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Metropole Hanoi Introduces Special Mooncake Flavors for Mid-Autumn Festival

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Metropole Hanoi Introduces Special Mooncake Flavors Ahead of Mid-Autumn Festival - TRAVELINDEXHanoi, Vietnam, August 3, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / One-hundred-twenty years after the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi made its debut, the landmark hotel is introducing an exclusive collection of mooncake flavors and elegant decorative boxes designed to resemble a history book that pays tribute to the Grand Dame of Hanoi’s anniversary.

The hand-baked, preservative-free mooncakes are made from authentic and innovative recipes, and infused with the Metropole’s gourmet touch. The special boxes for this year’s festival, which falls on September 21, feature the hotel’s distinctive facade underneath a starry sky.

Crafted by Metropole Hanoi’s culinary team, the mooncakes come in six exquisite flavors in 2021: Traditional Mix; Black Sesame and Coconut; Caramel with Dried Fig and Candied Orange; Green Bean with Dried Apricot and Salted Egg; Lotus and Mixed Dried Fruits; and Pineapple with Matcha and Salted Egg.

Metropole Hanoi’s mooncakes are available in four elegant box options this year: a four-piece box (each piece is 250g) priced at VND 1,980,000; a six-piece box (each piece is 100g) priced at VND 1,980,000; a six-piece VIP box (each piece is 100g), along with one special 250g mooncake and one Metropole lotus tea priced at VND 4,660,000; and a six-piece VIP lacquer box (each piece is 100g) along with one special 250g mooncake and one Metropole lotus tea priced at VND 6,060,000. Prices are inclusive of 10% VAT.

The hotel is also offering special promotions for orders placed before August 22, 2021. Orders of 20 boxes or more receive 25% off (Accor Plus members receive an extra 5% off). Orders of 10 boxes or more receive 20% off (Accor Plus members receive an extra 5% off). For orders of fewer than 10 boxes, the hotel is offering one complimentary box for every four boxes purchased (the complimentary box must be the same kind as the item purchased). Accor Plus members may buy four boxes and receive one complimentary box or 10% off the public price.

Orders placed after August 22, 2021 are entitled to the following promotions. Orders of 20 boxes or more receive 15% off (Accor Plus members receive an extra 5% off). Orders of 10 boxes or more receive 10% off (Accor Plus members receive an extra 5% off). For orders of fewer than 10 boxes, the hotel is offering one complimentary box for every six boxes purchased (the complimentary box must be the same kind as the item purchased). Accor Plus members may buy six boxes and receive one complimentary box or 10% off the public price.

The mooncakes are available at L’Epicerie du Metropole from August 5 to September 21.

The Mid-Autumn Festival, celebrated annually on the 15th day of the 8th month in the East Asian lunar calendar, is a time for families to come together to enjoy delicious teas and mooncakes, while giving thanks and praying for good fortune in the year ahead. Known as Tet Trung Thu in Vietnam, the festival traditionally signifies the end of the harvest season.

First published at – Global Travel News

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

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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

First published at – Global Travel News

Phuket Sandbox a Model for Asia-Pacific Reopening

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

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

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

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

First published at – Global Travel News


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Carnival Cruise Line’s celebrated a return to cruising from Florida after a 16-month pandemic pause with the launch of the maiden voyage of its new flagship ship, Mardi Gras, on Saturday from its home base in Port Canaveral. Cruise line president Christine Duffy and ship captain Giuseppe Giusa led a “Back to Fun” ribbon-cutting ceremony officially welcoming guests on board.

“Mardi Gras has been five years in the making so to finally welcome guests on board to experience this one-of-a-kind ship is something that we’ve been looking forward to for a very long time,” Duffy said.

As the line’s newest flagship, the 5,282-passenger Mardi Gras is the first cruise ship in the Americas to be powered by eco-friendly Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and the first to feature a roller coaster. The 180,000-ton ship boasts six distinct themed zones with a variety of food, beverage, and entertainment options, including dining venues from Emeril Lagasse, Guy Fieri, Rudi Sodamin, and its “Chief Fun Officer” (and former basketball great) Shaquille O’Neal.

