Posts Tagged :

Top

Cruise Industry Leaders to Put Focus on Sector’s Revival in Australasia

500 291 wttc2
Cruise Industry Leaders to Put Focus on Sector’s Revival in Australasia - TRAVELINDEXSydney, Australia, August 3, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Cruise industry leaders from across the globe will put a focus on the sector’s revival in Australasia and Asia this month as Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) hosts a Virtual Cruise Forum.

In lieu of the postponed Cruise360 Australasia Conference in Sydney, the August 27 forum will provide an essential update for the region’s cruise community, offering important insight as the industry navigates a path to recovery.

CLIA announced speakers for the online event, which will combine the global perspective of international leaders with the insight of key regional executives working on cruising’s resumption locally. Speakers will include:

– Kelly Craighead – CLIA Global President and CEO
– Gianni Onorato – CEO, MSC Cruises
– Ellen Bettridge – President & CEO, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
– Jason Montague – President & CEO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
– Colleen McDaniel – Editor in Chief, Cruise Critic
– Annie Chang – Director, Cruise Development, Singapore Tourism Board
– Gavin Smith – CLIA Australasia Chair; VP & MD Australia & New Zealand, Royal Caribbean
– Sture Myrmell – CLIA Advocacy Committee Chair; President, Carnival Australia
– Sarina Bratton – Chairman Asia Pacific, Ponant Yacht Cruises & Expeditions
– Michael Londregan – Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Virtuoso.

Other speakers will be announced soon.

CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said the Virtual Cruise Forum was open to all CLIA Australasia and Asia members at no charge and would feature live panel discussions and interviews.

“At a critical time for our industry, this online forum will give travel agents valuable insight that will help ensure they benefit from cruising’s recovery,” Mr Katz said. “It has never been more important for our cruise community to unite around our common goals, and with the help of global industry leaders this forum will help define our path forward.”

Topics will include a State of the Industry update on cruising’s road to recovery; how the cruise sector is working to rebuild confidence; how travel agents can achieve new relevance as cruise specialists; and how close collaborations have resulted in the successful resumption of operations overseas.

The Virtual Cruise Forum will run from 10am to 4pm AEST (12pm to 6pm NZST) on Friday August 27, 2021. For further details and registration, CLIA Members can visit Virtual Cruise Forum.

CLIA invites you to join our Virtual Cruise Forum on Friday 27 August 2021, offering essential insight from regional and international speakers as our industry navigates a path to recovery.

To be held in lieu of the postponed Cruise360 Australasia Conference in Sydney, this forum will provide important updates and an opportunity for our cruise community to unite at this critical time.

CLIA’s Virtual Cruise Forum is open to all CLIA Members at no charge and will feature live panel discussions and interviews – each designed to keep you informed and ensure you benefit from cruising’s recovery.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Phuket Sandbox a Model for Asia-Pacific Reopening

500 293 wttc2
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

Meliá Hotels in Koh Samui and Chiang Mai Welcome Senior Recruits

697 446 wttc2

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

Quinta do Lago Ladies Turn on the Style on Europe’s Fairways

500 296 wttc2
Quinta do Lago Ladies Turn on the Style on Europe’s Fairways - TOP25GOLFCOURSES.comQuinta do Lago, Algarve, Portugal, July 29, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Quinta do Lago’s position at the forefront of ladies’ golf in Europe has received a ringing double endorsement with two of its new generation of stars excelling on the fairways across Europe this summer.

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

Teenager Sofia Barroso Sá confirmed her prodigious talent by finishing joint-second in the German Boys and Girls Open while Sara Gouveia claimed first place in the ladies’ competition, and third overall, at the third event of the 2021 Portuguese Golf Federation Tour.

Staged this year at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club – venue for the 2015 Solheim Cup – the German Boys and Girls Open is one of the most prestigious junior golf tournaments in the world and Sá produced an outstanding display to finish ahead of more than 100 of Europe’s best juniors.

