deliver, and administer vaccines remain significant. The Africa CDC is calling on governments, global funders, the private sector, and others to help meet this goal.

“Ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, it’s the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC. “This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is a bold step towards establishing a New Public Health Order for Africa, and we welcome other actors to join this historic journey.”

In 2020, Africa faced its first economic recession in 25 years due to the pandemic. The African Development Bank has warned that COVID-19 could reverse hard-won gains in

poverty reduction over the past two decades and drive 39 million people into extreme poverty in 2021. Widespread vaccination is recognized as being critical to the economic recovery of African countries.

The initiative builds on an earlier collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa CDC to expand access to testing kits and enhance surveillance capacity in Africa. Through the Foundation’s support, the Africa CDC’s Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) deployed nearly two million COVID-19 tests and more than 12,000 trained health care workers and rapid responders across Africa. In total, the PACT has enabled over 47 million COVID-19 tests across the continent.

About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation is a Canadian foundation and one of the largest in the world with more than $39 billion in assets. The Foundation was created in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. Since its inception, the Foundation has operated independently of the company. The Foundation’s policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by its Board.

About Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programs.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

PUBS, PATIOS & BARS: Revealing Jamaica’s secret bars

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While there really is no bad place in Jamaica to grab a Red Stripe, your favourite rum punch, or even a Bob Marley (the drink, not the reggae icon), there are a few “secret” locations that clearly stand apart from well-known spots like Rick’s in Negril or anything on Mo’ Bay’s Hip Strip.

From treetops to hidden caves, visitors can ramp up the romance or discover a unique island location certain to enliven one’s Instagram account and, more importantly, provide indelible memories along the way.

Here are three that are worthy of any bucket list:

Kanopi House

Provision Bar, Kanopi House

Nestled in the treetops on a secluded hillside just outside of Port Antonio, the eco-chic Kanopi House resort is a tip-top location for a scenic drink. The unique treehouse bar, built among 100-year-old Banyan trees, overlooks Jamaica’s famed Blue Lagoon and boasts breathtaking views and a creative menu of rum-based cocktails, wine, beer, and fresh-squeezed fruit juices.

Blackwell Rum Bar

Blackwell Rum Bar at The Caves. Image courtesy Jamaica Tourist Board

This secret cliffside lounge built inside the rugged rockface at The Caves boutique hotel in Negril is an intimate setting for a romantic drink. Guests traverse down a coral staircase and across a wooden footbridge to access the secret grotto bar tucked within the cliff’s volcanic limestone walls. Flickering candles, lapping ocean waves, and elegant handcrafted libations set the scene for an unforgettable evening for guests.

Floyd’s Pelican Bar

Floyd’s Pelican Bar

Accessible only by boat, this offshore watering hole on Jamaica’s South Coast is a true off-the-beaten-path experience. Built on stilts with a thatch roof in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, the rustic driftwood bar serves up a no-frills menu of ice-cold beer, rum punch, and fresh fish.

With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues.


First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at – Global Travel News

Beachfront Twinpalms MontAzure Resort Nominated for Top 25 Hotels in the World

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Beachfront Twinpalms MontAzure Resort Nominated for Top 25 Hotels in the World

Phuket, Thailand, June 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Twinpalms MontAzure has been nominated for the Top 25 Luxury Hotels awards by Top25Hotels, which honours the world’s leading hotels.

Twinpalms MontAzure is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and features beautifully appointed Suites and Penthouses, some with private pools. Offering a serene setting for a luxurious stay, the recently launched resort is located directly on Kamala Beach on the west coast of Phuket Island.

Discover all the World’s Best Luxury Hotels here.

“We are delighted to be included in the Top 25 Hotels in the World and in the World’s Best Luxury Hotels Awards,” said General Manager Olivier Gibaud upon receiving the nomination certificate. He adds, “We are grateful for the continued support and trust our professional staff, as well as our partners and guests, give us.”

The luxurious resort also boasts two large pools, a fantastic beachfront restaurant and bar and guests have full access to the plethora of Twinpalms Hotels and Resort’s beach clubs, restaurants, bars, and yachting services.

About Twinpalms Hotels & Resorts
Established in 2004, with the launch of the initial resort, Twinpalms Phuket, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and located on Surin Beach. Twinpalms Hotels & Resorts include a range of lifestyle brands, Catch Beach Club, HQ Beach Lounge, Palm Seaside, BAKE and Andaman Cruises Luxury Motor Yachts. Launched in 2019 Twinpalms MontAzure Hotel, Shimmer Beachfront Restaurant, Love Noodles and in 2020, Wagyu Steakhouse. 2021 saw the opening of The Lazy Coconut.

About – World’s Best Luxury Hotels is a collection of exceptional hotels, resorts, eco-lodges, retreats and private islands featuring the top 25 luxury properties in the world and each destination. by Travelindex is the world’s only rating system based on natural language processing technology combined with human expertise. The ratings and rankings are synthesized by a proprietary, artificial intelligence algorithm and re-assessed by some of the world’s top hospitality experts, resulting in the trusted “Hotel Rating Index”. The company puts a priority on the integration of reliable data with human discernment to make trusted information accessible to all.

Discover all the World’s Best Luxury Hotels here.

