Pullman Luang Prabang Launches Guide to Celebrate Sustainability

Pullman Luang Prabang Launches Guide to Celebrate Sustainability

Luang Prabang (Laos) – February 14, 2020 (travelindex.com) – Five-star Hotel Pullman Luang Prabang recently launched its first annual Sustainability Guide, designed to introduce and encourage guests and a wider global audience to experience the city’s celebrated sustainability ethos. The 50-page print publication shares the inspirational stories behind the innovative practices, individuals and experiences that have earned Luang Prabang a reputation as of one of southeast Asia’s most sustainable destinations Pullman Luang Prabang Sustainability Guide 2019-20.

The former Lao capital has long been renowned for its deep connection to cultural heritage, tradition and community — all of which have fuelled the rapid take-up of sustainable practices in recent years, especially within the hospitality sector. It therefore came as no surprise when, shortly after opening in 2018, Pullman Luang Prabang began to champion, and establish partnerships with, community-based tourism enterprises and organic farms, as well as introducing its own initiatives in tandem with the city-wide efforts.

“Everything here is about preservation and this mentality is deeply rooted within the community, laying the fundamentals for openness towards sustainable practices,” says Denis Dupart, the resort’s general manager. “Beyond our own efforts, we wanted to showcase this collaborative spirit and ensure our guests and other visitors to Luang Prabang appreciate how unique this destination is.”

The decision to highlight these success stories in the guide also chimes with AccorHotels’ global sustainable development programme, Planet 21, which promotes onsite and community-based practices, eco-design, the use of environmentally-friendly products and locally-sourced ingredients for the kitchen and spa.

But it is Pullman Luang Prabang’s hyperlocal approach to sustainability that forms the basis of the guide. Such initiatives include the development of an expansive onsite garden that supplies the resort’s all-day dining restaurant, L’Atelier, with an abundance of fruit and vegetables.

Other ingredients, meanwhile, are locally-sourced from the city’s famous morning market and organic farms such as Living Land, with the exception of some highly unique — to Laos at least — dairy products. For its mozzarella, ricotta, feta, blue cheese and yoghurt needs, the resort calls on the services of Laos Buffalo Dairy, the country’s first dairy farm. The socially-responsible enterprise rents local buffalos for dairy production, providing local farmers with a steady income and training on how to effectively care for the valuable animals. It welcomes individuals and groups to experience the interactive farm, dairy facilities and of course the delicious products firsthand.

Pullman Luang Prabang also organises its own interactive experiences, namely seasonal rice cultivation classes for families and corporate groups, as well as complimentary tours of the organic garden that can be booked at reception. After the harvest, the rice husks, a byproduct of the cultivation process, are donated to MandaLao Elephant Conservation camp — another admirable programme that combines responsible tourism, animal conservation and local community involvement.

In addition to joining in with the hands-on activities at the 123-room resort, guests can explore the onsite craft store, which features products from other local partners including Ock Pop Tok. Launched in 2000 by local Laos weaver Veo Douangdala and British photographer Jo Smith, what initially began as a small-scale venture selling a handful of designs has evolved into one of the most successful, socially-responsible and sustainable startups in Laos. It now operates stores throughout Luang Prabang and a nearby handicraft centre on the banks of the Mekong River.

Dupart explains that collaborative efforts to ensure sustainable practices are effective in the city go way beyond the private sector. “Both the public and private sector are aware of the importance of retaining Luang Prabang’s authenticity while still growing in a sustainable way. If tourism in the city fails, we all lose, so it’s essential that this is done properly.”

Recent accolades received by Pullman Luang Prabang suggest it already doing its fair share to ensure the city’s future remains green. The resort was the only property in Luang Prabang to be awarded the Green Hotel Standard Awards at the seventh annual event in January. The recognition covers a wide range of areas such as waste and water management, use of green products, human resources, pollution control and energy efficiency.

Indeed, Pullman Luang Prabang operates in a way that is fully integrated with its eco-system. Guests can therefore rest assured that the food they eat is locally sourced, the water they use is treated and recycled and that everyone in the supply chain benefits from the success of the resort.

Moreover, guests receive a complimentary copy of the first annual Pullman Luang Prabang Sustainability Guide upon arrival and can schedule private and group day tours to discover for themselves all the attractions and enterprises featured in the publication and that make the city one of southeast Asia’s most sustainable destinations.

For more information about Pullman Luang Prabang, please visit www.pullman-luangprabang.com

The Sustainability Guide can be downloaded here.

