Global Travel News

Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel with Old-World Glamour

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Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel with Old-World Glamour - TRAVELINDEXBudapest, Hungary, November 26, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Anantara Hotels welcomes the Anantara New York Palace Budapest Hotel to the brand’s growing European portfolio. Located in the heart of the Hungarian capital, Anantara New York Palace is an architectural ode to Europe’s Belle Epoque era and showcases old-world glamour and contemporary luxury.

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Discover the city’s most Instagrammable spots in an old convertible VW Samba, cruise along the Danube on a cosy traditional boat or mingle at one of the most beautiful cafés in the world, the New York Café, host to the city’s poets and artists for over a century and the perfect spot to enjoy a 24-carat-gold coffee and cake.

A glamorous new lobby, stylish guest rooms and the addition of the White Salon, a glitzy new restaurant serving quintessential Hungarian cuisine, will all be revealed in Spring 2022 upon completion of a renovation. A new Anantara Spa will also be launched next year, with treatments touching on the healing philosophies of Anantara’s Thai roots and with elements inspired by the thermal bath heritage of Budapest.

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Phetchaburi Honoured with UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy Status

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Phetchaburi Honoured with UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy Status - TRAVELINDEXPhetchaburi, Thailand, November 26, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to report that Phetchaburi Province has been accepted as Thailand’s latest member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of Gastronomy.

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Phetchaburi is the fifth province in Thailand to have earned the UCCN title, after Phuket was named a Creative City of Gastronomy in 2015, Chiang Mai a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts in 2017, Bangkok a Creative City of Design in 2019 and Sukhothai a Creative City of Crafts and Folk Arts in 2019.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “The addition of Phetchaburi to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a Creative City of Gastronomy is much welcomed and could not have come at a better time, with Gastronomy featuring as a key element of the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022’ new tourism marketing campaign.”

Located around 160 km south of Bangkok, Phetchaburi is known for the production of high quality sea salt and key limes, palm sugar, rose apples, pineapples and bananas among other items, giving it the nickname ‘City of Three Tastes’ – for salty, sweet and sour. The farm-to-fork practice is also in use in the province, where farmers deliver fresh produce and seafood direct to food outlets and manufacturers as well as local households.

Phetchaburi is synonymous with a number of local dishes having gained particular popularity and for its production of certain food products. Local recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation, cuisine from the royal courts of Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin, and Chinese and Mon cuisine have combined into dishes unique to Phetchaburi.

Among the well-known dishes that reflect Phetchaburi’s cultural roots are Kaeng Kua Hua Tan (toddy palm curry), Khanom Cheen Thotman (fermented rice-flour noodles with fried fish cake), Khao Chae (rice soaked in water accompanied by a variety of side dishes) and Kuaitiao Nam Daeng (red-soup noodles).

Tourists visiting Phetchaburi can combine the delectable cuisine on offer with exploration of the various attractions. These include Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park or as it’s also known locally Khao Wang (meaning ‘hill with palace’) with its palace and temple buildings on a hill overlooking the city; the temples Wat Mahathat Worawihan, Wat Kamphaeng Laeng, Wat Yai Suwannaram; and picturesque beaches the most famous being Cha-am.

Last but not least, Kaeng Krachan National Park which covers part of Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Ratchaburi provinces, at 464,000 hectares is the largest national park in Thailand, and is known for its wildlife watching, hiking and ‘sea of mist’ views during the cooler months of November to February. It is also home to Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex which was recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

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The UCCN was launched in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. There are seven categories of membership in the network – Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music – which currently numbers around 250 cities worldwide. These cities work together toward a common objective – placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

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UNWTO and Council of Europe to Promote Cultural Routes

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UNWTO and Council of Europe to Promote Cultural Routes - TRAVELINDEXBrussels, Belgium, November 26, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the Council of Europe will work together to develop the opportunities tourism offers to local communities and to enhance the tourist experience along the European region’s Cultural Routes.

The joint actions will be aimed at recognizing the added value that cultural routes offer for sustainable tourism development, cultural heritage safeguarding and intercultural dialogue. The collaboration will also further highlight the routes’ potential for advancing social, economic and cultural development, benefitting both Europe and its partner countries by strengthening cultural and historical ties.

