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In Canada Doctors Can Now Prescribe a Visit to a National Park

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In Canada Doctors Can Now Prescribe a Visit to a National Park - TRAVELINDEXVancouver, British Columbia, Canada, February 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / A walk in the park may be just what the doctor ordered. A new program launched last month in Canada gives some doctors the option of providing patients with a free annual pass to the country’s national parks as part of an effort to increase access to nature and the health benefits to be found outside.

PaRx, a health initiative launched by the BC Parks Foundation in 2019, partnered with Parks Canada to provide doctors across four provinces with an initial run of 100 passes that can be prescribed, The Washington Post reported. The typical park prescription program allows doctors to write more general prescriptions for time spent out in nature; two hours a week, at least 20 minutes at a time, is what PaRx director Dr. Melissa Lem suggests, according to the Post.

This is the first time that year-long passes to national parks have been available under the program, the outlet reported.

“Given the growing body of evidence that indicates nature time can improve all kinds of different physical and mental health conditions, we’re hoping that our PaRx program not only improves patient health, but reduces costs to the healthcare system, and helps to grow the number of people who are more engaged environmental advocates,” Prama Rahman, a coordinator for the BC Parks Foundation’s Healthy By Nature Program, told NPR in an email.

It’s a unique concept, one that’s been taking off locally as well as abroad. In the U.S., a group of parks professionals, health care providers, and community leaders worked together to form the National ParkRx Initiative around 10 years ago. The movement still lives on via ParkRx, its website and online resource for information on park prescriptions and the health benefits of nature.

Research has long pointed to the mental and physical health benefits of spending time outdoors. A 2019 study concluded that those who spent between 120 minutes or more outside per week reported positive effects on their general health and well-being when compared to those who didn’t get outside at all.

Doctors have been catching on; more and more providers have been instructing their patients to turn to nature to improve their health and they’re getting creative in how they do it.

Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician based in Washington, D.C., began prescribing accessible outdoor activities for his young patients and even created a searchable online database of local parks to make it easier, NPR reported in 2014.

But getting outside isn’t always as easy as it might sound. Income can affect one’s access to nature, an issue that PaRx is trying to address in Canada. Doctors utilizing the new national parks pass program are urged to prioritize patients who might not otherwise be able to afford these passes, The Post reported.

While only 100 adult discovery passes – which gives holders access to more than 80 national parks, historic sites and nature reserves – have initially been made available, organizers plan to routinely reassess this number as the program grows, the BC Parks Foundation told NPR.

First published at NPR

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Travel and Rewards Cryptocurrency Company Raises Millions

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Travel and Rewards Cryptocurrency Company Raises Millions - - TRAVELINDEXAnchorage, Alaska, United States, February 14, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / FlyCoin, Inc., a cryptocurrency-based travel rewards technology company announces today the closing of their oversubscribed $33 million seed round. FlyCoin’s revolutionary technology infrastructure provides companies in the consumer loyalty space – including travel and hospitality, insurance and benefits, financial services, and more, with a powerful, turnkey solution to incentivize users in a more customer-centric way. Users can earn FlyCoin’s newly minted token, FLY, reward that appreciates in value, doesn’t expire, is easily transferable, and has an abundance of redemption options.

The round was led by Josh Jones, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and Bitcoin pioneer, best known for founding Bitcoin Builder in 2012. In addition to his role as FlyCoin’s Board Chairman and anchor investor, Mr. Jones will oversee the development of FlyCoin’s technology platform. Other investors in this Seed round include Michael Blend (CEO & Co-Founder of System1), Bill Foley (Chairman of Fidelity National Financial, Dun & Bradstreet, and Cannae Holdings), TenOneTen Ventures, 8VC, Liquid 2, and Gaingels.

“The travel and rewards industry will exceed 1.4 trillion dollars by 2023. With figures like those, it’s time to bring smarter rewards to the people who make the industry as successful as it is: the travelers. FlyCoin is the next generation of digital rewards, and the evolution of a decades-old industry; one that is past due for a digital transformation.” stated Josh Jones.

FlyCoin’s partners include Ravn Alaska and Northern Pacific Airways (“NP”). Ravn Alaska is a regional airline currently operating flights within the state of Alaska, where travelers can already start earning FLY on all paid flights with the airline.

“The rewards and benefits industry, across verticals, has remained stagnant and limited with how it has been rewarding customer loyalty, until today.” explains Lenny Moon, CEO of FlyCoin. “FlyCoin is progressing the industry forward by rewarding customers with a cryptocurrency where the issuer can not dictate the rules of expiration or intentionally depreciate its value. We are grateful for the engaged support from our investor base. We plan to aggressively build out the platform and secure additional partners to start growing the FLY ecosystem.”

“At FlyCoin, we’re transforming the loyalty and rewards space with ‘crypto-as-a-service’ and a SaaS solution for easy implementation” added Tom Hsieh, Co-Founder & President of FlyCoin.

FLY tokens are minted on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC-20 protocol, with a fixed supply of 100 billion. FLY is currently not tradeable on the cryptocurrency exchanges, but plans to initiate its tradability on the various cryptocurrency exchanges in 2022.

About FlyCoin, Inc.
FlyCoin represents the evolution of loyalty programs where the Company has applied the principles of cryptocurrency and blockchain to create a new kind of loyalty program that is free from the limitations of today’s programs. Set to launch in Q3 of 2022, the release of the FlyCoin consumer-facing app and API for partnership integrations will be released.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Golf Clubs Are Using Technology for Members Safety and Income Boost

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Golf Clubs Are Using Technology for Members Safety and Income Boost - - TRAVELINDEXBucks, United Kingdom, January 16, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Technology is helping golf clubs connect and recover. It wasn’t too long ago when the words “our members won’t/don’t use apps” came from the lips of many a club manager. But now it is a different story. With the advent of COVID-19 and social distancing being the norm, at least for the time being, many managers are turning to technology to help them do more with their precious resources.