About Pullman
Pullman Hotels & Resorts delivers an experience that is upscale, upbeat and perfectly in tempo with the global zeitgeist. Against the backdrop of today’s fast-paced life, Pullman helps guests be at their best, in business and at leisure, enabling them to seamlessly conduct business, explore the locale, workout and make connections – to the neighbourhood and people around them. Retaining the values of exploration, comfort and dependability that drove it to become a pioneering travel brand over 150 years ago, Pullman today features more than 120 worldwide properties including Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, Pullman Park Lane Hong Kong, Pullman Shanghai South, Pullman London St Pancras and Pullman Sao Paulo Vila Olimpia. Pullman is part of AccorHotels, a world-leading travel and lifestyle group which invites travellers to feel welcome at more than 4,600 hotels, resorts and residences, along with some 10,000 of the finest private homes around the globe.

Getting Ahead of the Curve at the PATA Adventure Travel Conference

Getting Ahead of the Curve at the PATA Adventure Travel Conference

Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) – February 14, 2020 (travelidnex.com) – The PATA Adventure Travel Conference and Mart 2020 began on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, attracting 368 delegates from 33 destinations in attendance for the three-day niche event with international delegates comprising 40% of the total. Encompassing a one-day-travel mart and one-day conference, the B2B trade mart on Friday, February 14 will welcome 51 seller organisations from 9 destinations and 45 buyer organisations from 21 source markets.

The event, which is organised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and hosted by Tourism Malaysia and supported by Sabah Tourism and Malaysia Airlines, brought together international experts at the forefront of the adventure travel industry to explore the nuances, trends and dynamics of one of the fastest-growing tourism sectors.

On Thursday, February 13, delegates will hear from a diverse line-up of speakers at the one-day conference under the theme ‘Ahead of the Curve: Authenticity and Sustainability in Adventure’. The innovators and pioneers, who are shaping the emerging landscape of the adventure travel industry, will examine various conference topics that cover ‘State of Adventure Tourism’, ‘Who Are Our Adventure Tourists?’, ‘Creating Meaningful Adventures’, ‘Sustainable Elephant Experiences’, ‘How to Use Responsible Travel Initiatives to Attract Adventure Tourists’, and ‘Starting Small: How to Integrate Adventure Elements into Your Tour.’

This year’s conference programme also features two concurrent hands-on workshops on Sustainability, led by Natasha Martin, Adventure Tourism Expert; Raj Gyawali, Founder, Socialtours, and Jessica Yew, Co-Founder & Director, Sticky Rice Travel, and Authenticity which will be led Dan Moore, CEO of Pandion Consulting & Facilitation.

The conference will be opened by YB Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi, Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia.

“We are very pleased to be given the honour to host PATA this year, whose theme ‘Authenticity and Sustainability in Adventure’ is in line with our aspirations to highlight Malaysia’s outdoor and adventure attractions to cater to the growing adventure tourism market while adhering to responsible travel initiatives,” commented the Minister.

Other confirmed speakers include Graham Harper, Director – Sustainability & Social Responsibility, PATA; Irshad Mubarak, Owner, Junglewalla Tours Pakkanut Bansiddhi, DVM, MSc, PhD, Lecturer, Department of Companion Animals and Wildlife Clinics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University, and Theerapat Trungprakan, President, Thai Elephant Alliance Association.

“I would like to sincerely thank all our delegates and speakers for joining us in Malaysia to discuss, analyse and share their various ideas in planning, building and promoting a responsible travel and tourism industry, particularly during the current coronavirus crises,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “I would also like to to thank our hosts for having taken extra precautions to ensure the health and safety our delegates during their stay in Sabah.”

About PATA
Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its more than 800 member organisations, including 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 20 international airlines and airports, 102 hospitality organisations and 70 educational institutions, as well as over 4,000 young tourism professional (YTP) members across the world. The PATA network also embraces the grassroots activism the PATA Chapters and Student Chapters, who organise numerous travel industry training programmes and business development events across the world. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 35 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 22 PATA Student Chapters globally. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing and London. PATA’s Annual Theme for the 2020 calendar year is ‘Partnerships for Tomorrow’.

About Tourism Malaysia
For more media releases, media info and media features on Malaysia’s tourism industry, kindly visit the Media Centre of Tourism Malaysia’s website at www.tourism.gov.my

Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board or Tourism Malaysia is an agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia. It focuses on the specific task of promoting Malaysia as a preferred tourism destination. Since its inception, it has emerged as a major player in the international tourism scene. In 2018, Malaysia registered 25.8 million tourist arrivals and RM84.1 billion tourist receipts, placing it among the major tourism destinations of the world.

Bangkok Diners Can Now Taste Southern Indian Food

Bangkok Diners Can Now Taste Southern Indian Food

Bangkok (Thailand) – February 14, 2020 (travelindex.com) – Bangkok welcomes a new standard in Indian fine dining, the kind of which has never been seen before in the Kingdom, with the opening of JHOL Indian Restaurant. World-class Chef Hari Nayak will be bringing his passion for Southern coastal Indian cuisine to delight the palettes of discerning diners seeking something new and unforgettable.