All along the Cultural Routes, tourism has the power to support jobs and create other development opportunities for communities

International Year of Creative Economy 2021

The two organizations will be collaborating first in the sphere of creative tourism, to showcase good practices in line with the International Year of Creative Economy 2021, and further promote destinations encompassed by the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA) of the Council of Europe.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “All along the Cultural Routes, tourism has the power to support jobs and create other development opportunities for communities. It is also a chance to protect and promote cultural heritage and to celebrate creativity.”

Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić adds: “The Cultural Routes programme plays an important role in the promotion of Europe’s rich cultural heritage, in addition to being an effective tool for fostering intercultural dialogue and transnational co-operation.

We are delighted that the UN’s World Tourism Organisation will contribute its expertise to the Cultural Routes programme on the basis of this Memorandum of Understanding.”

Enhancing accessibility

The partnership will also see UNWTO and the Council of Europe harness their individual expertise and technical capabilities to further develop Cultural Routes, through research, training and policymaking. Special attention will be paid to the mapping of Cultural Routes and to promoting greater accessibility for persons with disabilities and specific access requirements.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

Accor Introduces New Portfolio of Unique Luxury Hotels

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Accor Introduces New Portfolio of Unique Luxury Hotels - - TRAVELINDEXGuiyang, China, November 26, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Guiyang Art Center Hotel, Emblems Collection, in the heart of China’s Guizhou province, will be the brand’s first hotel. Accor, a world leading hospitality group featuring one of the industry’s most diverse and fully integrated hospitality ecosystems, is delighted to introduce Emblems Collection, a unique global portfolio of boutique hotels and luxurious resorts. Emblems Collection is launching with a magnificent flagship hotel – Guiyang Art Centre Hotel, Emblems Collection in China’s Guizhou province, slated to open in December 2022. The luxury brand is expected to grow to 60 properties around the world by 2030.

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“Emblems Collection adds a fresh and exciting new dimension to Accor’s luxury offerings. A key focus of our growth and development strategy is to add aggressively across our strongest lines and leading business accelerators, which includes luxury as well as collection brands, while ensuring all 40+ brands in our global network continue to grow, evolve and flourish,” said Sébastien Bazin, Chairman & CEO, Accor. “The hotels we will feature in Emblems Collection are those sought out by travelers who appreciate high-end, boutique-style experiences, as well as by hoteliers who cherish the independent brands they’ve built while desiring the benefits that come with a global partner.”

With the creation of Emblems Collection, Accor is broadening its footprint in the collection brands space and will look to replicate the success it has achieved with another of the Group’s brands – MGallery Hotel Collection, a storied portfolio that now counts more than 100 boutique hotels worldwide. With a similar free-spirited approach, yet focused on the luxury segment, Emblems Collection will feature unique hotels that are ‘emblematic’ of their designers, demographics or destinations. Appealing to the stylish and the smart set, signature elements of the brand’s hotels will include luxurious surroundings, Instagram-worthy pools, and vibrant public spaces. Hotels and resorts joining the Emblems Collection will fall into three categories:

Emblems Collection Heritage – hotels that are landmarks of a destination – the buildings that contribute to the character of a city, place or nation; properties that celebrate the hallmarks of history and classic cultural traditions.

Emblems Collection Retreat – resort properties along blissful beaches, bucolic countrysides or nestled in the mountains, offering sumptuous spa and wellness experiences with holistic care and enrichment through rituals, serenity and wellbeing.

Emblems Collection Signature – design-led hotels that embody an aesthetic universe, an ode to the style and signature of the designers or original residents who contributed to the hotel’s unique legacy.

Designed for independent hoteliers
The Emblems Collection brand is designed with the needs of independent and boutique hotel owners in mind. For those seeking to upgrade their property’s luxury status and give their global profile a boost, the hotel brand standards of the collection are flexible, light, and easy to attain, with opportunities to sign franchise agreements – the only Accor luxury brand to offer this option. The new brand will encourage its hotels to retain their unique identities, which is important to hoteliers who have invested in creating a certain style for their hotel and/or market. Moreover, Emblems Collection provides direct ROI and the opportunity to maximize revenue with immediate access to the power of Accor’s sales, distribution and loyalty platform.

