Global Travel News

PATA Offsets Event Emissions for 2023

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PATA Offsets Event Emissions for 2023 - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, May 3, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce that all of PATA’s in-person events from 2023 have been offset in two projects in South Asia. The projects were selected and offset with the support of PATA member Sustainable Travel International, a global non-profit and industry thought leader committed to promoting responsible tourism and supporting the sustainable development of destinations worldwide.

PATA is deeply committed to sustainability and to reducing and mitigating the association’s carbon footprint, particularly of the in-person events where most of PATA’s emissions are generated. As outlined in the Climate Action Plan and Carbon Neutral Events Guidelines, PATA places strong emphasis on avoiding and mitigating events’ emissions through the selection of the destination, the venue’s location and its sustainability efforts, the proximity of official hotels to the venue, availability of public transport, among other strategies. For emissions that cannot be completely eliminated, PATA supports credible local carbon offset projects.

According to PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid, “PATA’s events are an intrinsic part of our work. It is through our events that we connect with our members and bring them together to share knowledge, discuss pressing topics in the industry and work together towards a more robust, thriving and sustainable tourism industry. However, we are mindful of our responsibility to mitigate our environmental impact in the destinations where our events are held, and we are proud to announce the offset of the carbon emissions in India and Nepal.”

The first project selected, Tamil Nadu Wind Farm, located in India, entails the installation of a 249.9 MW wind power project aimed at generating clean electricity through renewable wind energy. Over its initial ten-year crediting period, spanning from 2018 to 2028, it is estimated to annually displace approximately 707,515 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions (MTCO2e) by substituting electricity that fossil fuel-based power plants would otherwise generate within the Indian grid.

The project directly contributes to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and SDG 13 (Climate Action), by investing in renewable energy technologies and infrastructure.
SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), by generating employment opportunities during the construction and operation phases, and improving local infrastructure.

The Tamil Nadu Wind Farm project allowed PATA to offset 139.51 MTCO2e from the PATA Destination Forum and Mart which took place in Kuching, Malaysia, in June last year, as well as 86.41 MTCO2e from the PATA Travel Mart held in Delhi, India, in October 2023.

The second project utilised to offset PATA’s 2023 events, the Improved Cookstove initiative, has been operational since 2018 across ten districts in Nepal. It is dedicated to replacing traditional, inefficient cookstoves with clean cookstoves to mitigate household air pollution (HAP). Through its operation, 15,292 improved cookstoves have been disseminated, resulting in an estimated total emission reduction of 28,413 MTCO2e for the monitoring period spanning from November 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021.

The project’s contributions to SDGs include:

SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), by improving living conditions of communities, reducing health risks associated with HAP, and enhancing the quality of life for women and children.

SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 15 (Life on Land), by contributing to energy efficiency and reducing reliance on non-renewable biomass as well as reducing firewood consumption and GHG emissions, conserving forests and biodiversity.

SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), by creating local employment opportunities and economic activities, and promoting local businesses involved in the manufacture and distribution of clean cookstoves.

The Improved Cookstove Project has enabled PATA to offset 108 MTCO2e from the PATA Annual Summit & Adventure Mart, held in Pokhara, Nepal, in late May 2023. Both the Tamil Nadu Wind Farm and the Improved Cookstove projects are registered and certified by Verra, a non-profit organisation founded in 2007 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. that operates standards in environmental and social markets, including the world’s leading carbon crediting programme, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

Noor adds, “By choosing to offset our 2023 events’ emissions in India and Nepal, two destinations where they were generated, we are not only taking direct accountability but also investing in local sustainability initiatives. This decision reflects our commitment to support the communities where we operate and underscores our dedication to environmental stewardship on a global scale. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Sustainable Travel International who helped us offset our emissions and the delegates of the events who contributed to the carbon offset fee. Thank you for your support in making our carbon neutral events a reality.”

PATA extends its gratitude to our hosts: the Nepal Tourism Board, the Pokhara Municipality and the Pokhara Tourism Council, for supporting the 2023 PATA Annual Summit & Adventure Mart; the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry & Performing Arts of Sarawak, the Sarawak Tourism Board and the Sarawak Convention Bureau for hosting the 2023 PATA Destination Forum and Mart; and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, for sponsoring the 2023 PATA Travel Mart. We take pride in our events, which would not be possible without your kind and continued support.

For any queries, please contact ssr@PATA.org.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Amadeus & UN Tourism Joint Report Americas Reveals Tourism on the Rise

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Amadeus & UN Tourism Joint Report Americas Reveals Tourism on the Rise - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, May 3, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / Data shows strong growth, especially in the Caribbean and Central America. Demand for travel to destinations across the Americas is on the rise, a new report released today by Amadeus in collaboration with UN Tourism shows.

“Travel Insights 2024: Focus on the Americas, May to August 2024,” is the second in a series of reports providing insights into global tourism with a focus on the Americas and its subregions, North America, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

UN Tourism data shows that an estimated 1.3 billion international tourists were recorded around the world in 2023, an increase of 34% on 2022 volumes, and forward-looking data for 2024 suggests that demand will continue to stay strong. International tourist arrivals in the Americas in 2023 reached 90% of pre-pandemic levels.

We are happy to strengthen our partnership with Amadeus, with this newest joint report providing our Member States with valuable insights for the year ahead

Looking ahead, Amadeus data shows that searches for travel between May and August 20241 have increased by 132% compared to the same search period in 2023. Air travel indicators for the same search period show that airlines are responding to this growing demand for travel given that air capacity has increased for the May – August period to 111%, compared to 2023 capacity volumes.

Continued growth for the Americas

Travel volumes remain strong, with the US, UK, and Brazil as top markets that are searching for travel to the Americas during the May to August 2024 period.  North America has the greatest share of total searches among the Americas subregions for the search period, capturing the top three searched destinations by worldwide travelers: New York, Toronto and Los Angeles.

Average hotel occupancy across the Americas is tracking at the same level as 2023 for the May to August time period. However, occupancy numbers are expected to grow as the peak travel seasons draw closer due to the increase in last-minute booking patterns.

The report highlights several insights for the subregions for the May to August 2024 search period, including:

North America – for North America, the US, the UK, and Brazil are the top markets searching for travel. However, we are seeing growth in air searches from China and Japan for travel in North America.
Central America – the US is the top market searching for trips to Central America (followed by Canada and the UK). Costa Rica remains the most searched-for destination in the subregion.
South America – Argentina and Brazil are also rising in popularity as destinations compared to 2023, based on searches. Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Santiago are the top three searched for destinations by travelers in the Americas searching for travel.
Caribbean – The US, Argentina and France are the top markets searching for Caribbean travel, with Punta Cana the most-searched-for destination.

Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, President, Hospitality, Amadeus, “This second report from Amadeus’ partnership with UN Tourism continues to show the importance of data insights for the industry. Traveler interest and search patterns continue to change throughout the year, and it is vital that travel organizations are aware of the current trends and those that could continue to evolve. For example, when it comes to hotel occupancy, the data highlights the importance for travel companies to remain flexible so they can be responsive to the last-minute patterns of travelers today.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UN Tourism said, “Market intelligence is vital for destinations everywhere, especially as demand for travel continues to rise strongly. We are happy to strengthen our partnership with Amadeus, with this newest joint report providing our Member States with valuable insights for the year ahead.”

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Two Top Italian Chefs Take You on Exclusive Gastronomic Journey

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Two Top Italian Chefs Take You on Exclusive Gastronomic Journey - TOP25RESTAURANTSBangkok, Thailand, May 2, 2024 / TOP25RESTAURANTS / We are delighted to announce our upcoming collaboration dinner together with Acqua Panna & S. Pellegrino, featuring One MICHELIN Star Chef Antimo Merone from Estro (Hong Kong) & Chef Christian Martena on Saturday, May 11, at CLARA.

Chef Antimo Merone, a proud Naples native, is among the vanguard of chefs rewriting the rules of Italian cuisine. Dedicated to elevating Neapolitan cuisine through modern cooking techniques.

Chef Antimo comes from a farming family and learned at a young age to appreciate the flavours of fine Italian ingredients. From Berlin’s Vai Mó to ALMA in Parma under the legendary Gualtiero Marchesi, Antimo earned his stripes at some of the world’s finest restaurants. The opening of L’Altro in Hong Kong brought him to Asia, which quickly achieved a Michelin star. Soon after, he joined Umberto Bombana’s 8 1⁄2 Otto e Mezzo in Macau as Executive Chef, where he led the kitchen for six years and also earned a Michelin Star.

In 2021, he opened his first restaurant Estro in partnership with JIA Group in Hong Kong. In April 2023, Estro received its first MICHELIN star. In 2024, in addition of retaining its one MICHELIN star, Estro was ranked 71 in the extended list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant.

During this special evening, Chef Antimo and Chef Christian will highlight their southern heritage with a contemporary flair, presenting their own unique twist on traditional flavors.

Experience a gastronomic journey through southern Italy.
The 7-course menu is priced at THB 4,880++ per person.Limited seats available, reservation required.
For more information & reservations visit clarabangkok.com or call 083-496-3663.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Mountain Tourism Sector Reconvened to Explore New Directions

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Mountain Tourism Sector Reconvened to Explore New Directions - TRAVELINDEXAndorra la Vella, Andorra, May 2, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / The 12th World Congress on Snow, Mountain and Wellness Tourism was held in later March in Andorra, attended by over 400 delegates representing 16 nationalities. This year the theme was “Mountainlikers: Sustainability and Wellbeing, the Keys to Mountain Tourism,” which was live-streamed and can now be viewed on the UN Tourism YouTube channel.

Andorra is one of the eight smallest countries in Europe, yet the small country takes big actions. In 1995, Andorra joined the UNWTO (now UN Tourism) and, subsequently, in 1998, organized the first World Congress of Snow and Mountain Tourism jointly with the UNWTO. Since then, the congress has been held every two years (with the interruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic). Seven Andorran parishes take turns hosting the Congress, and this year, the parish Encomp took the helm.

Sustainability at the core of the sector

Sustainability was the foundation for all discussions, an issue even more crucial under the Andorran magnifier. Surrounded by the Pyrenees Mountain Range, Andorra has more than 90% of its surface unspoiled, but climate change is severely threatening its ecosystem.

H.E. Mr. Xavier Espot Zamora, Prime Minister of Andorra, addressed the Congress. With 83,000 inhabitants, Andorra welcomed 9.3 million visitors and 12 million overnight stays. Tourism contributes a staggering 50%+ of GDP. However, “Andorra needs premium tourism to better balance quantity and quality and to ensure the economic benefits are not diminished by negative natural and social impacts.” Said Xavier Espot. As an example, Andorran’s new tourist tax was designed to improve the quality of the sector. He proudly stated that 90% of Andorra’s territory continued to be protected by the Burne Convention, the European Landscape Convention, and the Convention of Biological Diversity, and Andorra was a candidate to become the first country fully recognized as a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Mrs. Natalia Bayona, Executive Director of UN Tourism, stated that the mountains were homes for 1100 million people worldwide, and mountain tourism was responsible for 9–16% of international arrivals. With climate change, social and economic inequality, and geopolitical issues, “mountain tourism has unique opportunities to move forward with a positive impact on people and nature,” and “the Congress fits well within the framework of the U.N. declaration of 2023-2027: Five Years of Action for the Development of Mountain Regions.” Bayona cited Andorra as an example of new tourism investment and new projects, all of which had the amazing power to add value to the economy. She concluded her congress addresses by saying, “Together, the sector will make sure that mountain tourism is a key driver for sustainable tourism.”

Encamp Mayor, Hon. Mrs. Laura Mas Barrionuevo, stated that “the sustainability of our parish and the well-being of our tourists are the cornerstones of our tourism strategy. In Encamp, we are clear that natural resources are not infinite, and we must give them optimal use and maximum care.” While Andorra had become the international benchmark for high-level professional sporting events and activities, she stated that to sustain all the livelihood and well-being, Andorra needed to protect water, snow, mountains, and all the fundamental elements. The congress topics, including sustainability tourism, AI, mountain tourism, sports tourism, etc., led to responsible tourism.

Surrounding the sustainability issue, several sessions addressed various challenges and strategies, including Get Inspired: Sustainability Is a Way, How to Boost the Growth of Premium Tourism in Mountain Areas All Year Around, and Emerging Tourism Products: A Trendy Phenomenon or a Structural Change. They focused on building resilience for mountain communities and preserving the local heritage. They also shared Best Practices and urged the stakeholders to achieve a balance between the environment, economic growth, and society. Speakers encouraged the sector to engage more collaboration and to learn from each other.