The reigning Portuguese under-16 girls’ champion saved the best until last on the Rot Course, defying tricky weather conditions in south-west Germany to shoot a course-record one-under 71 in the final round of the 54-hole event to finish on a total of 210, two strokes behind Sweden’s Meja Ortengren.

Following a stellar amateur career which included winning the Portuguese under-18 girls’ title, Gouveia – who is based at Quinta do Lago – turned professional last year and has wasted no time in making an impact in the professional ranks, with her latest impressive performance coming at Troia Golf.

After carding a 76 in her opening 18 holes, Gouveia charged through the field in the second and final round, recording six birdies and four in the final six holes to shoot a two-under 70, one of only two players beat par at the event.

There was further good news for Quinta do Lago and the resort’s academy at Troia with Swedish teenager Maia Samuelsson, who is also based at the top Portuguese venue, finishing as the top amateur in 11th place overall after rounds of 79 and 74.

Jose Ferreira, head professional and academy manager at Quinta do Lago, said: “These results are nothing short of outstanding and I couldn’t be happier for all the players. It’s one thing to hit the ball well in practice but quite another to take that form into a tournament environment.

“They have proved that they have what it takes to compete at the highest level and the signs bode very well for the future for all three of them.”

The trio’s performances continue a fantastic run for Quinta do Lago’s academy and its talented group of boys and girls after the resort’s juniors won seven national titles in 2020 – including being crowned Portuguese junior club champions for the first time in its history.

Overseen by Ferreira, and his team of coaches, the resort’s junior team features more than 35 children in each development category – elite, competition and beginner – and age group.

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 North, South 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.

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

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 – and accommodation at the boutique The Magnolia Hotel.

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.
  • 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.

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.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

IATA: Air Travel Recovery Continues to Disappoint

500 314 wttc2
IATA: Air Travel Recovery Continues to Disappoint - AIRLINEHUB.comGeneva, Switzerland, July 29, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced passenger demand performance for June 2021 showing a very slight improvement in both international and domestic air travel markets. Demand remains significantly below pre-COVID-19 levels owing to international travel restrictions.

As comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons are to June 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.

  • Total demand for air travel in June 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 60.1% compared to June 2019. That was a small improvement over the 62.9% decline recorded in May 2021 versus May 2019.
  • International passenger demand in June was 80.9% below June 2019, an improvement from the 85.4% decline recorded in May 2021 versus two years ago. All regions with the exception of Asia-Pacific contributed to the slightly higher demand.
  • Total domestic demand was down 22.4% versus pre-crisis levels (June 2019), a slight gain over the 23.7% decline recorded in May 2021 versus the 2019 period. The performance across key domestic markets was mixed with Russia reporting robust expansion while China returned to negative territory.

“We are seeing movement in the right direction, particularly in some key domestic markets. But the situation for international travel is nowhere near where we need to be. June should be the start of peak season, but airlines were carrying just 20% of 2019 levels. That’s not a recovery, it’s a continuing crisis caused by government inaction,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

International Passenger Markets

  • Asia-Pacific airlines’ June international traffic fell 94.6% compared to June 2019, unchanged from the 94.5% decline in May 2021 versus May 2019. The region had the steepest traffic declines for an eleventh consecutive month. Capacity dropped 86.7% and the load factor was down 48.3 percentage points to 33.1%, the lowest among regions.
  • European carriers saw their June international traffic decline 77.4% versus June 2019, a gain from the 85.5% decrease in May compared to the same month in 2019. Capacity declined 67.3% and load factor fell 27.1 percentage points to 60.7%.
  • Middle Eastern airlines posted a 79.4% demand drop in June compared to June 2019, improving from the 81.3% decrease in May, versus the same month in 2019. Capacity declined 65.3% and load factor deteriorated 31.1 percentage points to 45.3%.
  • North American carriers’ June demand fell 69.6% compared to the 2019 period, improving from the 74.2% decline in May versus two years ago. Capacity sank 57.3%, and load factor dipped 25.3 percentage points to 62.6%.
  • Latin American airlines saw a 69.4% drop in June traffic compared to the same month in 2019, improved over the 75.3% decline in May compared to May 2019. June capacity fell 64.6% and load factor dropped 11.3 percentage points to 72.7%, which was the highest load factor among the regions for the ninth consecutive month.
  • African airlines’ traffic fell 68.2% in June versus the same month two years ago, an improvement from the 71.5% decline in May compared to May 2019. June capacity contracted 60.0% versus June 2019, and load factor declined 14.5 percentage points to 56.5%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