“For owners and developers who have created unique luxury hotels, or are looking to develop a new upmarket offering, we offer a collection brand that can boost their property’s status and profile with limited investment in marketing and branding, along with an easy transition process,” said Agnes Roquefort, Chief Development Officer, Accor. “With Emblems Collection, a hotelier can optimize their costs and operations right away by leveraging Accor’s powerful global distribution and supply networks, while expanding their audience reach from the moment they join. We look forward to working collaboratively with more hoteliers and development partners to bring more hotels around the world to this outstanding collection.”

First Stop: China
Guiyang Art Centre Hotel, Emblems Collection is the inaugural flagship of the new hotel portfolio, residing in the city’s famous Guiyang Art Centre. Originally built as an opulent private residence, this crown jewel of the capital city attracts visitors with its lush landscaping, sprawling grounds, and serene wellness ambience.

Guiyang Art Centre Hotel, Emblems Collection
The city of Guiyang is well-known for its lovely warm climate, being centrally located in the province of Guizhou, and enjoys an enviable location along the north bank of the Nanming River. Often referred to as the ‘capital of summer resorts in China’, Guiyang is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, a leading tourism hotspot, and a popular destination for luxury travelers, both domestically and from afar.

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“As one of the most important hospitality markets in the world, China is the perfect location for Accor to launch our newest luxury brand, and we are honored to work with our trusted partner, HLC Group on this landmark project. HLC is a respected business leader in Guizhou province and recognized as one of China’s top private enterprises; we are delighted to partner with them to bring our shared vision of the new Emblems Collection hotel in Guiyang to life,” said Gary Rosen, CEO, Greater China, Accor. “This grand and enigmatic property has long captured the attention of residents and visitors to Guiyang. Emblems Collection will bring a fresh, modern expression of luxury living to this iconic landmark, setting the high standards of hospitality and style that we expect for this brand as it expands to other markets worldwide.”

With 64 extraordinary suites and two magnificent ballrooms, guests will love the new Emblems Collection hotel, with its exciting mix of atmosphere, grandeur, style and innovation. Whether enjoying the serenity of the swimming pool, spa and fitness area, or the social buzz of one of the sophisticated hotel’s stylish bars, lounges and restaurants, the Guiyang Art Centre Hotel, Emblems Collection is certain to become one of the most popular hotels of the capital city of Guizhou province.

With a plan to grow the collection to 60 properties by 2030, Accor is actively seeking new properties to be part of Emblems Collection in targeted destinations across the globe. Paris and Prague are two key cities where luxury heritage hotels might be candidates for Emblems Collection Heritage or Emblems Collection Signature. Other target cities for potential growth include London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Marrakech, Cairo, Amman, Doha, Moscow, Bangkok, Seoul, Sydney, Montréal, New York, Havana, Cartagena, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, and Santiago, among others. For the Emblems Collection Retreat, short-listed destinations include Tuscany, Mykonos, Bodrum, Algarve, Bali, Australia’s Gold Coast and Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

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Meliá Phuket Mai Khao Announces Magdalena Martorell as GM

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Meliá Phuket Mai Khao Announces Magdalena Martorell as GM - TRAVELINDEXPhuket, Thailand, November 25, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Magdalena Martorell, a seasoned professional with two decades of hospitality experience in Europe and Asia has taken charge of the new Meliá Phuket Mai Khao, a 30-suite and 70-villa resort due to open in December.

The Spanish-born general manager comes to Meliá Phuket Mai Khao after successfully opening Meliá Shanghai Parkside in China and SOL by Meliá Phu Quoc in Vietnam.

Martorell has worked with Meliá Hotels International for the entirety of her hospitality career, beginning 20 years ago when she was selected to join the leading Spanish hotel group’s internal development program.

She steadily rose through the ranks, working as the operations manager at Tryp Rey Pelayo at Gijón in the north of Spain before becoming the resident manager at Meliá Barcelona. She then became the general manager at Tryp Barcelona Aeropuerto before moving to Asia in 2012 to be the hotel manager at Meliá Bali & The Garden Villas.

