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BATTERED IN BATH

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The impatience to travel again has inspired destinations and their marketing groups to ramp up their social media postings. There are daily images of places and activities I love and can’t visit. It’s almost cruel.

Like a post by Canada’s VisitBritain rep, Cathy Stapells. Cathy is not just a Facebook friend, we’re real-world friends having cruised with Holland America from Boston to Montreal, participated in a golf-spa-and-whisky tour of Scotland, as well as a Daphne Du Maurier themed trip to Cornwall. So when Cathy posted images of Bath on her Facebook page, many of our friends and colleagues wrote dreamy remembrances of Jane Austen and hot actors who played Mr. Darcy

While many basked in the glorious, sunny olde England of romance fiction, afternoon tea, boating, virile young aristocrats and gauzy dresses for young women I thought of hospitals and health care.

My first trip to Bath was in the back of an ambulance. I spent a sunny June afternoon in the ER, with doctors on each side of me in a Humpty Dumpty-type debate about whether to stitch or glue me together again.

Medical professionals can be unsettlingly graphic. I raised my hand and asked if I could be wheeled out of the room because their conversation was making me ill.

I was there because of a cycling accident. The day began in an idyllic manner, with me cycling along the lilac-scented Kennet and Avon Canal, where the only sound was the splashing of ducks and swans. I had lunch at the canal-side Somerset Arms where an older gentleman on a motorized scooter asked if I would bring him a pint of Badger’s Gold. I approached the woman behind the bar and said, “A gentleman with a white dog …” when she cut me off. “Ah, right, it’s that time. He’ll be wanting a Gold.”

Back outside a couple had stopped at the old gentleman’s table. They had their dog, he had his. They were pushing a red cart I thought contained ice cream. In fact, they were The Royal Mail. I delivered his pint, they delivered his mail. He smiled at us all.

I was doing a brilliant three-day serviced cycle trip in Wiltshire offered by a company called History on Your Handlebars. It was operated by a retired stockbroker, who I believe has taken his second retirement. But when it operated he met you at the Chippenham train station, where he traded maps and bike for my luggage. Each day I would leave my assigned B&B along a route developed to match my interests and he would pick up my bags and drive them to the next stop about 30 miles away. I cycled through a quiet, bucolic countryside familiar to novelists and Merchant-Ivory films.

It was Friday afternoon, I was returning to a B&B in Bradford-on-Avon, and to get out of growing bank-holiday traffic, I decided to ride on the open sidewalk. Alas, it’s an old story of the wheel and curb not being in harmony. The bike went one way, while I did an OMG-slow-motion head-first dive to the pavement. I’m still uncertain if I hit a telephone pole or not. I knew I wasn’t about to die because my life didn’t flash before me, instead every curse word in every language I ever heard did.

After the initial impact I remember attempting to get off the ground before anyone saw my stupidity.

On the upside, two off-duty nurses witnessed the whole thing. Before I could move someone was wrapping me in a blanket and holding an umbrella to keep the mid-day sun off me, while another voice called for an ambulance.

Since this was my first ride in an ambulance I was annoyed that the paramedics wouldn’t put on the siren.

After a few hours in the ER, where I had tetanus shots and eight stitches, I had a £50 cab ride back to the B&B. At breakfast the next morning two men asked what happened. I filled them in on the few details I could remember. They generously went out to search ditches for my bike, which they found and returned to the B&B. This was supremely kind of them since one of this tuxedoed pair was getting married in two hours!

I dragged my battered self to the station to get a train to Bath. At the hotel I was greeted by an overly cheerful clerk, who through her smile asked if I had had a mishap? I felt like saying, “No, I usually look like hell.” I had eight stitches in my forehead, the white of my eyes were red, which stood out against the two black eyes and scraped cheeks. I could see only because of a separate pair of prescription sunglasses and to not offend people with my wounds wore a golf cap gently pulled down almost to my nose.

That afternoon I had to have my dressings checked at a local clinic. The clinic clerk was scandalized by a £25 ($43.45) charge for the visit because Canada didn’t have a reciprocal health agreement with the UK (always sell travel insurance!). To rectify this she decided I looked Australian and put that down on my appointment card, sparing me the charge.

Saving £25 improved my mood and I signed on for the Bizarre Bath Walk. Their advertising and guide explicitly explain the walk “has nothing to do with Bath. We don’t bore you with history or facts or any of that rubbish.”

Bike Walk, blindfolded guide

Instead our Austen-free experience was more like a type of walking vaudeville show, which was so (in)famous locals interacted with it. Mostly they tried to trip up the guide. For example, for the first part of the tour the guide is blindfolded. Just as he undid his blindfold a teenaged cyclist rode through our group with his arms outstretched and face covered by his t-shirt. Our guide was speechless.

From Bath I returned to London where VisitBritain had provided accommodations in a Red Carnation property, The Montague on the Gardens. The Montague is like a country house in the city. My stay coincided with Ascot race week. All the Montague’s other guests had passes to the Royal Enclosure.

