Global Travel News

UNWTO: Blanket Travel Restrictions Don’t Work

500 327 wttc2

UNWTO: Blanket Travel Restrictions Don’t Work - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, January 26, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has welcomed the call of its sister UN agency World Health Organization (WHO) for restrictions on travel to be lifted or eased.

Citing the varied global  responses to the emergence of the of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, WHO has reiterated that restrictions on travel are not effective in suppressing the international spread. In line with UNWTO’s recurring warning against the use of blanket restrictions, the 10th meeting of the WHO’s International Health Regulations Emergency Committee (Geneva, 19 January) expressed concern that such measures can cause economic and social harm. They may also “discourage transparent and rapid reporting of emerging Variants of Concern”, the WHO added.

The Committee also noted that measures applied to international travellers such as testing, isolation and quarantine, and vaccinations, should be based on “risk assessments and avoid placing the financial burden on international travellers in accordance with Article 40 of the IHR”.

When it comes to stopping the spread of new virus variants, blanket travel restrictions are simply counterproductive

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “When it comes to stopping the spread of new virus variants, blanket travel restrictions are simply counterproductive. In fact, by cutting the lifeline of tourism, these restrictions do more harm than good, especially in destinations reliant on international tourists for jobs, economic wellbeing and sustainable change.”

The United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects Report for 2022 – to which UNWTO provided the official travel related data – has noted that in both developed and developing, recovery from the impacts of the pandemic is “uneven and fragile”. It also highlights the “substantial reversal in progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“It is imperative we restart tourism and so kickstart recovery and get back on track towards meeting the SDGs while responding to Climate Imperatives,” Mr Pololikashvili adds. “UNWTO welcomes WHO’s new guidance, highlighting the ineffectiveness of blanket travel restrictions, and we also amplify their recommendations against using vaccination status as the sole condition for welcoming tourists back, especially when vaccination rates remain so uneven.”

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

WTTC to Hold Sustainability and Investment Summit in Puerto Rico

500 305 wttc2

WTTC to Hold Sustainability and Investment Summit in Puerto Rico - TRAVELINDEXSan Juan, Puerto Rico, January 26, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company are delighted to announce the Sustainability and Investment Summit, which will take place on 14 June in the city of San Juan.

Announced at FITUR, the international tourism fair held in Madrid, Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said:

“This one day event will demonstrate WTTC’s and the wide Travel & Tourism sector’s commitment to preserving the planet, reducing the effects of climate change and, above all, increasing its resilience to ensure its continued sustainable growth.

“From the very beginning of this pandemic, the Government of Puerto Rico through the Puerto Rico Tourism Company have implemented enhanced health and safety protocols to preserve the health of travellers and kept its tourist services open and enhance its recovery.”

Carlos Mercado, General Director of the Puerto Rican Tourism Board, said: “The Sustainability and Investment Summit represents a great opportunity to recognise Puerto Rico as a safe destination, with advanced sanitary protocols, tourist attractions, and ample opportunities for investment and long term sustainable development.

“We thank WTTC for working together with us to hold this event on the island. We are ready to welcome the global tourism leaders who will be participating in this Summit, which will serve as a platform to discuss the present and the future of sustainable tourism.”

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Omicron Having on Impact on Air Passenger Demand Recovery

500 297 wttc2

Omicron Having on Impact on Air Passenger Demand Recovery - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, January 26, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced full-year global passenger traffic results for 2021 showing that demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) fell by 58.4% compared to the full year of 2019. This represented an improvement compared to 2020, when full year RPKs were down 65.8% versus 2019.

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to the respective 2019 period, which followed a normal demand pattern.

– International passenger demand in 2021 was 75.5% below 2019 levels. Capacity, (measured in available seat kilometers or ASKs) declined 65.3% and load factor fell 24.0 percentage points to 58.0%.

– Domestic demand in 2021 was down 28.2% compared to 2019. Capacity contracted by 19.2% and load factor dropped 9.3 percentage points to 74.3%.

– Total traffic for the month of December 2021 was 45.1% below the same month in 2019, improved from the 47.0% contraction in November, as monthly demand continued to recover despite concerns over Omicron. Capacity was down 37.6% and load factor fell 9.8 percentage points to 72.3%.

Impact of Omicron Measures: Omicron travel restrictions slowed the recovery in international demand by about two weeks in December. International demand has been recovering at a pace of about four percentage points/month compared to 2019. Without Omicron, we would have expected international demand for the month of December to improve to around 56.5% below 2019 levels. Instead, volumes rose marginally to 58.4% below 2019 from -60.5% in November.

