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Global Tourism Forum Hears of Africa and Need for Visibility in New Normal

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Global Tourism Forum Indonesia - TRAVELINDEXJakarta, Indonesia, September 18, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles former Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine Minister was recently addressing the Global Tourism Forum that was being held in Jakarta in Indonesia.

Addressing the global challenges faced by the travel and tourism industry.

The St.Ange address as part of a discussion panel was much awaited in Africa as he was known to have been championing the increasing of trade and tourism ties between Africa and the ASEAN Block. Alain St.Ange, a Tourism Consultant who was based in Indonesia for a while, has been working through FORSEAA (Forum of Small Medium Economics AFRICA ASEAN) to push trade and tourism to Africa from the ASEAN Countries. St.Ange is also working to increase visibility of tourism destinations and to give a long-overdue voice of small and medium-size travel and tourism businesses right around the world which was not surprising to hear the interest from the continent about his address.

St.Ange started by emphasising that tourism needs political support as that remains key for the industry’s success as he congratulated the Vice President and the Tourism Minister for both being present at this edition of the World Tourism Forum. He went on to push as he reminded the Indonesian Government of the many tourism potentials Indonesia has been blessed with, but he said “such potentials and investments in developing them would be wasted if Indonesia does not use everything at its disposal to increase visibility of the country”. Alain St.Ange also pointed out that in the new normal and as post covid is being discussed it was important to appreciate that every tourism destination would be fishing from the same lake for their discerning visitors and that the most innovative and prepared destination would be better placed to embrace post covid trade.

The former Seychelles Minister also spoke about niche markets from the traditional one to Agro-tourism, religious-tourism, sports-tourism, halal-tourism etc saying that every stone must be turned in the search for new tourism markets. He spent time elaborating on the need to set the course for the country and to then deliver on price matching service bearing in mind that the country is the destination and that the country needed to be prepared before someone from the panel reinforced that ‘walk the talk’ was now more important than ever. The former Minister, now a Tourism Consultant also spoke about joining forces with neighbours and friends and cited Africa as the example of a continent needing its tourism industry and going all out to make it work.

Addressing the global challenges faced by the travel and tourism industry.

The Global Tourism Forum 2021 saw the Vice Presidents of Indonesia and former Prime Minister of the UK as well as Dr Taleb Rifai, the former SG of the UNWTO , the current and former Tourism Minister of Indonesia all listed alongside the President of the Global Tourism Forum.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Suites by David Beckham Win Best Hotel Suite in Asia Pacific

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Suites by David Beckham Win Best Hotel Suite in Asia Pacific - TRAVELINDEX - TOP25HOTELSCotai, Macao SAR, September 18, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Suites by David Beckham at newly-opened The Londoner Hotel in Macao have been named ‘Best Hotel Suite in Asia Pacific’ at The International Hotel & Property Awards 2021.

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Occupying the top two floors of The Londoner Hotel, the 14 bespoke Suites by David Beckham were launched earlier in 2021 in collaboration with the Sands Resorts Macao global ambassador, David Beckham, and leading London interior design firm David Collins Studio. At Suites by David Beckham, the British star shares his authentic design aesthetic and invites guests to enjoy a luxurious stay with a range of exclusive experiences.

Dr. Wilfred Wong, President, Sands China Ltd. said: “We are very grateful to have been recognised with this prestigious design award. We were fortunate to have the benefit of David’s impeccable style and taste in designing the suites. Guests will be able to literally step into his luxurious lifestyle, immersing themselves in the celebrity experience. This acknowledgement confirms our efforts, attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship.”

David Beckham commented: “We are delighted that that Suites by David Beckham at The Londoner Hotel have received this award. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to create the suites with luxury and comfort as a priority as well as to collaborate with such incredible teams. It has been a great project to work on and something I feel very proud of. I can’t wait to be able to visit and see them for myself.”

Ranging from 113 to 298 square metres, the suites reflect the best of the British star’s discerning style and sophistication and feature all the home comforts he enjoys when travelling. Divided into two distinct schemes of navy blue and British racing green, Beckham’s favourite colours, they contain subtle references to his renowned sporting career, personal style and interests – football, photography, tailoring and male grooming.

The largest of the suites boasts a small whisky and karaoke bar, inspired by Beckham’s interest in whisky and cut crystal glasses, and incorporates features of some of David Collins Studio’s most renowned London hospitality projects, including The Connaught Bar and Claridge’s Bar.