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With limited time and staff, general managers need to be able to quickly reconnect to their members, efficiently communicate and start the process of recovery. And they need to be able to all three quickly.

This where the technology we all have in our pockets becomes a very valuable resource to clubs:


In this rapidly changing environment where rules are being adjust almost daily, traditional methods – email, club notice board (defunct atm), letter – is either too slow, out of reach or they just plain don’t read them.

Even the new option of social media has its limits as it still requires your members to actively go and check.

As the general manager, this makes you and your team’s lives harder as your members don’t all know the new rules, what’s happening and how to behaviour (distancing, where to park, etc) and have to spend time painstakingly explaining this to them – from a safe distance of course!

This is where mobile app technology can remove this burden by allowing managers, even from the comfort of their own homes, to quickly and easily communicate directly to their members giving them instant updates, pointing them in right direction and keeping their members abreast of the club’s news and new rules.

Online Bookings

It is essential that you have your players turn up appropriately and not be queued in the pro shop/reception!

Via a club app, like CourseMate, allowing members to access your online bookings allow you to organise the number of available slots in any given day, reduce bottlenecks and minimise “misunderstandings” without having members popping into your office.

Have a last minute slot available? Then sending out a push notification will soon get that place filled!

It also makes it very easy and convenient for your members & visitors, especially if you have more than one booking system (or a member system plus a booking system) because you can centralise these in one place and not get your golfers to download half a dozen different apps or scour your website to find the correct page.

This applies to booking in matches or checking out their personal golfing accounts with systems like Handicapmaster, Master Scorecard, HDID, Golf Genius, etc.

Technology is now the new norm, isn’t it time you made your life (and your member’s life’s) easier to book, set up games and to check out your playing history?

Keeping Golfers Safe Out On The Course

Paper scorecards are the traditional method of keeping your scores but now with social distancing and transference of the virus digital scorecards are now the way forward.

By using digital scorecards along with online booking, it promotes car park golf in the short term, where players turn up, change their shoes, get on the course and play.

Organisers can run events and competitions remotely via the cloud and players can enter their scores via apps, taking the whole process away from physical scorecards and points of contact. There are a number of established companies that will help you do just this.

Again you don’t have to get your members to download a dozen different apps either, with a good club app like CourseMate, you can centralise them making convenient and easy for all.

Food & Beverage

With digital F&B menus it is easy to create temporary menus to suit the current situation and to update them as the season continues (not to mention the cost saving and time required on the printed versions)

Like scorecards, removing the paper element from the equation ensures that members are kept safe from any transference, no matter how small the risk is, and maintains social distancing keeping both staff and golfers safe.

It is not just the ease of creating a reduced menu and updating it, but using the technology that comes as standard with mobile phones, members can call for their food in advance ensuring it is ready for their arrival; reducing waiting times, unnecessary contact and providing another source of revenue. If your POS system allows online ordering, again this can be used for the same purpose.

For clubs that have a halfway house players can call in advance for “grab and go”. Allowing staff to put out drinks/quick food options in advance.

Offer take home meals – Members can place order prior to finishing their round so everything is ready by the time they finish their golf allowing them to take home a delicious meal for the entire family.

Discover the World’s Best Golf Courses at TOP25 Golf Courses.

About CourseMate Golf Club App
CourseMate keeps your members happy with clear club communications, centralisation of current systems and allows you to stay easily connected to them whilst still allowing you to market to visitors, grow your data base and increase revenues across the venue.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Dorchester Collection Names New General Manager for Hotel Eden

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Dorchester Collection Names New General Manager for Hotel Eden

Rome, Italy, January 9, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Dorchester Collection announces the appointment of Mirko Cattini as general manager of Rome’s Hotel Eden, starting from 14 February 2022. He will be taking over from Luca Virgilio, who is moving to London in January 2022 as general manager of The Dorchester.

With over 20 years’ experience in luxury hotels and resorts in the UK, Europe and Asia, Italian-born Mirko is currently the hotel manager of The Dorchester, London – a position he has held for over three years.

Previous roles include executive positions at the Corinthia Hotel, London; Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore; Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu; and Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok.

Mirko has diplomas in hospitality management from the Hotel and Catering International Management Association and Como’s Hotel School of Catering, and has completed both Cornell University’s and Cranfield School of Management’s general manager programmes.

Christopher Cowdray, chief executive officer of Dorchester Collection, said: ‘We are delighted to promote Mirko to manage one of Rome’s most renowned hotels near the top of the Spanish Steps with its spectacular panorama and authentic Italian charm. Mirko has proven to be an impactful leader at The Dorchester and we know that his skills and expertise will further enhance the legendary Hotel Eden.’

Commenting on his new role, Mirko said: ‘I am looking forward to returning to my home country and leading a team dedicated to elevated experiences in a hotel with such storied heritage and social vibrancy. We will work together to bring many memorable moments to our guests and employees.’

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First published at – Global Travel News

Quinta do Lago Recognised with IAGTO Sustainability Award

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Quinta do Lago Recognised with IAGTO Sustainability Award

Almancil, Portugal, January 9, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Quinta do Lago has enhanced its reputation as a global leader for golf sustainability after being named as the recipient of the 2021 International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency.