Strong partnerships to address industry’s needs

To continue to focus on the industry’s needs, Sandra Carvao, Director of Tourism Market Intelligence and Competitiveness at UN Tourism, conducted an interactive session to share information and gather audience’s feedback. Through the Mentimeter app, a series of questions were proposed live, and immediate responses were collected. Among many questions was the Traveler Profile – the top answers were couples/active/wellness, solo/active/adventure, groups/active/adventure; for the question on strategies of Fighting Seasonality, the top answers were diversifying activities, customers focusing on high value; for Future Discussion Topics, the audience named sustainability, respecting and protecting local traditions, environment protection, educating travelers, training staff, and building new infrastructure, etc.

A high-level panel was attended by H.E. Mr. Jordi Torres Falcó, Minister of Tourism and Trade of Andorra; H.E. Mrs. Rosana Morillo Rodríguez, Secretary of State for Tourism of Spain; and Mrs. Alessandra Priante, President of the National Tourism Agency (ENIT) of Italy. Moderated by Natalia Bayona, the speakers addressed policies and strategies for conquering climate change and seasonality, balancing depopulated regions vs. over-tourism, tourism investment in innovative projects and products, technology improvement, etc. Speakers pointed out that some strong innovations evolved from remarkable partnerships with the private sector. Europe accounts for 54% of the tourism volume, so by sharing their perspective, these European countries helped enlighten the attendees with useful insights and experiences.

Jordi Torres stated that Andorra hoped to win the Alpine World Ski Championships 2029 bid. To become a better all-season mountain tourism destination, Andorra relied on AI and new technology to help with innovation. Rosana Morillo stated that of the 83 million arrivals to Spain, 11 million came for sports tourism, which generated 17 billion euros. Being a top country for tourism investment, she shared how the Spanish government worked together with the private sector in tourism investment. Italy will host the 2026 Winter Olympic Games with a 4-billion-euro economic impact. Priante stressed the importance of sustaining the long-term benefits of the Games. Additionally, mountains were near the cities, so tourism development should be a cohesive effort in developing municipalities.

The industry is seeing broader partnerships worldwide working towards better sustainable development. A joint project between National Geographic and Andorra Tourism to produce a documentary, Andorra al natural, the environment where ideas germinate, was presented. Javier Corso, a Nat Geo explorer, introduced how six teams of international experts and the Andorran locals experienced Andorra as a sports destination, wellness destination, and premier destination, respectively, and provided perspectives on how to improve tourists’ experiences while preserving Andorra’s pristine natural beauty.

Wellness tourism a major opportunity

Newly added to the congress title this year was wellness tourism. Tourism and wellness are two multi-trillion-dollar industries, and it’s a fast-growing segment that represents huge opportunities. The Global Wellness Institute measured wellness tourism expenditures at $720 billion in 2019, and it further reported the sector’s accelerated expansion post-pandemic.

In 2023, the Hilton trends report stated that overall wellness remains a priority for travelers, as 50% of respondents seek travel experiences that align with their wellness goals and priorities, addressing the mind, body, and spirit. It revealed “rest and relaxation” to be a top driver for travel decisions across generations in 2024. A Hilton survey found that “travelers will reduce other areas of personal spending to prioritize… Their No. 1 reason to travel in 2024 will be to rest and recharge, with more emphasis on sleep than ever before.”

Indeed, the trend of sleep tourism is emerging, and it’s predicted to expand to $400 billion in the next four years. Many hotels move quickly to restructure the suites and rooms with new sleep-aide AI tools, beds, music, massage tools, etc. These specialty suites are selling at premium rates.

The Congress allocated a significant amount of time for in-depth discussions about wellness tourism and health tourism. Speakers represented the public and private sectors, including the Ministry of Tourism of Greece, the European Spas, Health Tourism Worldwide based in Hungary, the CHENOT GROUP of Switzerland, and Iconic Andorra. Discussions were geared toward a better understanding of the added value of visitors’ experiences in the mountain territories. Mountains have healing effects, contributing to psychological well-being and general health. And it became clear that health and wellness tourism is not only a growing trend but also a new way of understanding tourism.

Keynote speaker Alice Morrison, an adventurer, author, and TV presenter, addressed this trend among other topics. She pointed out that the fastest-growing segment for adventure tourism was women aged 45 and older. Intrepid Travel found this demographic grew by 83% yearly. An Intrepid Travel survey with 2000 British women also found that 68% of the 45+ women group listed travel as a top priority, and they wanted soft adventure. Morrison urged the industry to respond quickly by including the whole wellness journey in its offerings.

Caldea of Andorra fits this trend perfectly. The 18-floor-tall spa resort is the largest spa in Southern Europe, featuring indoor and outdoor thermal pools, saunas, spa treatments, etc. With a 30-year operation, Caldea can accommodate guests of all ages for a full scale of wellness experiences. Set in front of the magnificent mountain foothills, Caldea is an architectural beauty, shining under the sun and lighted up at night. Some congress delegates skied during the day and soaked in the Caldea thermal spa with a body massage at night. Andorra is an ideal all-season sports and wellness tourism destination.

Research report to aid the sector

A research report, Understanding and Quantifying Mountain Tourism, released in 2023, was presented in detail by Michel Julian, Senior Programme Officer at UN Tourism, and Enric Martínez, Director of Pas Grau International (Andorra). The 80-page and seven-section report was jointly developed by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Mountain Partnership Secretariat, and the UNWTO.

The report stated that the mountains were home to 15% of the world´s population and host about half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. 150 countries identified as mountain destinations as per the existence of mountains accounted for 87% of international tourist arrivals. “Walking and hiking,” “nature tourism,” and “rural tourism” were the predominant activities in mountain destinations, according to the report survey.

The report outlines a broader framework for global mountain tourism, which identifies practical issues and common challenges faced by the sector. The report’s details included how to understand mountain tourism (such as visitors’ motivation, etc.), the estimated global and regional mountain tourism shares, trends and challenges, case studies of four countries, and recommendations. The need for capturing more data was also pointed out.

The report is a comprehensive piece of work for policymakers, researchers, and business practitioners. The full report is available for view and download at: https://www.e-unwto.org/doi/epdf/10.18111/97”89284424023

Building human capital

Tourism is a sector of human capital. Focusing on people means focusing on teams, clients, and the community. Andorra is the host of the UN Tourism Academy, which offers more than 250 programs to over 40 countries. A congress session on education and training hit many key points, including the critical role of equipping human capital with essential knowledge and skills to thrive in a digitalized world; the three-party partnerships with the public + private sectors and academia to drive for better data collection and research analysis to provide a solid foundation for policy and decision-making. Such a partnership would best serve the business world; On a personal level, monitoring small progress and engaging in 1% daily enhancement could lead to a major improvement over time.

