Global Travel News

Tourism Stakeholders Call for Swift Adoption of Harmonised EU Travel Rules

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Tourism Stakeholders Call for Swift Adoption of Harmonised EU Travel Rules

Brussels, Belgium, June 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Ahead of the EU Ambassadors’ meeting on 11 June, the European travel and tourism industry associations call on Member States to approve the Commission’s proposal to start lifting travel restrictions in the EU in a coordinated way1. After months of lockdowns and a patchwork of measures across the continent, this proposal is very timely. In view of the rapidly advancing vaccination programs and improving epidemiological outlook in Europe, safe travel is possible this summer – fuelled by the strong desire of European citizens to travel again and secured by the readiness of our sector to provide safe and responsible travel.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

If adopted and fully implemented, the text – initially proposed by the European Commission on 31 May- should restore freedom of movement within the EU. In particular, the undersigned associations support the following elements:

  • Fully vaccinated people can travel without tests or quarantines from 14 days after having completed their vaccination.
  • People who have recovered from COVID-19 can equally travel without being subject to tests or quarantines for 180 days after their positive test.
  • For other travellers, travel from green zones should remain possible without any restrictions, and travel from both orange and red zones should be possible without quarantine, on the basis of a negative test.
  • Member States should adopt a uniform approach of accepting a negative PCR test result 72 hours before arrival and 48 hours in the case of rapid antigen tests.
  • Unified rules for children: minors accompanying their parent(s) should not test/quarantine where the parents are not required to do so. Children under 6 years old should be exempt from testing.
  • Increase in the thresholds of the ECDC map (14-day incidence rate for the ‘orange’ category increased from 50 to 75).
  • Vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test result can be proven by producing a Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) or by other means, until the DCC is available.

The EU has provided for an Emergency Brake system whereby if the status of a region deteriorates rapidly because of a high incidence of variants resulting in it changing to ‘dark red’, Member States should impose a testing and or quarantine even if travellers hold a DCC.

“Travel and tourism industry associations wholeheartedly welcome this important initiative towards a coordinated lifting of travel restrictions in Europe. This is an essential move to restore travellers’ confidence and reopen Europe. We believe that the European Commission has played its part, the industry is ready to ensure safe and responsible travel: we now need Member States to act fast”, declared the stakeholders.

To ensure that all European citizens who wish to travel over the coming period can do so under the best possible conditions, the undersigned travel and tourism stakeholders are therefore urging Member States to:

  • Swiftly agree and fully implement the EU Council Recommendations for intra-EU travel, as proposed by the European Commission.
  • Refrain from imposing any travel restrictions other than in the conditions detailed in the updated Recommendations.
  • Ensure that tests {PCR or antigen) are free or at least very affordable for travellers who need them to make use of their right to free movement, for whichever purpose.
  • Ensure the full integration of the Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) in the passenger journey – in particular its verification before travel (e.g. via state portals) in order to reduce waiting times and queues at departure/ on arrival (airports, ports, stations, etc).
  • Integrate the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and DCC verification into a single platform with single checks to avoid duplications in order to also reduce waiting times and queues at departure.
  • Ensure the deployment of adequate resources (staff) by competent public authorities for border control and other manual document verifications at airports, ports, stations, etc.
  • Ensure the latest COVID-19 status of their country is displayed on the Re-Open Europe EU website: www.reopen.europa.eu
  • Agree to provide a more precise outlook on their country’s latest epidemiological situation on a detailed ECDC map.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

They added: “There is huge pent-up demand for travel and everyone in the aviation, travel and tourism industries is working on detailed plans to welcome travellers back – so it’s crucially important that everyone plays their part in ens.uring that when our sector reopens, it stays open”.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Hopes Rise for Vaccinated Travelers in Europe

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Hopes Rise for Vaccinated Travelers in Europe - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, June 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the relaxation of COVID-19 border measures for vaccinated passengers, and the broader use of affordable antigen testing adopted by Spain and France this week. This is tempered by ongoing disappointment at the failure to implement harmonized measures across Europe and deep frustration at the lack of coordination among governments worldwide for a data-driven risk-managed approach to re-establishing the freedom to travel.
  • As of 7 June, Spain opened its borders to most vaccinated travelers from around the world and allowed EU travelers to enter the country with a negative antigen test. Furthermore, passengers coming from low-risk countries (including the UK) can enter without any restrictions.
  • From 9 June France opened to vaccinated travelers from all but those countries assessed as “high risk”. Vaccinated travelers from “medium-risk” countries will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test, and unvaccinated people must still self-isolate for seven days.

