Global Travel News

Best Western Hotels Boosts Pakistan Portfolio with Four New Signings

500 292 wttc2

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

500 307 wttc2

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

500 308 wttc2

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

500 293 wttc2

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

500 293 wttc2

 

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

500 279 wttc2

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

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

840 233 wttc2

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

THE FIRST TOURIST: Travel at a tipping point

600 275 wttc2

Bruce Poon Tip is not “the last tourist,” but he’d like to be considered one of the first – a least by his definition of the term. Because the founder of G Adventures (also entrepreneur, author, and now filmmaker) would like to change the meaning of the word ‘tourist.’

More precisely, he’d like to change not just the word, but the world, by the very nature of people going on holiday – a timely sentiment today (Sept. 27) as the global travel industry celebrates World Tourism Day with the theme “rethinking travel.”

Addressing delegates at the recent ACTA eastern regional summit in Toronto, Poon Tip, pegged as a keynote speaker for the event, presented a passionate argument that travel should not simply aim to return to a pre-pandemic normal and encouraged travellers to change their mindset and remember the true purpose of travel – experiencing new destinations and cultures.

Showing a slide of a cruise ship in the middle of a spectacular fjord to demonstrate his point, he mused, “This is probably the greatest example: A ship, in Alaska, that announced a go-kart track as part of its (offering). And none of us thought that was odd.”

“You know,” he joked, “I’m going to go on vacation and maintain my go-cart hobby!”

But he wasn’t joking when added, “This can be anywhere. It’s no longer relevant where the ship is going because all you care about the go-kart track… with fjords and whales jumping around in the background… I for one find that ridiculous!”

With that the Toronto-based travel exec challenged travel agents to help change the mindset of travellers and not simply be part of the commoditization of the travel experience, which he maintains should instead be used as a “force for change” that is meaningful to travellers and the communities in which they travel alike.

“We should be fighting back to be better because I don’t think (pre-pandemic) normal was great,” he said.

Poon Tip’s sentiment is further amplified in “The Last Tourist,” a 140-minute documentary, executive produced by the G Adventures founder and directed by Tyson Sadler, which was just released for streaming on Crave in Canada after a run on-demand and in theatres in April.

The project, whose more minimal nature at the outset, Poon Tip explained, gradually developed into a full-length feature worthy of the seriousness of the subject, examines the history of modern tourism, shining a light on a side of the industry that many travellers might be unaware of and exploring important issues including animals suffering for entertainment, orphaned children exploited for profit, and developing economies strained under the massive weight of foreign-owned hotel chains.

Viewers meet local activists and entrepreneurs who see opportunity for positive change, and are leveraging tourism to preserve cultural heritage, sustain wildlife, and support the social and economic wellbeing of communities.

Filmed in over 16 countries, the film reveals and examines “the real conditions and consequences of one of the largest industries worldwide through the forgotten voices of those working in its shadow. The role of the modern tourist – who are unintentionally destroying the very things they have come to see – is on trial.”

Commentators include some of the world’s leading travel and tourism visionaries including Dr. Jane Goodall (Jane Goodall Institute, United Nations Messenger of Peace), Lek Chailert (Save Elephant Foundation), Gary Knell (National Geographic), Meenu Vadera (Sakha Cabs For Women) and Jonathan Tourtellot (Destination Stewardship Center), as well as Poon Tip himself, with the mission to empower audiences with knowledge and inspiration to make a positive impact and fundamentally change the way we travel.

“Travel,” the film declares, “is at a tipping point” with over-tourism in particular magnifying its impact on the environment, wildlife, and vulnerable communities around the globe.

The good news, especially as the world emerges from the pandemic when people were “forced to go into hibernation and re-evaluate,” says Poon Tip, is that travellers “are being much more intentional and purposeful with their holiday decisions – they are asking more questions about where their money is going, and whether it is helping to support local communities, which is exactly what we need.”

Travel, Poon Tip believes, is a privilege, not a right, and an experience that should push people out of their comfort zones.

“In order to have a truly transformational experience, you should leave your comfort zone when you travel,” he says. “We want people to be comfortable when they travel, whether it’s a hostel or the Four Seasons, but don’t mix that up with ‘comfort zone.’