On Ladies Day, when the world’s most fantastical hats are on display, female guests rode the elevator one at a time. There was no room for others. Doors were held for them as they deftly slid into the cavernous backseats of the chauffeured Rolls Royces and Bentleys which lined the street.

Meanwhile I still looked like the victim of a serious mugging.

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

FULL SILVER MOON: A Silversea Sister with Her Own Personality

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Silver Moon has been officially christened as the ninth vessel in the ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises fleet and is sailing in the Greek Isles this summer. In a ceremony in Athens, godmother Gaia Gaja made the long-awaited naming of the ship that was due to begin service in 2020, but was delayed by the cruise industry shutdown.

Silver Moon’s christening in Greece represents “‘not only the birth of a new vessel but the rebirth of cruising,” said Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain. The ship is sailing inaugural Greek Isles cruises from Piraeus, the port for Athens.

Read it all in The Cruisington Times.

SALT Bar on The Silver Moon

First published at Travel Industry Today

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

Green Hotel Investments to Restart Tourism

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Green Hotel Investments to Restart Tourism

Madrid, Spain, July 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Destination Capital (DC) has signed a collaborative arrangement with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations to support the rejuvenation of the hotel industry. The arrangement supports the relationship DC has with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to promote investment in green and sustainable tourism accommodation and to stimulate re-employment, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The collaboration between UNWTO and Destination Capital is based on DC’s adoption of best practices aimed at reducing carbon emissions and operating hotels in a manner consistent with IFC’s environmental and social criteria. Against this backdrop, DC acquires and repositions freehold hotels of 150-250 rooms in Thailand and across South-East Asia with the aim of implementing sustainable water and energy systems. It also works to promote gender equality at every level of the hospitality sector, another of UNWTO’s core priorities and in line with Sustainable Development Goal number 5.

While governments and destinations around the world are working on vaccination programs to accelerate the restart of the tourism, UNWTO is working with the private sector to encourage employers to play their part in the recovery of local communities through job creation and training programs. UNWTO data shows that international tourism arrivals fell by 1 billion in 2020, with the crisis carrying over into 2021. Worldwide, this has placed as many as 120 million tourism jobs directly at risk. Moreover, Asia and the Pacific has been the worst-affected of all global regions, and young workers and women are among the hardest hit by the downturn in tourism employment.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, DC recognizes the hotel industry not only has a responsibility to re-hire and re-train hotel staff. It is also increasingly under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the impact of energy and water consumption as well as food waste and environmental degradation. DC is committed to retrofitting its hotels to be compliant as ‘green hotel’s as per the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) standards established by IFC.

About Destination Capital
Destination Capital is a private equity real estate investment company based in Bangkok Thailand which focuses on acquiring, renovating and repositioning hotel assets such that they are EDGE compliant and follow a rigorous sustainability protocol in order to unlock value for our capital partners. Rigorous asset manage programs are in place to yield higher values upon exit while pursuing a “Triple Bottom Line” strategy: Planet, People, Profit.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

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

WTTC Report on How Tourism Can Help Eradicate Human Trafficking

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WTTC Report on How Tourism Can Help Eradicate Human Trafficking

London, United Kingdom, July 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a major new report which signals how the global Travel & Tourism sector can help eradicate human trafficking.

The report is released with support from the Carlson Family Foundation, and builds on WTTC’s Human Trafficking Taskforce, which was launched in 2019 at its Global Summit in Seville, Spain.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

With its report ‘Preventing Human Trafficking: An Action Framework for the Travel & Tourism Sector’, WTTC aims to strengthen cooperation across stakeholders and share best practices to raise awareness about how the sector can, and does, make a difference, to proactively address this global crime.

The report details an action framework to tackle human trafficking, around four main pillars: Awareness, Education & Training, Advocacy, and Support.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that on any given day in 2016, more than 40 million people around the world were victims of human trafficking.

The pandemic has not only put a spotlight on pre-existing inequalities but exacerbated them. This has accelerated the urgent need for targeted actions within the Travel & Tourism sector.

The report offers solutions both within the sector and beyond, as the complexity of these transnational crimes require multi-disciplinary efforts and concerted coordinated action by stakeholders, such as states, private companies, and international organisations around the world.

For the Travel & Tourism sector, this means involving the expertise of all stakeholders, including survivors, as well as civil society organisations to establish joint initiatives.

Virginia Messina, Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, WTTC said: “Human trafficking is a global crime which preys on the vulnerable, continues to grow and affect the lives of millions around the world.

“This vital report offers a framework for the Travel & Tourism sector to play its part to help combat human trafficking. Given the sector’s inadvertent position in the path of human traffickers, we need to shoulder our responsibility to ensure that the Travel & Tourism sector offers a safe and welcoming environment for those who work within it.

“Ultimately, travel is something that brings people together, and it is critical that we proactively help address this crime. 

The sector needs a cohesive approach and focus its efforts on driving forward advocacy related to human trafficking by engaging all key stakeholders. We hope that this report can aid in that task.” 