Foremost among the zones is the “Ultimate Playground,” encompassing the ship’s top three decks and featuring the largest water park in the fleet, along with three slides, a suspended ropes course, and mini-golf course.

It is the setting for the first-ever roller coaster at sea: BOLT: Ultimate Sea Coaster, an all-electric coaster an all-electric roller coaster encompassing an elevated track across Mardi Gras upper decks with 245 m. of twists, drops and turns, including a hairpin turn around the ship’s funnel. Riders can achieve speeds of up to 65 kph as they enjoy views to the sea 57 m. below.

On Saturday (July 31), Mardi Gras set sail from Port Canaveral for a week-long cruise with stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; and Nassau. It is the fifth Carnival Cruise Line ship to resume service with additional vessels set to restart operations soon. By Oct., 15 Carnival anticipates that it will be sailing more than half its fleet.

Carnival Mardi Gras

First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at – Global Travel News

ROUND-UP:July 26-30, 2021

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Canadian airlines and cruise lines are soaring and sailing again; three’s the charm for travellers in Quebec; WestJet and KLM make news; and a flip-flop at Pearson…


The Quebec government says fully vaccinated residents who have received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can receive a third dose of an mRNA vaccine before travelling, but recipients are on their own for weighing the risks of doing so. The extra shots are being offered because some countries don’t recognize the version of the vaccine made at the Serum Institute of India, and Canadians who have received it could find themselves barred from entry.

Both Transat and Sunwing launched their first flights Friday after a six-month pandemic pause.


From Aug. 1, tourists who have received their two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will no longer be required to show proof of their travel medical insurance policy to enter Costa Rica. People under the age of 18, as well as those who are fully vaccinated can enter Costa Rica as tourists, providing they have received their second dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival in the country. Approved vaccines are Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson and travellers will need to show proof of vaccine that includes the full name of the person, the date of each dose, the formula, and the lot number.

To the benefit of Canadians, the government of Antigua & Barbuda’s has approved the mixing of the AstraZeneca vaccine with either Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, or the mixing of a Moderna and a Pfizer vaccine. As such, visitors who have had mixed doses of vaccines as noted above will be able to enter the country. Antigua & Barbuda had already been welcoming fully vaccinated travellers who have received both doses of a World Health Organization (WHO) approved two-dose Covid 19 vaccine.


WestJet is strengthening its codeshare relationship with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines through the placement of its “WS” codeshare on KLM-operated flights. Clients will now have access via Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) to 18 cities across Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the UK. The enhanced partnership builds on the airline’s new non-stop 787 Dreamliner service between Amsterdam and Calgary.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport says it will longer be splitting passengers coming from the US or other international destinations into vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated queues to help streamline the border clearance process. The process proved to show little benefit, said the airport.


Sun-seekers booking with Sunwing by Aug. 9 can take advantage of last-minute deals, including complimentary Price Drop Cash Back of up to $800 per couple, reduced deposits of just $100 p.p. and the flexibility to change or cancel their plans with ease.

Through Aug. 4, Contiki clients can save up to 25% off worldwide trips with the brand’s “Bucket List Sale.” A deposit of $99 is required.


Arnold Donald, President & CEO Carnival Corp., Jan Swartz, President of Princess Cruises, and Gus Antorcha, President of Holland America Line, in front of Majestic Princess in the Port of Seattle.

The 2021 Alaska season kicked off for Holland America with Nieuw Amsterdam setting sail July 24, while for Princess Cruises, Majestic Princess sailed on July 25. Each line will operate 10 cruises sailing out of Seattle through September. The departures marked the return to cruising and Alaska for both lines, which combined have more than 125 years of experience sailing to the state. Historically, one in two guests who cruise to Alaska sail on Princess or Holland America.