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Europe’s premier golf and lifestyle resort claimed the honour for the first time in its prestigious history for the “significant strides” it has made in resource management across materials, water and energy.

Delivered in partnership with the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) Foundation for Sustainable Golf, the awards recognise the sustainability work of golf facilities worldwide. Currently in their eighth year, they acknowledge the high performance and commitment across three core areas of sustainability – nature, resources and community.

Announcing this year’s winners, the judging panel singled Quinta do Lago out for special praise for its outstanding work in reducing its areas of maintained turf, investment in an upgraded irrigation system and its use of recycled water combine to maximise efficiency. In addition, the resort was further praised for its investment in a fully electric fleet of golf carts and hybrid golf course maintenance equipment and worked with local government to trial and develop renewable energy solutions.

Sean Moriarty, chief executive of Quinta do Lago, said: “The subject of sustainability in golf has never been more important, and to be recognised for the work that the resort is doing towards this is a great honour and very satisfying.

“We have always been a resort driven by nature with an environmental focus and have a long-term commitment to being a high-profile champion of sustainability.

“As a resort, we are united in our approach to supporting nature and our communities – conserving resources at the same time – and the great thing about golf is that it can be a leader in so many ways; from eco-system services, conservation of wildlife and health and well-being for all ages to creating jobs and adding value to the economy through local supply chains.”

Peter Walton, chief executive of IAGTO, said: “While the golf tourism industry was focused on coping with and recovering from pandemic-related travel restrictions, it was great to see so many golf courses take this time to review their sustainability programs, and in many cases take them to another level. This year, more than ever, I’ve been blown away by the ingenuity and real dedication that so many golf courses continue to demonstrate.”

Nestling in the heart of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago has always been passionate about the environment – only nine per cent of the resort has been developed with the rest devoted to golf, water and lakes and green spaces.

Working closely with the GEO and following its ‘On Course’ environmental stewardship programme, Quinta do Lago launched a multi-tiered eco-strategy with three key aims: to foster nature, conserve resources and support the community.

As well as improving sustainability on its three 18-hole championship courses, the acclaimed Portuguese venue adopted an enhanced approach to conservation across other business sectors of the resort including at its world-class sports hub The Campus, The Magnolia Hotel, its 13 bars and restaurants and general resort services.

At the forefront of Quinta do Lago’s green initiatives has been the €7m renovation of its South Course, an eight-time host of the Portuguese Open and recently named as ‘Portugal’s Best Golf Course’ at the World Golf Awards.

Among the improvements made, all of the layouts’ fairways, bunkers, tees and green surrounds received an upgrade, with subtle changes also being made to a number of holes to enhance the golfing experience.

Sustainability was a goal throughout the project, with Quinta do Lago golf course superintendent Mark Tupling and his team operating in tandem with the GEO and local non-profit company VitaNativa to record and enhance environmental stewardship across the golf courses. Water management was a key element of the changes made with new irrigation pumps being installed along with enhancements to the existing system – giving greater control and saving precious resources.

In addition, a planting scheme introducing native plants in and around the golf courses to control and remove invasive exotic species; building ‘bug hotels’ for insects – helping to control garden pests so reducing the use of insecticides – increasing the number of bird-nesting boxes and constructing bee houses; removing single-use plastics at its restaurants; and using a new fleet of electric golf buggies across the resort are among the other initiatives to be introduced to help conserve resources.

Quinta do Lago created its own farm in 2019 to provide its restaurants with homegrown organic produce, while further measures to help foster nature include the placing information boards on the golf courses and nearby nature trails advising people of the wildlife living nearby.

As one of the biggest employers in the Almancil area with more than 500 staff employed throughout the year, the resort also appreciates the importance of supporting the local community in its new eco-strategy.

As well as offering affordable golf to juniors taking up the game and support in playing regional and national tournaments, a series of other events and activities will be available including guided nature walks through the golf courses, educational trips to the resort farm and working closely with the animals living in and around the resort.

Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park and just a 15-minute drive from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of Europe’s elite golf, sports and family destinations for nearly five decades and features a combination of world-class golf and lifestyle facilities.

As well as three 18-hole championship golf courses – the South Course, North Course and Laranjal – and outstanding practice facilities, guests can enjoy an array of sports at the state-of-the-art performance centre The Campus, a world-class sports hub designed for professionals and amateurs alike to train and live well.

Complementing the facilities is a choice of 13 first-class bars and restaurants that deliver a range of delicious world cuisines, including the acclaimed Bovino Steakhouse and UMAMI – the resort’s first Asian restaurant which opened in May – with accommodation at the boutique The Magnolia Hotel.

Discover the Portugal’s and the World’s Best Golf Courses at TOP25 Golf Courses.

About Quinta do Lago
Since its inception in 1972, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of international golf, hosting eight Portuguese Opens as well as numerous other international tournaments. Home to three world-class golf courses, the resort also boasts a wealth of cutting-edge practice facilities.