Udupi, a city on the southwest coast of India, is where Chef Hari Nayak’s culinary adventure began, from there he ventured to the USA to further explore his gastronomic adventure as part of his never-ending quest to develop as many new and innovative recipe ideas and cooking techniques as possible.

These experiences led Chef Nayak to author a number of acclaimed cookbooks that introduced the world to his unique take on Indian cooking style where he opened the door to the food of his homeland to many who initially found Indian cooking intimidating.

This one-of-a-kind dining experience delivers a brasserie-style offering in a chic and contemporary setting resplendent with cultural design aesthetics that reflect the Indian heritage of the menu and the overall concept of the restaurant.

Drawing upon Chef Nayak’s coastal roots, JHOL celebrates the joys of fresh succulent seafood, with mouthwatering dishes such as Chili Garlic Crab with Egg Appam, Green Peppercorn Fish with Pickled Lime Dip and Prawns cooked in Tender Coconut all taking pride and place at the heart of the menu.

But everyone’s taste is catered for at JHOL with a selection of meat, poultry, and vegetarian options on offer including Ghee Roast Chicken Dosa, Pork Belly Vindaloo and Roasted Pumpkin and Pineapple Curry. This truly is a menu that will transport restaurant guests from their tables to the coast of India on a culinary journey to remember

But unlike the dishes many come to expect when they think of Indian food, JHOL brings a more modern and healthier interpretation of Indian fare that utilizes only the very best and freshest seasonal ingredients.

Chef Hari Nayak said “I’m excited to be bringing the coastal dishes I grew up with to a new audience in Bangkok. I’m passionate about the dishes from this region and I have reinterpreted many classics, making them more approachable while staying true to their origins. There are many similarities with Indian and Thai cuisine so it makes sense to introduce a new dining experience such as JHOL to diners in Bangkok. I am sure that once our guests experience our menu they will be coming back for more, and they will surely be bringing their friends with them.”

Beyond the food there is also an exotic array of beverages on offer to cleanse the palette, from delightfully crafted cocktails to an exclusive selection of wines, spirits and more.

While there has always been Indian restaurants in Bangkok there has never been anything like JHOL, making this a dining experience that will become a favourite among diners seeking something new.

JHOL can be found at Sukhumvit 18, Bangkok and open daily from 6-10 pm. To reserve your seat or find out more, call +66 2004 7174

UNWTO Tourism and New Deal, Europe Can Take Lead

UNWTO Tourism and New Deal, Europe Can Take Lead

Madrid (Spain) – February 13, 2020 (travelindex.com) – The role of tourism in the new European Green Deal was highlighted at the FITUR trade fair. On the back of the recent launch of the Green Deal, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) invited Ministers of Tourism from across Europe and representatives from the European Parliament and the European Travel Commission (ETC) to Madrid for a high-level conversation on the vital role the tourism sector will play if the ambitious sustainability goals are to be met.

The Green Deal will form an integral part of the Commission’s strategy to implement the UN’s 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals and pledges to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050. Recognizing the role that tourism will play in achieving this, UNWTO used the occasion of FITUR to provide a platform for EU and non-EU stakeholders, including representatives from both the public and private sectors. Established at the start of a new five-year period for the European Commission, this platform will advocate for tourism to be a central part of the Green Deal.

The tourism sector has an obligation to use its unique power to lead the response to the climate emergency and ensure responsible growth.

 UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The tourism sector has an obligation to use its unique power to lead the response to the climate emergency and ensure responsible growth. UNWTO is committed to accelerating progress towards low carbon emission tourism, and I am delighted to see that, in this regard, UNWTO and the European Commission are on the same page.

The Secretary of State for Tourism of Spain, the country that hosts UNWTO, Isabel Oliver, added: “A more prominent presence in the political structure of the European Union would allow the importance of tourism to be put on the agenda as a lever to achieve the challenges that European policy has identified, including the Green Deal.

The FITUR event also provided a platform for Croatia, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, to present its priorities for tourism. Frano Matusic, Secretary of State for Tourism of Croatia, addressed his fellow Ministers and public and private sector leaders, highlighting his country’s commitment to sustainability and low-carbon growth.

Mr. Matusic, said: “Tourism is a significant economic factor in the world GDP, but at the same time it affects the preservation of cultural heritage, the environment, the labor market, infrastructure, etc. As these challenges are common to all Member States, it is important to address these issues in a systematic manner at the both European and global level. Implementation and promotion of sustainable development policies are the backbone of Croatia’s EU Council Presidency in the field of tourism, and Croatia will therefore continue to strengthen its co-operation initiative precisely to ensure tourism’s success in the future.

According to the latest UNWTO data, the EU28 Member States received 577 million international tourists in 2019, a 3% increase on the previous year. In 2018, receipts generated by international tourism generated 407 billion euros across all 28 states, around 33% of the world total. The UNWTO data also shows that Europe continues to be the leading global region for tourist numbers, welcoming 51% of all arrivals in 2019.