Carnival, which also began its Alaska season out of Seattle last week, launched both its newest ship, the Mardi Gras, and cruises out of Florida again on Saturday.

Norwegian Cruise Line commemorated its cruise comeback with a double debut: Norwegian Jade was not only the first of its 17-ship fleet to welcome guests after 500 days in July 25, it also made NCL history as the first vessel to homeport in Athens (Piraeus).

The official restart of river itineraries in France by Viking, marking the latest milestone as the company resumes operations in Europe. Guests are now embarking on journeys on the Seine and Rhône rivers for the “Paris & the Heart of Normandy,” “Lyon & Provence,” and “France’s Finest” itineraries. Viking’s voyage in Bordeaux, “Chateaux, Rivers and Wine,” will resume in August.


Chicago’s newest Vista Tower skyscraper, the third-tallest building in Chicago, is being rebranded as The St. Regis Chicago, including a luxury hotel that will open later this year. Amenities will include a fine dining restaurant with an outdoor terrace, an all-day restaurant and lounge overlooking the Chicago River, and a bar with an outdoor terrace as part of the luxury hotel.

AC Hotel by Marriott Maui Wailea is the first AC branded property in Hawaii and one of the state’s newest hotels. The property features 110 guestrooms, an infinity-edge pool, ocean-view bar and restaurant offering guests international- and Hawaiian-inspired cuisine. The hotel also includes a library and 24-hour fitness centre. Guestrooms feature hardwood floors and a private lanai.


A multi-million-dollar complete renovation of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail, phased over the past three years and marking the most significant investment the resort has undergone since its inception in 2010, will be completed this summer. Enhancements includes a “mountain chic” refresh and remodel of all hotel guest rooms, plus redesigned lobby and all public spaces. Located in Vail village at the base of Vail Mountain in the Colorado Rockies, the resort is a two-hour drive from Denver International Airport.


New research from Expedia Group suggests the influence of inclusion and diversity on post-pandemic booking decisions. The global survey, which included Canadians, said nearly two-thirds of travellers (65%) say they are more willing to book accommodations that have policies focused on diversity and inclusion. However, there is a significant generational gap when it comes to how much booking choices are influenced by whether or not accommodations have inclusive policies: 57% of respondents over the age of 40 say they are likely to book inclusive accommodations, while 77% of those under the age of 40 say that they are likely to do the same.


The Dollywood Company is embarking on an ambitious investment strategy that will see the Smoky Mountain vacation destination invest more than half a billion dollars over the next 10 years across its properties. One of the first projects is Dollywood’s HeartSong Lodge & Resort, a 302-room property currently under construction and due to open in 2023. Adjacent to Dollywood near Knoxville, Tenn., it will serve the three million annual visitors to the Dolly Parton theme park and Splash Country water park.


Discover the World Canada is now representing Cobblestone Freeway Tours, a small group tour operator specializing in culturally rich tours to Central and Eastern Europe, and agents are invited to take part in a nine-day fam to the Ukraine departing Oct. 9 designed to introduce the company and the country. Details at or by calling 1-800-684-7014.


Former Toronto Tourism president and CEO David Whittaker, who served in the city for eight years from 2007 before taking a similar role at Choose Chicago is now heading home to Miami, where he spent 17 years (1990-2007) at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). He returns as president and CEO starting in August.


Tourists are once again able to hike Peru’s Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu. After more than a year closed, the reopening of the hiking route is part of a new stage in the tourist reactivation of Cusco and Peru. The Inca Trail joins other hiking trails in the region, most of which reopened in July 2020, that are part of the Qhapaq Nan – a network of roads that once united the far reaches of the Inca empire.

NYC Restaurant Week has returned to in-person dining after 18 months. Continuing through Aug. 22, the program includes nearly 530 participating restaurants offering more than 50 distinct cuisines in 75 neighborhoods across all five New York boroughs, as well as updated, inclusive pricing with lunches priced at either US$21 or $39 and dinners priced at either $21 or $39 (both inclusive of one entrée and at least one side and aligned to the individual restaurant price points). Check out the website HERE.