  • China’s domestic traffic returned to negative territory in June, declining 10.8% compared to June 2019, following a 6.3% growth in May versus the same period in 2019. New restrictions had been introduced following a COVID-19 outbreak in several Chinese cities.
  • US domestic traffic improved from a 25.4% decline in May versus the same month in 2019, to a 14.9% decline in June. Life in the US was starting to see some normalcy following the easing of measures and the rapid rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination.

The Bottom Line

“With each passing day the hope of seeing a significant revival in international traffic during the Northern Hemisphere summer grows fainter. Many governments are not following the data or the science to restore the basic freedom of movement. Despite growing numbers of vaccinated people and improved testing capacity we are very close to losing another peak summer season on the important trans-Atlantic market. And the UK’s flip-flop to reinstate quarantine for vaccinated arrivals from France is the kind of policy development that destroys consumer confidence when it is most needed,” said Walsh.

“A risk-managed re-connecting of the world is what we need. Vaccinated travelers should have their freedom of movement returned. An efficient testing regime can sufficiently manage risks for those unable to be vaccinated. This is the underlying message in the latest WHO travel guidance. Some governments are moving in this direction. The UK, Singapore and Canada have indicated timelines to open their borders without quarantine for vaccinated travelers. The European Commission has recommended that its member states adopt travel protocols that are closely aligned with the WHO—including testing for unvaccinated travelers. Similar moves to re-open borders in line with the WHO guidance by US—leaders in vaccinating their populations—would give critical impetus to demonstrating that we can live and travel while managing the risks of COVID-19,” said Walsh.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Lack of Inbound Travel Continues to Hamper UK Economic Revival

500 303 wttc2
Lack of Inbound Travel Continues to Hamper UK Economic Revival - TRAVELINDEXLondon, United Kingdom, July 28, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The UK’s economic revival is being hampered by the lack of inbound travel while flights to amber list countries take off, says the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The warning comes from the global tourism body, which represents the global private Travel & Tourism sector.

New data collected by travel and analytics firm and WTTC knowledge partners, reveals the highest week-on-week percentage increases in tickets booked were to Germany, which were up by 113%; to Croatia up by 69%; Sweden by 68%; Portugal by 65% and Albania, up by 64%.

The data shows airline tickets booked for international trips out of the UK increased an average of 24% in the week to 13th July, compared to the previous week.

Weekly flight tickets for future travel from the UK to traditional destinations have exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with Greece the most popular destination, up 211% compared to 2019.

The Bahamas follows closely, with tickets up 161% on pre-pandemic levels. Croatia has also reached pre-pandemic weekly ticketing levels in the last week (107%) while tickets for travel to Spain, which reached 88% of 2019 levels, are fast increasing.

While this was good news for land-locked Brits, desperate to enjoy a much-need summer holiday break, the British economy which relies on international visitor spend will have been left in the doldrums by the lack of reciprocal inbound travel.

Based on 2019 levels and despite the rise in domestic holidays, the lack of inbound international visitors through July, due to concern over rising coronavirus cases and the UK government’s strict quarantine rules, could rob the UK economy of a staggering £639 million each day.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President WTTC, said: “The UK’s economic recovery is going to continue to be hampered by the lack of inbound international visitors while UK travellers are leaving the UK in increasing numbers.

“Whilst staycations are helping boost the economy, it is not nearly enough to replace the £639 million which is being lost every day.

