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Phuket Sandbox a Model for Asia-Pacific Reopening

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Phuket Sandbox a Model for Asia-Pacific Reopening - TRAVELINDEXPhuket, Thailand, August 3, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Tourism leaders at Phuket Sandbox Summit urge European governments to recognise Phuket’s status as a safe haven for international travellers. As Bangkok grapples with rising numbers of Covid infections, leading tourism voice KP Ho, Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Group, has told European envoys, airlines, senior officials and business leaders, that for Phuket Sandbox to succeed it is imperative for Phuket to be given “green” destination status.

Discover gastronomy destination Phuket and the Asia’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

Speaking at the Phuket Sandbox Summit held at Laguna Phuket, KP Ho called on policy-makers in Europe and around the world to support Phuket as a separate “green” zone.

Phuket has the potential to lead the global tourism recovery, as the historic Phuket Sandbox initiative sets the standard for other destinations to follow, he said. But, to succeed, governments need to recognise it as a safe, self-enclosed destination, rather than combining its travel status with the rest of Thailand.

KP Ho’s position was supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) at the Phuket Sandbox Summit. Deputy Governor for International Marketing Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Americans, Siripakorn Cheawsamoot, said: “We are trying to propose Phuket to the UK government to be on the green list of destinations, even though Thailand is on the amber list. We are optimistic about Phuket Sandbox. Phuket is safe and we will never compromise anyone’s safety.”

He confirmed there were almost 300,000 rooms booked until the end of August in SHA Plus hotels, with nearly 13,000 arrivals and 124 flights after 28 days, with many more scheduled. Top markets are the US, UK, Israel, Germany, France, the UAE and Switzerland with an average length of stay 11 days.

As anxiety grows across Southeast Asia’s key travel destinations struggling with infection numbers, the Phuket Sandbox model is rapidly becoming the standard bearer of hope for the tourism industry.

Launched on 1st July 2021, the Sandbox enables fully-vaccinated international visitors to fly directly to the destination and stay on the island quarantine-free. Hotels need to ensure at least 70% of their staff have received vaccines – the same inoculation rate as Phuket’s population, creating herd immunity against Covid-19. While the high level of protection doesn’t prevent people from catching Covid-19, it does significantly reduce the likelihood of serious infection and hospitalization.

“Infections and re-infections are not what really count; it’s hospitalisation rates and ICU rates that count. The Thai government have to emphasise those new numbers and shift the narrative towards ‘how many people are really getting sick?’, not ‘are the numbers going up?’,” added Mr Ho.

By reporting this new data, he said, it should be possible for Phuket to be set apart from the rest of Thailand and placed on the ‘safe list’ of destinations to visit. This is not without precedent; the UK government for example, has put the island of Madeira on its green list, while the rest of Portugal remains on the amber list. The same rule applies to Denmark and the Faroe Islands.

“What’s really important is that EU countries – the national governments, spurred on by travel agents, the media and other people – recognise that it’s necessary to disengage the perception of Phuket from the rest of Thailand. It should be a situation where Thailand could be a red alert zone but Phuket could be a green zone,” said Mr Ho. It could be possible to create a series of Sandboxes in other destinations, such as Koh Samui (which recently launched Samui Plus), Bali and Phu Quoc. As long as that Sandbox is well-organised, as it is in Phuket, it should be separated from the rest of the country.”

Vice Governor of Phuket, Mr Piyapong Choowong, added: “I would like to confirm we support Phuket Sandbox. We are making sure people on the island and all visitors are safe so we can run the Sandbox smoothly and continue to welcome more tourists to Phuket.”

Discover gastronomy destination Phuket and the Asia’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

Presenting the most up-to-date data, C9 Hotelworks Managing Director, Bill Barnett, added: “There is a lot at stake but what is clear is that Phuket Sandbox is alive and well, and it’s working.”