Increasing the Participation of Women in Golf in Northern Ireland

Increasing the Participation of Women in Golf in Northern Ireland

Belfast, Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) – February 12, 2020 (travelindex.com) – The R&A Women in Golf Charter, which aims to increase the participation of women and girls in golf,  is being taken to new levels in Northern Ireland.

The charter, launched in May 2018 as part of the organisation’s global drive to develop a more inclusive culture within golf as well as encourage more opportunities for women and girls to work in the golf industry, has been supported and adopted by organisations around the world. They include the Ladies’ European Tour, the Irish Ladies’ Golf Association and the Confederation of Golf in Ireland,  which acts on behalf of the Golfing Union of Ireland, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and the PGA as the development organisation for golf throughout Ireland.

More golf clubs across the province are offering dedicated tuition for women and girls while some are also easing membership requirements to try and get more members of their ladies’ sections.

This summer will also see the staging of the second ISPS Handa World Invitational for Men and  Women. Formerly the Northern Ireland Open, which had been staged annually at Galgorm Castle Golf  Club since 2013, the format was changed for 2019 with men and women competing alongside each other at Galgorm Castle and Massereene Golf Club for equal prize money last August, the men’s competition forming part of the European Tour’s Challenge Tour. Northern Ireland golfer Stephanie  Meadow beat England’s Solheim Cup player Charlie Hull to win the women’s event.

Presented by Modest!, the management company founded by former One Direction singer Niall  Horan, the ISPS Handa World Invitational is set to return even bigger for 2020.
At the grassroots level, golf clubs are stepping up efforts to encourage girls and women to take up golf.  Galgorm Castle Golf Club offers a six-week Introduction to Golf for Ladies coaching programme over the summer following a free Golf Taster Open Evening for beginners to give the game a try. Sessions take place on the driving range, short game area and the club’s Fun Golf Area with its pitch and putt course and Himalayas putting green.

Participants can then take up temporary membership for two years, allowing them to play the course on weekdays after 11 am and on Sundays after 2 pm, before progressing to full membership with no entrance fee.

Down Royal Park Golf Course, 20 minutes from Belfast, introduced June Taster Evenings for women in  2019 with members of its Ladies Golf WhatsApp Group then offered free golf on its nine-hole Valley  Course or practice sessions on its driving range for £2 for a basket of golf balls during July. It holds  Ladies Golf evenings one day a week in the summer.

Foyle Golf Centre, near Derry/Londonderry, has offered ladies and girls group golf lessons, charged on a roll-up basis, for several years at its Foyle Golf Academy. It loans a free ladies golf club to newcomers when they start so that they can keep practising.

More women throughout Ireland are playing golf, according to the Irish Sports Monitor report, which is undertaken every two years. The latest full report, unveiled in May 2018, showed that the number of women actively participating in the game increased from 0.9% in 2015 to 1.2% in 2017, while overall golf participation rose from 2.3% to 2.5%.

Coinciding with the release of that report, figures from the Confederation of Golf in Ireland revealed that 4,600 people had joined as introductory members of golf clubs via the CGI’s Get into Golf programmes since 2014, 3,000 of them women and girls. Under the scheme, golf clubs offer lessons with PGA professionals and volunteer activities to help integrate participants into the golf club. In  2019, golf clubs running Get into Golf reported an average conversion rate from the programme into membership of 66%.

The Irish Sports Monitor 2019 mid-year report, published in November, saw the gender gap for all sports across the whole of Ireland decreased from 4.5% in 2017 to 3.9% by the mid-year point in 2019. For more information on Northern Ireland and its golf, visit: www.discovernorthernireland.com

Established in 1997, IAGTO is the global trade organisation of the golf tourism industry and has almost 2700 members in 101 countries including more than 720 golf tour operator members in 63 countries, which control more than 87% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide and which collectively have annual sales of over €2.1 billion. IAGTO runs annual Asia and North America Golf Tourism Conventions, along

WTTC Unveils Speakers for its 2020 Global Summit in Cancun

WTTC Unveils Speakers for its 2020 Global Summit in Cancun

London (Great Britain) – February 12, 2020 (travelindex.com) – The World Travel and Tourism Council [WTTC], which represents the global travel and tourism private sector, today unveiled the first class speakers of its 20th Global Summit this year, in Cancun, Quintana Roo.