“It’s encouraging to see more European countries taking steps to reopen borders. They recognize the opportunity created by vaccination and are making travel more affordable with the use of antigen testing. But this approach is not universal across the continent. Many European states have yet to significantly relax borders at all. This fragmentation should be replaced with a unified approach that is consistent with the recommendations of the EU to which they belong. People, businesses and economies would all benefit from greater alignment across Europe in relaxing measures and restoring the freedom to travel,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

A consistent approach across Europe is required if the EU Digital COVID Certificate is to be implemented effectively by 1 July. And around the world, governments need to allow digital certificates to be integrated in passenger applications such as IATA Travel Pass, in order to relieve pressure on airports and at borders from more complex passenger processing as the number of travelers ramps up.

IATA Urges a More Global Approach

These moves by Spain, France and other European states are a step in the right direction, but restoring global connectivity requires far more than regional or individual state initiatives. The G20 endorsed a data-driven approach to managing the risks of COVID-19 while re-opening borders. The upcoming G7 Leaders’ Summit on 11-13 June provides an important opportunity for these governments to use their leadership to kick-start a data-driven coordinated approach to re-establishing global air connectivity.

“Connectivity needs countries at both ends of the journey to be open. Many of the world’s largest air travel markets, such Australia, China, the UK, Japan, and Canada remain essentially closed with no clear plans to guide a reopening. Data should help these and other countries to introduce targeted policies that keep populations safe while moving towards a normality in world with COVID-19 for some time to come. The G7 has an opportunity later this month to set a risk-managed framework for re-establishing the freedom to travel in a way that is both affordable and practical. It’s critical that they take up the challenge,” said Walsh.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Phuket Sandbox Reopening, Initial Information

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Phuket Sandbox Reopening, Initial Information - TRAVELINDEXPhuket, Thailand, June 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to provide the initial information on the Phuket Sandbox model to safely reopen Phuket to fully vaccinated international travellers from 1 July, 2021.

The TAT Newsroom will provide the final official details on the Phuket Sandbox model as soon as officially approved directives from the Royal Thai Government are available.

Phuket Sandbox

At a glance

  • Applicable for international travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 14 days, but no later than 1 year before the travel date. They must also be from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
  • Applicable for children under 6 years of age travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
  • Applicable for children between 6 and 18 years of age travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians, but they are required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at their own expense.
  • All vaccinated international arrivals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine registered with the MoPH or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • All arrivals are required to download and install the ThailandPlus application on their smartphones, and must keep the app on all the time, as they move to different locations around Phuket.
  • All arrivals are required to stay in an accommodation establishment that is certified with the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus certification for no less than 14 nights, and thereafter will be allowed to travel to visit other Thai destinations.
  • All COVID-19 tests must follow the guidelines by the MoPH.
  • Travellers are allowed to engage in any tourism activities but are advised to strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – contact tracing application (Thai Chana and Mor Chana).

Foreign Traveller Journey

Pre-arrival

In order to be eligible to enter in Thailand, vaccinated international travellers – and their children – need to have all of their advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry. These include:

  • A vaccine certificate to proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 14 days, but no later than 1 year before the travel date with a vaccine registered with the MoPH or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO);
  • A valid visa;
  • A Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate;
  • A COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000;
  • A confirmation of booking for 14 nights in a SHA Plus-certified accommodation;
  • A medical certificate with an RT-PCR laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before departure;
  • The duration of stay can be less than 14 nights, but travellers must leave Phuket on or before the permit to stay date.

Arrival

  • Undergo Immigration and Customs procedures, and a COVID-19 screening, including RT-PCR tests;
  • Download the ThailandPlus application;
  • Check-in at the pre-booked SHA Plus-certified accommodation establishment and stay there for no less than 14 nights.

Stay

  • Undergo a COVID-19 test using an RT-PCR or a rapid antigen method on Day 5 of your arrival per the MoPH’s guidelines;
  • Engage in tourism activities or enjoy services in SHA Plus-certified venues and businesses, under the DMHTTA precautions;
  • For emergency in case of having respiratory or other related symptoms, please alert the staff at your accommodation or contact the nearest hospital;
  • The operator/owner of the accommodation establishment is required to report the name list and status of all foreign guests to the provincial authority on a daily basis.

Departure

  • For travelling from Phuket to other Thai destinations, vaccinated international travellers are required to show a vaccine certificate and a medical certificate that they have tested negative for COVID-19;
  • For travelling from Phuket to other countries, travellers are advised to follow the guidelines and measures announced by the respective country of destination.