The Phuket Sandbox Summit was held at Laguna Phuket, attended by:

– Phuket Vice Governor, Piyapong Choowong
– Tourism Authority of Thailand Deputy Governor, Siripakorn Chaewsamoot
– Banyan Tree Group Executive Chairman, KP Ho
– Laguna Phuket Managing Director, Ravi Chandran
– Phuket City Development CEO, Nipon Aekwanich
– British Honorary Consul, Martin Carpenter
– Honorary Consul of Germany, Anette Jiminez Höchstetter
– Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Seven Smulders
– S Hotels and Resorts Senior Vice President Operations, Stefano Alberto Ruzza
– Dusit Hotels and Resorts Vice President Sales, Prachoom Tantiprasertsuk
– Singapore Airlines Station Manager Phuket, Louis Tan
– Emirates Airlines Airport Services Manager, Thanakorn Srihamart
– Qatar Airways Airport Services Manager, Warunee Saiboonjun

About Laguna Phuket
Laguna Phuket resort is home to 7 deluxe hotels; Angsana Laguna Phuket, Angsana Villas Resort Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket, Cassia Phuket, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Laguna Holiday Club Phuket Resort and SAii Laguna Phuket – all sharing 1,000 acres of tropical parkland along a 3-kilometre stretch of the pristine Bangtao Beach. Facilities and services include 18-hole award winning golf course, world-renowned spas, shopping village, tour operators and MICE-certified event and facilitator teams. With inter-resort transportation allowing guests to travel anywhere within minutes via shuttle bus or ferry.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Welcomes Minister of Tourism and Sports

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Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Welcomes Minister of Tourism and Sports

Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket, Thailand, August 1, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Andres Rubio, General Manager of Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket, recently welcomed Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports and Dr.Kongsak Yodmanee the Governor of Sport Authority of Thailand, on the occasion of returning from participating in the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo, Japan to arrive in Thailand under the Phuket Sandbox campaign and staying at the hotel.

Cape Panwa Hotel is one of the luxury hotels in Phuket that passed the Safe Travel Standard (SHA Plus+) under the supervision of the TAT and have been certified as safe travel by the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Seen in the photo from left:
Mr.Rubio; Mr.Ratchakitprakarn; Mr.Yodmanee and Boonsong Suratod, Front Office Manager of the hotel.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Thailand Trusted SHA Certified On Par with WTTC Safe Travel Stamp

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Thailand Trusted SHA Certified On Par with WTTC Safe Travels Stamp

Phuket, Thailand, August 1, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certification has been certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) as being on par with the WTTC SafeTravels global health and hygiene standardised protocols.

The Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) certification has been certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) as being on par with the WTTC SafeTravels global health and hygiene standardised protocols.

All 10 types of businesses with the SHA certificate will be permitted to display both logos.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Meliá Hotels in Koh Samui and Chiang Mai Welcome Senior Recruits

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Meliá Hotels in Koh Samui and Chiang Mai Welcome Senior Recruits - TRAVELINDEXKoh Samui, Thailand, July 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Thailand’s first two Meliá Hotels International properties have appointed two directors who bring more than five decades of hospitality experience to the table.

Thai nationals Wuttipong Tanteraponchai and Vipasiri Napawongdee have been named cluster director of sales and marketing and cluster director of marketing communications respectively for both Meliá Koh Samui and Meliá Chiang Mai.

Meliá Koh Samui, which opened in January 2020 on the shore of Koh Samui’s Choeng Mon Beach, and Meliá Chiang Mai, slated to debut in the fourth quarter of 2021 in the Kingdom’s mountainous north, are part of a nationwide roll-out of properties by the prominent Spanish hotel group in partnership with Thailand’s leading integrated lifestyle real estate group Asset World Corporation.

Wuttipong most recently worked as director of sales and marketing at The Sukhothai Bangkok, leading a team of sales and marketing communication professionals to help successfully manage the hotel’s transition to a hybrid Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotel in the wake of COVID-19. Beforehand, he worked at The Okura Prestige Bangkok for more than seven years, firstly in the role of director of sales for two years before being promoted to director of sales and marketing. He has also been cluster director of sales at Pan Pacific Hotels Group Singapore, director of sales (corporate & MICE) at The Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa, director of sales The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, Bangkok.

Vipasiri’s appointment follows an eight-year stint as director of marketing communications at The Okura Prestige Bangkok, where she implemented impressive communications efforts and organised an array of charitable initiatives. Previously, she was director of marketing communications at Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa and InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort and director of PR and marketing communications at InVision Hospitality.

Wuttipong embarked on his hospitality career early 1991 as a tour coordinator at The Royal Cliff Beach Resort, steadily rising up the ranks as a guest service agent at The Mansion Kempinski Bangkok and The Royal Orchid Sheraton & Towers before becoming the assistant manager in the front office at The Embassy Suite Windsor Palace’s front office. He then progressed to senior sales management positions with The Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, The Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa and The Oriental Bangkok.

Vipasiri started her career in hospitality communications as a PR coordinator for the Royal Garden Resorts Group in Thailand before becoming a PR executive at Chiva-Som International Health Resort and the PR manager at JW Marriott Bangkok.