At its debut in December, Meliá Phuket Mai Khao will unveil a host of facilities including Mediterranean-inspired accommodations, four dining outlets, a five-treatment-room spa, three swimming pools, a fully-equipped fitness center, kids’ club, ballroom and two multi-function rooms. Of the 70 villas with private plunge pools, 15 “wellness villas” feature an open-air Vitamin C shower, ultrasonic essential oil diffuser, GermGuardian air purifier, fit ball, yoga mat and more.

“Magdalena has grown with our hotel group to become an exceptional general manager and her rich experience and vast knowledge of our brand place her in excellent stead to launch Meliá Phuket Mai Khao,” said Ignacio MartinArea Managing Director South East Asia of Meliá Hotels International.

“As Thailand reopens to the world and embarks on a new chapter, my team and I are excited about Meliá Phuket Mai Khao’s debut and what it brings to this beautiful island, including a prime focus on our guests’ inner wellbeing amid a restorative atmosphere and terrific Asian and Mediterranean gastronomy,” Martorell added.

About Meliá Hotels & Resorts
Meliá Hotels & Resorts is the best-known international brand in the portfolio of the Meliá Hotels International company; it has more than 100 city and resort hotels in the main leisure and business destinations of Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The brand offers exemplary meetings and events facilities in all important business cities as well as in exotic locations, catering to the ever-expanding conference and incentive travel market. As part of its innovation philosophy and new positioning, Meliá Hotels & Resorts has reinvented itself to cater to every aspect of the guests’ wellbeing. Unique experiences are created for guests and are defined by relaxation, quality time and personalised services. For a balanced lifestyle, Meliá Hotels & Resorts instinctively understands the guests’ needs and lifestyle expectations, which is an integral part of its redefined identity.

About Meliá Hotels International
Founded in 1956 in Mallorca (Spain), Meliá Hotels International operates more than 380 hotels (portfolio and pipeline) throughout more than 40 countries, under the brands Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus by Meliá, ME by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, INNSiDE by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and TRYP by Wyndham. The Group is one of the leading companies in resort hotels worldwide, while also leveraging its experience to consolidate the growing segment of the leisure-inspired urban market. Its commitment to responsible tourism has led the Group to become the most sustainable hotel company in Spain and Europe in 2020, according to the SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). It also has ranked seventh in the Wall Street Journal’s list of the 100 most sustainably managed companies in the world (and the leading travel company) and is the only Spanish travel company included in the list of “Europe’s Climate Leaders 2021” by Financial Times. Meliá Hotels International is also included in the IBEX 35 Spanish stock market index and it is the Spanish hotel leader in Corporate Reputation (Merco Ranking).

About Phuket Villa Group
Founded in 1989 in Phuket (Thailand), Phuket Villa Corporation, together with its affiliates, has constructed over 7,000 houses and condominium units all over Phuket and Bangkok. As one of the first developers in Phuket to include a wide range of lifestyle facilities within its developments, such as tennis courts and swimming pools, the Group offers detached homes, townhouses and commercial buildings, catering to the growing local real estate market. In addition, the Group also has two hotels under its banner, offering more than 300 rooms to tourists and business travellers, mirroring Phuket’s steady growth as a premier tourist destination of Thailand. Over the years, Phuket Villa Corporation continues to re-invent itself to cater to an increasingly diverse customer base in a more competitive landscape.


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Luxury Hotels in Vietnam Offer Exclusive Day Passes

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Azerai La Residence, Hue – In Vietnam’s former imperial capital, Azerai La Residence, Hue is offering all-inclusive day passes featuring complimentary use of a Superior Standard Room from 8am until 9pm, along with access to the hotel’s world-class facilities and beautiful gardens. The saltwater swimming pool overlooks the fabled Perfume River and beyond to some of Hue’s most popular historic sites, including the citadel and the iconic Hue flagpole. Day passes also include access to the hotel’s luxury sauna and steam bath, and the modern fitness center featuring the latest in cardiovascular and strength-training equipment. Other benefits include an exclusive six-course set lunch menu at Le Parfum restaurant, a luxury high tea service, and a 25 percent discount on all spa, food, and beverage services. Day passes for two people are priced at VND 1,950,000 Net. The additional cost for an overnight stay is VND 1,000,000. Azerai operates in accordance with the most current guidelines from local government and health authorities.