“One of the main messages of The Last Tourist is that we’re born explorers. But society makes us tourists… If we could get to a place where the money you spent on holiday stayed in that local economy, and where we could create wealth distribution with a $10-trillion industry, we can really make travel a force for change…”

And that might mean engaging with local businesses, like eating in a restaurant that employs at-risk youth; meeting or staying with a local family; visiting (and buying something) at a women’s craft collective; volunteering; or simply joining a cooking class.

Or as Poon Tip puts it, “embracing that two-way experience and imbuing tourism where everyone benefits” – rather than riding go-karts.

At the same time, he adds, “If you want the comforts of home, maybe you should stay at home.”

In addition to Crave, The Last Tourist is available on video-on-demand via Apple, iTunes and on HULU. See the trailer below:

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

NEW DISNEY SHIP A REAL TREASURE

600 275 wttc2

At the recent D23 Disney Fan Expo, Peter Pan was on hand to help reveal details of the fleet’s sixth ship – Disney Treasure – which will join the Disney Cruise Line fleet in 2024. Attendees at the Anaheim, Ca., event were introduced to the vessel in a clever concept video premiered on stage in which the beloved character flies over the vessel to uncover the ship’s name and other first-time insights.

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro revealed that the Disney Treasure will be designed with a brand-new motif unlike anything Disney Cruise Line has done before and added that the theme of adventure, inspired by Walt Disney’s love of exploration, is designed to provide a platform for “epic experiences that immerse guests in some of the company’s most legendary stories.”

“At the heart of every adventure, there’s a treasure, and we can’t wait for you to create memories aboard this spectacular ship,” D’Amaro said.

The Grand Hall, he said, will radiate the allure of adventure, inviting guests to seek all the treasures on board from the moment they embark and will draw on real-world influences from Asia and Africa and pay homage to the far-off land of Agrabah from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ classic tale, “Aladdin.”

The signature atrium character statue – a Disney Cruise Line tradition – will be “a shining, shimmering, splendid” representation of Aladdin, Jasmine and Magic Carpet soaring together toward “a whole new world of adventure.”

The vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2024, following the Disney Wish, which set sail in July. It’s the second of three new ships planned through 2025 and will feature 1,254 guest staterooms.

In other Disney cruise news:

Lighthouse Point rendering

Lighthouse Point: Work has begun on Disney’s second island destination in the Bahamas, located on the island of Eleuthera at a place called Lighthouse Point. Renderings show a vibrant beach retreat infused with the colour and energy of Bahamian artistry. In addition to the pristine beaches, the destination will include a recreation centre, dining, shopping, a water playground, a cultural pavilion and more.

Disney has committed to develop less than 20% of the property; supply 90% of the site’s power from solar energy; employ sustainable building practices; and donate more than 77 hectares of privately owned land to the government. Environmental management programs have already been established and will continue throughout construction and into operation.

Disney Wonder Down Under: For the first time, Disney Cruise Line is bringing Disney vacations to guests in Australia and New Zealand during brand-new “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises beginning late October 2023. The ship is the destination on the limited-time voyages, which have been specially created to immerse local guests in their favourite Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars stories through entertainment and enhanced experiences throughout each cruise.

The Disney Wonder will embark on these “Disney Magic at Sea” cruises through February 2024, ranging from two to six nights and departing from four home ports: Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia; and Auckland, New Zealand.

During the repositioning voyages between Honolulu and Sydney in October 2023 and February 2024, the Disney Wonder will offer the fleet’s first-ever South Pacific itineraries. The brand-new cruises will give guests from around the world the chance to visit exotic destinations like Fiji and Samoa. Bookings open to the public on Oct. 6, 2022.

Check out the Pan video below:

 

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

ROUND-UP: Sept. 19-23, 2022

600 275 wttc2

Hurricanes and Canada’s COVID measures at the border (the easing of), dominated last week’s news, as Canada Jetlines took flight, Sunwing implemented airline service fee changes, and travel companies (ACV, TDC) continued an impressive slate of in-person fall launches.

NEWS

Monster Hurricane Fiona left a trail of destruction from the Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic/Haiti, Turks and Caicos) to Bermuda and Atlantic Canada. Florida declared a state of emergency ahead of the expected arrival of Tropical Storm Ian later this week.

World Tourism Day will take place Tuesday (Sept. 27). Held each year since 1980, the date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of the Organization in 1970, paving the way for the establishment of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) five years later.