Meliá Koh Samui’s host of facilities include 159 rooms, 41 suites including “boat suites” made from refurbished merchant vessels, two restaurants, a swim-up bar, a lagoon pool, a two-level infinity pool, an executive lounge, spa, fitness centre, ballroom and conference facilities and, for families, a kid’s club, outdoor playground and mini water park.

With 260 rooms, Meliá Chiang Mai will soon cut the ribbon on a host of amenities including a 360-degree rooftop bar – the highest in the city – featuring two bars connected by a glass bridge, as well as an executive lounge, two restaurants, a pool bar and lobby bar, spa, gymnasium, ballroom and other function venues, kid’s club and more.

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

About Meliá Hotels International
Founded in 1956 in Mallorca (Spain), Meliá Hotels International operates more than 390 hotels (portfolio and pipeline) throughout more than 40 countries, under the brands Gran Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus by Meliá, ME by Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, INNSiDE by Meliá, Sol by Meliá and TRYP by Wyndham. The Company is the global leader in resort hotels, while also leveraging its experience to consolidate the growing segment of the leisure-inspired urban market. Its commitment to responsible tourism has led the Group to become the most sustainable hotel company in the world in 2019, according to SAM, the sustainable investment company. Meliá Hotels International is also included in the IBEX 35 Spanish stock market index and it is the Spanish hotel leader in Corporate Reputation (Merco Ranking).

About Asset World Corporation
Asset World Corporation (AWC) is Thailand’s leading integrated lifestyle real estate group, a member of TCC Group, one of Thailand’s most prominent conglomerates. AWC’s core focus of real estate development and management projects encompass two business groups: Hospitality helping Thailand become the top destination for sustainable tourism with hotels in key locations in Bangkok and popular destinations throughout Thailand serviced by management teams from internationally acclaimed hotel groups such as Marriott, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Okura, Banyan Tree, Hilton, and Sheraton; Retail and Commercial Buildings (covering retail, and wholesale facilities with mixed-use properties and office buildings) providing well-balanced and unique offerings a best-in-class customer experience that meet business and modern lifestyles with high-quality and innovative real estate development projects overseen by a qualified and experienced management team to build long-term value for stakeholders. AWC succeeded in listing the company on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) in the real estate and construction industry under the property development category on October 10, 2019. AWC’s market capitalization was the highest in the history of the SET (According to Bloomberg Database). AWC recognizes the importance of operating with a focus on sustainability – incorporating the needs of stakeholders, the environment, society, and contributing to ongoing improvements in Thailand’s economy with a purpose of building a better future.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan Forest Added to World Heritage List

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Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan Forest Added to World Heritage List

Bangkok, Thailand, July 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to report that Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex has been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List making it Thailand’s sixth World Heritage Site.

The decision to add Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex was made at the World Heritage Committee’s 44th  session, held online and chaired from Fuzhou, China. The session will continue through to 31 July, 2021.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Thailand, Visit Thailand – Be Happy, at VisitThailand.net

Located inside Thailand’s largest national park of the same name, Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex covers 464,000 hectares and spans across the three provinces of Prachuap Khiri Khan, Phetchaburi, and Ratchaburi.

It is the third natural heritage site after Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuaries was listed in 1991 and Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex in 2005.

UNESCO describes Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex as rich in biodiversity with semi-evergreen/dry evergreen, moist evergreen and some mixed deciduous forest, montane forest, and deciduous dipterocarp forest. The area has abundant birdlife, including several globally threatened species, and is home to the critically endangered Siamese Crocodile, the endangered Asiatic Wild Dog and several other vulnerable wildlife species. There are also eight resident cat species, including the endangered Tiger and Fishing Cat, the vulnerable Clouded Leopard and Marbled Cat, the Jungle Cat, and Leopard Cat.