Alma Resort is offering day passes affording locals and expats access to its infinity swimming pools, 6000 square meter water park and stretch of Long Beach as well as food and beverage vouchers. Priced at 650,000 VND (USD 28.40) and 750,000 (USD 32.80), the 30-hectare resort’s family day passes for two adults and two children aged under 12 years feature a food and beverage voucher of 350,000 VND (USD 15.30) and 550,000 VND (USD 24) respectively for use at all of the resort’s dining outlets including Alma Food Court with an array of eateries. The family pass also includes complimentary access to Splash Water Park, home to water slides, a lazy river, wave pool and kid’s pool, as well as to the resort’s cascade of 12 beachfront swimming pools, kid’s club, and the beach. Breakfast day passes priced at 280,000 VND (USD 12.25) per adult and 140,000 (USD 6.12) per child include buffet breakfast at Alma Garden and access to Alma’s infinity pools and kid’s club. Meanwhile, access to Splash Water Park costs 160,000 VND per adult (USD 7) and 100,000 VND (USD 4.38) per child. Alma has a host of stringent health and safety measures in place to combat COVID-19. For further information, call (+84) 258 399 1666.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi offers day passes allowing guests in Hanoi access to a Premium room for the day, along with Wifi connectivity and access to the hotel’s swimming pool in the garden courtyard and luxury SoFIT by Sofitel gym. The fitness center offers a range of Life Fitness bikes, Lifestride advanced cardiovascular equipment, elliptical bikes, step machines and more. (Please note that some services may be temporarily suspended due to occasional social distancing restrictions imposed by the government.) Premium rooms are located in the contemporary Opera Wing and feature neo-classical interior décor, flatscreen televisions, premium bathroom amenities and a choice of queen or twin-size bedding. Day passes are priced at USD $80++/room/day (Accor Plus members receive 10% off) and include room usage for up to six hours. Day passes can be used between 8am and 8pm. The offer includes a credit of $65 net per booking to spend at hotel restaurants and bars or room service. Higher room categories are also available with normal supplemental charges. For more information call +84 24 3826 6919.

First published at – Global Travel News

Annual Report on China’s Outbound Tourism Development 2021 Released

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Annual Report on China’s Outbound Tourism Development 2021 Released

Beijing, China, November 25, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / On Nov. 22, China Tourism Academy released the “Annual Report on China’s Outbound Tourism Development 2021.” The Report was namely released by Dr. Jingsong Yang, Director of the Institute of International Studies (the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Research Institute.) Here are some key points:

In 2020, China’s outbound tourist trips totaled 20.334 million, a decrease of 86.9% compared to 2019. In February 2020, outbound travel number dropped dramatically to less than 600,000 from over 10 million in January. The outbound group tours came to a complete stop. Outbound tourist trips for 2021 are projected to reach 25.62 million, an increase of 27% from 2020. Compared to the large scale of over 100 million outbound travelers prior to the pandemic, China’s outbound tourism basically remains at a standstill.

Asia continued to be the top destination with 95.45% visitations by Chinese travelers, followed by Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and Africa. Overall, trips to those continents decreased by 70% to 95%, with Asia taking the smallest decrease and Oceania the biggest decrease. Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR and Chinese Taipei remained as the most visited destinations, accounting for more than 80% of visits.

The top 15 destinations were Macau SAR, Hong Kong SAR, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, the U.S., Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Malaysia, the U.K., Australia, Canada and Indonesia, with a decrease ranging from 66% to 98%. Travel to Macau SAR showed an obvious recovery.

The survey shows that safety, short-distance, and companionship are the focal points for outbound travel. 82.8% of respondents would travel to a destination where there are no longer COVID infections. Respondents are more inclined to avoid crowded destinations. 81.6% indicate that for a while, they would opt for domestic travel rather than outbound travel. 71.7% are reluctant to travel abroad by air due to the COVID infection uncertainties.