Relevant information

Child Policy Children under 6 years of age must travel only with their parents or guardians who have been vaccinated;

In the case the parents or guardians are found to have COVID-19, the children are to be placed in isolation for 14 days.

Countries The Phuket Sandbox is applicable only for fully vaccinated international travellers from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). *The list will be available soon.

High-risk countries are not allowed entry at this stage.

Visa & Certificate of Entry Every traveller must obtain a Certificate of Entry (COE) at Check the website to see the required documents;

Embassy/Consulate-General takes 3 working days to process the application;

Applicants can check the result of the application on the website.

Insurance International travellers must have an insurance covering treatment and medical expenses including those related to COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of US$100,000. The insurance must cover the total duration of stay in Thailand.
Vaccines   International travellers who have received the following vaccines are able to enter Phuket:
– Thai FDA approved vaccines: AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac Biotech, and Sinopharm.

Arrivals must be vaccinated more than 14 days to 1 year before entering Phuket.

Proof of vaccination must be submitted when applying for a COE.

Airlines Airlines that have announced direct flights to Phuket:
– THAI
– Singapore Airlines
– Emirates
– Qatar Airways
– Hongkong Airlines
– EVA Air
– Korean Air
– Jinair
– Cathay Pacific
– KLM

Please check the flight schedule on the respective airline’s websites.

Please be aware that some airlines are unable to operate into your home country for your return.

Before Arrival in Phuket You must get an RT-PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arrival in Phuket and submit proof to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs when obtaining your COE.
At the Airport You must download the Thailand Plus application.

At Immigration, you are required to complete your arrival card, show your COE and passport.

SHA & SHA Plus+ ‘SHA’ is a certification for businesses who meet the basic standards of hygiene and health safety for their products and services in accordance with the nationwide measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

‘SHA Plus’ is a certification for companies/individuals who have received the SHA certificate AND 70% of the workforce has been vaccinated.

Here is the constantly updated list of SHA Plus businesses in Phuket.

While in Phuket You can go anywhere in Phuket, BUT you must strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – contact tracing application (Thai Chana and Mor Chana).

Masks must be worn at all times in public areas and if there are two or more people in a vehicle.

A COVID-19 rapid test is required on Day 5.

Q. Can a 2nd guest who is already resident in Thailand join a guest who has arrived ‘internationally’ into a ‘SHA Plus’ hotel?
A. Yes, providing the guest follows all rules stipulated for Thais and expats in Thailand.

Accommodation It is mandatory that you book a ‘SHA Plus’ hotel for the first 14 nights in Phuket;

Residing in a private residence is not allowed on the first 14 nights for COVID-19 control purposes;

Q. Must I book a consecutive stay in one place?
A. You can move between SHA Plus hotels during the 14 days.

Q. Booking must be prepaid? or if proof of the booking will suffice?
A. Prepaid.

Q. Are there standardised cancellation and refund policies for ‘SHA Plus’ hotels for peace of mind agreed upon by all ‘SHA Plus’ hoteliers?
A. Yes.

COVID-19 Test RT-PCR test.
Every hospital in Phuket can provide an RT-PCR test;
The cost of an RT-PCR covid test ranges from 2,500-4,000 Baht per person.

Rapid test.
You can get a rapid test from hospitals, clinics, and private labs in Phuket;
The cost of a rapid test ranges from 450-1,000 Baht per person.

COVID-19 testing is at the travellers’ own expense.

Tours & Excursion We recommend that you only book an excursion with ‘SHA Plus’ certified companies for your safety;

*On the first 5 days, you are allowed to visit only the islands of Phuket, which are Ko Racha, Ko Naka, and Coral Island;

*Ko Phi Phi, Ko Yao, Ko Khai, and Phang Nga Bay are NOT a part of Phuket province. Therefore, you must get a rapid test on Day 5 before going to these places.

*Information under review.

Restaurants We recommend that you only use ‘SHA Plus’ certified restaurants for your safety, but you may dine-in at non-certified restaurants, too.
Taxi & Transportation We recommend that you use only ‘SHA Plus’ certified taxis and transportation, but you may use non ‘SHA Plus’, too if you prefer. If there are more than 2 people in a vehicle, masks must be worn at all times.

Q. Is there is an app or website to be able to book SHA+ transport services?
A. Information will be available soon.

Q. Is GRAB taxi SHA+?
A. Information will be available soon.

Other Activities Q. What’s open?
A. Information will be available soon.
COVID-19 Infected If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, you must immediately get a test.