Thailand’s other three World Heritage List locations are cultural heritage sites; these being Ban Chiang Archaeological Site, Historic City of Ayutthaya, and the Historic Town of Sukhothai and Associated Historic Towns.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Finalists for 2021 Experience Mekong Showcases Announced

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Finalists for 2021 Experience Mekong Showcases Announced

Bangkok, Thailand, July 29, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office is announcing the 15 Finalists of the Experience Mekong Showcases 2021 from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand Viet Nam, as well as Guangxi and Yunnan in PR China. Finalists from Myanmar this year will be judged differently via an industry panel made up of relevant Mekong Tourism Advisory Group members. Three thousand eligible votes determined three Experience Mekong Collection members from each of the five participating countries this year for the next round of voting for this prestigious recognition. Now open for a public vote until August 31st, the six Experience Mekong Showcases will be announced at the 2021 Destination Mekong Summit later on this year. To cast your vote, please visit

The Experience Mekong Collection was created four years ago to recognize and encourage sustainable and responsible tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

To be appointed as a member of the Experience Mekong Collection, all small travel businesses in the Mekong Region need to fulfill the following requirements:

1. Make a significant social impact on its community
2. Provide an authentically local experience positioning the GMS as a
responsible, inclusive, and experiential tourism destination.
3. Have an innovative concept and sustainable business model.

Members of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) selected the 60 shortlisted Experience Mekong Collection (EMC) member businesses – twelve from five member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion from the 300+ members of the Experience Mekong Collection.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the currently active businesses – defined as businesses in communication with us, which is a requirement to be included in the Experience Mekong Showcases program – are currently at nearly 150 businesses.

“Alliances like the Experience Mekong Collection are more important than ever, especially in crises such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, to strengthen resilience both at the destination level, as well as for the individual businesses themselves, via sharing of best practices, networking, cross-promotional activities, and creating operational efficiencies”, says Mr. Jens Thraenhart, outgoing Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, and initiator of the Experience Mekong Collection, operated as part of the private-sector-led regional tourism board Destination Mekong. “I am convinced that the Experience Mekong Collection will help accelerate tourism recovery in the region, as well as protect and conserve these locally authentic experiences, which are the treasure trove of the Mekong region.”

“In recognizing the most innovative best practice businesses as the Experience Mekong Showcases, this sets several benchmarks to further improve travel experiences in the Greater Mekong Subregion. As consumer trends and travel behaviors are changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope this inspires other operators of any size to become involved in responsible and inclusive tourism,” said Mr. Willem Niemeijer, Founder & CEO of Yaana Ventures and current interim Chairman of Destination Mekong.

The 2018 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases included Phare Cambodian Circus (Cambodia), Longji Rice Terraces Guangxi (PR China), Ock Pop Tok (Lao PDR), Inle Heritage Place (Myanmar), Local Alike (Thailand), and Koto (Viet Nam). The 2019 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases included Soksabike (Cambodia), Linden Centre (PR China), Elephant Conservation Centre (Lao PDR), Hla Day (Myanmar), Sampran Riverside (Thailand), and Streets International (Viet Nam). The 2020 Experience Mekong Collection showcase include the Elephant Valley Project (Cambodia), Yangshuo Mountain Retreat (PR China), Laos Buffalo Dairy (Lao PDR), Living Irravaddy Dolphin Project (Myanmar), The Family Tree (Thailand), and Journey of the Senses (Viet Nam).

All members of the Experience Mekong Collection get exposure via Mekong Tourism and Destination Mekong, including MekongTourism.org, DestinationMekong.com, ExperienceMekong.com, and the dedicated Experience Mekong Collection Facebook and Instagram accounts. Experience Mekong Collection members also have priority access to marketing campaigns and have their own dedicated online member-only community to connect with each other.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

The Athenee Hotel Bangkok with New Approach to Luxury Hospitality

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The Athenee Hotel Bangkok with New Approach to Luxury Hospitality - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, July 28, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / As pandemic restrictions have been increased in Bangkok, The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Bangkok has announced game changing measures offered to guests to give unbeatable space, service and other benefits that have never been as generous for the luxury traveler, either for business or leisure. This approach is centered around the safety and well-being of guests and ensuring a positive lifestyle, even under these new restrictions.

The Athenee Hotel is targeting business guests by not only offering a luxurious room to sleep, but offering additional and completely private and exclusive spaces that are fully sanitized for guests to take advantage of, including complimentary use of an ‘Executive Office Suite’ and ‘Residents Kitchen’ in addition to
‘Restaurant Style Dining’.

The Restaurant Style Dining rooms are adapted hotel rooms offering the ultimate dining experience with stunning views over the Bangkok skyline. They are exclusive to hotel guests and considered an extension to in-room dining but offering the full a la carte menu of food and beverages from any of the four restaurants at the Epicurean Hub. Available all day from 11:30 A.M. to 9:00 P.M., hotel guests can take their time and enjoy lunch, afternoon tea or dinner served by their private butler. Capacity was increased recently due to popular demand as many guests enjoy the Dine-cation Package.