Discover Macao and the World’s Best Luxury Hotels and Prestigious Hotel Awards at

The International Hotel & Property Awards are held to identify and highlight global design excellence. Hosted by design et al, the leading UK interior design magazine, voting is open to industry professionals as well as design et al readers, clients and customers.

About The Londoner Macao
The Londoner Macao is an integrated resort that invites visitors on a journey through the best of British history and culture. It incorporates five celebrated hotel brands – the new The Londoner Hotel and Londoner Court, alongside existing Conrad Macao, Sheraton Grand Macao and The St. Regis Macao. The Londoner Macao will present visitors to Cotai with an expanded offering of affordable luxury available nowhere else in Macao, with over 6,000 hotel rooms and suites, and 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of retail, entertainment, dining and meetings and convention space. With over 150 retail outlets, Shoppes at Londoner joins Shoppes at Venetian and Shoppes at Four Seasons, alongside Shoppes at Parisian. Together they offer a selection of approximately 850 luxury duty free stores – the most in any one single location in Macao. With three spas, four health clubs and over 365,000 square feet (34,000 square metres) of uniquely themed gaming space, The Londoner Macao provides a new level of luxury and accessibility to the Cotai Strip.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Russian Tour Operators Gear Up for Phuket High Season with Sandbox Breaks

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Russian Tour Operators Gear Up for Phuket High Season with Sandbox Breaks

Phuket, Thailand, September 15, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Phuket’s tourism industry can look forward to a stronger high season, as Russian travellers prepare to swap their cold winter weather for a sun-soaked Sandbox escape, a recent webinar has learned. In the “Phuket Sandbox: Russia’s Winter Wonderland” event, Russian outbound tour operators expressed their belief that many of their clients are longing to return to Phuket. They warned however, that some key factors were still restricting the destination’s full potential.

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Held on Thursday 9th September 2021, the webinar was organised by C9 Hotelworks and Delivering Asia Communications (DAC), and hosted by Laguna Resorts & Hotels. It was attended by a wide range of industry experts, including top tour operators, leading hoteliers, airline executives and representatives from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and there was a general feeling of optimism about the upcoming peak season in Phuket.

Prior to the global pandemic, Russia was one of Phuket’s biggest source markets. In 2019, over 700,000 visitors arrived direct from Russia, and while that level is unlikely to be matched in the near future, hoteliers and tour operators are confident that the coming months will see the start of a recovery.

This belief is driven by the fact that, effective 1st September 2021, Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health added Russia’s Sputnik to its list of approved vaccines, which will enable thousands of Russian citizens to take part in the Phuket Sandbox programme. Ravi Chandran, CEO of Laguna Resorts & Hotels, called this move a “huge boost to the Sandbox”.

“It adds stability and continuity to the Sandbox concept and it will give a lot of the other European countries – and other countries around the world – confidence in the concept, when they see a big player like Russia participating,” Mr. Chandran told the webinar. He added that arrival numbers would probably start slowly, before “building up in November and December, once more airlines launch flights”. The first Aeroflot flight is due to depart on 4th October 2021.

To drive Phuket’s rebound, Khanittha Phanworawat, Director of the TAT’s Moscow Office, revealed that her team is now ramping up its promotional efforts in Russia.

“The Phuket Sandbox is our main agenda for the travel trade,” Ms. Khanittha stated. “We explained the concept to Russian tour operators at an event in Moscow in September. B2B online workshops have also connected Thai hoteliers and suppliers with Russian agents, and we have set up a dedicated Russian language website to provide the latest information for travel to Thailand.”

Tour operators said they were hopeful that Russian ‘snow birds’ would flock back to Phuket this winter. Salim Akbas, Product Purchasing Manager (Southern Thailand) for ODEON Tourism, said that Russia was a “really good fit for the Sandbox” due to the 14-day length-of-stay requirement, which is similar to the usual vacation duration preferred by Russian travellers, and their strong appetite for Thailand’s beaches and food. The “7+7” extension of the Sandbox will also enable visitors to experience more parts of the Kingdom, with the option of combining Phuket with destinations such as Khao Lak, Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi.

Mr. Akbas stressed however, that rates need to remain moderate to make sure that potential customers do not head elsewhere. “It’s recovery season, so [hoteliers need to] make the price point right. Everyone wants to make profit, but this might not be the right time. If we miss one more high season, the competition might become too strong. Dubai for example, will be an alternative destination,” he warned.