“Overall travel demand strengthened in 2021. That trend continued into December despite travel restrictions in the face of Omicron. That says a lot about the strength of passenger confidence and the desire to travel. The challenge for 2022 is to reinforce that confidence by normalizing travel. While international travel remains far from normal in many parts of the world, there is momentum in the right direction. Last week, France and Switzerland announced significant easing of measures. And yesterday the UK removed all testing requirements for vaccinated travelers. We hope others will follow their important lead, particularly in Asia where several key markets remain in virtual isolation,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

International Passenger Markets

– Asia-Pacific airlines’ full-year international traffic plunged 93.2% in 2021 compared to 2019, which was the deepest decline for any region. It fell 87.5% in the month of December, a bit better than the 89.8% decline in November. Full year capacity was down 84.9% compared to 2019. Load factor fell 44.3 percentage points to 36.5%.

– European carriers saw a 67.6% traffic decline in 2021 versus 2019. Capacity fell 57.4% and load factor decreased 20.6 percentage points to 65.0%. For the month of December, traffic slid 41.5% compared to December 2019, an improvement over the 43.5% year-to-year decline in November.

– Middle Eastern airlines’ annual passenger volumes in 2021 were 71.6% below 2019. Annual capacity fell 57.7% and load factor dropped 25.1 percentage points to 51.1%. December’s traffic was down 51.2% compared to December 2019, a solid pick-up from a 54.3% drop in November.

– North American airlines’ full year traffic fell 65.6% compared to 2019. Capacity dropped 52.0%, and load factor sank 23.8 percentage points to 60.2%. December demand was down 41.7% compared to the same month a year-ago, a pick-up over a 44.6% drop in November.

– Latin American airlines had a 66.9% full year traffic decline compared to 2019. Capacity fell 62.2% and load factor dropped 10.2 percentage points to 72.6%, the highest among regions. Traffic fell 40.4% for the month of December compared to December 2019, significantly bettering the 47.3% decline in November.

– African airlines’ international traffic fell 65.2% last year compared to 2019, which was the best performance among regions. Capacity dropped 56.7%, and load factor sank 14.1 percentage points to 57.3%. Demand for the month of December was 60.5% below the year-ago period, a deterioration from the 56.5% decline in November, owing to the impact of government travel restrictions in response to Omicron.

– China’s domestic passenger traffic fell 24.4% in 2021 compared to 2019. It was down 39.6% for the month of December versus December 2019, which was an improvement compared to a 50.9% decline in November.

– Russia’s domestic traffic rose 24.2% for the full year, and 23.2% for the month of December, an acceleration over the 17.5% rise in November. Russia was the only market to see growth in RPKs in 2021 compared to 2019.

The Bottom Line

“As COVID-19 continues to evolve from the pandemic to endemic stage, it is past time for governments to evolve their responses away from travel restrictions that repeatedly have been shown to be ineffective in preventing the spread of the disease, but which inflict enormous harm on lives and economies. A New Year’s resolution for governments should be to focus on building population immunity and stop placing travel barriers in the way of a return to normality,” said Walsh.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Westin Hotels & Resorts Makes its UK Debut with The Opening of the Westin London City

840 560 wttc2

The Haven.jpg
The Haven at The Westin London City
Matteo Barro

Westin Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, unveils The Westin London City, the brand’s first hotel in the UK and the 1,000 hotel within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. As the global hospitality leader in wellness for more than a decade, Westin Hotels & Resorts debuts in the UK at a time when consumers desire to travel is higher than ever and when self-care is now viewed as a ‘necessity’ rather than a choice.

Designed by British architects Dexter Moren Associates, The Westin London City combines meaningful wellness with contemporary fluid and sculptural design. Built on the premise that a connection to nature enhances wellbeing, the design is inspired by the unique location with a modern residential feel. Within the riverfront hotel’s 222 guestrooms, guests will enjoy brand signatures such as the iconic Heavenly® Bed, a spa-like bathroom, and refreshing amenities including White Tea Heavenly® Bath products and Sleep Well Lavender Balm to promote a revitalizing rest.

The hotel experience comes to life through the brand’s six pillars of wellbeing – Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well – allowing guests to personalize their stay and engage in programming that best meets their needs. The expansive Heavenly Spa by Westin™ has been designed to prioritize guest’s well-being with six treatment rooms and an indoor pool, which was carefully constructed around the archaeological remains of the Huggin Hill Bathhouse below. The state-of-the-art WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio offers TRX® exercise equipment, Peloton Bikes, and a bespoke Hypervolt recovery station from Hyperice – a first-ever exclusive hotel offering with Westin, following a successful launch in select U.S. properties last summer.