If you travel in a group, everybody in the group must undergo a test.

In case you are tested positive for COVID-19 in Thailand, you will be responsible for the medical expenses which must be covered by your insurance.

Domestic Travel After spending 14 nights in Phuket and you are tested negative for COVID-19, you are free to go anywhere in Thailand but you must follow each province’s restrictions.
International Travel You must follow your home country’s entry requirements, and Thailand is not responsible or able to assist with such updates by individual countries.

The TAT Newsroom will continue to provide regular updates on Phuket’s preparations to safely reopen to foreign tourists ranging from entry requirements and public health procedures to local vaccinations and hygiene standards.

For regular updates on the tourism-related COVID-19 situation in Thailand, visit the TAT Newsroom via www.tatnews.org

Illustration photo by Artur Kornakov on Unsplash.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

FRANCE REALLY READY FOR RE-OPENING

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France’s tourism industry is hopeful that a “very bad year” is coming to an end as the European country opened its borders to vaccinated travellers from Canada and other countries yesterday.

Based on a green, orange and red classification system – Canada, along with the US, UK and, indeed, most of the world beyond Europe, is orange – visitors arriving for tourism must show that they have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus with vaccines approved by the European Union’s medicines agency.

France’s acceptance of only the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines means tourism isn’t immediately coming back from the lucrative markets of China and Russia, which use vaccines not approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Without one of those four vaccines, non-EU visitors will still need to prove that they have a compelling reason to visit France and must quarantine on arrival. And for 16 countries deemed high-risk, because they are battling coronavirus surges and worrisome variants, France remains off-limits as a tourist destination, even for would-be travellers who are vaccinated.

These so-called “red” countries include India and some of its neighbours, Brazil and some of its neighbours, as well as Chili, Bahrain, South Africa and Turkey.

Would-be tourists from so-called “orange” countries like Canada still need a recent negative PCR or antigen test as well as proof of vaccination.

If unvaccinated, or inoculated with jabs not approved in Europe, would-be visitors from orange countries outside the continent are not allowed to come into France. They would need to show they have a compelling professional or other reason to visit, and sightseeing isn’t one of them.

Paris tour operator Marc Vernhet hailed the reopening of the borders for vaccinated tourists as “excellent news” but said it is going to take a few more weeks for business to pick up and that “I’m not expecting to work correctly before mid-July.”

His agency, 2CVParisTour.com, is starting to get bookings again for its sightseeing tours conducted in quirky, bug-eyed Citroen cars. June is still very lean, but July is looking better, Vernhet said.

Before the pandemic, Vernhet ran three or four tours of the capital per day. The work dried up when France locked down, and he’s only doing around three tours per week now, nearly exclusively for French visitors.

“We’ve been waiting for this,” he said, “for months and months.”

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

FEDS CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS

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With talk of the of the CEWS and CERS support programs coming to an end, the federal government can’t also keep the Canada-US border closed, says the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. “It can’t be both ways; either continue to support tourism businesses… or start reopening the border so that businesses can get back to work,” says TIAC president Beth Potter.

To that end, TIAC has launched a new campaign to call on the federal government to plan for reopening the border, which has been closed to non-essential traffic for nearly 15 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign focuses on getting Canadian decision-makers to acknowledge the urgent need and to commit to a date to open the border “before the summer tourism season is lost.”

The association has also posted a web page that directs people to write to their member of parliament to tell them that they need to “do their part” to safely re-open the border (https://www.openuscanborder.ca/)

While TIAC has long advocated for a federal re-opening plan, the new campaign is the latest in a series of increasingly strident calls for the government to bust Canada’s border blues.

That sentiment was further amplified on Wednesday by the Canadian Snowbird Association, which reiterated its call for the end of the mandatory hotel quarantine program for fully vaccinated Canadian residents returning to Canada

TIAC president Beth Potter

TIAC’s Potter says, “Medical experts are telling us that we are winning the battle with COVID. With vaccinations rising and case numbers going down, we must now pivot to more forward-thinking policies, and talk about safely reopening the border, ending the extreme financial crush that has flattened the tourism industry and devastated the tourism economy in Canada. As Canada and the US return to normal, we must prepare to open the border quickly and safely, and restart our tourism economy.”

Potter cited “a powerful case” for doing so made recently by the Expert Advisory Panel to the federal government on COVID-19 Testing and Screening, which stated that travel policy should be revamped to reflect the significant progress made on the pandemic, including scrapping the mandatory hotel quarantine system.