The Global Summit will feature the participation high-level leaders within the travel and tourism sector, including Chris Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton; Alex Zozaya, President of Apple Leisure Group; Kim Day, CEO of Denver Airport and Richard Fain, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

The event will take place at the Moon Palace Convention Centre and will welcome first class speakers such as:

– Andy Duncan, CEO, Travelopia
– Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, The Travel Corporation
– Caroline Beteta, President & CEO, Visit California
– Darrell Wade, Co-founder & Chairman, Intrepid Group
Deepak Ohri, CEO, lebua Hotels & Resorts
– Desiree Bollier, Chair, Value Retail
– Frank R. Rainieri, President & CEO, Grupo Puntacana
– Fred Dixon, President & CEO, NYC & Company
– Friedrich Joussen, CEO, TUI
– Gibran Chapur, Executive Vice President, Palace Resorts
– Greg O’Hara, Founder &, Managing Partner, Certares
– Hiromi Tagawa, Chairman of the Board, JTB Corp
– Jeffrey C. Rutledge, CEO, AIG Travel
– Joan Vilà, Executive Chairman, Hotelbeds
– John Sage, CEO & Founder, Accessible Travel Solutions
– John Wasson, President & CEO, ICF
– Julian Balbuena, CEO & Chairman of the board of Directors, Best Day Travel Group
– Keith Barr, CEO, InterContinental Group (IHG)
– Kike Sarasola, President & Founder Room Mate Hotels & Be Mate com
– Kurt Ekert, President & CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel
– Michel Taride, Chair, Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP) Advisory Board
– Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports International
– Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman, MSC Cruises
– Robin Ingle, Chairman & CEO, Ingle International
– Ryuhei Maeda, Member of the Board, ANA
– Scott Rosenberger, Global Sector Leader for Transportation, Hospitality & Services, Deloitte & Touche LLP
– Sean Donohue, CEO, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
– Stephen Colvin, Bloomberg
– Shirley Tan, CEO Rajawali Property Group

Over the next several weeks, WTTC will be celebrating its 30th anniversary while also preparing for the 20th Global Summit in Cancun. The theme for this year’s Summit; “Making a Lasting Difference”, will encourage delegates to discuss approaching the world differently, recognising that what has got us to this point, will not work to tackle global challenges and incite positive change for the future.

WTTC is focused on the ways that the world is changing, and how this will initiate a change in how we travel, and how the Travel & Tourism sector operates. Digital transformation and the emergence of new technologies such as 5G, combined with global challenges such as climate change and geopolitical and economic crises, will turn the world on its head once more. With such rapid, dramatic and interlinked changes, WTTC and its Members must be sure to stay ahead of the curve.

The world is on the edge of fascinating social change, driven by huge technological advance, with every generation having to adapt to this new world. WTTC will be part of that social change and, at the Summit, we intend to outline how we will reflect new ways of thinking in the Travel & Tourism sector for the next decade.

The most important annual event in Travel & Tourism, the WTTC Global Summit takes place in a different region every year, and important public figures have participated in the past such as Former Presidents of the United States Barack Obama and Bill Clinton; Felipe VI, King of Spain; Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain; Mauricio Macri, Former President of Argentina; José María Aznar, Former Prime Minister of Spain; as well as David Cameron and Tony Blair, former Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom. Quintana Roo is a trusted ally for growth, innovation and inclusion with a clear trend of openness to new markets and new businesses, making it the perfect place to welcome the distinguished speakers for this year’s summit.

“We are very proud to be able to attract this prestigious global event to Quintana Roo, which will focus the attention of the global tourism leaders towards Cancun and Quintana Roo, as well as the whole country” said Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez, Governor of the State of Quintana Roo.

“In Quintana Roo, we have the fortune of relying on tourism as one of the key pillars of investment, employment and economic prosperity in coordination with government, businesses and the community. We have positioned ourselves as the leader in international arrivals in Mexico and Latin America.”

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “The WTTC Global Summit will be the most important Travel & Tourism event of 2020, and a fitting recognition of a sector which last year, contributed 10.4% to global GDP and supported 319 million jobs worldwide.”

“The 20th Global Summit will benefit and showcase not only Quintana Roo, but Mexico, and the whole region including US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Cancun is a global icon and I feel honored to host the most important Travel & Tourism event of the year in my home country. Our Summit is the place where the future of our sector is shaped, and we look forward to hearing the insight of so many industry leaders, as we welcome them to our stage.”

Digitization and Sustainability Decisive for the Industry Future

Digitization and Sustainability Decisive for the Industry Future

Berlin (Germany) – February 11, 2020 (travelindex.com) – Digitalisation and sustainability are two topics that are currently of decisive importance in the global tourism industry. They are key for tourism professionals everywhere, regardless which market they represent. Without an elaborate digitalisation plan and a far-reaching sustainability strategy it will be impossible to ensure solid progress and long-term opportunities for the future. These are the aspects and topics that participants will address at the ITB Berlin Convention 2020 as part of the outstanding programme of events at the CityCube Berlin. Experts, researchers, industry executives as well as policymakers will provide information in their keynote speeches – with numerous discussions and interviews also on the agenda. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention (4 to 7 March 2020) is free for trade visitors, the media and exhibitors at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show. The programme is available online at www.itb-berlin.com. For the first time all events contain keywords to make it easier to search for formats by topics such as ‘business travel’ or ‘destination marketing’.