Olga Na Takuatoong, Deputy Managing Director of Exotic Voyage, a luxury Russian tour operator, agreed that suppliers need to use promotional rates to drive the revival. “Sun, sand and sea are still the priority for Russian travellers. They need to be in a warm place in the winter and Phuket has everything they need. During the pandemic, a lot of Russian customers went to the Maldives, Dubai, the Seychelles or other countries. To attract customers back, I would recommend that Phuket’s hospitality sector needs to maintain their promotional rates, and not try to increase them,” she commented.

With the launch of the Phuket Sandbox 7+7 programme and the acceptance of the Sputnik vaccine as a condition of entry, it seems that Phuket is taking the right steps to regaining the Russian market. What also seems clear however, is that a price-led return will be critical to restoring confidence, and that some travel restrictions may have to be lifted in order to entice travellers away from rival destinations.

Launched on 1st July 2021, the Phuket Sandbox allows fully-vaccinated international travellers from 60+ countries and territories worldwide to enjoy quarantine-free stays in the “Pearl of the Andaman”, if they fly direct to the island, stay in approved accommodation, and take regular PCR tests during the stay.

Discover gastronomy destination Phuket and the Asia’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at

A dedicated PCR test centre now has been set up within Laguna Phuket, the integrated resort that features seven world-class, SHA Plus-certified resorts, plus a wide range of restaurants, bars, spas, boutique shopping, private yachting and water sports, all nestled within 1,000 acres of sparkling lagoons and verdant parkland, with a 3km stretch of pristine beach at Bangtao Bay. Golfers can tee-off at the 18-hole Laguna Golf Phuket, which was named as “Thailand’s Best Golf Course” at the World Golf Awards. This means that international guests, including Russian nationals, can enjoy safe, serene and secluded Sandbox stays at Laguna Phuket.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Koh Samui’s Fishermen Village Debuts New Beach Bar

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Koh Samui’s Fishermen Village Debuts New Beach Bar - TRAVELINDEXKoh Samui, Thailand, September 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / After the island’s discovery more than a century ago, stories of fishermen, sailors, and sea traders who found the island as a harbour against monsoons and high seas live on in the local folklore. A.Shore at Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort, the latest addition to Koh Samui’s vibrant beach life, takes inspiration from this alluring blend of heritage, the stunning Gulf of Siam coastline and rustic aesthetics of the neighbouring fishermen’s village.

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A.Shore Beach Bar is a haven where the islands trendsetters can find refuge and relax with a glass of a refreshing beverage and a plate of simple, wholesome food. Putting a 21st century spin on the idea of a tropical paradise, the rustic looking bar is peppered with Instagram-friendly spots, the furniture and furnishings are made from reclaimed wood, including a boat that before getting a new lease on life as a glamourous beach sofa was a hard-working fishing vessel. Set on a whitewashed deck, swings, beanbags and beach beds create an inviting display against the shimmering backdrop of Bophut’s stunning white sand beach.

Matching the décor, the menu is stylish yet informal and centres on the rustic Mediterranean fare with Asian influences. For lunch, think light appetisers, flavoursome main courses, and various grilled fish and seafood ideally suited to be enjoyed in a stunning open-air setting. Featuring signature dishes such as a fresh Samui Seafood Platter, Guacamole Ciabattas or a Tofu Satay Baguette. Cool down with refreshing drinks such as the A.Shore signature cocktail Sabai Sabai, which includes Mekhong whiskey, sweet basil leaves, lime juice, ginger ale, Angostura bitter and syrup. Kids can also enjoy a Unicorn Loaded Shake – a bubblegum flavoured milkshake topped with candy canes, sprinkles and whipped cream.

As the day progresses and guests settle into sumptuous beanbags, sunset-coloured Sangria in hand, the upbeat tunes and soft roll of the waves start humming in perfect unison. A.Shore promises varied music programming with guest DJs – guaranteed to ensure time spent with family and friends is worth every second. For those who prefer to simply kick back with a drink and trade stories, there are sundowner sessions, guest bartender days, as well as local collaborations for art and culinary experiences that will support the local artisan community.

Discover the World’s Best Luxury Hotels and Prestigious Hotel Awards in Koh Samui and Thailand at

Come for the swing, stay for the beach bar – located on the shore of Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort, A.Shore Beach Bar is open every day from 10.00 am until sundown.

About Anantara Hotels & Resorts
Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences.