The Dine-cation has also attracted many leisure guests, taking advantage of the Restaurant Style Dining and staying over almost complimentary, as whatever is paid as room rate is given in dining credit. This offer bloomed from the traditional staycation, which came with restrictions meaning people were missing going out to dinner, and so the Dine’cation was born.

With every aspect of dining taken care of, guests can now have their own private office space in addition to their own private dining rooms at The Athenee Hotel. These spaces are offered complimentary, adding to their private and sanitized space of what is normally expected from a hotel. In addition, these Executive Office Suites offer 24-hour access, room service, private bathroom, lounge seating and coffee making machine. Technology support can be provided if needed and up to four registered guests can use together, as an extension to the hotel room. Guests must pre-book, as subject to availability, and they are given the key for private access. Once they are finished, the office suite is cleaned and sanitized, ready for use again. The office is offered to all hotel guests who are staying a little longer, with no time limits and complimentary.

Combining Restaurant Style Dining rooms with an Executive Office Suite, with no additional charge for these spaces, highlights the value offered and has changed the lifestyle of guests staying at the hotel. Recent guests to benefit from these additional benefits and services were the McFaull family who themselves were the inspiration behind some of these enhancements. “Staying in Bangkok for a few months for work with my family, we considered a condo; but this was a game changer for us. Having private workspace around the clock gave a change of environment, privacy, and felt safe. We could live as normal a lifestyle as anyone could have. It was not about price or upgrades but offering a service people really want; we are so grateful,” said Alex McFaull, when talking about his stay.

These are not the only new initiatives with which The Athenee Hotel is leading the way. Others include the new Residents Kitchen, allowing long-stay guests the option to cook, making the hotel a true home away from home. There are even more plans to enhance the lifestyle of guests with more initiatives launching soon…
“During these difficult times, we are adapting to our guests’ needs and these needs have changed drastically and continue to develop based on restrictions and safety measures,” says Ross Park, director of sales and
marketing at The Athenee Hotel.

“Many of our guests are staying longer, and some are not able to go to the office or visit their clients, so we are stepping up and changing the business and leisure landscape in Bangkok. At the same time, we see our loyal guests of The Silk Road (Cantonese), The House of Smooth Curry (Thai), The Allium Bangkok (French) and Kintsugi, by Jeff Ramsey (Japanese) returning using ‘Dine’cation – Stay for Free’.

“This really is a game changer. Our commitment is to offer a true lifestyle experience for our guests, whether business or leisure stays and offering full services on dining, working, fitness, cooking and cultural experiences, even during these times,” added Brendon Partridge, hotel manager.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

New Initiative to Recognise Excellence Among SHA Certified Businesses

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New Initiative to Recognise Excellence Among SHA Certified Businesses - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, July 23, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce the launch of ‘The Best of SHA Awards 2021’ project, which aims to celebrate excellence among Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA)-certified tourism and tourism-related businesses in Thailand.

In a live stream yesterday (20 July, 2021) via the Facebook page of media outlet Thairath, tourism and health officials gathered to discuss the new awards initiative and its objectives. This included Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business, Dr. Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, Director-General of the Department of Health under the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), and Mr. Akira Wongseng from a popular YouTube travel channel.

Mr. Yuthasak said “The Best of SHA Awards 2021 will search for the best SHA-certified businesses in the 10 categories the certification covers, and celebrate their excellency. In doing this, we also hope to encourage business operators to continuously adhere to the SHA standard and maintain consistency in their health and safety approaches.”

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports through the TAT and the MoPH through the Department of Disease Control, Department of Health, and Department of Health Service Support have worked closely together to position SHA as the industry standard by which the quality level of products and services is enhanced to prevent and reduce the spread of the virus.

Introduced in May 2020, the SHA certification was recently certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in alignment with the WTTC SafeTravels protocols. It means Thailand’s health and safety standard is accepted on an international level.

The Best of SHA Awards 2021

There is 1 Best of SHA Awards title for each of the 10 categories of the SHA certification; these being: restaurants and diners, hotel accommodation and homestay, recreational activities and tourist attractions, transportation, travel agencies, health and beauty, department stores and shopping centres, sport for tourism, activity/meeting and theatre/entertainment, and souvenir and other shops.

In addition, there will be 3 other award categories: 1 star for a business that consistently adheres to the SHA standards, 2 stars for an above average business that consistently adheres to the SHA standards, and 3 stars for an above average business that consistently adheres to the SHA standards and has a ‘white’ tourism standard (convenience, cleanliness, safety, fairness, and environment friendly).