This in-depth report highlights the need to work on facilitating an approach which will enhance the understanding of the crime of human trafficking, enable better identification, prevention, and mitigation of potential and actual impacts of the sector, and further public-private collaboration to ensure that appropriate steps are taken by governments when human trafficking is detected.

The report is launched in advance of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (30 July), which highlights the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

WTTC would also like to thank the following organisations for contributing to this important report: Carlson, CWT, AMEX GBT, Marriott International, Hilton, Ingle, JTB Corp, ECPAT International, Airbnb, AIG Travel, Bicester Village Shopping Collection, Emirates, Expedia Group, ITF, It’s a Penalty, Marano Perspectives.

To read the report in full, please click here.

First published at TravelCommunication.net – Global Travel News

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Residence Inn by Marriott Debuts in Colombia, Offering Upscale Living in the Heart of Bogotá

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Residence Inn Bogota
www.uribefotografia.com

Residence Inn by Marriott, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, announced today the opening of its newest property, Residence Inn by Marriott Bogotá. Marking Residence Inn’s debut in Colombia, the hotel is located at Calle 90 # 16-30, just a few steps from 93rd Street Park and in the middle of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan area in the Colombian capital.

Operated by oxoHotel — a company specialized in the conceptualization, development and operation of multi-brand and multi-segment accommodations — the new Residence Inn by Marriott Bogotá welcomes business and leisure travelers with upscale design and architecture that enhances the guest experience with open spaces to relax and live without constraints.

Residence Inn by Marriott Bogotá provides direct access to Chicó Market (Mercado del Chicó), an innovative gastronomic complex with more than 30 gastronomic offerings, located adjacent to the hotel, as well as to Bodytech Calle 90, one of the best medical sports clubs in Colombia.

“We are very pleased to introduce the Residence Inn by Marriott brand for the first time in Colombia,” said Diane Mayer, Vice President & Global Brand Manager of Classic Select Brands, Marriott International. “We’ve seen increased demand for longer stay brands that offer modern amenities, open room layouts and sophisticated design to spread out, recharge and maintain a healthy balance while on the road, whether for business or for fun. Travelers can make the most of their stay by choosing the Residence Inn by Marriott Bogotá.”

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Residence Inn Bogota
www.uribefotografia.com

The hotel offers 131 all-suite, flexible guest rooms including studios and one- or two-bedroom suites. Guests will feel right at home with separate areas for living and sleeping with plush bedding and linens, providing an intimate atmosphere that invites connection and productivity.

The hotel design makes use of organic materials and textures combined with warm colors, transition palettes, as well as textiles and ancestral Colombian goldwork that feature crisp and inspiring details, offering comfort the moment a guest enters the hotel lobby.

LONGER STAY
Designed for stays of five nights or more with maximum benefits in mind, Residence Inn stands out for its modern residential decor based on the idea of ​​‘travel the way you live.’ It is a concept where openness, freedom and love for life translate into personalized service and unrestricted experiences.

Fully equipped kitchens in each suite – complete with a refrigerator, cook top, microwave, dishwasher, residential-size appliances, and dishes and cookware – set the stage for home-cooked meals, paired with Residence Inn’s complimentary grocery delivery. Guests will also appreciate large in-suite workspaces with a well-lit desk, ergonomic seat and high-speed wireless internet access.

Residence Inn offers a wide variety of healthy and natural options on rotation for its daily complimentary breakfast, included in the room rate.

“We are delighted to open the first Residence Inn in Colombia in an area surrounded by impressive shops, restaurants and experiences that invite business and tourism. Each suite has been developed to create sensations of being close to home with personalized welcoming moments,” said Juan Carlos Galindo, CEO of oxoHotel. “With this opening, we are not only reaffirming our intention to offer enhanced experiences to our guests, but also to reignite tourism and new hotel projects in Colombia.”

About oxoHotel
oxoHotel is a company that provides solutions for the conceptualization, development and operation of multi-brand and multi-segment lodging services, with excellent hotel management capabilities and with the purpose of achieving the highest profitability for investors, guest satisfaction and the development of all the staff members’ potential. For more information on oxoHotel, visit: oxohotel.com, or follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.

About Residence Inn by Marriott
Residence Inn by Marriott is the global leader in the longer stays lodging segment with more than 850 properties in over 15 countries and territories. Guests have the freedom to travel the way they live with Residence Inn’s spacious suites featuring distinct living, working, and sleeping spaces. Travelers can maximize their time and thrive while on the road with fully equipped kitchens in each suite, grocery delivery service, 24/7 grab-and-go markets and complimentary breakfasts. The warm and inviting public spaces feature modern residential design allowing guests to feel right at home, paired with the added amenities of upscale hotel living. Residence Inn is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.com. For more information or reservations, visit residence-inn.marriott.com.

Media Contact:
Zasha Pérez Gallardo
Marriott International
+506 7011 4056
Zasha.PerezGarllardo@marriott.com

Orlando Gómez
Orlando Gómez Comunicaciones
+57 300 5173500
Orlando@orlandogomez.com

Read original article at Marriott Hotels

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

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

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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

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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

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