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First published at Travel Industry Today

First published at – Global Travel News

St. Regis Hotels and Resorts Makes Glamorous Debut in China’s Coastal City of Qingdao

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Qingdao, China
Christopher Cypert

St. Regis Hotels and Resorts, part of Marriott International’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, today announced the debut of The St. Regis Qingdao. The highly anticipated opening marks the first Marriott International luxury brand hotel in the northeastern Shandong region. Strategically located in the landmark Haitian Center in the heart of historic Qingdao, the hotel is set to delight the city’s luminaries and tastemakers with its elegant design, refined craftsmanship and time-honored signature rituals.

“We are very excited to expand our luxury footprint to one of the most beautiful coastal cities in the region with the debut of the iconic St. Regis brand, bringing bespoke experiences curated for the most discerning travelers,” said Henry Lee, President, Greater China, Marriott International. “The opening of The St. Regis Qingdao ushers in a new benchmark of luxury hospitality in this dynamic city and underscores our commitment to continuously grow in Eastern China.”

Occupying the 58th to 78th floors of the 369-meter-tall Haitian Center, The St. Regis Qingdao is the tallest hotel in the region, enthralling guests with panoramic vistas of the Yellow Sea and picturesque coastal scenes. Within an hour’s drive from Qingdao Liuting International Airport, the hotel is adjacent to scenic Fushan Bay, the venue for the sailing competitions during the Beijing Olympics, and with views of iconic local landmarks such as Badaguan Cultural Architecture Centre and Qingdao International Sailing Centre.

Drawing inspiration from the brand’s rich heritage, the renowned Singapore based interior design firm, LTW Designworks, subtly infused local Qingdao influences with St. Regis’ avant-garde aesthetic. This includes a crystal chandelier inspired by a legendary dress of golden thorns that Caroline Astor, mother of St. Regis founder John Jacob Astor IV and doyenne of New York high society in the Gilded Age, wore to one of her famed Midnight Suppers. A brilliantly-lit grand staircase offers the perfect venue for the celebrated St. Regis tradition of sabering a bottle of champagne to mark the transition from day to night. The backdrop of the grand staircase is a 74-meter-high atrium art wall that reflects the delicate traces left on the beach by the ebb and flow of the Yellow Sea.

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St Regis Qingdao Ocean View King Suite
Christopher Cypert

The hotel features 233 guest rooms, including 30 luxury suites with spectacular ocean views. In each guest room, the bedside backplate features camellia motifs as an homage to the official flower of Qingdao, representing inspiration, integrity and romance. The bespoke amenities, design narratives and spectacular views combine to transport guests into a world of exquisite luxury and service. Guests will also enjoy the brand’s signature Butler Service, offering around-the-clock anticipatory service and ensuring that each guest’s stay is customized according to their tastes and preferences.

The St. Regis Qingdao also invites guests to embark on multi-sensory culinary journeys with exceptional presentations, memorable flavors and spectacular views at its five distinctive dining outlets. The Drawing Room, located on 59th floor, offers an indulgent Afternoon Tea along with panoramic seascapes. In spaces that combine contemporary chic with traditional charm, YAN TING serves authentic Cantonese cuisine featuring the freshest locally-sourced seafood. Social is an exciting all-day dining experience, featuring international delights at breakfast, along with fresh local seafood and western grill items on the lunch and dinner menus. The Carvery celebrates convivial dining in a classic New York steakhouse setting. In the evenings, guests are invited to The St. Regis Bar overlooking Qingdao city and its charming nightscapes to enjoy handcrafted cocktails. The signature St. Regis cocktail, the Bloody Mary, is given an intriguing new twist using essences of sparkling Qingdao beer, fresh local clams and fine sea-salt and aptly reintroduced as the “GáLa Mary”.