Riverside dining can be enjoyed at two venues – wine bar Hithe + Seek, overlooking the Thames, and all-day dining destination Mosaic, featuring a sustainably sourced menu of nutritious dishes. Presenting a world of contrasts to city-goers, Hithe + Seek is set at the heart of the hotel overlooking the River Thames, with unparalleled views of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and Tate Modern art gallery. Plush furnishings and modern finishes create an intimate atmosphere while the eclectic wine list, made up of 80 references, is carefully split into two sections – Hithe which features a selection of familiar favorites and Seek which showcases undiscovered gems hand-picked for diners looking to expand their palate. The small plates menu combines recipes from old and new world wine countries within the wine list. Named after the colorful artwork commissioned for the front of the hotel, Mosaic offers a sustainably sourced menu ideal for those seeking healthier choices including dishes from the Westin Eat Well menu, which provides options that fuel and energize guests without compromising flavor, taste, or satisfaction. Located on the fourth floor, where the north and south sides of the hotel merge, its city-facing location makes it the perfect destination for lunches or after work dinners and drinks.

“The Westin London City seamlessly balances London’s captivating energy with the wellness promise that Westin Hotels & Resorts is known for, providing mindful travelers a new way to experience this iconic destination,” said Jason Nuell, Senior Vice President, Premium Brands, Marriott International. “As the brand’s debut in the UK, we’re excited to continue expanding our portfolio, delivering industry-leading well-being experiences designed to empower a better you.”

Collaborative working areas that spark creativity are at the heart of the hotel with its 1,060 square meters of contemporary meeting and events space. Allowing flexibility in function through simple and intuitive design details, the hotel’s Ballroom is a fluid space that can be easily tailored to host a range of events. Five expansive meeting rooms emulate the linear nature of the north lobby’s design, introducing residential touches and natural textures.

Owned by 4C Hotel Group and managed by leading hospitality management company RBH, the hotel, which also has nine state-of-the-art residences, unites the final piece of the Thames pathway connecting the Embankment to the Tower of London which guests will be encouraged to explore with the hotel’s Rise & Run club, inspired by the brand’s renowned RunWESTIN® program. “By connecting these two sides of London, we have opened a walkway that could help towards a greener city, encouraging locals and visitors alike to walk the beautiful stretch of river,” said Neil Taylor, Chief Operating Officer at 4C Hotel Group. “It has been 80 years in the making in bringing this walkway back for everyday use and we are delighted to see our city united once more.”

Westin Hotels & Resorts participates in Marriott Bonvoy, the award-winning travel program from Marriott International. Marriott Bonvoy members will earn points for their stay at The Westin London City, and at other hotels and resorts across Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, 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 a contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind.

For more information or to book, please visit and follow along @thewestinlondoncity.

About Westin® Hotels & Resorts
Westin Hotels & Resorts, hospitality’s global leader in wellness for more than a decade, empowers guests to transcend the rigors of travel while on the road through the brand’s Six Pillars of Well-being: Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. At more than 225 hotels and resorts in nearly 40 countries and territories, guests can experience wellness offerings that include the brand’s iconic and award-winning Heavenly Bed®, TRX fitness equipment in the signature WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studios, delicious and nutritious menu offerings on their Eat Well menu, and more. Stay connected to Westin on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Westin 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

About Marriott Bonvoy®
Marriott Bonvoy’s extraordinary portfolio offers renowned hospitality in the most memorable destinations in the world, with 30 brands that are tailored to every type of journey. Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, and 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. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit

About 4C Hotel Group
Founded in 2010, the 4C Hotel Group is a privately-owned hotel development company with a portfolio of properties in key business centres and leisure hotspots across the UK, Canada, Africa, and the Middle East. Headquartered in London, the 4C Hotel Group’s mission is to create sustainable, profitable growth through the delivery of positive guest experience, innovative processes, quality partnerships and a commitment to provide opportunities for personal and professional development. To find out more visit

About RBH
RBH is one of the UK’s leading independent hotel management companies, with a portfolio of more than 45 hotels, from full-service country hotels to city-centre properties. With offices in both London and Glasgow and an expert team of over 100 hotel specialists, RBH works with businesses all around the UK, helping to maximise return for existing hotel owners, as well as building and developing new hotels since 1997. For the past 20 years, partnerships with some of the most prestigious international hotel brands have included Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG, Accor, Wyndham Worldwide and Marriott International.