The timely topic, the importance of AI was discussed to encourage the adaptation of the use of AI tools. A nine-element model of “Sustainable Tourism Strategy Powered by AI” was shared which includes data centralization, sustainability dashboards, dynamic pricing, etc. AI will help improve accuracy, prediction and data-analysis, etc., therefore to improve overall efficiency and productivity for a business.

Learnings beyond the conference floor

Delegates participated in various social events and continued to network and learn. A welcome dinner event for VIP guests was held at 3 Estanys restaurant near Grau Roig, featuring traditional Andorran dishes and singing artists and music. The 100-person crowd also rode piste-basher along the winding snow road and watched the Encamp-based professional dance company, Esbart Sant Romà, performing a small sketch of the ÀNIMA CLARA show.

Tailor-made tours offered a taste of Encamp’s rich tourism resources as well as its vibrant business activities carried out in the 12,000-person community. Among the many sites, the Ethnographic Museum Casa Cristo is a three-level stone/wood house lived by a family in the early 20th century with well-kept original furniture, household items, and agricultural tools; the Sant Romà de Les Bons was built in the 11th century directly on the bare rocks of the hilltop, with an amazing view overlooking the valley, where the ancient and modern settlements mixed together in harmony; and EI Pas de la Casa, a small mountain town, also one of the highest in Europe, boasts a premium skiing resort in Andorra along with a vibrant retail sector. Delegates gained appreciation for Andorrans’ grit and survival wisdom over their long history.

Fabiana Gorassini, Head of the Tourist Information Centre of Sauris Zahre of Italy, while reflecting on the fragile mountain ecosystem, specifically appraised Encamp’s effort in preserving the old village: “There was a certain balance; practically, the new part did not disturb the characteristic traditional houses, and they were clever about that.” Gorassini’s own Italian village became the Best Tourism Village of UN Tourism in 2022. She commented that, being part of the BTV network, her village gained world visibility and benefited from the best practices shared by this worldwide circuit. Attending this congress and being enlightened by new tourism trends, wellness tourism, product development, training, etc., helped her community identify new ways to improve.

The overall congress provided delegates with a full scope of exchange and learning experiences. The interactions and networking opportunities added value for all. For business practitioners, especially, the takeaways included new ideas and tools for business development. The 12th Congress can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=12th+congress+on+snow+and+moutain%2C+wellness+toruism.

The 13th World Congress on Snow, Mountain and Wellness Tourism will be held in 2026. The Andorran host parish will be Ordino, a Best Tourism Village awarded by UN Tourism in 2023.

Haybina Hao reporting for Travelindex on travel, agritourism, adventure travel, destinations.

Haybina is an international travel industry journalist and reports in both Chinese and English. Linkedin

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Dusit Hotels and Resorts to Showcase Line-up of New Destinations

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Dusit Hotels and Resorts to Showcase Line-up of New Destinations - TRAVELNEWSHUB.comBangkok, Thailand, May 1, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / Hot on the heels of opening 10 hotels last year, including its first properties in Greece, Japan, and Nepal, Dusit is on course to open even more properties this year – including the highly anticipated return of its legendary flagship Dusit Thani Bangkok and its debut in Saudi Arabia with Dusit Princess Al Majma’ah, Riyadh. Dusit Hotels and Resorts, the hotel arm of Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, will showcase an impressive array of new destinations, an innovative sustainability initiative, the much-anticipated September reopening of its iconic flagship Dusit Thani Bangkok hotel, and its first hotel in Saudi Arabia – Dusit Princess Al Majma’ah, Riyadh – at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024, held from 6 – 9 May at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Led by Mr Gilles Cretallaz, Chief Operating Officer, Dusit International, Dusit’s team of corporate executives will present a comprehensive overview of Dusit Hotels and Resorts’ global portfolio and its commitment to uniquely delivering Thai-inspired gracious hospitality to the world. This legacy, pioneered 75 years ago this May by the company’s founder Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui with the opening of her first Bangkok hotel, continues to define the Dusit experience today.

Beyond the company’s rich history, attendees can expect to learn more about a diverse range of participating properties, including established favourites such as Dusit Thani Dubai, Dusit Doha Hotel, Dusit Thani LakeView Cairo, and Dusit Thani Maldives, alongside a curated selection of luxury villas from Elite Havens.

The spotlight will shine on last year’s international openings, including the boutique Dusit Suites Athens, Greece, Dusit’s first hotel in Europe; the lifestyle-oriented ASAI Kyoto Shijo and luxurious Dusit Thani Kyoto, Dusit’s first properties in Japan; and the breathtaking Dusit Thani Himalayan Resort Dhulikhel and contemporary Dusit Princess Kathmandu, Dusit’s first entries into Nepal.

Last year’s openings in Dusit’s home base of Thailand will also be showcased, including ASAI Bangkok Sathorn, the second property in the capital under Dusit’s affordable lifestyle brand; the upscale dusitD2 Samyan Bangkok, the first dusitD2-branded hotel in the city; and Dusit Princess Phatthalung, a beautiful resort in southern Thailand, bringing Dusit’s domestic property count to 18.

Alongside these recent additions, Dusit will also reveal more about its expected 2024 openings, including up to 10 new Dusit Hotels and Resorts across existing Dusit destinations such as China, the Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, and Japan, as well as new markets India, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia.

Slated for a Q4 2024 opening, the 150-key Dusit Princess Al Majma’ah, Riyadh, is poised to become a key player in Riyadh’s hospitality scene, marking its arrival as the first internationally branded hotel in Al Majma-ah. Catering to business travellers, the hotel boasts a convenient location next to Majmaah University and a short drive from the burgeoning Sudair Industrial and Business City. King Khalid International Airport is also easily accessible, just a one-hour and 40-minute drive away.

Beyond its well-appointed rooms and suites, guests will find versatile meeting spaces accommodating up to 200, a range of dining options across two on-site food and beverage outlets, a fully equipped gym, and swimming pool access.

Other highlights being showcased include dusitD2 Feydhoo, an all-inclusive, family-friendly resort on a private Maldives island only five minutes by speedboat from Male airport (slated to open in Q4); Osaka Kansai Airport Hotel, the company’s third hotel in Japan (Q3); and the highly anticipated return of the flagship Dusit Thani Bangkok, which will reopen on 27 September 2024.