With a total of more than 2,000 square meters of dedicated event space, the hotel offers venues and facilities for iconic gatherings and meetings. The Astor Ballroom, covering an area of more than 900 square meters, is the perfect setting for celebrations, events, galas and talk-of-the-town wedding banquets. The St. Regis Qingdao also offers a bespoke wedding planner service to assist couples in planning their once-in-a-lifetime dream wedding.

The exclusive St. Regis Spa elevates the traditional spa visit into an enjoyable social occasion featuring five treatment rooms including the St. Regis Spa Suite, a private space for couples, families or small groups of friends to relax and enjoy bespoke treatment time together. The Celebration Bar is a joyous space of refined elegance serving the finest Champagne and effervescent cocktails. Fitness enthusiasts will enjoy the hotel’s well-equipped fitness center and indoor infinity swimming pool offering stunning views of the surrounding sea and sky.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the debut of The St. Regis Qingdao. As one of the most important destinations for business and leisure travelers in China, Qingdao now has a most iconic luxury landmark,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand Marketing and Management, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We look forward to sharing Qingdao with guests through the lens of St. Regis’ signature glamorous spirit, sophistication and impeccable service when they visit the destination.”

For more information about The St. Regis Qingdao, please visit

About St. Regis Hotels & Resorts
Combining classic sophistication with a modern sensibility, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc., is committed to delivering exceptional experiences at more than 45 luxury hotels and resorts in the best addresses around the world. Since the opening of the first St. Regis hotel in New York City over a century ago by John Jacob Astor IV, the brand has remained committed to an uncompromising level of bespoke and anticipatory service for all of its guests, delivered flawlessly by signature St. Regis Butler Service. For more information and new openings, visit or follow Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. St. Regis 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

About Marriott International, Inc
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,600 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 133 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy™, its highly-awarded travel program. For more information, please visit our website at, and for the latest company news, visit In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

Read original article at Marriott Hotels

First published at – Global Travel News

MSC Cruises to Expand Saudi Arabia Programme

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MSC Cruises to Expand Saudi Arabia Programme

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, August 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / MSC Cruises, the contemporary brand of the Cruise Division of MSC Group, today announced that MSC Bellissima, one of the line’s most modern ships, will sail 21 Red Sea voyages from Jeddah, the commercial hub of Saudi Arabia, between the end of July and late October.

  • MSC Bellissima to homeport in Jeddah with 3- and 4-night cruises to Egypt and Jordan
  • Summer season to complement winter 2021/22 Red Sea itineraries
  • Eighth MSC Cruises ship to resume operations with passengers on board

MSC Bellissima is the largest cruise ship ever to sail the waters of the Red Sea and the vessel arrived at the weekend in Jeddah to prepare for her maiden season.

The ship, which first came into services in 2019, will offer 3- and 4-night cruises to Safaga for Luxor, Egypt or Aqaba for Petra, Jordan before returning to her Saudi homeport.

The summer sailings will add to MSC Cruises’ previously announced winter 2021/22 Red Sea voyages from Jeddah starting in November.

Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises said: “As the tourism industry of Saudi Arabia grows progressively for its own residents and international visitors, we at MSC Cruises are looking forward to make a positive and lasting contribution as more people explore and discover the rich heritage and incredible cultural attractions it has to offer.

“With our cruises this summer from Jeddah of MSC Bellissima and a ship dedicated for the winter season in the Red Sea we are committed to serve holidaymakers with the very best cruise experiences. This, we believe, will accelerate the attractiveness of holidays at sea in the region and significantly help in the growth of tourism.”

MSC Bellissima will be the eighth MSC Cruises’ ship to resume sailings with passengers on board with a further three vessels preparing to start future voyages, which will see half of the Company’s fleet back at sea by the end of summer.

Five MSC Cruises’ ships are currently sailing in the Mediterranean – MSC Grandiosa MSC Seaside, MSC Orchestra, MSC Splendida and MSC Magnifica, MSC Virtuosa is operating around the UK and MSC Seaview is cruising in the Baltic Sea.