For outbound travel, the majority of the respondents would rely on social media and travel websites, only 25.08% would use tour operators, which shows a decrease of 37.79% compared to 2019. Most respondents choose “travel with entire family” and “travel with partial family,” and fewer choose “travel alone” and “travel with strangers.” As to travel duration, less than 10% choose more than 15 days and more than 60% plan for 1 to 7 days, of which nearly 50% choose 4 to 7 days.

Outbound tourism continues to be affected by the global pandemic, and both international and Chinese domestic situations are still unstable. In the future, public health control measures will likely become normalized, and Chinese outbound tourists will desire better safety and health protection. The outbound tourism industry is adapting to a new normal through technological innovations and improvements, including vaccinations, rapid PCR testing, digital health codes, etc. Additionally, 5G, Big Data, A.I., etc., are being integrated into the tourism industry practices, which would positively aid outbound tourism in the future.

The Report states that the Chinese citizens still have a desire for outbound travel, supported by the large population base, urbanization, and better economic conditions. The Report also contains a section outlining the industry’s efforts/innovation in transitioning from outbound tourism to domestic tourism to meet the market demand. The final section of the Report includes an analysis of the 2022 outlook.

(Note: This is an unofficial summary in English and serves as a reference only. Please refer to the official Chinese document for precise wording and meaning.)

About Haybina Hao
Haybina is former Regional Director – Greater China for World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC, headquartered in London). Previously she also served as V.P. International Development for National Tour Association based in the U.S. She is an expert on China outbound tourism and has worked extensively with the Greater China travel trade, tourism organizations and governmental agencies. She is currently an international travel industry reporter and has been reporting in both Chinese and English. Linkedin

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

Honda LPGA Thailand 2022 Leading Golf Event in Thailand to Tee-Off in March

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Honda LPGA Thailand 2022 Leading Golf Event in Thailand to Tee-Off in March

Pattaya, Thailand, November 25, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Honda in partnership with IMG, announced today that the leading women’s golf tournament and sports event in Thailand, the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022, will return in celebration of its 15th anniversary. The tournament is set to come home to Siam Country Club Old Course, Pattaya Chonburi Province from March 10th -13th, 2022. The top-ranking female golfers from around the world are geared up toconquer the course as they compete for a purse of $1.6 million USD (an approximate 53 million Baht). In celebration of a memorable 15 years and to commemorate this milestone, the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022 has also unveiled an exclusive 15th anniversary logo that represents the journey of the tournament over the years that has always aimed for greatness.

Mr. Noriyuki Takakura, President and CEO of Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. said, “In conjunction with the Honda LPGA Thailand’s 15 year anniversary, we are extremely committed to our role of continuously raising the standards of golf in Thailand while empowering young golfers everywhere to pursue their ambitions. As such, we are pleased to introduce our new theme for the tournament titled “Beyond Greatness” that is aligned with our goals of encouraging people across the nation to overcome boundaries and strive for excellence. In the last 15 years of world-class golf at the Honda LPGA Thailand, we have seen our Thai golfers repeatedly accomplish great successes from upcoming and promising golf talents like Atthaya Thitikul, Patty Tavatanakit to Ariya Jutanugarn’s momentous win at the Honda LPGA Thailand 2021 proving that with the right determination, anyone and everyone can go “Beyond Greatness”.

“Despite having to reexamine the procedures and strategies behind the Honda LPGA Thailand due to the current circumstances, we believe that this tournament is still a significant platform that not only acts as an opportunity for top professional golfers but also as a launching pad for young Thai golfers to prove themselves on a world stage. We look forward to once again playing our part in promoting the country as the ideal golf tourism destination.” added Mr.Noriyuki.

Since its debut in 2006, the Honda LPGA Thailand has become one of the most popular women’s tournaments in Asia and on the LPGA Tour calendar, boasting stellar fields annually and an honours list that includes some of the greats of the game including Suzann Pettersen (2007), who has had over 22 professional career wins. Golfing sensations that have had exhilarating wins at the tournament include Lorena Ochoa (2009), a former long-reigning world number one; Yani Tseng (2011 & 2012), five-time Major Championship winner and Inbee Park (2013), former Grand Slam champion and Olympic gold-medalist.