“If the situation continues, the UK will lose out on much needed revenues which international travel provides, benefitting every level of the economy far beyond the Travel & Tourism sector.

“If every day travel is curbed, more cash-strapped Travel & Tourism businesses face even greater strain pushing them to the brink of bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Europe enjoys the financial benefits of British travellers returning to their markets.”

Juan Gómez Garcia, ForwardKeys Senior Insight Expert, said: “It’s reassuring to see the UK issued tickets increase for summer travel, the question remains – will those figures manage to surpass pre-pandemic levels in those destinations?”

According to WTTC’s 2021 Economic Impact Report (EIR) international visitor spend in 2019, before the pandemic struck, added a staggering £35.6 billion to the UK economy, or 4.9% of total exports.

This slumped to £10.1 billion in 2020 as the impact of travel restrictions wreaked havoc around the world, contributing to just 1.7% of total exports. This represented an eye-watering collapse of 71.6%, or £25.5 billion (need the figure in pounds, sterling).

WTTC has recently revealed that international Travel & Tourism industry leaders have backed their four new guidelines to restore international travel safely to save the millions of jobs and livelihoods which depend upon the sector, while providing a boost for the global economic recovery.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

The Athenee Hotel Bangkok with New Approach to Luxury Hospitality

500 283 wttc2
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

International Golf Travel Market Announces First Live Event in 2 Years

500 258 wttc2
International Golf Travel Market Announces First Live Event in 2 Years - TRAVELINDEXCeltic Manor, Wales, United Kingdom, July 27, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / IGTM 2021 will take place from 18th-21st October 2021 at Celtic Manor in Wales. The return of events as we know them, face to face is back. Reed Exhibitions, the organiser behind IGTM (International Golf Travel Market) has confirmed that its live event is back for 2021. The first international face to face meeting of the golf travel industry for the past 2 years.

Scheduled to take place from 18th – 21st October 2021 at Celtic Manor in Wales, it is also the first time the event has been held in the UK. Designed to kickstart the business opportunities for this leisure sector post COVID-19, golf tourism is poised to grow by $5.36 billion from 2020-2024 .

In a statement released today, David Todd, Event Manager of IGTM said: “We’re delighted to announce the return of IGTM that we know so many businesses rely on at such a crucial time to help support the bounce back of the golf tourism industry. We have been working closely with our venue partner, the ICC Wales to ensure a safe live event and are looking forward to welcoming the community once again – this is an industry that is a real revenue generator for golf facilities and hosts millions of leisure travellers worldwide, so we look forward to connecting everyone again.”

There are already more than 135 tour operators, travel agents, concierge companies and event planners confirmed from 28 countries including Golfbreaks (UK), Leadingcourses.com (Netherlands) and Women on Fairways (US), with numbers increasing every day. They will meet with similar numbers of the world’s top golf courses, resorts, hotels, tourist boards and DMCs – and delighted to announce the latest confirmed exhibitor is The PGA with 10 of its partner properties will be participating too.

Commenting on their participation, Guy Moran, Head of Property and Development at The PGA said: “The PGA is delighted to confirm its participation at IGTM 2021, where 10 PGA Branded Properties plus The PGA itself will attend this industry leading event. All PGA Branded Properties hope that the event will provide direct value to them as golf travel continues its journey back to a safer and healthier conditions.”

Exhibitors, buyers, and media will join forces for 4 days of pre-scheduled appointments, networking, and the IGTM annual golf tournament.

Host venue to IGTM 2021, ICC Wales, Chief Executive Ian Edwards said: “We are very much looking forward to hosting this much-anticipated event in October, as part of what we hope will be a successful resumption of the meetings industry during the second half of the year. We have been working tirelessly with industry partners and the Welsh Government to ensure we have robust safety protocols in place to facilitate the safe return of conventions of the size and scope of IGTM, and we cannot wait to see delegates coming back to our exceptional meeting spaces. We will continue to be guided by the latest medical advice and Welsh Government guidance, but the pilot events conducted across the UK as part of the Event Research programme demonstrated what we have long advocated – that the events industry is uniquely well placed to reopen safely, and their organised nature means compliance with procedures like Test and Trace is already built into standard practices.”