– Quinta do Lago North Course – Opening in October 2014, the totally revamped North Course has been redeveloped by renowned American golf architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with 2014 European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and is set to become one of the new stars of European golf. The new layout has been built to the highest specifications with a €9.6m investment programme and has been redeveloped with the emphasis firmly on precision and strategy. While many modern-day developments tend to focus on length, Welling and McGinley have been keen to design a golfing experience where accuracy and course management are the key factors, and a course that is playable and fun for golfers of all abilities.
– Quinta do Lago South Course – A favourite among European Tour professionals, the South Course calls for accurate drives and precise shots, but rewards players for their efforts with the stunning backdrop of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Regularly included in Golf World magazine’s ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in Europe’, the par-72 layout has received widespread praise for its strategically-placed hazards and varying difficulty across the 18 holes. Having hosted the Portuguese Open on no fewer than eight occasions, the South Course is regarded as one of Portugal’s premier golfing venues and was recently the subject of a €7m upgrade.
– Laranjal – Designed by Jorge Santana da Silva in the grounds of an orange grove, the par-72 course was named as Portugal’s Best Golf Course 2011 at the Portuguese Travel Awards, and poses serious tests for players of all abilities. Opened in 2008, Laranjal offers a pure golfing experience right next to the Quinta do Lago estate and features fairways sown with Bermuda grass, providing a challenging playing environment in a picture-perfect setting.
– Paul McGinley Academy – Quinta do Lago is home to the only Paul McGinley Academy in the world, founded in October 2011 by Europe’s 2014 Ryder Cup captain. With a strong involvement from McGinley himself, who is a regular visitor to the resort, the academy aims to cultivate and improve golfers’ play by providing them with the tools and techniques used on the professional Tours. The academy focuses especially on younger players, working in collaboration with local schools and is the perfect way to follow in the footsteps of the pros.
– TaylorMade Performance Center – Quinta do Lago’s TaylorMade Performance Centre is the only facility of its kind in Portugal and is located on the resort’s expansive driving range. Opened in May 2013, the centre is operated by trained TaylorMade technicians, offering golfers a custom-fitting experience testing hundreds of club and iron options, ensuring the best combination for every player’s swing. It also has a fully equipped Tour standard workshop and utilises FlightScope X2 radar technology to measure the entire flight of the ball from impact to landing whilst displaying its 3D trajectory in real time.
– The Campus – Launched in October 2018, The Campus is a unique €10 million training, fitness and wellness facility catering to elite, professional athletes and enthusiastic amateurs alike. The multi-sports hub has recently unveiled a brand-new high-performance centre fully equipped with a high-performance gymnasium with technical area, a new centre for active living and sports medicine, dedicated studios for cycle and group exercise, stadium specification locker rooms and 25-metre outdoor heated swimming pool. Offering an array of first-class facilities, it offers the ideal environment for golfers of all abilities to improve their fitness, with golf-performance conditioning programmes and golf-specific fitness classes among the services available.

Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park and located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago offers residents and guests an unparalleled location benefiting from a year-round temperate climate, a variety of lifestyle pursuits and a strong sense of community.

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First published at – Global Travel News

ASMALLWORLD AG to Acquire Stake in Global Hotel Alliance

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ASMALLWORLD AG to Acquire Stake in Global Hotel Alliance

Zurich, Switzerland, December 24, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / ASMALLWORLD AG will acquire a 10% stake in the parent company of Global Hotel Alliance, the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands with over 800 hotels, and will join the company’s Board of Directors. This strategic investment opens up new revenue streams and is expected to significantly expand ASMALLWORLD’s earning potential over the next few years. ASMALLWORLD will support GHA in the delivery of its recently re-launched loyalty programme GHA DISCOVERY, which will expand to more than 20 million members in 2022. The loyalty programme’s highest spending elite members will receive complimentary access to the ASMALLWORLD social network which should double the size of the social network by the end of 2022. In addition, ASMALLWORLD will receive the right to recruit independent hotels to join the GHA hotel portfolio under a newly created ASMALLWORLD soft brand.

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ASMALLWORLD and GHA are expanding their long-standing collaboration in the form of a strategic partnership. ASMALLWORLD will support GHA with the delivery of its relaunched hotel loyalty programme GHA DISCOVERY. As part of the partnership, GHA DISCOVERY will offer its elite tier members (those customers who have earned the highest membership levels), access to the ASMALLWORLD social network free of charge. This will allow GHA DISCOVERY elite members to enjoy all the benefits of the ASMALLWORLD travel and lifestyle network, which is expected to increase customer engagement, ultimately leading to more hotel bookings for the alliance’s hotels. Under the terms of the partnership, both parties are incentivised to grow each other’s revenue base. ASMALLWORLD expects that the new customers from this partnership will double the member base in 2022.

GHA DISCOVERY – a hotel loyalty programme with 20 million customers

When NH Hotel Group is integrated into the alliance in 2022, GHA will be a network of 40 independent hotel chains with over 800 hotels in 100 countries, sharing a common loyalty platform. GHA DISCOVERY’s hotels include internationally renowned luxury brands such as Kempinski, Anantara, Corinthia, Pan Pacific, Capella and Nikki Beach. GHA DISCOVERY is the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands. When NH Hotels Group merges its NH Rewards loyalty programme into GHA DISCOVERY in mid-2022, then GHA DISCOVERY will have more than 20 million members.

The GHA DISCOVERY programme allows members to collect and spend rewards across the entire GHA hotel network. Based on the number of stays, nights or spend per year, members may also obtain one of multiple status levels, which offer additional hotel benefits such as room upgrades and faster earning of rewards.

Initially, ASMALLWORLD will provide access to its services for GHA DISCOVERY’s elite tier members and support GHA with the delivery of the programme. The companies will also offer additional ASMALLWORLD products and services to the entire GHA DISCOVERY customer base.

ASMALLWORLD to be added as a hotel brand to the GHA DISCOVERY brand portfolio

In addition to the core partnership, the companies will also work together to expand GHA’s hotel portfolio. As part of the agreement, ASMALLWORLD has received the mandate to recruit independent hotels for GHA, and the brand “ASMALLWORLD” will be added to GHA DISCOVERY’s hotel brand portfolio as a soft brand. Going forward, newly-recruited independent hotels can then join GHA’s hotel network under the ASMALLWORLD brand.