Media Contacts
James Bardwell
Global Communications, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Georgie Noble
Consumer PR, Europe, Middle East, Africa

Lara Busch
Consumer PR, Europe, Middle East, Africa

Read original article at Marriott Hotels

First published at – Global Travel News

Marriott Bonvoy Makes Each Night Count Twice for Members with New Global Promotion

840 630 wttc2

The latest promotion offers members a fast-track to Elite status and more points for free nights, experiences and more

Marriott Bonvoy, Marriott International’s award-winning travel program, is kicking off the year with a rewarding promotion, offering members bonus points and Elite Night Credits on each paid night of their stay, with a fast-track to Elite status and more points for free nights, experiences and more.

Registration starts today for the global promotion, which gives members 1,000 bonus points and an additional Elite Night Credit for each paid night of the member’s stay – effectively making each night count twice during the promotion earning period of February 8 to May 4, 2022. This means a new member could achieve Silver Elite status with just a five-night stay – unlocking elevated Silver Elite benefits such as priority late check-out and 10% bonus points on eligible future hotel stays – all while earning substantial bonus points towards their next free night, Marriott Bonvoy Moments experience, or even to put towards trip add-ons like flights or car rental.

There is no limit to the number of bonus points or bonus Elite Night Credits that members can earn during the promotion, meaning members can earn one bonus Elite Night Credit and 1,000 bonus points for each night of the promotion earning period. As long as they are registered, members can begin earning bonuses from the very first eligible night that falls within the earning period, and on each eligible night thereafter.

The offer is global, providing more opportunities to experience the world through Marriott Bonvoy’s extraordinary hotel brands – whether that’s close to home or in the most inspiring destinations around the globe. From distinctive luxury to smart conveniences, members can find their ideal stay through the thousands of hotels and resorts participating in Marriott Bonvoy.

Here are some important details:

  • The promotion earning period runs from February 8, 2022 to May 4, 2022.
  • Stays completed prior to registration are not eligible to earn bonus points or bonus Elite Night Credits with this promotion. Members must register here before April 20, 2022.
  • With this promotion, members can earn unlimited bonus points and bonus Elite Night Credits during the 85-day earning period, up to 85,000 bonus points and 85 bonus Elite Night Credits.
  • Members must book stays directly with Marriott on, Marriott Bonvoy Mobile app or through a reservations center. Rates available through most third-party online retailers and select travel agency rates do not qualify for this promotion.
  • The following brands are not participating in the promotion: Homes & Villas by Marriott International, Marriott Executive Apartments® and Marriott Vacation Club® owner-occupied weeks. Ritz-Carlton Reserve®, BVLGARI, and other hotels that do not currently participate in Marriott Bonvoy® are also excluded from the promotion.

To see the Terms & Conditions, visit here.

In addition to the global promotion, members enjoy other benefits like exclusive member rates when they book directly with Marriott, contactless check-in with the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app and free wifi for every stay. To join Marriott Bonvoy for free and to learn more about all the benefits, visit

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 To download the Marriott app, go here. Travelers can also connect with Marriott Bonvoy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Read original article at Marriott Hotels

First published at – Global Travel News

Hotels Across Vietnam Ring in the Year of the Tiger

1080 720 wttc2

Hotels Across Vietnam Ring in the Year of the Tiger - TRAVELINDEXAlma Resort Cam Ranh – Family resort Alma will ring in the Lunar New Year with a six-day program filled with merriment, and transform its vast lobby into a traditional “Tet Village.”.  The celebrations, to be held from Mon. Jan. 31 until Sat. Feb. 5, will be anchored by the lantern-adorned “Alma’s Tet Village” featuring six huts brimming with traditional snacks and drinks from 4pm-8pm daily. Kite flying competitions, performances by the resort’s resident pianist and singer Ben and Engie, lively singalongs with the Alma Choir at Alma Lounge, and Tet movies at an outdoor cinema on Long Beach are also among the program’s daily fixtures.  Dragon dancing, calligraphy giving, and Tet games including ‘pick the lucky envelope’ and bamboo dancing will be staged at the lobby to mark the first day of the Year of the Tiger, Tues. Feb. 1. The following day’s festivities include competitions such as walking on stilts and watermelon-smashing. On Friday, Feb. 4, Alma’s beachfront restaurant Atlantis will host a Tet buffet from 6-10.30pm complemented by dragon dancing, fire twirling and live music.