Sustainability: one goal – many aspects

A new event will be kicking off the convention: on 4 March at the first ITB Responsible Destination Day participants can explore the topic of socially aware travel behaviour. The focus will be on the prospects for reaching sustainability goals. At the 1 p.m. session the key question will be how expedition cruises can be made environmentally friendly. Hosting the event, Thomas P. Illes, a cruise analyst and university lecturer, will debate the issue with four leading expedition cruise experts from this sector. At 5 p.m. at the Ministers‘ Roundtable qualified experts will discuss various sustainable destination best practices.

On 5 March the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will hold the ITB Tourism for Sustainable Development Day for the fourth time. At 3 p.m. Norbert Barthle, the parliamentary secretary of state at the BMZ, will hold a keynote speech. Topics of the day will include partnerships in tourism and opportunities for women. At the ITB Deep Dive sessions at the CityCube, taking the topic of Wise Dodo on Mauritius as an example, Sören Hartmann, CEO of DER Touristik Group, and the Hon. G. P. Lesjogard, the tourism minister of Mauritius, will discuss the prospects for destinations in the face of the growing trend towards sustainablity. The WWF and Futouris will each present their concepts at two afternoon Deep Dive sessions where the focus will be on plastic waste. Martina von Münchhausen (WWF) and Prof. Harald Zeiss (Futouris) will hold the introductory presentations.

On 6 March, ITB CSR Day, a keynote speech by the climate expert Prof. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber on ‘Climate Change, Global Warming, Weather Extremes’ at 11 a.m. will kick off events on day three. Afterwards, Hot Seat participants will examine the facts and discuss the conflicting views of Fridays for Future and tourism operators. Taking part will be two Fridays for Future representatives, Dietrich Brockhagen of Atmosfair and Lucienne Damm of TUI Cruises. Other participants are to be announced soon. The Studiosus Discussion, an established event, will take place at 1 p.m. under the heading ‘It makes sense to travel. But does it really?’. Taking part will be Helena Marschall (Fridays for Future), Antje Monshausen (Brot für die Welt) and Studiosus managing director Peter-Mario Kubsch.

No progress in the tourism industry without digitalisation

In line with the growing importance of this topic, digitalisation will occupy a prominent role at the convention. For without digital technology there can be no future progress. On 4 March at the ITB Future Day, Nils Müller will launch straight into this topic in front of the convention audience. The CEO of TrendOne will have information on the trends, technology and developments necessary for a successful future. The main feature of this session is its interactive format. Listeners will be able to actively influence the event with voting cards. At the session to follow, at a discussion about the impact of digitalisation and the failure of Thomas Cook, Samih Sawiris, CEO of Orascom Development, will be among those to take the stage. Afternoon events will include ’Future Air and Ground Mobility’ at 4 p.m. and ’Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics & Co’ at 5 p.m. Dr. Manuela Lenzen, a science journalist and researcher, will hold the keynote speech.

On 5 March at 11 a.m., at the CEO Interview on ITB Marketing & Distribution Day, the first interview will take place with Sean Menke, CEO of Sabre. Afterwards it will be the turn of Friedrich Joussen, CEO of TUI Group, to take his seat. At 1 p.m. Thomas P. Illes will talk to Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises, about trends and challenges in the cruise market. At 2 p.m. David Peller, global head of Travel and Hospitality at Amazon Web Services, will take part in a Q&A.

On the Friday of the convention at the ITB Destination Day at 11 a.m., participants will explore the options for personalised travel experiences. Social media is playing an increasingly important role in tourism too. Mike Yapp, chief creative evangelist, Google, will provide an insight into the ’Future of Destination Marketing: Youtube and Video Marketing’ at 1 p.m. At 4 p.m. a discussion will take place about the underestimated challenges facing destinations in the age of Instagram influence and other social media. Lastly, at the ITB Deep Dive session at 12 noon, the focus will be on what Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant can offer and their associated risks.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2020 will be taking place from Wednesday, 4 to Sunday, 8 March, and from Wednesday to Friday will be open to trade visitors only. ITB Berlin is the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. In 2019 a total of 10,000 companies and organisations from 181 countries exhibited their products and services to around 160,000 visitors, including 113.500 trade visitors. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 4 to Saturday, 7 March 2020. The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is co-host, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), MC Group and Trip.com are Platinum Sponsors and Studiosus is Gold Sponsor. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors and exhibitors.

Vietjet Thailand Disinfected all Aircraft Carrying Medical Supplies to China

Vietjet Thailand Disinfected all Aircraft Carrying Medical Supplies to China

Ha Noi (Vietnam) – February 11, 2020 (travelindex.com) – Stepping up measures against coronavirus outbreak, Vietjet Thailand has sprayed disinfectant aboard all its aircraft to prevent the spread of the disease and increase travel confidence among all passengers. The whole fleet interior was sprayed and cleaned with disinfectants in accordance with Public Health Ministry and World Health Organization standards, ensuring the process sufficiently stringent for passengers’ safety.