“The land border closure was a blunt interment to help stop the pandemic, but the fact that people can fly to the US to vacation without quarantining there, but a very limited number of essential workers can cross the border never made sense, says Potter, adding,

“There is a lack of urgency on the Canadian side for planning for the inevitable reopening of the border, which has been out-of-step with US officials and the Biden administration. President Biden formally asked for a border reopening plan immediately after taking office, and so far, Canada has been slow to make any public progress.”

Public calls for the reopening have been steadily growing on both sides of the border in recent weeks: Congressional leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have called for the border to open now; Liberal MPs Wayne Easter and Nathaniel Erskine-Smith have added their voices, and several prominent editorialists have called for the Canadian government to start the planning process.

Potter says TIAC is asking the government to take urgent action on the issue, so that Canadian tourism operators and businesses have the ability to plan for rehiring staff, training, and marketing.

She adds that many businesses rely on advance bookings and without a clear plan for reopening and a commitment to when it will happen, people are uncertain as to whether or not they can book activities in Canada – at any date in the future.

“The decision to close the border was made in a time of crisis, and now that we are starting to come through on the other side, we must have a plan in place to reopen the border, to kickstart the Canadian tourism economy. The health and safety of Canadians continues to be of the utmost importance – which is why we need guidance from all levels of government on a plan,” she says.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday, Canada will indeed be taking steps to ease restrictions at the border for fully vaccinated travellers – but he did not commit to a date, and offered only the barest hint of hope that things could change by June 21.

“We are looking at how we can ease the rules, based on science,” for would-be travellers who have had a complete course of a COVID-19 vaccine, Trudeau said in French during a news conference in Ottawa.

“We will have more announcements to make regarding measures that may be eased for those who have had both doses in the weeks to come.”

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Best Western Unveils New Upscale Hotel On Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard

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Best Western Unveils New Upscale Hotel On Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard - TRAVELINDEXPattaya, Thailand, June 8, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Best Western Hotels & Resorts continues to enhance the hospitality landscape in Thailand with the launch of a brand-new beachfront hotel on the country’s Eastern Seaboard, overlooking the beach just moments from the vibrant resort town of Pattaya.

Scheduled to open its doors in June 2021, Best Western Premier Bayphere Pattaya is a stylish hotel with eye-catching architecture and interior design. Guests can stay in a choice of 174 contemporary rooms and suites, all adorned with modern décor, bathrooms with rain showers, working areas and state-of-the-art technology, including complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. The Deluxe and Executive Rooms promise panoramic views of the sandy shore, shimmering sea and spectacular sunsets from private balconies.

During the day, guests can unwind and soak up the tranquil ambiance with a stroll along the seafront, a swim in the ocean-facing infinity pool or a dip in the Jacuzzis. A well-equipped fitness center provides the perfect place for a rewarding workout, while the outdoor sundeck and cozy cabanas offer serene settings to chill out with cool daytime drinks and light bites.

Then, as the sun sets over the Gulf of Thailand, guests can settle down and sip cocktails at Lunar Rooftop Bar, which is perched on the eighth floor with majestic views of the ocean, or savor delicious Thai and international cuisine accompanied by fine wines at The Rocks, the hotel’s elegant all-day dining restaurant.

Visitors can also head out and explore an array of local attractions all along the Eastern Seaboard, which is fast becoming one of Asia’s leading resort destinations. Shoppers can indulge in retail therapy at a choice of malls, such as Terminal 21 Pattaya, while families can enjoy endless hours of fun at world-class water parks, including Cartoon Network Amazone. Thailand’s natural and cultural heritage can be uncovered at Pattaya Floating Market, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden and the Sanctuary of Truth temple, while golf courses, vineyards and water sports can all be discovered in the surrounding landscape of rolling hills and golden beaches.

“Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard has been transformed in recent years, with a wealth of fantastic new facilities and activities helping to draw all types of visitor, from young couples to families with children. With its close proximity to Bangkok and several major airports, this is an exceptional setting for weekend breaks or extended vacations. Smart, sleek and commanding a stunning beachfront location, Best Western Premier Bayphere Pattaya will elevate the standard of accommodation in the area and attract even more visitors to this dynamic destination in future,” said Erwann Mahe, Managing Director of International Operations – Asia, Best Western Hotels & Resorts.