The results will be decided through random auditing by the Amazing Thailand SHA Safety Standards Audit Committee and Voice of Customer (VOC), a user satisfaction survey that encourages guests to submit feedback.

The Best of SHA Awards 2021 project is open for people to submit feedback by scanning a QR code on their establishment’s Amazing Thailand SHA logo, or via www.thailandsha.com and complete a questionnaire from 20 July until 20 October, 2021.

By submitting feedback, people are in with a chance to win prizes worth 1 million Baht in total; such as, iMac, MacBook Air, iPhone 12, iPad Pro, Mac Mini, and Thailand tour packages.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Banyan Tree Krabi Invites Guests to Take a Bath in the Forest

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Banyan Tree Krabi Invites Guests to Take a Bath in the Forest - TRAVELINDEXKrabi, Thailand, July 22, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX /  In this modern age of bustling cities, buzzing phones and busy schedules, the gentle art of “forest bathing” has suddenly become a popular recreational activity. And at Banyan Tree Krabi, the perfect environment is rooted just beyond the doorstep.

With a bountiful and beautiful variety of flora and fauna in nearby Khao Ngon Nak National Park, including a stunning panoramic viewpoint which offers vistas of the surrounding islands in the Andaman Sea, this is an idyllic spot for hiking, birdwatching, and wallowing in the tranquility and splendour of a tropical forest.

Shinrin-yoku is the Japanese translation for “forest bathing”; the original concept was simply to take in the fresh atmosphere of the forest via a leisurely walk. It developed in Japan in the 1980s and quickly became recognised as a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Recommended as a natural tonic for the mind, body and soul, forest bathing is not just a form of exercise, it is also an opportunity to connect with nature. Research shows that immersion in a sylvian environment enhances both physical and mental health, and stimulates the five senses. It aids in preventing cancers and other diseases, while allowing you the unparalleled joy of beholding the beauty of the forest.

“Every study I have read says that ‘forest bathers’ demonstrate reductions in stress, anger, anxiety, depression and sleeplessness,” said Banyan Tree Krabi’s Sustainability Manager Thepsuda Loyjiw. “In fact, after just 15 minutes of forest bathing blood pressure drops, stress levels are reduced, and concentration and mental clarity improve.

“And what better way to demonstrate Banyan Tree’s commitment to wellbeing and the environment by offering this activity to our guests,” she added. “The hiking trail begins directly behind our resort, and winds up towards some spectacular viewpoints and waterfalls.”

Banyan Tree Krabi is located on tranquil Tubkaek Beach, a 45-minute drive from Krabi International Airport. Facing a national marine park of uninhabited towering limestone islands jutting from the emerald sea, the resort backs onto Dragon Crest Hill, part of a chain of undulating green mountains known to local legend as the home of the “naga”, a mythical Hindu serpent. The naga was adopted as the hotel’s symbol and its wavy serpentine design is ubiquitous around the resort and inside the rooms.

Banyan Tree Krabi, which opened in October 2020, features 72 villas and suites, each with its own private pool. Facilities at the hotel include two restaurants, a beach bar, a kids’ club, a fitness centre, a meeting centre, an elevated outdoor wedding deck, and in keeping with Banyan Tree’s global wellbeing branding — a rainforest-themed spa.

“Leave your phone in the villa for one morning and come with us into the forest,” said Sustainability Manager Thepsusa.” It’s suitable for all age groups, and you’ll never regret spending time with Mother Nature.”

Also stay tuned for Banyan Tree’s rollout of Wellbeing Sanctuaries in 2021-22. As the world leans more into health and wellness following the impact of the pandemic, the Southeast Asia-based brand will be launching Wellbeing Sanctuaries that combine club floors or resort wings, dedicated dining and spa options into one exclusive journey. The first initiative was launched earlier this year in China, and will progressively roll out in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Thailand and Vietnam in the months ahead.

Each resort will individually prepare programs for guests based on their “8 Pillars” principle (good sleep; good diet; interaction; intimacy; physical vitality; cultivating the mind; learning and development; harmony with nature; and sustained practices).

ABOUT BANYAN TREE HOLDINGS LIMITED
Banyan Tree Holdings Limited (“Banyan Tree” or the “Group”) is a leading international operator and developer of premium resorts, hotels, residences and spas, with 47 hotels and resorts, 63 spas, 72 retail galleries, and three golf courses in 24 countries. Each resort typically has between 75 to 300 rooms and commands room rates at the higher end of each property’s particular market.