Until now, GHA mostly did not offer independent individual hotels a path to join its network as it primarily served hotel chains. The cooperation with ASMALLWORLD closes this gap, and provides an opportunity for independent individual hotels to join the network.

ASMALLWORLD acquires a 10% stake in GHA Holdings

To highlight the strategic aspect of this long-term cooperation, the two companies have entered an agreement under which ASMALLWORLD has committed to acquire a 10% stake in GHA Holdings Limited (“GHA Holdings”), the group holding company of GHA. The purchase price for the stake is USD 3.5 million in cash plus a 3% share of ASMALLWORLD AG. The ASMALLWORLD shares used for payment will be either existing or newly created shares. As the purchase price is being paid partly in shares, GHA will also become a shareholder of ASMALLWORLD AG. The closing of the transaction is scheduled for March 2022.

Transaction opens up significant new revenue streams for ASMALLWORLD

The enhanced partnership and strategic investment open up multiple new revenue streams for ASMALLWORLD. Most importantly, the company will be rewarded on spend generated by members signing up through the partnership. In addition, ASMALLWORLD will have the opportunity to sell additional products and services to this valuable customer group, once they become part of the ASMALLWORLD social network. GHA and ASMALLWORLD also plan to offer various ASMALLLWORLD products to the more than 20 million non-elite GHA DISCOVERY members which will create additional sales from GHA’s large member base. Together with these new revenue streams, and its stake in the future growth of GHA, this investment is expected to significantly expand ASMALLWORLD’s earning potential over the next few years and further accelerate its profitable growth.

ASMALLWORLD will have a seat on GHA’s Board of Directors

It is anticipated that both companies will be represented on each other’s Boards of Directors. ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher will become a member of GHA Holdings’ Board of Directors, while GHA CEO Chris Hartley is expected to join ASMALLWORLD’s Board of Directors. This will allow both companies to influence each other’s strategic directions and will help build further operational synergies between the companies. The appointment of Chris Hartley as a member of the Board of Directors is subject to the approval of the shareholders of ASMALLWORLD.

“This strategic alliance between ASMALLWORLD and GHA opens up new opportunities for both companies. GHA can now offer its most valued customers direct access to the ASMALLWORLD network and ASMALLWORLD will be able to offer its core products to members of the GHA DISCOVERY programme, and in particular their highest-spending elite tier members. We will also help GHA to drive incremental sales through these customers. GHA will also offer ASMALLWORLD’s services to the entire GHA DISCOVERY’s 20-million-strong membership base, which will greatly increase our reach and sales potential,” comments Jan Luescher, CEO of ASMALLWORLD.

GHA’s CEO, Chris Hartley, added “our long-standing partnership with ASMALLWORLD has been very successful and has highlighted the close synergies between our customer bases and the attractiveness of the complementary products and services, which bring value to each other’s membership propositions. ASMALLWORLD members who have previously joined GHA DISCOVERY have gone on to become some of our highest-spending customers across our hotels. It feels like a natural next step in this partnership to become shareholders in each other’s businesses; and we will benefit from ASMALLWORLD’s insights and experience in areas such as social networking and events, which are a logical extension to our GHA DISCOVERY programme.”

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About Global Hotel Alliance (GHA)
Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) brings together a unique collection of independent hospitality brands with GHA DISCOVERY, a multi-brand loyalty programme leveraging a shared technology platform. Through membership in GHA, brands expand their global reach, drive incremental revenue, and reduce dependence on third-party channels, all while maintaining management independence and individual positioning. GHA represents a collection of 35 brands with over 500 hotels in 85 countries serving 11 million members. The award-winning GHA DISCOVERY programme generates approximately $2 billion in revenue and more than eight million room nights annually. GHA’s brands currently include Anantara, Araiya, Avani, Campbell Gray, Capella, Corinthia, Discovery Destinations, Divani, Doyle, Elewana, Fauchon, GLO, JA Resorts, Kempinski, Leela, Lungarno, Marco Polo, Mysk, Niccolo, Nikki Beach, NUO, Oaks, Outrigger, Pan Pacific, PARKROYAL COLLECTION, PARKROYAL, Patina, The Residence by Cenizaro, Shaza, Sukhothai, Sun International, Tivoli, Ultratravel Collection and Viceroy.

Launched in 2010, GHA DISCOVERY is the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands, featuring more than 500 hotels, resorts and palaces across 35 brands. Members enjoy VIP recognition, thoughtful benefits and generous rewards at home or away. Recently the programme has evolved to include an additional tier and flexible paths to upgrade through nights/stays, eligible purchases or number of brands stayed, making it easier and faster for members to reach elite status. Unlike more traditional programmes, GHA DISCOVERY does not ask members to count points towards their next upgrade. Instead, members earn and spend DISCOVERY Dollars (D$), an exclusive rewards currency. They also enjoy members-only Experiences curated by each hotel and have access to properties close to home, without a stay, through member-only Local Offers.

ASMALLWORLD is the world’s leading travel & lifestyle community, focusing on experiences: the modern-day definition of luxury. Centred around the ASMALLWORLD social network, the company operates a digital travel & lifestyle ecosystem which enables and inspires members to travel better, experience more and make new connections.