Easily accessible from downtown Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi International Airport and U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, the region’s rapidly-expanding air hub, Best Western Premier Bayphere Pattaya is an outstanding option for local and overseas travelers alike.

Best Western Premier Bayphere Pattaya was developed by Habitat Group, Thailand’s leading property-for-investment developer, specializing in premium lifestyle investment properties and vacation home developments in the heart of Bangkok and Pattaya. It will soon be joined by BluPhere Pattaya, BW Premier Collection by Best Western, which is scheduled to open in the near future.

To learn more, please visit www.bwpbayphere.com. Or for more information about Best Western Hotels & Resorts in Asia, please visit www.bestwesternasia.com.

About Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand within the BWH Hotel Group® global network. With 18 brands and approximately 4,700 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®, Sadie®, BW Premier Collection® and BW Signature Collection®. Through acquisition, WorldHotelsTM Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive and WorldHotels Crafted collections are also offered. Completing the portfolio is SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection® and SureStay StudioSM 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 TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Meliá Koh Samui Welcomes Director of Food and Beverage

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Meliá Koh Samui Welcomes Director of Food and Beverage - TRAVELINDEXKoh Samui, Thailand, June 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / A Taiwanese national with 15 years of hospitality experience in Asia, the Middle East and Europe has been named Meliá Koh Samui’s director of food and beverage.

Ting Yueh Hu (Yolande) has joined the 159-room and 41-suite beachfront resort on Koh Samui’s north-east coast in the Gulf of Thailand, with ambitions to work in tandem with award-winning executive chef Azizskandar Awang to establish the island’s leading fine dining restaurant.

Before joining Meliá Koh Samui, Hu was executive assistant manager at Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence in Cambodia and F&B director at both Conrad Koh Samui and Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort.

Previously, she was assistant F&B director at Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel Shanghai and Shangri-La Hotel Fuzhou, restaurant manager at Mandinat Jumeirah’s Al Muna, Honyaki and Zheng He restaurants, assistant restaurant manager at InterContinental Doha and head waitress at Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club in the United Kingdom.

After studying a Bachelor of Applied Science of Living at Taiwan’s Chinese Culture University, she completed a post-graduate diploma in hospitality with Switzerland’s Glion Institute of Higher Education and a certificate in hotel revenue management from Cornell University in the United States.

Meliá Koh Samui’s general manager Ernesto Osuna said Hu would oversee all F&B planning and services and work with the team to position the resort’s Breeza Beach Restaurant & Bar, focused on contemporary Thai cuisine, as well as Western and Mediterranean fare, as Koh Samui’s leading fine dining restaurant.

“Yolande is a versatile and results-driven individual with a track record of driving projects, identifying sales opportunities and encouraging positive contributions from all of her team members; she will no doubt excel in propelling our F&B landscape to a new level,” he said.

Meliá Koh Samui’s host of facilities include two restaurants, a swim-up bar, a lagoon pool that meanders through the resort’s lush grounds like a river, a two-level infinity pool with sunken seating areas, an executive lounge, spa, fitness centre, ballroom and conference facilities and, for families, a kid’s club, outdoor playground and mini water park.

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 390 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 Company is the global leader in resort hotels, 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 the world in 2019, according to SAM, the sustainable investment company. 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 Asset World Corporation
Asset World Corp Public Company Limited (“AWC”) is Thailand’s leading integrated lifestyle real estate group under TCC Group, with a sustainable diversified development pipeline for future growth as well as the potential for long-term capital appreciation. AWC’s business operations are organized into two principal segments: (i) Hospitality, comprising hotels managed and operated by the world’s leading hotel chains (ii) Retail and Commercial Building, comprising Retail and Wholesale group which includes world-class tourist lifestyle destination, community shopping mall, community market and wholesale space, with such well-known projects as Asiatique the Riverfront, Gateway at Bangsue, Pantip Plaza Pratunam and Tawanna Bangkapi; and Office Building group with prominent projects located in highly sought-after, central business district in Bangkok like Empire Tower, Athenee Tower, etc. Recently on October 10, 2019, Asset World Corporation succeeded in listing the company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) in the real estate and construction industry under the property development category. AWC’s market capitalization was highest in the history of the SET (According to Bloomberg Database).

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

New WTTC Campaign Shows Importance of International Travel

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New WTTC Campaign Shows Importance of International Travel - TRAVELINDEXLondon, United Kingdom, June 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / A new campaign has today been launched by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) calling on governments around the world to restart international travel and enable the world to ‘Reunite’ once again.