The Group’s primary business is centered on four brands: the award-winning Banyan Tree and Angsana, as well as newly established Cassia and Dhawa. Banyan Tree also operates the leading integrated resort in Thailand – Laguna Phuket — through the Group’s subsidiary, Laguna Resorts & Hotels Public Company Limited. Two other integrated resorts – Laguna Bintan in Indonesia and Laguna Lăng Cô in Central Vietnam – complete the status of the Group as the leading operator of integrated resorts in Asia.

As a leading operator of spas in Asia, Banyan Tree’s spas are one of the key features in their resorts and hotels. Its retail arm Banyan Tree Gallery complements and reinforces the branding of the resort, hotel and spa operations.

Since the launch of the first Banyan Tree resort, Banyan Tree Phuket, in 1994, Banyan Tree has received over 2,600 awards and accolades for the resorts, hotels and spas that the Group manages. The Group has also received recognition for its commitment to sustainability for environmental protection and emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

In addition to its currently operating hotels, resorts, spas and golf courses, the Group currently has 21 hotels and resorts under construction, and another 25 under development.

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Hotel Experiences Popular with Locals

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Hotel Experiences Popular with the Locals - TRAVELINDEXKoh Samui Foodies Flock to Meliá Koh Samui’s Monthly Sunday Brunch
Staged once a month, Melia Koh Samui’s Sunday Brunch has become a hugely popular affair with the locals and expats alike on Koh Samui island. Drawing upon the resort’s warm and sunny Spanish hospitality and famed gastronomy, the brunch affair’s menu brims with all sorts of indulgent options at a series of stations. The ‘Raw Bar’ dishes out imported French oysters, steamed white shell clams, Koh Samui blue swimmer crab, poached local shrimps, Turkish stuffed mussels with rice and lemon. The ‘Soup’, ‘Live’, ‘Highlights’, ‘Carving’, ‘Charcoal Grill’, ‘Japanese’ and ‘Artisan Pasta’ stations serve the likes of ‘salmorejo with serrano ham and boiled egg’, ‘crispy fish tacos with marinated cabbage and pico de gallo’, seafood paella, grass-fed Australian beef, tiger prawns, nigiri sushi and ‘black truffle ravioli with brown butter’ respectively. In addition to a ‘Wellbeing by Melia’ section with healthy dishes such as ‘poached egg, smashed avocado and home cured salmon’, the extensive brunch menu is rounded out with sliders and bao buns as well as vast selections of charcuterie, cheeses and desserts. The Sunday brunch menu is priced at 1790 THB++ (USD 55++) per person.

Jazz Nights at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh
Nestled in the rafters of a recently restored French colonial villa at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh, The Attic serves up some of the best cocktails, aged spirits, and bar bites in the Cambodian capital. Featuring striking black and white marble floors, exposed wooden beams, leather banquettes, and a dramatic circular bar, The Attic oozes Prohibition-style old world charm. But locals don’t just flock here for the moody ambience or the signature cocktails inspired by flavors unique to Cambodia, the venue is also fast becoming a mainstay in the city when it comes to its live jazz performances. Every Thursday evening, the hotel’s resident jazz singer Intan and her band captivate Cambodians with a mix of soulful R&B, jazz and Motown classics. “I think jazz is a great way to start doing live entertainment again,” said Herman Kemp, general manager of Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh. “At Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh, we ensure that our live jazz nights are both safe and fun – including socially distanced seating between the performers and guests and QR codes on all the tables instead of physical menus.” Jazz nights at The Attic at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh every Thursday from 7:30-10:30pm.

Alma’s Splash Waterpark Makes Waves With The Locals
Alma’s Splash Water Park has proven to be a magnet for local families seeking splash-tastic fun on the thirty-hectare beachfront resort. On Vietnam’s Cam Ranh peninsula, the 6000-square-metre water park features an array of open and closed tube slides, a lazy river and a wave pool. A kid’s pool includes mini-slides and a dumping bucket in a shallow water playground. Two American-style food trucks serve a variety of tasty snacks. Open on weekdays from noon until 5pm and on weekends from 10am until 5pm, access to the water park is complimentary for Alma’s inhouse guests and priced at 160,000 VND (USD 7) per adult and 100,000 VND (USD 4.30) per child. Alma also offers various day passes that also include food, beverages and access to other facilities such as the resort’s Kids Club and 12 swimming pools that cascade down to the beach.