Members of the ASMALLWORLD social network connect through its app and website, where they can meet other members, engage in online discussions, receive travel and lifestyle inspiration, and enjoy a wealth of travel privileges. Members also meet in person at over 1’000 global ASMALLWORLD events every year, ranging from casual get-togethers in major cities around the world, access to exclusive launches, shows, galas, soirees, exhibitions, major global sporting events, and larger flagship weekend experiences hosted in iconic destinations such as Saint-Tropez and Gstaad.

Other businesses of the ASMALLWORLD travel & lifestyle ecosystem include:

ASMALLWORLD Collection, a high-end online hotel booking engine focused on the world’s most admired hotels, offering the unique “ASMALLWORLD Preferred Rate” which allows customer to enjoy exclusive travel benefits at no extra cost

ASMALLWORLD Private, a high-end travel agency offering personalised travel curation service

ASW Hospitality, a hotel management company that operates and manages the iconic North Is-land resort in the Seychelles

First Class & More, a subscription-based smart luxury travel service that allows members to enjoy luxury travel at insider prices

The World’s Finest Clubs, the world’s leading nightlife concierge offers its members VIP access to the most exclusive nightlife venues around the world

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First published at – Global Travel News

Luxury Hotel Brand Aman to Operate a Luxury Yacht

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Luxury Hotel Brand Aman to Operate a Luxury Yacht - TOP25 Yachts - TRAVELINDEXBaar, Switzerland, December 21, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Luxury hospitality company Aman is designing its first yacht, a 50-suite vessel scheduled to enter service in 2025. The 600-foot yacht is being developed through a joint venture between Aman and Cruise Saudi, an entity owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The partners are calling the endeavor “Project Sama.”

Aman is partnering with Sinot on the yacht’s architecture and design, which will feature Aman’s Eastern heritage and design philosophy. Aman said it will take charge of the yacht’s operations and management, “ensuring that guests enjoy the Aman way of life onboard, in every sense.”

All 50 suites will have a private balcony. Aman plans an array of dining options, including an informal all-day restaurant, international dining options and a club and lounge.

The Aman Spa will feature a Japanese garden. Plans also call for two helipads and a “Beach Club” that will give guests direct access to the water at the stern of the yacht.

Aman CEO Vladimir Doronin said the yacht project “marks an exciting moment in Aman’s growth and evolution, as we not only continue to diversify our geographical portfolio on land, but also at sea.”

Doronin added that the Aman yacht will “provide transformative experiences within the revered Aman setting and service, unlike any other yacht experience.”

About Aman
Aman operates 33 luxury resorts, hotels and private residences in 20 countries. Meticulously designed to frame their natural settings, Aman destinations are renowned for space and privacy. Each welcomes guests as if to the home of a close friend, instilling a sense of peace and belonging amid some of the most diverse natural and historical landscapes. It is an approach that has changed little since 1988 when the first retreat was built on Phuket’s west coast. It was named Amanpuri, meaning ‘place of peace’, and Aman was born. Today, Aman embraces 33 resorts, hotels, and private residences in 20 countries. Aman continues to seek out transformative experiences and awe-inspiring locations around the world with a further eight coming soon, taking the brand to 41 resorts in 22 countries.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Return of Lotus Cars to Thailand Shifts the Premium Sports Car Market Up

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Return of Lotus Cars to Thailand Shifts the Premium Sports Car Market Up - TOP25CARS - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, December 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Lotus Car Thailand, the importer and distributor of the hardcore racing British sports cars, under the management of Wearnes Automotive Thailand, is ready to thrill the Thai automotive market with the brand every true sports car lover craves – Lotus. The last Elise and Exige models will be on show for the first time at “The 38th Thailand International Motor Expo 2021” from December 1-12, 2021, at Lotus Booth B07, Challenger Hall 1-3, Impact Muang Thong Thani.

The return of Lotus Cars in Thailand has shifted the premium sports car market up a gear with the first-time unveiling the Lotus Elise & Exige at the Motor Expo 2021.

• Wearnes Automotive Thailand, the sole official importer and distributor of Lotus in Thailand ready to reveal their driver-to-driver strategy for the Thai market.
• Come and experience the Lotus Exige Sport 350 and Lotus Elise Sport 220, only 6 cars available in Thailand at the “The 38th Thailand International Motor Expo 2021”.
• Open for bookings for the first exclusive premium sports car, Lotus Emira V6 First Edition, on December 1-12, 2021, Lotus booth B07, Impact Muang Thong Thani.

Lotus is the pinnacle of race inspired sports cars, delivering excellent performance and innovative lightweight construction and the unmistakable body design that makes this brand stand out from the crowd. Attendees at Motor Expo 2021 will be the first to see the exhilarating Exige Sport 350 and Elise Sport 220 models, two prime examples of one of the world’s best sports car. Also, the breathtaking Lotus Emira V6 First Edition will be available for booking at the event, the all-new Lotus sports car has recorded unexpected sales number around the world. All Lotus cars will receive a 3-year parts warranty with unlimited mileage and 24-hour emergency Roadside Assistance Service for 3-year. The Lotus brand has also revealed its 5-year strategy towards becoming a fully electric car brand to ensure the future of the cleaner energy. Lotus customers will still be able to experience the sheer thrill of owning and driving a Lotus in a new era.

Mr.Teeraphong Rodloy, Country Manager of Wearnes Thailand said “Wearnes Automotive Thailand, as the sole official dealer and after-sales service provider for Lotus cars in Thailand, is launching a comprehensive business plan and after-sales service with the standard of excellence expected of Lotus Cars. We’ll be reenergizing the Thai sports car market with our Driver-to-Driver strategy showcasing the ultimate innovation, performance, lightweight construction that makes the Lotus brand a one-of-a-kind race inspired sports car. The brand has a unique racing heritage, being a 7-time F1 champion that has held the hearts of fans around the world for over 73 years.”