The aircraft were sprayed with the disinfectant materials complied with Aerospace Material Specification (AMS) 1452, with each takes 15 minutes for spraying and closed for a sterilization period of 30 minutes. In an effort to help combat the spread of coronavirus, Vietjet Thailand cabin crew earlier had been allowed to wear mask and gloves and instructed to perform cleaning interior facilities more frequently on every flight.

In addition, Vietjet Thailand has worked with partners to fly tons of donated medical supplies to China such as surgical masks, N95 masks, and protective suits to address medical supply shortage and further support people in the country, over the last ten days. The supplies were provided to local health officials battling the spread of the coronavirus in China provinces via its flights including U-Tapao International Airport to Xujiaping Airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport to Changde Taohuayuan Airport/ Haikou Meilan International Airport/ Sunan Shuofang International Airport.

Aboutr Vietjet
The new-age carrier Vietjet has not only revolutionized the aviation industry in Vietnam but also been a pioneering airline across the region and around the world. With a focus on cost management ability, effective operations and performance, Vietjet offers flying opportunities with cost-saving and flexible fares as well as diversified services to meet customers’ demands.

Vietjet is a fully-fledged member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate. As Vietnam’s largest private carrier, the airline was awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars in 2018 and 2019 by the world’s only safety and product rating website AirlineRatings.com and listed as one of the world’s 50 best airlines for healthy financing and operations by Airfinance Journal in 2018 and 2019. The airline has also been named as Best Low-Cost Carrier by renowned organizations such as Skytrax, CAPA, Airline Ratings, and many others.

With a young, modern fleet with an average age of only 2.7 years, and as one of the leading airlines in the world in terms of safety, quality and technical reliability, Vietjet operates around over 400 flights daily and has carried nearly 100 million passengers to date across an expansive network that includes destinations throughout Vietnam and international destinations in India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia and China.

Vietjet Thailand is cooperating with Vietjet to extend its flight network and provide more opportunities for travellers in the world to discover Thailand and many other countries. Currently the airline operates 7 domestic routes from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi, Udon Thani plus the direct flight from Chiang Rai to Phuket and Udon Thani, 8 routes connecting Thailand and Vietnam such as Bangkok to Da Lat/ Da Nang, Pattaya – Ho Chi Minh City and more international routes from Thailand to mainland China.

Winners Honored at Asia Destination Film Awards in Bangkok

Winners Honored at Asia Destination Film Awards in Bangkok

Bangkok (Thailand) – February 10, 2020 (travelindex.com) – From close to 1,000 submissions, ten winners were chosen by a panel of judges and the public to receive the Asia Destination Film Awards 2020 in the categories Tourism Boards, Travel Industry, Filmmakers, User-generated Content, and Sustainable Travel. Closing the Asia Destination Film Forum on 30 January 2020, the Asia Destination Film Awards were presented to ten winners from close to 1,000 submissions in the categories Tourism Boards, Travel Industry, Filmmakers, User-generated Content, and Sustainable Travel. After shortlisting 200 semi-finalists and 34 finalists, a jury of filmmakers, tourism professionals, and media determined the best submissions in each category. Also, over 7,000 votes from the public decided the public choice awards.

Mr. Jens Thraenhart, Founder of the Asia Destination Film Forum and Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office said that “the impact of visual storytelling, be it through feature films or online content, can be observed in decision making of tourists. Destinations can inspire travelers to explore new experiences through film and human impact stories. Movies, such as “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider”, “The Beach”, and “Lost in Thailand” are only some of the high impact examples. Other films, from destination videos to films by travel companies, bloggers, or regular travelers, also engage audiences and inspire them to travel, as well as drive sustainable tourism. We want to recognize this through our festival and awards and also put a focus on challenges filmmakers and destinations are facing and how they can achieve sustainability”.

All the winners of the 2020 Asia Destination Film Awards are listed below.

The Asia Destination Film Awards are part of the Asia Destination Film Forum, which took part in Bangkok on 30 January 2020. They included live public voting as well as acrobatic performances and Mongolian wrestlers, supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Mongolia, Asset World Corporation, ThaiBev, HMD Asia, Cambodian Living Arts, and MIAT Mongolian Airlines. Some of the winning films of the Asia Destination Film Awards will be highlighted during the 4th Mini Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin in Germany on March 4th, 2020, at 11 am, as well as during the 2020 Mekong Tourism Forum in Bagan, Myanmar on April 28-29.

The 2021 edition of the Asia Destination Film Awards will be open for submissions by tourism boards, travel companies, filmmakers, students, and travelers from 15 February 2020 to 15 October 2020. The 3rd Asia Destination Film Forum is scheduled to take place on 25 February 2021, and bids for destination partner and host destination are being accepted.