SESUN Grill & Beach Bar Supplies Samui’s Freshest Seafood Experience
Koh Samui is famous both for its buzzing bar scene and its super-fresh seafood. At SESUN Grill & Beach Bar, one of the stellar dining options at the just-unveiled Hyatt Regency Koh Samui, the two elements combine to seismic effect: fusing unique alchemy as appealing to local bon vivants as it is to resort guests. The fishing net on the roof of the venue reflects the provenance of the seafood, which is supplied from sustainable sources by local fishermen. The marine bounty is then grilled over coconut husks, Samui style, to impart maximum flavour. Other menu highlights include succulent Wagyu steaks, lamb skewers and Mediterranean-inspired dishes that make full use of produce from the resort’s organic garden. The piece de resistance, meanwhile, comes courtesy of signature cocktails created by the venue’s in-house mixologist.

Nesting in Krabi
Perched on a lush hillside at the far end of little-known Tubkaek Beach, Banyan Tree Krabi’s Saffron Restaurant commands majestic views across the bay and a panorama of one of Thailand’s most iconic scenes — the towering limestone cliffs that jut from the sparkling Andaman Sea. Saffron has installed three “bird’s nest” tables, perched precariously among the trees, and accessible only by private gangway. The Bird’s Nests are fast becoming one of Krabi’s most Instagrammable viewpoints, and reservations for dinner or afternoon tea at one of these elevated roosts are drawing in curious diners from near and far. Saffron serves a delectable afternoon tea from 2pm—5pm, and evening dinner of sumptuous Thai cuisine, from 6pm—11pm. Patrons might be relieved to know that an electronic funicular escorts guests to the heights of the restaurant, from which it’s just a few steps into the tree canopy and a Bird’s Nest table.

Sunset River Cruises, Fresh Seafood BBQs and More at Azerai Resorts
In Vietnam’s former imperial capital, Azerai La Residence, Hue recently launched a 55-foot (17-meter) cruise boat, offering hotel guests and local residents one of the most stylish and exclusive ways to experience the Perfume River. The elegant boat features classic hardwood trim and bright red accents. It accommodates up to 16 passengers and embarks on three types of excursions: an afternoon tea cruise, a sunset cocktail cruise and a dinner cruise. In the Mekong Delta, Azerai Can Tho offers a similarly unique way to take in the labyrinth waterways of southern Vietnam. An evening sunset cruise includes cocktails and canapes as the boat plies the river at the “Golden Hour,” providing spectacular views of the lush surrounding countryside and vibrant cityscape of Can Tho. On Vietnam’s southeastern coast, the oceanfront retreat Azerai Ke Ga Bay has introduced a popular seafood BBQ dinner including fresh-catch lobster, crab, prawn, squid satay, sea scallops and more. The 46-key resort is located 180km east of Ho Chi Minh City on a sweeping five-kilometer white sand beach overlooking the East Sea.

Afternoon Tea @ Banyan Tree Samui
Known as chow samui, the local folks of this tropical Thai island — plus a rather sizable expat population — are strong supporters of their home community on Koh Samui. And for a small band of aficionados, there’s nothing quite like passing a lazy Sunday afternoon, basking under a parasol at Banyan Tree Samui, enjoying a refined afternoon tea. Situated on a hillside between the popular beaches of Chaweng and Lamai, this resort is the ideal venue for taking in a panoramic vista of the sapphire sea, all the while pouring Earl Grey from porcelain pots, and wavering over a selection of cakes, pastries, sandwiches, and of course fresh scones with clotted cream. Pièce de résistance is a locally inspired Mango Paradise Tea Set — a mango-flavored disneyland of eclairs, tarts, mousse, cheesecake, macarons, and more (USD35 per set).

World-Class Dining at Metropole Hanoi
The culinary offerings at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi deliver guests and local Hanoians alike a taste of the world’s finest cuisines. From exquisite French fine dining at Le Beaulieu to rustic European and New World dishes with a handmade touch at angelina, the restaurants and bars at the hotel tantalize international tastebuds. From now until the end of September, the hotel is introducing exclusive “Tour du Monde” menus featuring delicate flavours from distant lands. The special offers include a 6-course set menu at Le Beaulieu with an optional wine pairing, seven distinctive a la carte items at Le Club Bar (including Mediterranean, Morrocan, American, Thai and other favorites), a new Afternoon Tea set at Le Club Bar, and delicious new pastries at L’Epicerie (such as chocolate madeleines, traditional New York-style cheesecake and more).

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News