Contact & Reservations for Twinpalms MontAzure:
Address: 129/86 Kamala Beach Road, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 7684 368

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Indonesia Tourism Celebrates Opening of Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary

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Indonesia Tourism Celebrates Opening of Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary

Maratua Island, Indonesia, June 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Governor of Kalimantan Timur, H.E. Dr. Ir. H. Isran Noor, M. Si., the Bupati (Local Premier) of Kabupaten Berau, Hj. Sri Juniarsih Mas and their tourism department delegations were joined by H.E. Nico Barito, the Seychelles Special Envoy to ASEAN and Alain St.Ange, the Secretary General of FORSEAA (Forum of Small Medium Economic Africa Asean) to mark the formal opening of the Arasatu Villas and Sanctuary on the pristine Maratua Island. Representing the owners at the ceremony were Yan Surya Kusuma Darmabasuan and Angelia Darmabasuan.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Wonderful Indonesia, go to

Alain St.Ange, who is the successful former Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine Minister of the Seychelles was in Indonesia to consolidate the spirit of South-South Cooperation using Indonesia as the needed bridge between Africa and the ASEAN Block. Referred to as a unique PARADISE ON EARTH development the new Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary is a pilot project of Indonesia and Seychelles in Maratua Island. Built on the eastern side of Borneo, Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary offers you a one-of-a-kind staycation experience of living above Maratua Island’s finest turquoise water.

“The cozy hammock on the terrace makes you feel immersed in the beauty of the island whilst sipping a signature beverage under the blazing sun and shining stars is surely a thing you can’t resist” said a staff member of the new hotel property. The hotel’s enchanting wooden ornaments are also mainly crafted by the locals on Maratua Island all in a bid to support the local economy and likewise, to stick to the developer’s vision of reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the country. “No trip to Maratua is complete without snorkeling.

Experience snorkeling in transparent sea water and witness these beautiful corals right under the villas. Arasatu aims to support marine ecosystems and as home to Maratua Island’s giant clams. For that reason, the Cocoral Dive Center was founded” says the Hotel’s representative.

The Arasatu’s floating villas that were inspired from East Borneo’s overwater bungalows, convey an intimate connection to the shimmering Celebes Sea. Private sun deck with suspended hammocks over turquoise waters for a relaxing time or just a few steps away to the beach for a dip, these floating villas offers endless activities and experiences to satisfy anyone’s island vacations. This villa features an extended sun deck with outdoor shower, over-the-water hammock for two, private stairs to the ocean and an extra large daybed to maximize your overwater vacation. The semi-open bathroom is equipped with a walk-in rain shower and large backlit mirror Plus, each villa boasts private see-through glass doors for ocean viewing and roof window for stargazing.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Wonderful Indonesia, go to

Alain St.Ange said that the proximity of Maratua Island to UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kakaban Island where the unique freshwater jellyfish lives provides a rare opportunity that is not to be missed. “This pink jellyfish does not sting and I personally swam with them” said Alain St.Ange.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Golfasian Announces Acquisition of FORE Management Group

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Golfasian Announces Acquisition of FORE Management Group - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, June 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Golfasian, Asia’s largest inbound tour operator, is utilising strength in diversity to take Thailand’s golf industry to a higher level.

The Bangkok-based company has acquired FORE Management Group, a respected organiser of golf events in Thailand. Its formidable track record includes the Thailand Open (an Asian Tour event), the World Corporate Golf Challenge, and the Thailand instalment of the Faldo Series: the only global amateur series for juniors.

Golfasian has also forged a strategic partnership with FENIX XCell, one of the region’s most creative names in golf apparel.

“Together the companies will create the strongest brands in the Asia golf industry, particularly related to golf travel, golf events, and golf apparel,” commented Mark Siegel, the founder and chairman of Golfasian.

“The new status will facilitate additional vertical integration and allow the companies to offer a broader range of products and services for golfers and international partners.”

Since its founding in 2016, FORE Management Group has established itself as the go-to firm in Thailand for professionally run, fun golf tournaments — organising over 70 events per year.

Its acquisition will allow Golfasian to utilise its logistic expertise at a packed roster of events including corporate days, charity tournaments, and open events for domestic and visiting golfers at some of Thailand’s most premium clubs.

“FORE Management Group is delighted to become the event arm of Golfasian,” said Chris Watson, the co-founder of FORE Management Group who will now become Chief Commercial Officer at Golfasian.

“Golfasian already has an exemplary reputation worldwide thanks to its status as the region’s biggest tour operator. The new arrangement strengthens its position domestically and provides numerous synergies. It’s exciting.”

The pandemic has been devastating for the golf tourism industry in Thailand. But while most companies are in survival mode, Golfasian is utilizing strength in numbers to ensure that it emerges intact AND enhanced from the global crisis.

“We believe that we are the strongest Thailand-originated brands in the industry,” says Michael Moir, the founder of FENIX XCell. “These have been very uncertain times, but by joining together we can show potential partners that we offer foresight, vision, and stability.”

Golfasian has helped cement Thailand’s reputation as a must-visit destination for golf since its establishment back in 1997.

Utilizing expert knowledge of the game and the region itself, it prides itself on being the first choice for golfers embarking on a dream vacation to the Kingdom and other thrilling golf destinations in Southeast Asia.

With international travel severely restricted, clubs have been forced to rely on domestic clients since early 2020.

But with Thailand’s government proceeding with a mass vaccination program for its population, there’s growing confidence that international visitors will be able to return to the Kingdom’s fairways sooner rather than later.

With that in mind, Golfasian believes that diversifying its services can help Thailand build momentum with a domestic audience and also swiftly regain its status as a bucket-list destination for golf travelers.

“Thailand’s reputation as a golf destination was as bright as it has ever been before the pandemic,” said Boyd Barker, Golfasian Chief Operating Officer. “We can’t wait to showcase the country to visiting golfers again while growing the domestic golf market through compelling events.”

About Golfasian Co. Ltd.
Established in 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand, Golfasian is the most established dedicated golf tour operator in Asia. Golfasian’s quality of services and expert knowledge has made the company the first choice for golfers and golf tour operators worldwide.

Golfasian prides itself on its high number of repeat customers and referrals and maintains a membership base of 267,346 golfers seeking quality golf experiences in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, and the UAE.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News