MSC Meraviglia from 2 August will resume Caribbean cruises from Miami and will be joined in the region from 18 September when MSC Divina restarts sailing from Port Canaveral near Orlando in Florida.

MSC Seashore will come into service in August with voyages in the West Mediterranean before the Company’s newest flagship transfers in November to Miami for a season in the Caribbean.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Air France Prepares for Arrival of New Airbus A220

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Air France Prepares for Arrival of New Airbus A220

Paris, France, August 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Air France is continuing to renew its fleet. At the end of September, the airline will take delivery of the first of the 60 Airbus A220-300s it has ordered to replace its Airbus A318s and A319s on the short and medium-haul network.

  • The company’s first Airbus A220 has left the paint shop sporting the Air France livery,
  • This aircraft embodies the airline’s sustainability commitments with 20% less fuel used compared with the aircraft it is replacing and a 34% reduced noise footprint,
  • All the Air France crews are preparing to welcome this aircraft in September at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.

The first Airbus A220 designed for Air France recently left the Airbus paint shop in Mirabel, near Montreal. It sports the new Air France colours and notably features the winged seahorse, the airline’s historical symbol embodying its rich history, at the front of the fuselage.

As it is made with lighter composite materials, the Airbus A220 uses 20% less fuel than previous generation aircraft, and has a 34% reduced noise footprint. It will play a decisive role in achieving Air France’s sustainable development objectives, including a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions in absolute terms on the domestic network from Paris-Orly and on inter-regional routes by 2024 (1), and a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger/km by 2030(2).

Tests and crew training – flight safety of key importance in the preparation for the A220’s arrival

Before joining Paris to carry Air France customers, the aircraft will undergo a series of ground and in-flight tests. On its arrival, it will be used for more than a month to train the airline’s flight crews, some of whom began the so-called “type rating” process last summer.

As with every new type of aircraft entering the fleet, the company has set up two core groups, one made up of pilots and the other of flight attendants. These already qualified crew members will then be responsible for training their colleagues within the framework of in-house programmes validated by the authorities.

Last September, eight instructor pilots attended an 8-week theoretical and practical training course at the Airbus training centre in Montreal. They are currently training their colleagues – including another 28 instructors who complete the pilot launch team – notably using a Full Flight Simulator (FFS) mounted on jacks, and assembled at Air France’s flight simulation centre at Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Once Air France takes delivery of the first aircraft, this simulator training will be supplemented by approximately 20 flights in real conditions, with a view to obtaining the A220-300 type rating. Close to 700 Air France pilots will eventually be qualified on this aircraft.

The same core group system is being used for cabin crews, with 14 flight attendants trained in Zurich between September and December 2020. They are currently finalizing the training manuals and content that they themselves will be responsible for providing as from September 2021. The core group has selected and trained a group of 37 flight attendants to complete the practical flight training of cabin crews as soon as the A220 enters service. Two A220 door models have been installed at the Air France Crew Academy at Paray Vieille-Poste, near Paris-Orly, to train some 2,500 flight attendants.

In addition to the pilots and flight attendants, the entire company is preparing to welcome the Airbus A220. From maintenance to station staff, all operational sectors are getting ready for the arrival of this latest-generation aircraft.

The Air France Airbus A220 will be able to welcome 148 passengers in a 3-2 cabin configuration. Each seat will be equipped with type A and type C USB ports and all passengers will enjoy Wi-Fi access from their personal devices.

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First published at – Global Travel News

Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Welcomes Minister of Tourism and Sports

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Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Welcomes Minister of Tourism and Sports

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

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

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

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First published at – Global Travel News

Thailand Trusted SHA Certified On Par with WTTC Safe Travel Stamp

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Thailand Trusted SHA Certified On Par with WTTC Safe Travels Stamp

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

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

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

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News