While Honda LPGA Thailand 2021 was held behind closed doors, the tournament still proved to be successful and one of the most iconic sporting events in Thai history. From the word go, the tournament was a celebration of Thai golf talent with Patty Tavatanakit and teenage phenomenon, Atthaya Thitikul slugging it through the opening rounds. In the end, it was another local favourite, Ariya Jutanugarn who rallied in the final round to finally get her hands on the elusive Honda LPGA Thailand crown.

“Winning the Honda LPGA Thailand 2021 was one of my greatest achievements because it was in my home country. I have consistently worked hard and persevered for this very moment, making it the most memorable accomplishment of my career. I am grateful to the Honda LPGA Thailand for continuously serving as a platform for local and international golfers to compete in a tournament that aims to spark greatness at all levels. I am so proud to see just how much Thai golf talent has increased in the last 15 years with many young enthusiasts joining the playing field. I look forward to once again giving my best at the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022 and inspiring upcoming golfers as much as they inspire me,” expressed Ariya Jutanugarn, Honda LPGA Thailand 2021 Champion.

Following the adversities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thai government has recently shared their new focus to restore confidence amongst locals with several domestic and international projects throughout the country. This comes following the decision from Thai authorities coinciding with the reopening of the country with eased regulations for fully vaccinated travelers from 63 low-risk countries. This is to support the mission to reboot Thailand’s tourism industry as it is on the road to positive recovery after 18 months of COVID-19 restrictions.

In this regard, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in partnership with the Sports Authority of Thailand and related agencies have teamed up to support international sporting events, including the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022, to resume in Thailand. This decision comes with the motivation that these respective events will effectively promote a positive image of Thailand’s internationally acclaimed golf tourism sector. As a trailblazer for sporting events in Thailand, the Honda LPGA Thailand can further spotlight the country’s preparedness in organising sporting events amidst the COVID-19 pandemic while still maintaining strict public health safety requirements and adhering to local government standard operating procedures for all parties involved.

The tournament promoter, IMG Thailand’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Ms. Winnie Heng, said, “As long-time promoters of the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament, we’re excited to be working alongside Honda in propelling women to greater heights on and off the course. Apart from the great and collaborative working relationship IMG has with Honda, it’s an honour to be able to be part of a progressive and passionate team that strives to push boundaries and elevate the sports tourism landscape in Thailand.”

“The 15th instalment of the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament will see efficient hygiene and protocol adherence to ensure best practices are in place at every point for all present and involved. We are extremely grateful for the support of our partners and sponsors that have motivated us to lead the way for the comeback of events as the industry continues to pivot with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”, Ms. Heng added.

As part of efforts to further connect with the audience through initiatives on and off the course, the Honda LPGA Thailand has partnered up with Thai illustrator Jirayu Koo to exclusively curate tournament merchandise in conjunction with the 15 year anniversary celebration.The collaboration with Jirayu aims to showcase golf as more than just a sport and as a lifestyle that creates bonds and good times. The new design sheds a refreshing light on golf as amusing and fun as an attempt to break the notion of golf as a traditional sport. The overlapping colours between each shape construes how each game of golf also brings different experiences.

The 2-day Honda LPGA Thailand 2022 National Qualifiers will be held in January, as a prelude into the main tournament event. The qualifier rounds offer a unique opportunity for young Thai individuals to go Beyond Greatnesswith the chance to compete among the top female golfers in the world at the prestigious Honda LPGA Thailand 2022.

Thai golf fans will be able to watch the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament live on Official Broadcast Host PPTV HD 36 and their digital platforms across the four tournament days. Fans across the globe can also enjoy high-quality golfing content from the comfort of their homes via global broadcast channels that will be announced at a later date. Updates on the event format and ticketing details for spectators will be announced by the tournament promoter at a later date.

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First published at – Global Travel News

WTTC and ETC call EU Members to Align Responses to Epidemiological Situation

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WTTC and ETC call EU Members to Align Responses to Epidemiological Situation

London, United Kingdom, November 24, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Almost 900,000 Travel & Tourism jobs across the EU at risk if restrictions return. Reinstating severe restrictions would cause serious damage to the sector. A staggering €35 billion could be wiped off the region’s economy this year. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the European Travel Commission (ETC), supported by a number of key travel stakeholders, have urged EU Member States to align their responses to the deteriorating COVID-19 situation and avoid imposing any limits to the freedom of movement across Europe.