After more than a year of lockdowns around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new campaign will showcase the importance international travel has on individuals and businesses.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

It will also encourage travellers to share with the world, the positive impact travel makes to their lives and mental well-being.

Through its social media channels, ‘Reunite’ will urge people from all corners of the globe to share their own stories of how tourism has made a difference and changed their lives.

WTTC believes whilst Travel & Tourism makes a significant contribution to economies around the world, it also provides an essential way for individuals to connect, experience and discover cultures around the world.

The campaign launches today with a feelgood and positive video showing how now is the time to get the world moving again, to reunite families, friends, colleagues, and communities.

As vaccination rollouts advance in many countries around the world and as cases begin to drop, it is important for governments to recognise what Travel & Tourism brings to the economy and the population as a whole.

It is equally as important to recognise that some regions and countries are still battling to put the pandemic under control, and that the majority of vaccinations have been in developed countries. This means that the pandemic will continue to spread in those countries that don’t have equal access to vaccines.

This new campaign comes after WTTC’s drive to responsibly rekindle the wanderlust of travellers through its recent ‘Together in Travel’ campaign, despite the multiple global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virginia Messina, WTTC Acting CEO, said: “Travel gives us memories which last a lifetime and the most amazing experiences to share, so we are excited to launch a campaign that gets to the heart of what travel means to people.

“Travel & Tourism has a hugely positive benefit upon the world, far beyond the immediate pleasure it brings to those who are able to explore and discover people, places and amazing experiences for themselves. Right now, so many people have been separated from their loved ones for months if not over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“For the past year WTTC has been hugely invested in advocating for the social and mental benefits of Travel & Tourism. Through this campaign. We are hoping to help kickstart the recovery of our sector through a truly worthwhile experience: reuniting with those who matter most to us. 

“With the immense pressures being faced by the global Travel & Tourism sector due to the current restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now more important than ever that we remind everyone, how travelling can make all the difference not only to the world, but to us as individuals.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began to devastate the global Travel & Tourism sector last year, WTTC has continually been at the forefront in leading the private sector in the efforts to rebuild global consumer confidence and encourage the return of Safe Travels.

WTTC believes that ‘Reunite’ could further encourage governments around the world to recognise the importance of international travel, not only to individuals, but also businesses, and communities, all of which benefit from a thriving sector.

WTTC’s highly successful ‘Together in Travel’ campaign was launched in April of last year, as countries had introduced widespread global travel restrictions.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world shared their stories, which generated more than 100 million impressions.

Travel & Tourism is one of the world’s largest and most important sectors, in which around 80 per cent of all businesses are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

As a powerful driver for socio-economic development and job creation, the sector plays an important role in driving prosperity, empowering women, youth, and other societal groups.

It is also one of the most diverse sectors, employing people from all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, and includes 54% women and 30% youth.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

WTTC research shows that across the G20 group of countries, women account for more than half of all Travel & Tourism employment, and a high proportion of jobs for youths. It is highest in Canada, the US and UK where youths account for almost a third (30%) of the sector’s employment.

Revenues generated by Travel & Tourism helps improve education, housing, health, and wellness for people.

It also contributes to vital infrastructure projects, such as road, rail, and air links, as well as services which improve the quality of life for residents.
WTTC is encouraging travellers from around the world to get involved and share their stories using hashtags #reunite.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Abu Dhabi to End Quarantine for International Visitors from July 1

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Abu Dhabi to End Quarantine for International Visitors from July 1 - TRAVELINDEXAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, June 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Abu Dhabi will end quarantine for all international arrivals starting from July 1, according to a government official. It will be similar to the Dubai system – the PCR protocol will be different from high-risk to low- risk destinations, said Ali Al Shaiba, executive director of Tourism and Marketing, DCT Abu Dhabi.”Quarantine will not be an option,” said Al Shaiba.

Abu Dhabi currently requires travelers to quarantine for 10 days unless they are from a ‘green-list’ country.

“We are announcing an extended green list – this green list will cover a majority of the markets that we are tapping into,” said Al Shaiba “Hopefully, by the first of July, everybody will be allowed to travel to Abu Dhabi”

New Markets

The tourism executive said Abu Dhabi was monitoring new markets to make up for the loss incurred from large markets such as India, UK and Germany being shut down.

“We’re monitoring and analyzing these markets on a weekly basis, to find out where are the opportunities (and) which markets we can tap into.. to cover the loss that we might have in other markets,” said Al Shaiba

Dubai Border

Abu Dhabi will “enhance” its border with Dubai to make travel easier, said Al Shaiba. “We’re working with the government on a plan for that border to make it more tourist friendly”

“We can have specific procedures for tourists, so their pass through the border will be much easier, more convenient and seamless as well”.