Situated in the same prime location as the original property, which graced the Bangkok skyline from 1970 – 2019, this highly anticipated, reimagined version of Dusit’s luxury flagship hotel sits at the heart of Dusit Central Park, a landmark mixed-use development also comprising ultra-luxury residences (Dusit Residences and Dusit Parkside), a state-of-the-art office tower, a high-end retail centre, and a 11,200 sq m Roof Park (all slated to open in 2025).

Designed to deliver a fresh take on its predecessor’s esteemed heritage and once again stand as a beacon of Thai-inspired gracious hospitality for discerning travellers from all around the world, the newly built 257-key hotel offers ample space for guests, including elegant suites exquisitely crafted by internationally acclaimed Asian interior design firm André Fu Studio, starting at an impressive 50 sq m. A singular corridor floorplan ensures every room faces the green expanse of Lumpini Park, with guests enjoying uninterrupted scenic views through expansive floor-to-ceiling windows complemented by elegantly designed window seating.

The new version of the hotel also boasts a unique urban wellness concept, elevated dining experiences created in collaboration with renowned chefs, a stylish multi-level rooftop bar created in partnership with award-winning mixologists, and expansive banqueting and meeting facilities spanning over 5,000 sq m. This includes one of the largest grand ballrooms in Bangkok, boasting an impressive eight-metre-high ceiling and a panoramic view of Lumpini Park, and a diverse selection of meeting spaces for intimate gatherings and large-scale events. The hotel’s new benchmarks in service, design, and overall guest experience will ripple across Dusit Hotels and Resorts worldwide.

Bookings for the new Dusit Thani Bangkok will be available from 1 May 2024 onwards on dusit.com, allowing early-bird bookers to be the first to experience the reimagined flagship when it opens its doors this September.

Dusit’s team at ATM will also shed light on Dusit’s innovative group-wide sustainability initiative, Tree of Life. Launched in 2023, this comprehensive programme aligns with the United Nations’ Global Sustainable Development Goals and incorporates a holistic approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. It is designed to ensure that each Dusit property operates as sustainably as possible, with measurable key performance indicators to drive effective implementation.

“At Dusit Hotels and Resorts, we are committed to delivering exceptional experiences while fostering a positive impact on the world around us,” said Mr Gilles Cretallaz, COO, Dusit International. “Through our innovative offerings, unwavering dedication to sustainability, and commitment to Thai-inspired gracious hospitality, we aim to redefine travel for discerning guests globally. We are excited to share our vision with the industry at ATM 2024 and look forward to welcoming visitors to our stand.”

Dusit’s portfolio now includes 299 properties operating across 18 countries, including 56 properties operating under Dusit Hotels and Resorts and 243 luxury villas under Elite Havens, the leading provider of luxury villa rentals in Asia, which Dusit acquired in September 2018. More than 60 properties are in the pipeline.

About Dusit Hotels and Resorts
Dusit Hotels and Resorts is the hotel arm of Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies. With a heartfelt belief and commitment to introducing Thai-inspired gracious hospitality to the world, Dusit Hotels and Resorts offers guests a uniquely special stay in high-style surroundings and a personalised approach to service. The group’s portfolio of hotels, resorts and luxury villas includes approximately 300 properties operating under a total of eight brands (Devarana – Dusit Retreats, Dusit Thani, Dusit Suites, Dusit Collection, dusitD2, Dusit Princess, ASAI Hotels, and Elite Havens) across 18 countries worldwide.

About Dusit International
Established in 1948, Dusit International or Dusit Thani Public Company Limited (DUSIT) is a leading hospitality group listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Its operations comprise five distinct yet complementary business units: Dusit Hotels and Resorts, Dusit Hospitality Education, Dusit Foods, Dusit Estate, and Hospitality-Related Services. Dusit International’s diversified investments in real estate development, hospitality-related services, and the food sector are part of its long-term strategy for sustainable growth, which focuses on three key areas: balance, expansion and diversification.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Largest GSTC Global Conference Took Place in Stockholm

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Largest GSTC Global Conference Took Place in Stockholm - TRAVELNEWSHUB.comStockholm, Sweden, April 31, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / The GSTC2024 Global Sustainable Tourism Conference, which took place in Stockholm, Sweden, from April 23rd to April 26th, 2024, brought together 500 delegates from more than 50 countries, along with hundreds of viewers who watched the live broadcasting of the conference.

The conference was held in Royal Djurdgården in two venues: Day 1 of the Global Conference took place at Cirkus and Hasselbacken, and Day 2 took place at three different museums: Museum of Technology, Maritime Museum, and the Museum of Ethnography. The Conference themes were: (A) Environment – Climate and Smart Management; (B) Social – Welcoming and Inclusive; (C) Governance – Thriving and Innovative; (D) Credible Assurance.

Participants included international and regional tourism stakeholders involved in the development and promotion of sustainable tourism, including the public sector, hotels, tour operators, academia, development agencies, NGOs, consultants, and more. International participants came from Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

The Royal Highness of Sweden, Crown Princess Victoria, attended the conference’s opening ceremony, where former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, Visit Sweden’s Chief Executive Officer Susanne Andersson, Elisabeth Backteman, General Secretary of the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, and GSTC Chair, Luigi Cabrini made the opening speeches.

“International tourism has almost reached its pre-pandemic levels with Europe leading the recovery, and some destinations are registering the highest number of visitors ever. Tourism has regained its potential as an essential economic activity, a creator of jobs, and a tool for development.

At the same time, international tensions are high and wars are ravaging in different regions of the world. It seems a paradox that when globalization and the opening of borders make it possible for people to travel freely around the continents, conflicts that we thought would never occur again, are spreading, with their corollary of human loss and destruction.

Tourism from its very beginnings has been defined as a way of promoting mutual understanding, respect, and tolerance. But its full potential as an instrument for peace clearly remains to be realized.” said Mr. Cabrini. (Full speech can be found here)

Speakers from across the world shared insights and discussed the following topics: Tourism Supporting Biodiversity through Nature Positive and Rewilding, Food Waste Reduction, Sustainability in Attractions, Data-based Innovation in Tourism, Green Mobility, Destination Stewardship and Guest Experience, Accessibility and Inclusion in Tourism, among many others. (See here the full conference program.)

Prior to the conference, four onsite GSTC Trainings took place in Stockholm:

GSTC Sustainable Tourism Course in English and Swedish for Industry Professionals, the training specifically focused on the GSTC Criteria, the global standards for sustainability in tourism and travel.