From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travellers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise. The portfolio currently boasts over 35 stunning properties located in Thailand, the Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zambia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Portugal, with a pipeline of future properties across Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East, Africa and South America.

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First published at – Global Travel News

TAT Spread Happiness & Built Confidence for Tourists & Communities with Happy Paradise Campaign

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TAT Spread Happiness & Built Confidence for Tourists & Communities with Happy Paradise Campaign - TRAVELINDEXThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) launched the Happy Paradise Campaign to present tourism products and services, bringing impressions and new experiences to tourists in the Phuket Sandbox programme through the Happy Paradise Campaign while supporting the local communities and local culture.

Giving Happy Paradise Welcome Kit & Happy Paradise Souvenir to the Phuket Sandbox Tourists.

The reopening program of the pilot provinces to welcome back international visitors started with the Phuket Sandbox programme on the past July 1, 2021. To July 31, 2021, there are about 14,000 tourists in the Phuket Sandbox programme which generates more than 829-million-baht income. In order to bring impressions to tourists and support the communities, TAT has launched the Happy Paradise Campaign to welcome tourists back, bringing impressions and confidence in traveling in Thailand, as well as spreading income to southern local communities and tourism entrepreneurs in the Sealed Routes: Phuket, Krabi, Phang-nga, Ko Samui, Ko Tao, and Ko Pha-Ngan.

Happy Paradise by TAT Tourism Authority of ThailandThe Happy Paradise Campaign presents tourism products and services while attaching importance to establishments awarded the safety and health standard under the SHA+ symbol through various Happy Paradise activities. One of the activities is giving 1,000 Happy Paradise Welcome Kits to international visitors who arrived in Phuket on 12-14 August 2021. The welcome kit consists of the Tourism Ambassador 2021 Special Edition badge and the Journal Book. Tourists can get a special discount by showing the badge to participating establishments in the Sealed Routes.

Moreover, all tourists who stay in SHA+ hotels are also given the Happy Paradise Souvenirs which are a unique local product from southern communities:

1. Manorah beaded keychain from Phatthalung,
2. Pandanus phone bag from Krabi,
3. Batik notebook from Phuket,
4. Rubber tree phone/picture holder from Trang,
5. Batik pants from Phuket,
6. Batik mat from Krabi,
7. Batik face mask with pearls straps from Phuket, and
8. Batik face mask with Manorah beads straps from Phatthalung.

Happy Paradise by TAT Tourism Authority of ThailandThe Happy Paradise activity also includes the shows to spread local southern culture through the Manorah Dance and Ron Rae Dance. The shows was held on 18-23 August, 2021, at the designated hotels. Last but not least, the Happy Paradise Campaign holds an online activity for tourists to participate in. Check into tourist attractions in Phuket, take photos of the Happy Paradise souvenir, and post it on social media with the hashtag #ThailandHappyParadise to get a chance to win prizes.

TAT is confident that the Happy Paradise Campaign will be another factor to help support and recover Thailand’s tourism industry, as well as generating income under a performance that focuses on safe tourism and helping the communities to stay strong.

Follow news and additional details about the campaign at:

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First published at – Global Travel News

PATA Announces PATA Gold Awards Winners

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PATA Announces PATA Gold Awards Winners

Bangkok, Thailand, September 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) today announced the winners of the PATA Gold Awards 2021. Proudly supported and sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) for the last 26 years, this year’s awards recognise the achievements of 20 organisations and individuals.

PATA presented 18 Gold Awards to such organisations as the Catalan Tourist Board, Designated Areas for Sustainable Development Administration (DASTA); Galaxy Entertainment Group, Hong Kong Tourism Board, Korea Tourism Organization, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Meridian Adventure Dive Resort, MGM China, Outrigger Hospitality Group, Plaza Premium Group, SriLankan Airlines Ltd., Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Ayala Land, Inc. – Ten Knots Group, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tourism Malaysia, and TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd.

Under the guidance of PATA headquarters, 18 independent judges from around the world selected the winners of the 18 Gold Awards and two Grand Title Winners. The winners were announced during the Online PATA Gold Awards Presentation earlier today.

Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of MGTO, said, “Amid the global disruption we are living due to the pandemic, the outstanding initiatives in tourism marketing and sustainability of this year’s PATA Gold Awards winners are a beacon of light for the industry. Congratulations to all winners for keeping up the spirit of innovation in these trying times. Macao is honored to maintain its long-standing support to this PATA initiative and contribute to help rebuild a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry.”

PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera added, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to extend our sincerest congratulations to all PATA Gold Award winners and Grand Title winners, and I would also like to thank all of this year’s participants. The achievements of this year’s winners will hopefully inspire and encourage our industry to create new responsible and sustainable initiatives as we look towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a pleasure to celebrate their accomplishments live during the online PATA Gold Awards Presentation.”

The PATA Grand Title Winners were presented to outstanding entries in two principal categories: Marketing, and Sustainability and Social Responsibility.

The Macao Government Tourism Office USA Representative Office, Macao, China received the PATA Gold Award 2021 Grand Title in Marketing for its “Dream Now and Travel Later” campaign. In response to the global pandemic that caused a -93% of YOY decrease in visitor arrivals to Macao from 2019 to 2020, the Macao Government Tourism Office USA Representative Office (MGTO-USA) launched the “Dream Now and Travel Later” integrated campaign series in the fall of 2020, which consisted of the concepts of East Meets West and Macao Makes it to GIPHY with a goal to inspire consumers to “Dream Now and Travel Later.” The campaigns launched across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, inclusive of influencer partnerships, paid partnership with a third-party media platform, social media sweepstakes, content creation and management, and community engagement. Initially conceptualized in 2019, both campaign concepts required immediate reconsideration and redirection in order to compensate for the changing marketplace.

The Grand Title in Sustainability and Social Responsibility was presented to Cinnamon Hotel Management Ltd, Sri Lanka for its “Cinnamon Travel Pledge”. As a company that has always been guided by the values of caring, trust, and integrity, Cinnamon Hotel Management sought a way to be an effective support for the front-line employees and the country and bring a silver lining to this dark time in history. The Cinnamon Travel Pledge is a way of saying ‘Thank You’ to the brave front line workforce and appreciating their dedication and sacrifice with a getaway that gives them the chance to reconnect with their families and uplift their mindset.

Open to both PATA and non-PATA members, this year’s Awards attracted a total of 113 entries from 51 travel and tourism organisations and individuals.

PATA Grand Title Winner 2021

Dream Now and Travel Later
Macao Government Tourism Office USA Representative Office, Macao, China

Sustainability and Social Responsibility
Cinnamon Travel Pledge
Cinnamon Hotel Management Ltd, Sri Lanka

PATA Gold Award Winners 2021

Marketing Campaign (National – Asia)
Special Tourist Visa (STV)
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Thailand

Marketing Campaign (State and City – Global)
360 Hong Kong Moments – Great Outdoors
Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong SAR

Marketing – Carrier
SriLankan Airlines Ltd., Sri Lanka

Marketing – Hospitality
The Outrigger Promise
Outrigger Hospitality Group, USA

Marketing – Industry
Plaza Premium Group – Build Back Better
Plaza Premium Group, Hong Kong SAR

Digital Marketing Campaign
Legends of Catalonia
Catalan Tourist Board, Spain

Printed Marketing Campaign
Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia

Travel Video
A Glimpse into Meridian Adventure Dive Resort – Raja Ampat
Meridian Adventure Dive Resort, Indonesia

Travel Photograph
The sunset view of Jingzaijiao Tile-paved Salt Fields
Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Chinese Taipei

Destination Article
Georgia, queen of the desert
Catherine Marshall, Australia

Business Article
TTG Asia July 2020: Loyalty wars
TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd, Singapore

Climate Change Initiative
Above & Beyond – Melco’s Sustainability Strategy
Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Macao, China

Corporate Social Responsibility
Be GREEN and GREAT in the time of COVID-19
Ayala Land, Inc. – Ten Knots Group, Philippines

Community Based Tourism
Tour Dure
Korea Tourism Organization, Korea (ROK)

Galaxy Entertainment Group – Promoting Cultural Tourism through our Foundation
Galaxy Entertainment Group, Macao, China

Langkawi Development Authority (LADA), Malaysia

PATA Gold Award 2021
Youth Empowerment Initiative
MGM Youth Empowerment and Engagement Initiative
MGM China, Macao, China

PATA Gold Award 2021
Human Capital Development Initiative
DASTA CBT Integrated Curriculum
Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), Thailand

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 more than 650 member organisations, including 82 government, state and city tourism bodies, 14 international airlines and airports, 71 hospitality organisations and 75 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 official offices or representation in Beijing and London.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Aquela Golf and Country Club Phang-Nga Opens

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Aquela Golf and Country Club Phang-Nga Opens

Phang-Nga, Thailand, September 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Aquella Golf and Country Club, a luxurious golf course overlooking the Andaman coastline, forming the center piece of the Aquella masterplan development, a short drive north of Phuket International Airport, the luxurious development will feature lavish pool villas, an18-hole championship golf course and clubhouse boasting first class integrated leisure facilities. Future development phases will see a 5star resort hotel and condominiums, along with other residential leisure facilities, such as tennis and spas that will make Aquella the place to live and enjoy leisure time in the region. Aquella affords incredible vistas of the pristine Thai Muang beachfront and turquoise Andaman Sea that stretches 2.5km along the property.