First published at Gulf News.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

The Wyss Foundation Commits $108M to Protect Areas in Africa

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The Wyss Foundation Commits $108M to Protect Areas in Africa - TRAVELINDEX - TOURISMAFRICAJohannesburg, South Africa, June 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Wyss Foundation today announced a commitment of up to $108M to African Parks, a South African based conservation NGO that manages protected areas on behalf of governments across the continent. This transformational commitment is part of Mr. Hansjorg Wyss’s visionary Wyss Campaign for Nature, a $1B investment in helping nations, NGO’s and indigenous communities conserve 30% of the planet by 2030 and is one of the largest single gifts ever made to the conservation of Protected Areas in Africa.

The Foundation’s commitment will be made over an initial five-year period to support up to half of the annual budgets of nine existing parks currently under African Parks’ management in Angola, Benin, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe; as well as support the addition of five new parks (which are yet to be identified) and up to two-thirds of their annual budgets. The funding for these new parks will come with a matching requirement with the goal of enticing new and diversified funders to provide needed stability for these landscapes. The grant overall serves a critical need in long-term and sustainable, multi-year financing, providing critical support for a park’s operating budget, which can vary between $1.5M to $4M per year.

“We are in a race against time to save Africa’s wildlife and wild places,” said Hansjörg Wyss, Founder and Chairman of The Wyss Foundation. “Multiple and compounding threats, including deforestation, illegal mining, poaching, and wildlife trafficking among others have imperiled Africa’s lands, waters, and wildlife – some of the most awe-inspiring on Earth. Only by working with governments and local people can we protect natural areas for the benefit of people and wildlife across the African continent. By supporting African Parks, I know that funding is being used effectively to help nations and communities protect nature and their economy now, not tomorrow.”

African Parks, a conservation organization founded in 2000, takes on the direct, long-term management responsibility of national parks and protected areas in partnership with governments to protect wildlife, restore landscapes and ensure sustainable livelihoods for local communities. With 19 parks in 11 countries under African Parks management, their conservation footprint spans over 14.7 million hectares which is the largest amount of area under conservation for any one NGO on the continent. Their goal is to directly manage 30 parks by 2030, measuring 30 million hectares, safeguarding globally significant biodiversity and ensuring that vast ecosystems function in order to sequester carbon, deliver clean air, water and food security, provide stability, and economic, socio-political and ecological benefits for millions of people.

“It’s hopeful and inspiring to see the impact one individual can have, with intent and clarity of purpose in wanting to help protect the planet” said Peter Fearnhead, CEO of African Parks. “The partnership forged with the Wyss Foundation is helping secure some of the most threatened but globally significant landscapes on Earth. What is not being managed will be lost, and once lost, these areas and their ecological functions are essentially impossible to restore. What Mr. Wyss’s commitment does is help secure these threatened areas now, it inspires other actors to get involved, and paves the way for a green and sustainable future for humans and wildlife alike”.

The philanthropic commitment announced today comes on top of the Wyss Foundation’s existing support to African Parks from 2016 for nine parks currently under their management, including three parks in Malawi where the Foundation supported one of the largest elephant translocations in human history.

The Wyss Foundation has a more than two decades long track record of working with local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and nations in their efforts to accelerate the pace and scale of conservation, supporting locally-driven projects in Africa, Australia, North America, South America, Europe, and central Asia. By partnering with communities to create and expand protected areas, by encouraging more ambitious international conservation targets, by investing in science, and by inspiring conservation action around the world, the Wyss Foundation is working to slow the loss of nature and safeguard the planet’s biodiversity.

About African Parks: African Parks is a non-profit conservation organization that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. They currently manage 19 parks in 11 countries including Malawi, Zambia, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Chad, with the goal of managing 30 parks by 2030.

About The Wyss Foundation / Wyss Campaign for Nature: The Wyss Foundation is a private, charitable organization dedicated to supporting innovative, lasting solutions that improve lives, empower communities, and strengthen connections to the land. In 2018, the foundation launched the Wyss Campaign for Nature, a 10-year, $1 billion commitment by Hansjörg Wyss – the Wyss Foundation’s founder and chairman – to help protect at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030. Over the past two decades, the Wyss Foundation has invested over $600 million to help conservation partners, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities permanently protect over 60 million acres of land and over 1.8 million square kilometers of ocean.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News