GSTC Accessibility and Social Impact in Tourism Course, designed to empower participants with essential knowledge and skills to tap into the thriving accessible and inclusive travel and provide best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
and GSTC Auditor Training, which covered the GSTC Industry Criteria, the audit process, and key issues auditors needed to be aware of.
GSTC2024 TrainingA total of 90 industry professionals joined the training from across Europe and globally. Using the GSTC Industry Criteria and GSTC Destination Criteria as the foundation, the training class covered various topics relevant to our industry and the sustainability challenges and opportunities we are facing today. The II GSTC Academic Symposium was also held in conjunction with the Global Sustainable Tourism Conference for the second time. The symposium provided a forum for researchers and academics to share and discuss current issues in sustainable tourism.

Recordings of the conference’s plenary sessions can be found on the GSTC Facebook page and the other sessions will soon be uploaded to our GSTC YouTube channel. Pictures from the event can be found on our Facebook Albums here. The presentations from each session can be accessed here.

Carbon Footprint Measurement and Other Sustainable Practices during the Conference
As with previous GSTC Conferences, the carbon footprint of the event and the travel of all attendees have been calculated, and offset by Visit Sweden. Other sustainable event practices were carried out, such as reducing paper and plastic usage to a minimum: printing to the minimum, badges made of recyclable paper, and no single-use plastic used during the conference. Meals were strictly vegetarian, with many dishes fully vegan. Public transport was encouraged as well as walking distance venues for the event were provided.

Acknowledgments
Our profound gratitude to all of those who have participated in making this event possible: Visit Sweden and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth as coorganizers of the event, as well as support from Visit Stockholm and Royal Djurgården Society.

Our Exhibitors at the event were Planhotel, GSTC Training Team, CRiS Technologies, Singapore Tourism Board, Lufthansa, APT Valsugana (Italy Working Group), Suwon City, Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA), and Botswana Tourism Organisation.

Our Media Partners were Travelindex Group, SustainableFirst, Travelmole, Sustainable Hotel News, TravelNews, Travel and Tour World, and India Outbound, which we want to thank for their support in spreading the news about the Conference.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Maximizing Impact of Social Revenue for Online Travel Vendors

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Award-winning social revenue innovator, Joyned, has today announced the launch of its traveler AI Planner, the latest addition to its platform. It harnesses developments in artificial intelligence and big data to provide travel and hospitality vendors with the ability to deliver a personalized experience to maximize satisfaction and revenue.

Whether it’s travel routes to Paris, the weather in Rome, or an itinerary for Berlin, the AI Planner provides on the spot information to users’ most common booking questions. Perfectly complementing the travel vendor’s existing offering, Joyned’s AI Planner is the ultimate white label solution for vendors seeking to enhance their customers’ trip planning process and overall experience.

This offering is the latest addition to Joyned’s social revenue technology, which enables prospects to communicate, discuss, decide and book together – straight from the vendor’s website. With research suggesting that around 89% of travel carts browsed on mobile are abandoned, Joyned’s social revenue technology fosters better on-site collaboration, appealing to groups who benefit from accessing the same information to book travel together, as well as solo travelers who rely on trusted advice and guidance when planning a trip alone.

“Travel vendors are constantly seeking new ways to increase revenue while improving customer loyalty, retention and booking value. Joyned is already enabling vendors to increase travel site conversations by up to 4x their baseline. The AI planner is the only solution that actively assists high-intent prospects to complete a purchase by reducing their need to seek external information, substantially increasing booking value,” says Michael Levinson, Co-Founder and CPO of Joyned.

“For travel vendors, this improves overall customer experience, and allows them to gain visibility into conversations that would otherwise be unavailable as they traditionally take place away from the website (for example on instant messaging apps or social networks). Using these insights, vendors can better tailor their packages and deals to current customer demands, leading to a significant increase in revenue,” he adds.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Knowledge is Power in the Restaurant Sector