Discover Thailand and the World’s Best Golf Courses at Top 25 Golf Courses.

Aquella Golf & Country Club, a par-72, 7,000+ yard golf course, that will showcase championship standard playing conditions and unrivalled services year-round. Without doubt, a true heaven-on-earth for golfers wishing to experience the best, that is sure to become a bucket list course for any passionate golfer visiting Thailand. Designed by Phil Ryan & Paul Reeves of Australian architecture firm – Pacific Course Design who utilised the land to provide golfers with an eclectic mix and variety of holes combining strategy and power. Sculpted to take in panoramic views of the Andaman Sea and nearby mountains, combined with narrow rolling fairways intersected by natural waterways and strategically placed bunkers, featuring striking bunker faces forged out of vintage wooden railway sleepers, it is sure to leave all golfer with lasting memories.

James Shippey, Managing Director of Absolute Golf Services the Thai based management group engaged to provide management services for the newly opened club said “It’s with great pride that we see all the hard work of the various stakeholders come together to form a truly amazing facility. We look forward to working with the team on the ground to continue to push operational boundaries to establish Aquella amongst the best in the region, not only in terms of golf course conditioning and playability, but the absolute focus on the delivery of service excellence. We see Aquella being one of the jewels in the crown of our management portfolio.”

Aquella is also graced by an outstandingly elegant clubhouse that allows you to sit back and relax in sumptuous comfort. The innovative inspiration of world-leading architects, Paradise Designs, blends authentic wood and modern styling, finished to the highest of standards thus ensuring all are captivated by the warmth of the Aquella welcome and offerings. Adorned by a rich variety of blooms and plants, the landscape offers the pleasant and cozy atmosphere of a luxurious country club for golfers and guests to relax and rejuvenate during and after a round or a meal in the restaurant.

Furthermore, Aquella boasts a fully equipped driving range with 20 undercover bays featuring automated ball dispensers, along with a grass tee, a fun and challenging mini golf course, again crafted by Pacific Coast Design. Within the clubhouse you will have the opportunity to work on your fitness in the state-of-the-art Gymnasium, pamper yourself in the luxurious Spa, enjoy casual and fine dining at the Approach Restaurant, all of which afford vistas overlook the golf course. Aquella also caters for banquets on a purpose-built function lawn and VIP meetings within its high-tech conference facilities.

General Manager Simon Mees said “We are ready to welcome both domestic and international golfers when the current situation allows, and I am sure that those who visit will be thoroughly impressed by the course and its ancillary facilities. Together with AGS we have implemented some unique touch points for Thailand, such as Visage GPS on all carts and a visitor cashless passport system. We are dedicated to providing a guest experience that will truly set us apart and make Aquella a market leader as we continue to develop and enhance our product and the services we offer”

Discover Thailand and the World’s Best Golf Courses at Top 25 Golf Courses.

The Aquella development is a collaboration between two leading Hong Kong development companies – Pacific Century Premium Developments (PCPD) and the Lan Kwai Fong Group (LKF). Aquella Golf & Country Club is managed and operated by Absolute Golf Services (AGS), a leading golf course management and consultancy company in Asia.

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First published at – Global Travel News

PATA Gold Award Winners to be Announced Live September 8

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PATA Gold Award Winners to be Announced Live September 8 - TRAVELINDEX - VISITMACAO.orgMacao, Macao SAR, September 6, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will be announcing the winners of the 2021 PATA Gold Awards live on September 8, 2021.

Supported and sponsored since 1995 by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), this year’s awards will recognise the achievements of 18 Gold Awards and two Grand Title Winners during the virtual 2021 PATA Gold Awards Presentation on Wednesday, September 8 at 12.30 pm Macao, China time (GMT+8).

The winners were chosen by an independent judging committee of 18 select travel industry peers from around the world.