About the Asia Destination Film Forum
The Asia Destination Film Forum is celebrating tourism marketing and sustainability via inspiring visual storytelling.

Since 2018, the Asia Destination Film Forum brings together the travel & tourism industry and filmmakers from motion pictures to video content creators to foster collaboration in leveraging films and drive sustainable tourism. The forum includes conferences, workshops, seminars, annual awards, and an online platform.

The Asia Destination Film Forum is produced by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies, who is supporting destinations and brands with sustainable strategies including how to use visual storytelling to engage travelers and businesses.

More information is available at www.Destinationfilmforum.com

The winners of the 2020 Asia Destination Film Awards are:

Tourism Board Category
WinnerTourism Malaysia“AMAZING”
Runner-upMinistry of Tourism, Government of India“Incredible India – Director’s Cut – Travel|CNN”
Winner Public ChoiceSingapore Tourism Board“Where Passion is Made Possible”
Runner-up Public ChoiceMinistry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia“Komodo National Park and Alor: The Miracle of Living”
Travel Industry Category
WinnerShinta Mani Wild, Cambodia“Shinta Mani Wild”
Runner-upRosewood Luang Prabang, Laos“Rosewood Luang Prabang”
Winner Public ChoiceVietnam Airlines“Vietnam Airlines Safety Video”
Runner-up Public ChoiceCardamom Tented Camp, Cambodia“Cardmom Tented Camp”
Filmmakers Category
WinnerGLP Films“Raja Ampat: The Last Paradise” Indonesia
Runner-upMs. Sarah Lam“Becoming Thai Chinese”, Thailand
Winner Public ChoiceGlobalGaz and Manana Films“Hit the Road: India”
Runner-up Public ChoiceMr. Abhimanyu Kukreja“Rockumentary Evolution of Indian Rock”
User-generated Content Category
WinnerMr. Gregory Tarasov“The Road Story Vietnam”
Runner-upMr. Sebastian Linde“Loving Lanka”, Sri Lanka
Winner Public ChoiceMr. Vincent Urban“In Japan – 2015”
Runner-up Public ChoiceMr. Leonardo Dalessandri“Watchtower of Turkey”
Sustainable Tourism Category
WinnerBureau of Tourism Palau“The Giant – Compulsory Inflight Movie (Palau Pledge)”
Runner-upDepartment of Tourism Philippines“Save Our Spots | Small Acts, Big Change”
Winner Public ChoiceTravel and Tourism Foundation/Travelindex“A Day In a Buddhist Temple in Luang Prabang Laos”
Runner-up Public ChoiceMinistry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia“Sustainable Tourism”

WTTC Global Summit to be Held in Cancun in April 2020

WTTC Global Summit to be Held in Cancun in April 2020

Cancun (Mexico) – February 8, 2020 (travelindex.com) – The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) announces its annual Global Summit will now be held in Cancun, with a major event in San Juan, Puerto Rico to be held later this year.

WTTC’s mission is to promote sustainable growth for the Travel & Tourism sector globally, so it has decided to change the location of the Global Summit given what is best for Puerto Rico at this time. The financial resources that had been set aside will instead be focused on impactful, consumer-facing campaigns and marketing efforts that strongly promote Puerto Rico’s “open for tourism” message and drive immediate visitor numbers to the Island.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of WTTC, said: “WTTC remains strongly committed to supporting Puerto Rico’s amazing comeback story as seen in their record-breaking year in tourism last year. Although the island was ready to welcome us with open arms this April, despite the recent seismic activity in the southern region, reallocating resources to continue this great momentum is the right thing to do in order to further boost tourism. We are looking forward to hosting an event in Puerto Rico later this year.”

“This switch to Cancun will enable us to host a Global Summit focused on the opportunities and challenges facing our sector in 2020 and beyond, which will help to grow tourism further. The 20th Global Summit will benefit and showcase not only Mexico, but the wider regions of the US, Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The WTTC Global Summit will be held in Cancun, Mexico, from 21st to 23rd April 2020, with the dates for the upcoming official WTTC event in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to be announced in the near future.

About WTTC
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) represents the Travel & Tourism private sector globally. Our Members include over 200 CEOs, Chairpersons and Presidents of the world’s leading Travel & Tourism companies from all geographies covering all industries. WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, supporting one in 10 jobs (319 million) worldwide, and generating 10.4% of global GDP.

For the past 30 years, WTTC has conducted research on the economic impact of Travel & Tourism in 185 countries. In 2018, the Travel & Tourism sector experienced 3.9% growth, outpacing that of the global economy (3.2%) for the eighth consecutive year. Over the past five years, one in five jobs were created by the sector, making Travel & Tourism the best partner for governments to generate employment.