Azerai Resorts
Celebrate Tet with family-fun activities at Azerai Can Tho in the Mekong Delta, Azerai Ke Gay Bay on the southeastern coast, and Azerai La Residence, Hue in the former imperial capital. Festivities at Azerai Can Tho include a special Afternoon Tea featuring Vietnamese specialties, scenic river cruises in the Delta, food tastings for children and exclusive dinners to ring in the New Year, among other events. The schedule of activities runs from Jan. 29 to Feb. 7. In central Vietnam, Azerai La Residence, Hue is offering a special Tet stay package between Jan. 27 and Feb. 13, including discounts on Tet menus and more. Other activities to mark the New Year at the historic hotel in Hue include a class to make traditional Vietnamese sticky rice cake (banh chung), a Tet dragon dance, leisurely boat cruises on the fabled Perfume River, and much more. Or usher in the “Year of the Tiger” at Azerai Ke Ga Bay with sports near the white sand beach, including kayaking, kite-flying, windsurfing and much more. The oceanfront resort promises a relaxing escape, with meals spotlighting fresh seafood served in hot pots, grilled platters and BBQ buffets.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Thankful to be done with the year of the Ox and all that plagued those many months, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is rolling out the red carpet for the Tiger and ringing in the Lunar New Year with a special package offering unique guest benefits and exclusive holiday offers. A dragon dance troupe will kick off celebrations on the first day of the Lunar New Year, while traditional activities will entertain guests throughout the week. A special Tet decorative set up with a local floral boutique will be on display in the Metropole Wing lobby as a special photo booth or Instagram moment for visitors. At the same time, boughs of pink peach blossom, potted shrubs of kumquats laden with orange fruit as well as bonsai trees will grace the lobby of the historical hotel. On the first day of the Lunar New Year, guests can look forward to a special Tet menu, including traditional holiday delicacies such as banh chung and bun cha.

Guests’ health and safety are always the hotel’s top priority. Metropole Hanoi will practice social distancing concerning seating arrangements and safety protocols following ALLSAFE’s standards. For more information, please contact (+84) 234 826 6919 (ext. 8200)

Maia Quy Nhon
Maia Resort Quy Nhon knows that the journey to any traveler’s heart often requires a detour through the stomach. The gastronomically-driven all-villa resort, along Vietnam’s southern coast, is ringing in the year of the Tiger with stay packages that will leave no bellies growling. The resort is rolling out four different Tet offerings, ranging from 1-5 nights, that immerse guests in the culinary offerings of this oceanfront property. The three night option includes the choice of one of the resort’s signature culinary experiences: Once Upon a Table at ad hoc restaurant, Barefoot Destination Dining, a Privately Curated Dining Experience, Afternoon High-Tea, or Gastronomy by Maia. For guests who are more spa-inclined they can opt instead for a personalized wellness journey with the choice of two spa therapies from their unique selection: Infrared sauna therapy session, Body Rejuvenation, Healing Therapy, and Anti-ageing facial care. Other highlights of a three-night stay include a daily treatment at Vela Spa, the choice of a family style lunch or dinner at Vi Restaurant overlooking Quy Nhon Bay, and a one-time complimentary upgrade to daily half board.

First published at – Global Travel News

Raffles Confirms Acting General Manager in Cambodia

1080 805 wttc2

Raffles Confirms Acting General Manager in Cambodia - TRAVELINDEXPhnom Penh, Cambodia, January 25, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Dennis de Groot stands at the helm of the two most storied hotels in the country. Raffles Hotels & Resorts has confirmed the appointment of Mr Dennis de Groot as Acting General Manager of both Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh and its sister hotel Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap.

With more than 15 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, de Groot previously held hotel management positions in the Maldives, Azerbaijan and South Africa, including nearly three years at a private game lodge.

De Groot was recruited by the Accor Group in 2016 to oversee the rebranding of the Jumeirah Dhevanafushi as it transformed into the Raffles Maldives Meradhoo.

He moved to Cambodia in 2018 as Hotel Manager at Raffles Hotel Le Royal and was originally appointed Acting General Manager in January 2021. Under his tenure, the hotel has undergone a meticulous one-year restoration project when each of the 175 rooms and suites at the historical property received a full refurbishment.

The novation walked a fine line between the need to brighten interiors and integrate a host of mod-cons and the imperative to preserve the heart and soul of the vintage hotel. The hardwood floors have been polished to a squeak, the age-old ceiling fans still whirl, and the old brass rotary telephones continue to ring.

The courtyard remains the centerpiece of the property, its two swimming pools surrounded by tropical gardens of frangipani, and shaded by giant century-old trees.