BORDERS

Reports suggest that Canada will likely drop the vaccine requirement for people who enter Canada by the end of then month. Also gone will be the need to fill out the unpopular ArriveCan app. An announcement could be made as early as today (Monday).

From Atlin, BC, to Wingham, Ont., the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has resumed services at 55 airports across the country that were still affected by temporary measures put in place as a result of COVID-19.

As of Sept. 22, Barbados discontinued all COVID-19 related travel protocols. As such there is no testing requirements for entering Barbados whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. In addition, the wearing of masks generally is now optional.

AIR

Canada Jetlines, which took flight on Sept. 22 with an inaugural flight between Toronto and Calgary, has announced a worldwide distribution agreement with Sabre.

Starting Oct. 24, Sunwing is implementing airline service changes that will include the addition of preferred seating, and à la carte baggage fees. The airline says the move will upfront costs while provide options for customers to purchase extras or add-ons to suit their specific needs.

Air Transat has unveiled a brand-new phone menu it says is part of ongoing efforts to simplify the work of travel agents and improve the accessibility of its call centre. The system now reflects the best practices and most recent technology in telephony, says the company. Features include a streamlined navigation menu and geolocation service based on the caller’s area code to automatically serve travel agents in their preferred language. Hold music can also be customised between five different styles of music.

BY THE NUMBERS

Not surprisingly, Amsterdam Schiphol reported soaring passenger numbers in the first half of the year as the aviation industry worldwide rebounded strongly from the pandemic. The Dutch airport had 23.8 million passengers in Q1 and 2, up from 5.6 million in the same period last year. Schiphol Group, which also includes smaller airports in Rotterdam and Eindhoven, handled 27.3 million passengers in the year’s first six months.

TOURS

evan evans

British sightseeing company Evan Evans Tours announced its first fully electric zero-emission motor coach (photo) on select itineraries, an industry first by a major sightseeing tour operator in London on fully guided day tours. The electric coach can travel 320 km. on a full charge and Evan Evans will be offering select day tour departures including: Buckingham Palace and Royal Windsor Tour, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, and select London Day Tours.

H.I.S.-Red Label Vacations Inc., which includes redtag.ca, itravel2000.com, Sunquest, The Travel Experts, Flights.ca and Cruises.ca amongst its many brands, has partnered with luxury spaceflight experience company Space Perspective to offer six-hour “space balloon” flights to consumer starting in 2025. Ticket price is $125,000 p.p., and all ticket sales require payment of an initial refundable deposit of a minimum of $1,000 to hold the reservation.

HOTELS

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced plans for an extensive portfolio expansion in Egypt with the addition of new hotels, residential offerings, and significant property enhancements. Opening in 2025 will be Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Cairo Capital at Madinaty and Four Seasons Hotel Luxor, while Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Sharm El Sheikh, has doubled the offerings of the existing property with new accommodations, dining outlets, leisure activities, and more.

Marriott International, Inc. expects to open 14 additional luxury properties in Asia Pacific by the end of 2023. The planned additions, emerging destinations such as Jeju and Jiuzhaigou, highlights the strategic growth of Marriott International’s luxury hotel portfolio in the region, where it currently operates 156 luxury properties. Marriott luxury brands include Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott, and Bulgari.

RESORTS

The popular ski destination of Hokkaido, Japan is home to Club Med’s newest four-season mountain resort in Asia. Set to open in December, the 400-room Club Med Kiroro will provide guests access to some of the best powder snow in the world, with long ski seasons and fresh ski tracks. The elevated Club Med mountain vacation experience will offer guests unlimited ski-in/ski-out access to an untouched ski domain with 23 courses, and activities like snowboarding lessons, group ski, and snowshoe hikes. Indoors, guests can enjoy nature centres, a dedicated kid’s zone with highly customized Children’s Clubs, a gallery showcasing works from local artists, and culinary delights from local breweries, wineries, and bakeries.

Following recent earthquakes in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, the AMR Collection reports its six resorts in the area suffered minimal damage and all operating normally.

DEALS

Lifestyle hotel brand B Hotels & Resorts is offering up to 20% on stays at its Florida properties with its new Fall Escapes promotion. Available for booking through Dec. 20, visitors will receive special discounts on stays of two or more nights through Dec. 22. Use the promo code, BFALL.