Ms Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of MGTO, said, ““In these challenging times due to the pandemic, the best practices in tourism marketing and sustainability to be unveiled by the PATA Gold Awards are even more deserving of our attention as they show the tourism industry at its best. I look forward to seeing you join us at this year’s virtual ceremony to announce the list of awardees live. Macao is honoured to continue its long-standing support to PATA and contribute to rebuild a more sustainable tourism industry.”

PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera said, “The winners of the PATA Gold Awards set industry standards for excellence and innovation and provides the Association with the perfect opportunity to recognise and reward the very best the Asia Pacific travel industry has to offer. I encourage all industry stakeholders to join us in celebrating the achievements of all the winners and be inspired by their accomplishments. In addition, we are sincerely grateful to MGTO for once again sponsoring the PATA Gold Awards 2021 and for their continued commitment to a responsible and sustainable tourism industry.”

PATA will present 18 Gold Awards and two Grand Title Winners for best of show entries in Marketing, and Sustainability and Social Responsibility.

All interested parties can register for the event at

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First published at – Global Travel News

Bangkok Iconic Shopping Centers Reopen

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Bangkok Iconic Shopping Centers Reopen

Bangkok, Thailand, September 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Shopping centers now reopen, according to Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)’s ease of business restrictions so that people can restore their normal lives as close to normal as possible. OneSiam – the synergy of Siam Paragon Siam Center and Siam Discovery together with ICONSIAM and their tenants now open under strict preventive pandemic  control measures as well as health screening 100 percent of the staffs before resuming their operation. These stringent measures are to ensure utmost confidence to retail businesses in the shopping centers, tenants, staff and customers. The reopening is rolled out under “One Smile Forward” concept – that all of us will move forward, to embrace this new normal together.

Siam Paragon Siam Center and Siam Discovery together with ICONSIAM have taken hygiene and health safety measures our top priorities and has been taken proactive measures to the highest level, applied to  both our staffs and visitors. The shopping centers’ operation has been strictly carried under the guidelines by the Department of Disease Control and the Ministry of Public Health since the early spread of Covid-1 in 2020. The reopening is also operated under maximum preventive pandemic control measures and stringent staff screening before the official reopening, to reassure visitors’ utmost safety.

Naratipe Ruttapradid, Senior Executive Vice President – Operation, Siam Piwat Co., Ltd, said “Siam Paragon Siam Center, Siam Discovery and ICONSIAM now open under the highest level of sanitization and health safety measures, in compliance with guidance from CCSA to curb the  so that businesses are able to reopen safely and sustainably. We are implementing Covid-Free Setting Protocol to ensure best safety to our staffs and visitors. Our measures include stringent staff screening before resuming their operations. All staffs on duties must be vaccinated and tested negative with the antigen test kit, Thai Safe Thai platform registration, staffs must wear protective face masks at all time and strictly follow D-M-H-T-T rules (Distancing, Mask wearing, Hand washing, Testing, and using the Thai Chana app). Individual retail setting and food operators must complete self-assessment for Thai Stop Covid+ standard as instructed by the Ministry of Public Health.

The operation system is effectively maintained such as sanitizing the air cooling, air ventilation system,  water quality control, proactive big cleaning with disinfectant spray in the public areas and in the shops. Frequent touch points are sanitized every 30 minutes. Car park cards are cleaned after each use to ensure maximum hygiene and safety for both staffs and customers.

For visitors, we recommend they strictly adhere to the hygienic measures to best safeguard themselves including check-in and check-out via Thai Chana platform in comply with CCSA’s guideline. Visitors must wear facemasks at all time and follow the shopping centers’ mandatory such as frequent use of hand sanitizer, health screening at the checkpoint, safeguard themselves and use cashless or E-payment system for safety and convenience.

Additional facilities are on offered. Touchless Building Facilities are installed such as automatic parking entrance without having to receive car park card, automatic parking fee payment is an option for customers who prefer cashless service over paying cash at the exit, automatic hand sanitizers in the properties and elevators and for the restrooms – taps, toilets, and hand sop dispensers are automatic.

“We strictly comply to CCSA’s regulations at the maximum levels to leverage our hygiene and health safety measures to the highest levels, to ensure safe journeys to all visitors. We would like to be a part to support the government in encouraging Thai people to strictly safeguard themselves according to the measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, to steer our country out of the crisis,” said Naratipe.