Similarly, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor has undergone a restorative transformation in the past two years. This classic resort was originally built in the 1920s as a luxurious resting stop en route to the newly discovered ruins of Angkor Wat.

The new-look properties come at a time when Cambodia is reopening its borders to quarantine-free international arrivals. The country has been widely praised for its handling of the pandemic and its efficient vaccine program.

“Looking ahead, the challenges are clear, not only for Le Royal and Grand Hotel d’Angkor but for the hospitality sector in general,” said de Groot. “However, we have in these ‘Grandes Dames of Southeast Asia’ two much-loved national landmarks where guests expect not just a luxury experience but also a step back into yesteryear.”

About Raffles
Raffles Hotels & Resorts boasts an illustrious history and some of the most prestigious hotel addresses worldwide. In 1887, Raffles Singapore set the standard for luxury hospitality, introducing the world to private butlers, the Singapore Sling and its enduring, legendary service. Today, Raffles continues this tradition in leading cities and lavish resort locales, enchanting travellers with meaningful experiences and service that is both gracious and intuitive. Connoisseurs of life choose Raffles, not merely for its aura of culture, beauty and gentility, but for the extraordinary way they feel when in residence with Raffles. Each Raffles, be it Paris, Istanbul, Dubai, Warsaw, Jakarta or the Seychelles, serves as a venerated oasis where travellers arrive as guests, leave as friends and return as family. Raffles is part of Accor, a world-leading hospitality group consisting of more than 5,100 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues throughout 110 countries.

First published at – Global Travel News

Saudi Crown Prince to Develop Kingdom’s Historical Palaces

500 306 wttc2

Saudi Crown Prince to Develop Kingdom’s Historical Palaces - - TRAVELINDEXRiyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 25, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Chairman of the Public Investment Fund announced the launch of Boutique Group, a new hospitality brand that will manage and convert a collection of iconic historic and cultural palaces in Saudi Arabia into ultra-luxury boutique hotels, according to a statement. Boutique Group revives heritage by converting historic and cultural palaces into ultra-luxury boutique hotels.

The company will revive the vibrant heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia to create a new and unique hospitality experience, it added.

The first phase of the project will focus on the development of three historic palaces in cooperation with the private sector, including Al Hamra Palace that will offer 77 keys including 33 luxury palace suites and 44 luxury villas in Jeddah.

In 1971, King Faisal bin Abdulaziz directed to dedicate Al Hamra Palace as a hospitality palace for the most prominent international public figures from around the world.

Tuwaiq Palace will provide 96 keys including 40 luxury palace suites and 56 luxury villas. Whereas Red Palace will offer 71 keys including 46 luxury suites, and 25 luxury guest rooms. Both Tuwaiq and Red palace are located in Riyadh.

Tuwaiq Palace is an architectural masterpiece blending heritage with natural surroundings. Tuwaiq Palace is one of the most prominent historical and cultural landmarks in the city of Riyadh, built in 1980

The Red Palace is considered the first reinforced concrete building constructed in Riyadh city in 1944. Famous for its unique reddish color, The Red Palace was the first reinforced concrete building in Riyadh city.

Boutique Group will blend the Kingdom’s culture and heritage with modern amenities to provide an exclusive hospitality experience and a unique service to its guests, growing the Saudi ultra-luxury hospitality sector and contributing to the development of the local economy. The company will also offer many high-end experiences from dining to wellness to exclusive services for each guest.

Commenting on the new group, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, Governor of PIF, said in the statement, “The Crown Prince’s launch of the Boutique Group underlines PIF’s mandate to unlock the capabilities of promising sectors in Saudi Arabia that can help drive the diversification of the economy and contribute to non-oil GDP growth.”

“The group will enhance the Kingdom’s already unique tourism offerings, strengthening Saudi Arabia’s position as a leading regional and international tourism and cultural destination and contributing to Saudi Vision 2030,” he added.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Davos Agenda Closes with Calls for New Models of Public-Private Cooperation

500 313 wttc2

Davos Agenda Closes with Calls for New Models of Public-Private Cooperation - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, January 25, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Davos Agenda closed today following headline-making dialogues with heads of state and government, international organizations, business and civil society.

The week-long meeting convened leaders on “The State of the World”. It was the first global platform of the year and focused on driving concerted action among key global stakeholders.