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Publicly disclosing information can have mixed outcomes for catering enterprises, according to Dr Jaehee Gim of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and co-authors. Using recent data from the US, they reached this conclusion after probing the link between information asymmetry and firm value in the famously saturated and competitive restaurant sector. Their discovery of a curvilinear form of the relationship was accompanied by new, practical insights into how the effect of information transparency on firm value is moderated by firm age and debt.
Managers know more about their own firms than investors do. This straightforward fact leads to the well-known information asymmetry problem, which originated in the context of second-hand car sales but also applies in management. It causes unfairness in the stock market because managers can disclose private information to benefit selected parties at their discretion. Asymmetric information can also reduce firms’ own value and give rise to moral hazard. “These information asymmetry problems can collectively distort market efficiency or lead to a complete breakdown of the market”, say the researchers.
Not all sectors are affected in the same way, however. The classical explanation of why information asymmetry hurts firm value is twofold: the resulting high uncertainty discourages investors from buying expensive stocks, while self-serving managers exploit their information advantage for personal gain at firms’ long-term expense. Yet in the restaurant sector, note the researchers, “an overly transparent information environment could also result in the deterioration of firm value”.
Catering is a notoriously uncertain market: restaurants face an environment of constantly shifting customer desires as trends pass by and new technologies appear. “Given customers’ rapidly and constantly changing needs”, say the researchers, “restaurant firms often choose to imitate their successful peers”. However, “disclosing too much information about a firm’s current and future status could create a situation in which the firm’s strategic information is inadvertently shared with its competitors”. This contradicts the usual expectation that sharing information should boost stock value by reducing asymmetry.
The authors thus set out to test, for the first time, the effect of information asymmetry on restaurants’ business value. Given the competing expectations outlined above, they hypothesised an inverted U-shaped profile, with firm value maximised at an intermediate level of information disclosure. Moreover, given the distinct features of the dining trade, they looked at two potential moderating factors of this relationship: firm age and financial leverage (indebtedness).
New restaurants have it tough: three in every 10 that go public are bankrupt within five years. Getting external financing is hard, as investors stand to make few capital gains due to the sector’s high overheads and tight margins; even industry giants have relatively low credit ratings. “Young restaurant firms are in great need of cash to fund quick expansion and thus survive the competitive market”, the authors warn. As small firm size is a significant determinant of restaurant firms’ being delisted, the authors proposed that firm size moderates the information asymmetry–firm value relationship, making asymmetric information more harmful for new ventures.
Managers of highly leveraged firms might be expected to rein in their self-interest under scrutiny from creditors. This is known as the “debt monitoring” hypothesis. Conversely, they might become even more opportunistic to avoid breaching the terms of debt covenants, ultimately harming firm value. Noting that lenders are extra-cautious in the high-risk restaurant sector, the authors reasoned that “creditors in the industry serve as effective monitoring entities for opportunistic managerial behavior”. They thus proposed that leverage weakens the negative effect of information asymmetry on firm value.
To test their hypotheses, the authors focused on the historical bid–ask spread of restaurant firms to measure information asymmetry, as the variation in opinion on companies’ stock value implies the existence of a few informed traders with private access to firm information. As an alternative measure of asymmetry, they calculated a composite index of analysts’ forecast dispersion and return volatility. “When little or no information about a firm’s performance is publicly available, analysts’ forecasts diverge”, the authors explain.
Companies’ ages and debt-to-equity ratios were also obtained to analyse the influence of firm age and leverage on the information asymmetry–firm value relationship. Finally, in this way the researchers obtained a data sample covering 51 restaurant businesses in the US between 1997 and 2019. Armed with this rich information, they proceeded to test whether their theoretical predictions matched the patterns in the data.
As hypothesised, the relationship between firm value and the bid–ask spread turned out to be non-linear. The results of the main test suggested that “a curvilinear (inverted U-shaped) relationship exists between information asymmetry, measured by the bid–ask spread, and firm value in the restaurant industry”. This indicates that restaurant businesses maximise their value when they publicly disclose a specific level of operational information. It is disadvantageous to stray from this point in the direction of either more information transparency or asymmetry.
Turning to the moderating role of firm age in this phenomenon, the results were mixed. When the bid–ask spread was used to measure information asymmetry, the authors’ prediction seemed to be confirmed. “The younger a firm is”, they explain, “the more downward and to the left the turning point of the inverted U-shaped curve is located”. That is, for newer restaurants, not only was firm value itself generally lower than for more established businesses, but the ideal extent of information asymmetry was also smaller. However, no significant relationship of this kind was found when using the composite proxy for information asymmetry.
Similar conclusions were derived when investigating how leverage intersected with the role of asymmetric information. According to the model using bid–ask spread data, “the more financially leveraged a firm is, the more upward and to the right the turning point of the inverted U-shaped curve is located”. Thus, less leveraged businesses were on average less valuable and benefited most from a lower level of information asymmetry. Again, however, the use of a composite proxy of information asymmetry caused this observation to vanish, which the authors tentatively attribute to limitations in the method of constructing the index.
The findings have some immediate managerial implications. “When firm managers in the restaurant industry engage in voluntary disclosure activities”, note the researchers, “they may have to keep in mind that the cost of keeping the level of information asymmetry to the minimum might exceed its benefit”. Managers of young and low-leverage restaurant businesses should be particularly wary of the dangers of too little disclosure. In addition, “managers’ decisions to disclose firm information should be based on the trade-off between the cost and benefit of information disclosure”, given that publicising information may harm competitiveness in the restaurant trade.
While previous studies have generally documented a simple negative linear relationship between information asymmetry and firm value, this important study shows that the situation can be more complex in specific sectors. Restaurant managers with an eye on stock value should not rush to share all. In an age when both voluntary and mandatory information disclosure are common, the study provides a useful reminder to practitioners that information transparency can be detrimental to certain firms in specific industries, while also setting the stage for more detailed research in this area.
Gim, Jaehee, Jang, SooCheong (Shawn), Tang, Hugo, Choi, Kyuwan, and Behnke, Carl (2023). Is Information Asymmetry Always Detrimental to Firm Value? Findings from the Restaurant Industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 111, 103481

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2024 Returning to Thailand

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PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2024 Returning to Thailand - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, April 30, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is set to organise the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2024 (PDMF 2024) at Dusit Thani Hua Hin in Cha-Am, Phetchaburi Province, Thailand, from November 12-14, 2024. The event is co-hosted by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), Phetchaburi City and the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), with the support of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)

“PATA is excited to be returning to Thailand to organise this year’s PATA Destination Marketing Forum, having previously organized this event in 2018 in Khon Kaen, 2019 in Pattaya and 2022 in Songkhla. We are also delighted to be once working with our valuable partners TCEB, TAT and DASTA and look forward to working with Phetchburi City in organizing this event,” said PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid. “Our extensive conference programme promises a rich learning experience and opportunities for delegates to expand their networks within the ever-evolving travel and tourism industry. I invite all stakeholders to join us in Cha-Am. Phetchaburi, Thailand to not just learn and expand their networks but to also celebrate and contribute to the ongoing growth of Asia-Pacific travel and tourism.”

“It is an honour that Phetchaburi has been selected as the host for the PATA Destination Marketing Forum” said Phetchaburi Governor Nuttachai Numpoonsuksun. “Participants will be able to experience the enchanting charm of Kaeng Krachan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Phetchaburi is also a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, renowned for using locally sourced ingredients to create dishes that elevate and increase economic value with the “3 tastes + 1” concept—incorporating sweetness from palm sugar, sourness from lime, saltiness from salt, and spiciness from Karen chilli. Moreover, Phetchaburi is also home to three palaces belonging to three kings: Rama IV’s Pra Nakhon Khiri Palace (Khao Wang), Rama V’s Phra Ram Ratchaniwet Palace (Wang Ban Puen), and Rama VI’s Mrigadayavan Palace. With its diverse array of attractions, ranging from mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and forests to historical sites, the culturally significant work of the Ten Essential Traditional Craftsmanship and of course the Cha-Am district, the province is an ideal destination for both domestic and international visitors. Phetchaburi province looks forward to welcoming all delegates of the PATA Destination Marketing Forum 2024”

Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau President Mr Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya said, “TCEB is grateful for the PATA Destination Marketing Forum being organised in Phetchaburi. I am confident that the city is a perfect destination, considering the objective of PDMF which is to ensure the long-term sustainable growth and development of tourism that will benefit local communities. Phetchaburi is rich in both cultural assets and natural resources covering beaches, national parks, unique local way of life, historic sights, and royal palaces. It was also designated a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO in 2021 as a result of the city’s rich heritage of local cuisine and dessert. TCEB has been working with local communities in the city to boost their capacities in welcoming MICE visitors. In this connection, TCEB hopes that this important international forum will be an excellent floor of knowledge exchange and will become a stepping stone for the city’s future of MICE industry.”