The organisations say the sector cannot afford inconsistent and ever-changing national responses, and a joint EU approach is the only solution to saving the struggling Travel & Tourism sector in Europe.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is now acknowledging that EU travel restrictions have not had a significant impact on reducing virus transmission, hospitalisations, or deaths.

WTTC and ETC stress that measures aiming at restricting border crossing would not have any health benefits but could result in a huge economic impact to the region.

According to latest WTTC research, up to 900,000 jobs are at risk across the EU’s Travel & Tourism sector this year if travel restrictions are reimposed this winter.

Furthermore, governments across the EU could see up to €35 billion wiped from the sector’s contribution to the economy before the end of 2021 if severe travel restrictions come back into force.

WTTC and ETC say EU Member States have the power to influence and drive forward the coordinated recovery effort needed to preserve the sector and only a coordinated approach will save the millions of livelihoods that depend on the sector.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We urgently need to restore the confidence to travel and not create more uncertainty. It is vital we have a properly coordinated response across the EU which both businesses and travellers can understand.

“The vaccination rollout across the EU is among the best in the world with 65% of the population now fully vaccinated. We cannot afford to let all the hard-earned progress made this year to be reversed. This will have catastrophic consequences for jobs and livelihoods.

“While we fully recognise that protecting public health is paramount, we urge all EU Member states to continue using the EU’s Digital COVID Certificate, which has successfully allowed fully-vaccinated people to travel safely and freely.”

Luís Araújo, ETC’s President, added: “As the colder months approach and some European countries face a worsening epidemiological situation, we call on the EU governments to work together to ensure the freedom of movement across Europe”.

“We must avoid any further uncertainty or fragmentation. With the high vaccination rates, EU COVID Certificate and strict safety protocols in place, safe travel is absolutely possible. In the lead up to the highly anticipated holiday season, EU citizens need clear and coherent rules”.

Last year, WTTC research revealed more than two million Travel & Tourism jobs were lost across the EU, and its latest research reveals that if wide scale restrictions were enforced in 2022, a further three million would be at stake next year.

Following 18 months in which economies around the world have been already ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, WTTC research also shows that that if punishing restrictions were to remain locked in place for much of next year, it could result in more than €143 billion being wiped from the EU economy.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News

First Regional Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Women’s Empowerment

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First Regional Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Women’s Empowerment

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 24, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO’s Members from across Asia and the Pacific came together to advance the tourism sector’s contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The UNWTO Regional Conference on the Empowerment of Women in Tourism in Asia and the Pacific – the first event on the topic organized by UNWTO jointly with Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture – brought together more than 500 key virtual participants in addition to around 100 local in-person stakeholders. Alongside UNWTO experts, government policymakers, UN Women representatives, high-level representatives of women’s associations and NGOs, joined leading academics to address some of the key challenges and opportunities for women in tourism in the region.

In Asia and the Pacific, women make up 53% of the tourism workforce. However, they remain concentrated in lower paid-positions and tens to have poorer working conditions. As in other regions of the world, high-level and leadership positions seem to be the sole prerogative of men. The aim of this conference was to contribute to international efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5) on gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in light of how the pandemic has worsened the socio-economic situation of the female tourism workforce in the region.

In her welcome and opening remarks, H.E. Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia reinforced this main objective of the conference and said  “As part of efforts to advance a more inclusive recovery for the tourism sector which is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and particularly SDG 5 on gender equality, I believe this conference will provide us with deep insights on strategies and the future prospects for women in tourism in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The discussions of the conference focused on the six thematic pillars of UNWTO’s Action Plan on Women in Tourism. These include women’s employment and leadership; entrepreneurship; education and training for the realities of post-COVID19 tourism; and data and statistics for an inclusive recovery. Based on these thematic areas, the conference explored how tourism’s immense potential for advancing women’s economic empowerment can be further enhanced through the implementation of the right recovery policies and strategies.

First published at – Global Travel News

First published at – Global Travel News