“We are seeing challenges mounting from supply chain disruptions to tectonic shifts in labour markets, to inflation figures which are of concern to policy-makers and individuals alike. The year ahead is a crucial one to work together, rebuild trust and shape a better and more inclusive future for all,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

World leaders spoke on the global economic outlook, energy transition, social justice, healthy futures and resiliency in special address. In order of appearance this week:

“We need to embrace cooperation and jointly defeat the pandemic. Confronted by the once-in-a-century pandemic, which will affect the future of humanity, the international community has fought a tenacious battle,” said Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. “Facts have shown once again that amidst the raging torrents of a global crisis, countries are not riding separately in some 190 small boats but are rather all in a giant ship on which our shared destiny hinges. Small boats may not survive a storm, but a giant ship is strong enough to brave a storm.”

“In the midst of new challenges, the world today needs new avenues, new resolutions. Today, every country in the world needs cooperation with each other more than ever before,” said Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. “Our multilingual, multicultural environment is a great strength that teaches us not just to think of ourselves in times of crisis but to work in the best interests of the world.”

“Turning this ship around will take immense willpower and ingenuity from governments and businesses alike, in every major-emitting nation,” António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations said. “We see a clear role for businesses and investors in supporting our net-zero goal.”

“In order for the world to meet the 2050 net-zero emission goal, we need technologies that do not yet exist, we need inventions that do not exist yet,” said Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel.

“A key focus of my administration will be the revitalization of Japan through a new form a capitalism,” said Kishida Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan. He emphasized that the time has come for “historic economic and social transformations” and that Japan will pioneer a new form of public-private partnership, with leaders of government, industry and labour all working together to develop paradigm-shifting policies.

“Some will try to tell us dialogue and compromise are forms of weakness, said Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of Germany. “Some will try and pitch climate action against prosperity. Some will argue that social progress hampers economic growth. Some will try to divide us. The truth is the progress we want will only occur if we overcome these divisions. Working together is the only way and restoring trust is our goal.”

Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, spoke on the strengthening of global health resilience and the need for advanced economies and the G20 to support a renewed global architecture, “The costs will be much lower than the losses we sustained due to the vulnerability of the system during the pandemic,” he said.

“Europe’s global semiconductor market share is only 10%. And today, most of our supply comes from a handful of producers outside Europe. This is a dependency and uncertainty we simply cannot afford,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. “We have no time to lose. And this is why I announce here today that we will propose our European Chips Act in early February.”

“The lesson of these times is that supply chain resilience requires a new partnership between countries, governments and businesses,” said Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia.

Access to COVID-19 vaccines continues to pose a serious problem for Africa, with fewer than 10% of populations fully vaccinated in most countries, said Yemi Osinbajo, Vice-President of Nigeria. He called for patent waivers to permit African countries to manufacture vaccines locally. “Now is a good time to test global will,” he said, in building international cooperation to prepare for new, possibly worse pandemics to come.

“We aren’t just focused on achieving a high top line growth number that is unsustainable,” said Janet L. Yellen, Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America. “We’re instead aiming for growth that is inclusive and green. The economic moment is well suited to accommodate such a modern, supply side expansion.”

During the Davos Agenda, pioneering new research and project milestones were released to support stakeholders:

– Sustainable finance is increasing but the funds are not always reaching those most in need – see how public-private collaboration can facilitate sustainable investment for development.
– More than 100 million have been impacted by the work of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The foundation includes over 400 of the world’s leading social innovators operating in over 190 countries.
– Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative is a leading global initiative to accelerate progress on the discovery, testing and delivery of precision interventions – it has created a new global system to reduce the time and cost of clinical trials.
– A new set of policy enablers to boost investment and innovation in digital economies was released to ensure digital transformation is inclusive and sustainable.
– Quantum science promises to disrupt the future of business, science and government – the first quantum computing guidelines launched to help leaders build an equitable framework.
– The global digital economy has surged off the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, but so has cybercrime – ransomware attacks rose 151% in 2021 – the new annual The Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022 examined how leaders can close the cyber gap and build resilience.
– The Forum worked closely with the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation as a member of the Technical Readiness Working Group. In so doing, the Forum contributed to the running start of the International Sustainability Standards Board supporting the creation of the standards prototypes that will now go through a standard-setting process.
– Plastic waste was in the spotlight as world leaders this week highlighted how they are moving fast to fight the climate crisis. Forum-supported companies are rolling out innovative reuse models to protect the planet.
– Nature-positive practices, those that add value to nature, could contribute $1.9 trillion to the economy a year and 88 million jobs by 2030.
– Cities can create 60 million jobs and save 50% on new infrastructure projects by adopting nature-based solutions. Nearly half of city GDP, $31 trillion, is at risk of disruption from nature loss.
– More partners announced plans to adopt nature-based solutions as part of the Forum’s platform bringing total global pledges to over 30 companies committing to conserve, restore and grow more than 3.6 billion trees in over 60 countries.
– Only 20% of companies both disclose their full value chain emissions and have emissions reduction targets in place. Winning the Race to Net-Zero outlines how businesses can close the emissions gap and stay competitive.
– A new accelerator dedicated to shaping the future of crypto-enabled environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts aims to bring key players and industry leaders together to shape a more inclusive future.
– The Belt and Road Initiative offers a new development paradigm through investment in green infrastructure – a new insight report highlights the role of the financial sector and how to capitalize on the growing global appetite for green investment