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool said, “The PATA Destination Marketing Forum stems from the desire to help secondary and tertiary destinations responsibly grow and develop into widely recognised tourism attractions. The format of this year’s event is collaborative and informative, delivered through a two-day programme. It offers a unique opportunity for networking, learning, and discovery, consisting of a one-day destination experience, which provides delegates with an unprecedented opportunity to explore the region’s natural landscapes and cultural treasures. On the second day, delegates will participate in a one-day forum with various networking opportunities.”

Delegates attending the event will have the opportunity to choose from three unique destination experiences, planned and crafted by DASTA.

Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration Director-General Gp. Capt. Athikun Kongmee said, “DASTA is delighted to join PATA and all stakeholders in co-hosting PDMF 2024 in Thailand. We, along with our networks of government sector, private sector and local communities, are looking forward to welcoming the hosting team and all PDMF participants to Phetchaburi. DASTA has supported Phetchaburi Province in becoming a member of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) – a City of Gastronomy and has worked with local communities to develop sustainable community-based tourism and creative activities, in addition to elevating the destinations to be recognized nationally and internationally. DASTA’s technical tour will take you to experience Phetchaburi’s natural and cultural heritage, local history, and unique characteristics; namely its food culture, art, history and architecture, as destination internationally recognized by UCCN and PATA Gold Award 2023 in Culture – Traditional Performing and Visual Arts.”

Located in Central Thailand, Phetchaburi Province was named a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO in 2021. Travellers will be captivated by the destination’s vibrant local cuisine, showcasing the province’s farm-to-fork practices. Beyond its delicious dishes crafted from fresh produce and seafood, Phetchaburi Province boasts many stunning attractions, including the picturesque views along Cha-Am Beach, as well as an enchanting community-based tourism experience at Old Phetchaburi Town Riverside Community, a revitalization project which won the 2023 PATA Gold Award for Culture. Located less than 200 km south of Bangkok and just 20 km north of Hua Hin, Cha-Am is a quiet Beach retreat in Petchaburi province.

Registration for the event is complimentary, however, due to limited seating, PATA Members will be given priority on a first-come, first-serve basis.

As PATA acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region, the Association is proud to note that the PATA Destination Marketing Forum is a net zero carbon event. PATA is working with a local green project to help support organisations to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration sources in Thailand. As part of our commitment to sustainability, there will be a nominal charge of USD 10 for carbon offset per person for this event.

For more information, please email events@PATA.org or visit www.pata.org/pata-destination-marketing-forum-2024.

About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research, and innovative events to its member organisations, which including government, state and city tourism bodies; international airlines and airports; hospitality organisations, and educational institutions, as well as thousands of young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 32 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 28 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts, and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has an official office in Beijing. Visit www.PATA.org.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Seychelles Small Hotels Association Hold Successful Visibility Drive

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Seychelles Small Hotels Association Hold Successful Visibility Drive - TRAVELINDEXMahé, Victoria, Seychelles, April 29, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / SSHEA, the “Seychelles Small Hotels & Establishments Association”, the official Association of the Seychelles hospitality establishments of below 25 rooms, held its first big gathering and gala dinner on Friday 12th April at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino. The Association is said to be preparing for a dignified representation of its members in Tourism Road Shows and International Tourism Trade Fairs to ensure greater visibility and consequently, better promote their establishments in the main Seychelles main tourism source markets.

The highlights of the event were the launch of the gathering by guest of Honor, Minister Sylvestre Radegonde, the Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism. This was followed by an enlightening discourse by the world-renowned speaker, the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Alain St.Ange, on the ‘Unique Selling Points’ (USPs) of Seychelles, especially its small Seychellois-owned and managed establishments and the unveiling of the SSHEA very ‘first cut’ of its promotional video that opened with a Seychelles sunrise and the distinct crowing of a very energetic cockerel. It went on for just over 4 minutes with pictures of what the authentic Seychellois kreol culture and sceneries have to offer. The clip ends with a Moutia around a fire on the beach.

Present were members of the Diplomatic Corps, high-level representatives from diverse corporate organizations, proprietors of small tourism establishment and SSHEA members from Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. Mr. Peter Sinon, Founding Chairperson of SSHEA, very ably acted as the MC for the evening.

In his official launching of the event, Minister Sylvestre Radegonde commended SSHEA, an association that is barely 8 months old, for having gone the extra mile in such a short time to be able to bring together over 250 guests at Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay for such an event. He pledged his continued commitment and support to the Seychelles small establishments that he makes a point to visit every Friday, when he is in the country. So far he has visited over 350 Small Hotels and Establishments. He laid emphasis on the need for all tourism stakeholders to work together to keep the destination attractive and pristine by practicing sustainable tourism. He sternly warned against practices that may kill the goose that lays the golden egg and urged caution by all stakeholders.

Mr. Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine started his talk by immediately dispelling the perceived dichotomy and rivalry between the big & small hotels. He said that the tourism industry relies on all its stakeholders, and it is necessary that the islands all need to pull in the same direction and work as a coordinated team. “It may be true that there are specificities amongst groups and levels of services on offer, but there is no doubt that we must all do our respective parts to the best of our respective abilities to encourage visitors to return or to positively recommend Seychelles in their respective reviews and word of mouth” said former Minister St.Ange.

Mr. St Ange pointed to the ‘proof in the pudding’ before our very eyes, This is through the partnership between SSHEA and Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino that falls in the larger hotels category. “Yet, there has been room for cooperation and collaboration” former Minister St.Ange said. He went on to state that when he looks around he sees sizeable corporations such as Seybrew, ISPC, Takamaka Rum distillery, the Banks, Eboo and others who have either sponsored the event and/or paid for their tables of 10 guests or more and this inclusive of the two largest Seychellois owned and managed DMCs being Mr Joe Albert of Creole Holidays and Mr Alan Mason of Mason’s Travel who personally responded positively to a sponsorship request from SSHEA. They are the two that inspired many Seychellois to join the industry since they both started from humble beginnings to be what and where they are today being our pillars and pride of our tourism industry.

Former Minister St.Ange pointed out that each and every guest is part of Seychelles unique selling points – ensuring that the visitor to Seychelles has a memorable experience that will either bring him or her back or recommend with some insistence for family and friends to follow in their footsteps to come and experience Seychelles.

From the time they walked in the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino lobby, guests were treated as special celebrities. They were invited to have their pictures taken by a professional photographer. They were then welcomed to enjoy a selection of 3 Takamaka Rum cocktails or mock tails, whilst listening to popular tunes by Ms Sandra Esparon. The event had all the ingredients for a successful if not excellent venue for good food, drinks, music, dancing and networking that ended happily after almost four hours of drinking and dancing.

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First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News