“The relaunch of the brand at this year’s Motor Expo is the first time in 6 years that Lotus Car Thailand has brought new cars to showcase to Thai sports car lovers. Visitors will find the Lotus Exige Sport 350 and Lotus Elise Sport 220, two legendary sports cars, the last 6 cars to be unveiled for the Thai market. This will also be an opportunity for eager buyers to customize the new Lotus Emira V6 First Edition, a new breed of premium sports car that has generated high booking numbers and demand around the world, only 6 cars are available for exclusive bookings with a starting price of 11.9 million baht.”

LOTUS ELISE SPORT 220, The ultimate performance and innovative chassis.
Presenting the outstanding features of the complete Elise family, combining driving performance that balances power, agility, and pure design form. The innovative aluminium chassis weighs only 68 kg, with an advanced aerodynamic design that creates balanced downforce throughout the car. It also reduces wind resistance and increases stability even at high speeds.

The Elise Sport 220 is powered by a 1.8-litre Supercharged Four-cylinder engine that delivers 217 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque, accelerating from 0-100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds with a low emission rate of only 173. g/km. All Elise series cars also come with the four-corner Double Wishbone Suspension and Lotus Dynamic Performance Management (Lotus DPM), exclusive to Lotus, allowing the driver to opt to turn it on when driving in everyday life for a relaxing ride or turn it off when they want to merge with the car while accelerating in the spirit of a sports car.

Elise Sport 220, the last 3 cars available, with a price of 5,390,000 baht

LOTUS EXIGE SPORT 350 combines extreme performance and elegance in one.
Created to be the ultimate lightweight premium sports car with a high horsepower-to-weight ratio combined with the ultimate torque of the 3.5-litre Supercharged V6 engine plus a rear wing and diffuser to increase downforce and stability when accelerating. The result is the thrill of soaring with pulse-racing power and fast response performance, taking the driver experience beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.

The Exige Sport 350 is the first Lotus car to feature a lightweight aluminium manual gearbox that offers elegant gear changes which are faster and more accurate, making every ride more memorable, and the lightweight exhaust system delivers the full-bodied sound of a V6 engine.

Exige Sport 350, only 3 cars available, with a price of 9,290,000 baht

The last generation of a combustion sports car legend that collectors around the world must not miss. The Lotus Emira will be the last combustion engine produced by Lotus at the Hethel plant in the UK before the brand switches to producing 100% electric cars in the future. The eye-catching design of this beautifully shaped sports car retains the Lotus car DNA that emphasizes driving experience as stated with the brand’s slogan – “For The Drivers”.

Lotus Emira First Edition V6 Supercharged 3.5L engine delivers 400 horsepower, maximum torque of 430 Nm, acceleration 0-100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 288 km/h.

The Lotus Emira V6 First Edition is open for booking, limited to only 6 cars, starting at 11,900,000 baht.

The Elise and Exige series are the bread and butter of the Lotus brand, their racing-like characteristic and driving performance have made them synonymous all over the world when it comes to what a true sports car should be. However, Lotus has announced the end of production for these two models in 2021, making the Elise and Exige series “THE LAST OF THEIR KIND” guaranteeing they’ll be a must-have collectible among discerning sports car enthusiasts.

Lotus reveals its strategy for the next 5 years to become a fully electric vehicle brand
Lotus is accelerating innovations in producing exciting lifestyle models for the global market. With 4 new electric vehicles in the next 5 years to fully penetrate the premium car market, including

• Type 132 E-Segment SUV
• Type 133 E-Segment 4-Door Coupe
• Type 134 D-Segment SUV
• Type 135 Sport Coupe

“Lotus is investing in opening a new LOTUS TECHNOLOGY HQ in China, including electric car factories in China for distribution around the world. The next-generation Lotus, which will be launched in 2023, will be the brand’s first SUV and will be a 100% electric vehicle under the codename [Type132] for the premium car market. Another advantage of electric vehicles is the tax is less than that of a combustion engine car. Lotus’ electric vehicles will be assembled at a new factory in China and as a result, the import duty is 0%, thus lowering the selling price which will surely attract a large group of consumers,” added Mr.Teeraphong Rodloy.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

FINN Partners Acquires of Luxury Travel PR Firms Hawkins and Maverick Creative

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FINN Partners Acquires of Luxury Travel PR Firms Hawkins and Maverick Creative - TRAVELINDEXNew York City, New York, United States, November 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Global independent marketing and communications firm, FINN Partners, announced today that it has acquired Hawkins International PR, a 26-person bi-coastal, boutique luxury Travel and Hospitality PR agency with offices in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Jennifer Hawkins, Founder and CEO of Hawkins International PR, will join FINN as Managing Partner, Luxury Travel and become part of the agency’s Global Travel Practice leadership team. The Hawkins team will transition to the FINN brand name over time.

As part of the deal, FINN also acquires Maverick Creative, Hawkins International’s 10-person affiliate agency specializing in creative communications for travel and lifestyle clients. Maverick will retain its current branding and operations will continue under Managing Director Catherine Colford, while expanding to the UK.

“Hawkins International works with many of the most celebrated hotel and resort brands in the industry. They have an excellent reputation and a keen grasp of what drives high-end demographics. Their expertise within the luxury travel sector will complement our experience with large travel brands and leading destinations around the word,” said Peter Finn, Founding Managing Partner and CEO, FINN Partners.