CRUISE

Royal Caribbean International has released its line-up of holidays on Spectrum of the Seas for 2023-24, and longer cruises are making a comeback. A mix of new five- to 12-night cruises will whisk adventurers to far-flung destinations in Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam, joining the cruise line’s popular short getaways to Malaysia and Thailand.

Windstar Cruises’ small ships are known for sailing to luxurious and off-the-beaten-path ports around the world. The full breadth of sailings is highlighted best in the cruise line’s, available to order or access online today, including the line’s newest offering: cruises to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf – a first for the luxury cruise line. Cruises begin November 2023 on the all-suite, 312-guest Star Legend.

ATTRACTIONS & THEME PARKS

MSC Cruises is raising the bar when it comes to ground-breaking onboard entertainment options with MSC Seascape. ROBOTRON is a state-of-the-art robotic arm with an attached gondola that seats three guests – flying them nearly 53 m. above the sea. The adrenaline-pumping experience gives riders an unobstructed 360° view of the horizon as they hang over the edge of the deck, flip upside down and move in all directions.

FAMS & INCENTIVES

To celebrate the release of its new 2023 ‘inspiration guide’ brochure, luxury outfitter African Travel is offering qualified travel advisors that have joined its educational program the opportunity to travel with up to three guests and receive 30% saving on brochure safaris of seven nights plus. Additionally, advisors receive $200 after their first booking of seven nights or more.

EVENTS

TDC president Karine Gagnon (centre)

 

Transat Distribution Canada (TDC) welcome close to 150 travel professionals from its network to its first face-to-face Regional Conference in three years in Toronto Sept. 17-18. Under the theme “Rebound,” the TDC community and its preferred partners gathered to energize themselves collectively and, above all, to get informed and take stock of the situation to make the most of the long-awaited recovery in travel demand.

Also last week, Air Canada Vacations returned to in-person events with a gala event in Montreal.

With this year’s ACTA regional summits having wrapped up, the association announced that an inaugural River Cruise Summit will be held in October 2023. Hosted by Avalon Waterways, the event will welcome 100 travel advisors on the cruise line’s seven-day “Romantic Rhine” itinerary in Europe. Registration is expected to open in mid-November on a first-come-first-serve basis, once all registration criteria are met.

PEOPLE/APPOINTMENTS

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in Canada has added Daniel Stubbs to the team as Business Development Officer. Stubbs will be based in Montréal and responsible for overseeing business development in Québec and Eastern Canada. He can be reached at 514-231-1968 or dstubbs@visitjamaica.com.

Air France-KLM has announced the appointment of Jean-Eudes de La Bretèche as General Director of its Canadian operations. He began his 13-year career with Air France-KLM in Paris as part of the Revenue Management team before joining the CEO’s office as Project Coordinator.

Trevello (TPI) has been named “Top Agent Partner – Q3” by Uplift, a buy-now-pay-later payment program that allows travel advisors to offer flexible payment options to consumers. Trevello advisors Josephine Cruz and Jonathan Miguel ranked first and fourth individually.

DESTINATIONS

Los Angeles Tourism is inviting visitors – including Canadians – to discover what’s “Now Playing” in the City of Angels with the kickoff of a creative new advertising campaign spotlighting the wide breadth of attractions, experiences, entertainment, and accommodations found only in LA. Shot on location at several iconic LA. sites, the spot combines live-action film, music, animation, and voiceover designed to create a dazzling mix of campaign content. The campaign will run in both traditional and digital media.

Staring next summer, a new high-speed hovercraft service across Lake Ontario – the first of its kind in North America – could cut travel time between Toronto and the Niagara Region down to 30 minutes. Operated by Hoverlink Ontario Inc., which says it has entered the final stage of approval, the service will operate between Ontario Place in downtown Toronto and Port Weller in St. Catharines, Ont., a trip that can take about two hours by car or train.

LAST WEEK IN TRAVEL HISTORY

In 1908, Thomas E. Selfridge, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, became the first person to die in the crash of a powered aircraft, the “Wright Flyer.” The accident, which also seriously injured pilot Orville Wright, occurred at Fort Myer, Va., just outside Washington, D.C.

Send info to baginski@travelindustrytoday.com

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News