Commenting at the close of IGTM LINKS 2020, exhibitors and buyers were looking forward to the return of the face-to-face event:

Petra Darmstädter from Hotel Peralada Wine Spa & Golf said: “Digital events shouldn’t replace the physical, face-to-face IGTM meetings as I missed the networking and unscheduled chats. I look forward to this next year in Wales.”

Pascale Despieres from Parcours & Voyages in France said: “We wish all IGTM members and associates the best for the next coming months and we look forward to meeting you all in 2021 in Celtic Manor.”

About International Golf Travel Market
International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 24th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 450 golf tourism suppliers join more than 380 pre-qualified buyers and international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together golf tourism professionals from over 46 countries. Next events: IGTM Wales – 18th-21st October 2021

About RX (Reed Exhibitions)
RX is in the business of building businesses for individuals, communities and organisations. We elevate the power of face to face events by combining data and digital products to help customers learn about markets, source products and complete transactions at over 400 events in 22 countries across 43 industry sectors. RX is passionate about making a positive impact on society and is fully committed to creating an inclusive work environment for all our people. RX is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.

About RELX
RELX is a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs over 33,000 people, of whom almost half are in North America. The shares of RELX PLC, the parent company, are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX. The market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €39bn, $47bn.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

IATA: Passengers Confident in Onboard Safety

500 281 wttc2
IATA: Passengers Confident in Onboard Safety - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, July 26, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that based on its latest passenger survey conducted in June, most air travelers are confident about the safety of air travel and support mask-wearing in the near-term. However, a majority are also frustrated with the “hassle factor” around COVID-19 protocols, including confusion and uncertainty about travel rules, testing requirements, and excessive test costs.

The survey of 4,700 travelers in 11 markets around the world shows that:

  • 85% believe aircraft are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
  • 65% agree the air on an aircraft is as clean as an operating room

Among those who have traveled since June 2020, 86% felt safe onboard owing to COVID-19 measures:

  • 89% believe protective measures are well implemented
  • 90% believe airline personnel do a good job of enforcing the measures

Passengers strongly support mask wearing onboard (83%) and strict enforcement of mask rules (86%), but a majority also believe the mask requirement should be ended as soon as possible.

“Air travelers recognize and value the safety measures put in place to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission during air travel. And they support the continuation of these measures as long as necessary, but they also don’t want the measures to become permanent. In the meantime, we all need to respect the rules and the safety of fellow passengers. It is unacceptable that unruly passenger incidents have doubled compared to 2019, and the increase in physically abusive behavior is a particular cause for great concern,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

At the same time, participants admit that they struggle with the COVID-related rules and requirements and that this impacts their willingness to travel:

  • 70% thought the rules and the accompanying paperwork were a challenge to understand
  • 67% saw arranging testing as a hassle
  • 89% agreed governments must standardize vaccinations/testing certifications

“These responses should be a wake-up call to governments that they need to do a better job of preparing for a restart. Almost two thirds of respondents plan to resume travel within a few months of the pandemic being contained (and borders opened). And by the six-month mark almost 85% expect to be back to travel. To avoid overwhelming airports and border control authorities, governments need to agree to replace paper-based processes with digital solutions like the IATA Travel Pass for vaccine and testing documentation,” said Walsh.

Almost nine out of ten respondents like the idea of using a mobile app to store their travel health credentials and 87% support a secure digital system to manage health credentials. However, 75% say they will only use an app if they have full control of their vaccine/test data. “IATA Travel Pass enables travelers to receive, store and share their health information with governments and airlines but they always keep control of the information on their own mobile device. Now is the time for governments to facilitate digital solutions like IATA Travel Pass to avoid chaos at airports as travel begins to return,” said Walsh.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

New Initiative to Recognise Excellence Among SHA Certified Businesses

500 270 wttc2
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