Siam Piwat is confident that OneSiam – the synergy of Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery together with ICONSIAM are more than ready to serves our customers under the most stringent levels of hygiene and health safety. We want to bring back happiness and smiles to everyone. The reopening, under the government’s announcement, is under the concept “One Smile Forward.” Indulging promotion campaigns for shoppers are also on offer, to bring happiness, good experienced and smiles to all, from this moment on.

The operation hour (until further notice)
ICONSIAM: 11.00 -20.00 hrs.
For more information, please call 1338
Siam Paragon, Siam Center and Siam Discovery
Monday – Friday: 11.00 -20.00 hrs.
Saturday – Sunday: 10.00 -20.00 hrs
Gourmet Market at Siam Paragon: opens daily 10.00 -20.00 hrs

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First published at – Global Travel News

Centara EarthCare Announced as GSTC-Recognized Standard

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Centara EarthCare Announced as GSTC-Recognized Standard

Bangkok, Thailand, August 31, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is pleased to announce that the Centara EarthCare has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status. Centara Hotels & Resorts is a Thai leading hotel operator with 48 properties throughout the Kingdom of Thailand, and 36 properties overseas including the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, China, Japan, Oman, Qatar, Cambodia, Turkey, Indonesia and the UAE. There are six different brands within Centara.

The Centara EarthCare is Centara’s internal sustainability standard, used by the group’s hotels and resorts for adherence to sustainable practices based on the GSTC Criteria. For tracking, measuring and improving in areas of environmental sustainability and social responsibility at property or multi-site level, Centara is using the Greenview Portal, which is a GSTC-Recognized System. The platform allows Centara to track, benchmark, report and improve on various aspects of environmental and social performance.

By 2025, Centara aims to have 100% of its properties certified as sustainable by accredited certification bodies, further demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to long-term sustainability.

“By adopting sustainable, green practices, we are actively choosing to be more aware of our environmental impact. This not only protects the natural surroundings that enhance the guest experience in so many of the locations where we operate, it also creates long-term benefits for the company, our customers and our employees. Setting long-term sustainability goals allows us to incorporate green practices into our identity and ensures that all our stakeholders are aligned with Centara’s values and vision for a more mindful, ecologically conscious future,” said Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts.

The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself and means that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards are based on the 4 pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Environment, Social, Cultural, and Management principles. This does not relate to the process of certification, nor to accreditation.

“Centara is the first Asian hospitality group to formally incorporate the GSTC Criteria in its internal sustainability system, along with long-term sustainability plans and goals, applying meaningful sustainability practices into their management approaches. We are proud to formally confirm Centara EarthCare’s compliance with the GSTC Criteria by undergoing the process of GSTC Recognition,” says Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC. “By using GSTC-Recognized systems, hotel and tourism companies are able to embed the GSTC Criteria, which includes the full range of environmental and social considerations specifically developed for the tourism sector, throughout their management processes and set them on the path of continuous improvement and towards third-party external certification.”

Currently, 11 destination standards, 34 hotel standards, and 15 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market a proof that these standards adhere to international norms. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparent, and rigor. List of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.

About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; but it accredits those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including UN agencies, NGO’s, national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

About Centara Hotels & Resorts
Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading hotel operator. Its 84 properties span all major Thai destinations plus the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, China, Japan, Oman, Qatar, Cambodia, Turkey, Indonesia and the UAE. Centara’s portfolio comprises six brands – Centara Reserve, Centara Grand Hotels & Resorts, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Centara Boutique Collection, Centra by Centara and COSI Hotels – ranging from luxury island retreats and upscale family resorts to affordable lifestyle concepts supported by innovative technology. The group’s newest Centara Reserve brand was unveiled in 2020 as an experiential luxury collection, inviting guests to discover a new era of story-driven hospitality starting with Centara Reserve Samui.

Centara also operates state-of-the-art convention centres and has its own award-winning spa brand, Cenvaree. Throughout the collection, Centara delivers and celebrates the hospitality and values Thailand is famous for including gracious service, exceptional food, pampering spas and the importance of families. Centara’s distinctive culture and diversity of formats allow it to serve and satisfy travellers of nearly every age and lifestyle.

Over the next five years Centara aims to become a top 100 global hotel group, while spreading its footprint into new continents and market niches. As Centara continues to expand, a growing base of loyal customers will find the company’s unique style of hospitality in more locations. Centara’s global loyalty programme, Centara The1, reinforces their loyalty with rewards, privileges and special member pricing.



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First published at – Global Travel News