Hawkins specializes in serving premier multinational luxury brands in the worlds of travel, hospitality and wellness. The firm’s capabilities span the breadth of travel communications services, including consumer and trade media relations, media intelligence, trendspotting, content development and storytelling, brand partnerships, social media strategy and advertising, influencer marketing, content marketing, digital marketing, experiential and thought leadership.

Current Hawkins clients include: Montage International, Inspirato, Dorchester Collection, Seabourn Cruise Line, onefinestay, Gstaad Palace, Wilderness Safaris, Palmaïa – The House of AïA, Living Vehicle, The Dolder Grand, The Sono Collection, and Tradewind Aviation.

Current Maverick clients include: Rocco Forte Hotels, Arlo Hotels, The Point, The Shelbourne, RVshare, Asbury Ocean Club, the Nines, and Chebeague Island Inn, among others.

FINN’s acquisition of Hawkins International and Maverick Creative follows strategic moves by the agency to bolster its position as a leading global integrated travel powerhouse, including its recent purchase of Hawaii-based Anthology Marketing Group, which has a strong travel practice, and hiring of Luxury Travel Expert Steven DeLuca as Senior Partner. With the addition of Hawkins and Maverick, FINN’s fast-growing Global Travel practice will reach more than $20 million with more than 150 people serving clients across three continents. The move will also complement FINN’s extensive portfolio of large travel and hospitality clients, which includes, South Africa, Singapore, Turkish Airlines, Bahamas, Iceland, Intrepid Travel, Italy, Belize, Dubai and Panama.

“The global luxury travel market was worth an estimated $945 billion in 2019 (Source: Allied Market Research). This market segment is lucrative in normal times, but with the pandemic, pent up demand has caused many travelers to ladder up to more bespoke, premium experiences and indulgent getaways. Now is the perfect time for FINN to build out our footprint as the go-to global luxury travel communications agency for clients around the world,” said Debbie Flynn, Managing Partner and Global Travel Practice Leader.

Said Jennifer Hawkins, Managing Partner, Luxury Travel, “It’s energizing to play a key role in FINN’s momentum as a global travel communications leader. They are a dynamic, independent agency that inherently shares many of Hawkins International’s and Maverick’s core values and a philosophy rooted in collaboration, respect and making a true difference in the world. I’m excited about the synergies between our companies, and the ability to leverage the resources across our global network to better serve existing and new clients within the luxury sector.”

The Stevens Group made the introduction between FINN Partners and Hawkins International and helped facilitate the transaction. Hawkins was advised on the negotiations by their business advisor, Seth Rosenstein.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Eight Inc. to Design Global HQ for Beam Suntory

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Eight Inc. to Design Global HQ for Beam Suntory - TRAVELINDEXNew York City, New York, United States, October 17, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Beam Suntory, a world leader in premium spirits, whose brands include Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, has retained experience design firm Eight Inc. to design its new global headquarters at 11 Madison Avenue in New York City.

The new headquarters, expected to open mid-2022, will be a shared space with Suntory America. Beam Suntory and Suntory America are both subsidiaries of Suntory Holdings, a global leader in alcohol and non-alcohol beverages, based in Japan. Eight Inc. has been asked to create a state-of-the-art center for collective and individual working— a “soul space” more than a workspace.

Beam Suntory selected Eight Inc. following a competitive RFP process. The company expects Eight Inc.’s human-centric design process and seamless integration of digital technology will result in a workplace where employees can thrive while doing their best work. Eight Inc. was founded in San Francisco, and has five offices across Asia, with a further six across North America, Europe and the Middle East.

“As the world returns to the office, there is an opportunity to rethink our workplaces, to meet people’s needs more fully and shape a better future.” said Roy Kim, Principal at Eight Inc. “We’re excited to be partnering with Beam Suntory and Suntory Holdings on what is one of the most significant and ambitious workplace projects since the pandemic changed the ways we work.”

“Beam Suntory’s growth ambitions are centered around premiumizing our brands, and there’s no better place to do that than in New York City, which is the epicenter of luxury,” said Jessica Spence, President of Brands, Beam Suntory. “We are thrilled to partner with Eight Inc. to create a space that will inspire our people, attract top talent, and showcase everything that our incredible company and our iconic brands can be. And we are honored to go through this process with Suntory Holdings, to create a space where Suntory leaders and other group company representatives can come to collaborate and truly realize the vision of One Suntory.”

The new HQ will be located at 11 Madison Avenue, a masterpiece of Art Deco design and home to renowned restaurant, Eleven Madison Park. It will provide around 100,000 square feet of office space and is scheduled for completion in mid-2022.

Eight Inc. has previously designed workspaces for a wide portfolio of public, private and non-profit organizations, including Felissimo, Guazi, Dubai Tourism, Apple and Donors Choose.

Eight Inc. is a global creative collective that specializes in designing innovative, integrated human experiences. Its 200+ business creatives and strategic designers collaborate across 11 studios, 7 time zones, and 3 continents.

Beam Suntory is the spirits arm of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. It was created in 2014, with the acquisition of Beam Inc., the world leader in bourbon, by Suntory Holdings. Its spirit brands include Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, as well as Japanese whiskeys Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu.

About Beam Suntory
As a world leader in premium spirits, Beam Suntory inspires human connections. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands, Suntory whisky Kakubin and Courvoisier cognac, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Legent bourbon; Yamazaki, Hakushu, Hibiki and Toki Japanese whisky; Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whisky; Canadian Club whisky; Hornitos and Sauza tequila; EFFEN, Haku and Pinnacle vodka; Sipsmith and Roku gin; and On The Rocks Premium Cocktails.

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and vision of Growing for Good. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

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