Featured quotes from Davos Agenda 2022 panels

Ivan Duque, President of Colombia, said: “Colombia closed 2021 with positive results”, noting his country’s positive economic growth and high percentage of vaccination rates. He said the goal for 2022 is to maintain growth while, at the same time, closing the social inequality gap.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, President of Costa Rica, said 85% of his country’s population had received a second COVID shot and that the process of vaccinating children was under way. “The main thing for Costa Rica is our vaccination drive. This is the only way to exit the health crisis.”

Alejandro Giammattei, President of Guatemala, said: “The challenge we have now is not only to promote growth but to turn growth into something sustainable. We need to improve the labour market and create more jobs. This will lead to better prosperity, health and education.” Generating new opportunities and ensuring economic benefits would reach all parts of society which, he pointed out, would also curb migration. “The only thing that stops a person is a wall of prosperity.”

Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador, highlighted the need for governments to commit to ethics and principles. “We need economic and inclusive growth within the rule of law and programmes that promote new opportunities. It is not just about economic growth but about quality of life and social cohesion.”

José Pedro Castillo Terrones, President of Peru, said his priority was economic reforms, noting that his government has invested $10 billion in strategic areas such as education, health and transport, and recently signed an infrastructure bill that will lead to more jobs. “We also want to invest in energy and natural gas, especially in transportation, so the entire country is connected.”

Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank, said: “In Europe, we are not seeing inflation spiral out of control. We assume energy prices will stabilize from the middle of 2022, bottlenecks will also stabilize in 2022 and, gradually, inflation numbers will decline.”

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, said, “The response to the pandemic crisis has been anything but orthodox. In a highly coordinated manner both central banks and finance authorities have prevented the world falling into yet another great depression.”

“We should have had a much more coordinated global response, as I’ve said so many times,” said Anthony S. Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). “A global pandemic requires a global response, and we have to keep in mind the issue of equity all the time because you can’t have a situation where you have virus circulating freely in one part of the world.”

“The private sector has to be engaged,” said John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate. “It will be private sector investment and private sector discovery more than anything else, together with governments…that will get us out of this hole.”

About The Davos Agenda 2022
For over 50 years, the World Economic Forum has been the international organization for public-private cooperation. The Davos Agenda 2022 is the focal point at the start of the year for leaders to share their outlook, insights and plans relating to the most urgent global issues. The meeting will provide a platform to accelerate the partnerships needed to tackle shared challenges and shape a more sustainable and inclusive future.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

WTTC Announces New Dates for 2022 Global Summit in Manila

500 297 wttc2

WTTC Announces New Dates for 2022 Global Summit in Manila - TRAVELINDEXManila, Philippines, January 25, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), has announced that its highly anticipated 21st Global Summit will now take place in Manila, Philippines, from 20-22 April 2022 – just a month from its original March date.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “As countries around the world begin to unlock the door to travel, we have taken the decision to reschedule our Global Summit by just a few short weeks. This will enable more international participants to join us in Manila and help guide and lead the sector as we head towards economic recovery.

“Our Global Summit is the most influential Travel & Tourism event in the calendar. We are looking forward seeing our Members, industry leaders and key government representatives gather in Manila in April to continue our efforts in safely restoring international travel.”

Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Secretary of the Philippines Department of Tourism said, “The WTTC Global Summit will be a significant opportunity for us to showcase the preparations that we have put in place for our eventual reopening to international visitors.

“Tourism has always provided us with endless opportunities. The reopening of our destinations and borders amid the pandemic is crucial to sustaining the livelihood of the millions who depend on travel and tourism. We are looking forward to being your gracious host in Manila as we navigate the next normal in the travel industry.”

The Summit will be hosted in Metro Manila in-person, with a global audience joining virtually.

Further information such as key speakers will be announced shortly.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News