New Dates Announced for World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

New Dates Announced for World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

Bruges, Belgium, June 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization, Basque Culinary Center, VisitFlanders and the city of Bruges have announced new dates for the 6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.

Held under the theme ‘Gastronomy Tourism: Promoting Rural Tourism and Regional Development’, the Forum will take place 31 October – 2 November 2021 in Bruges, Belgium.

The event will focus on the contribution of gastronomy tourism to social and economic integration. It will also highlight its untapped potential for job creation, regional cohesion and sustainable growth. Building on UNWTO’s work on advancing innovation across the tourism sector, the Forum also represents a unique opportunity for experts from across the growing field of gastronomy tourism to share new ideas and best practices and place the two sectors at the center of plans for recovery.

Gastronomy continues to prove its ability to help destinations diversify and to stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world

In order to welcome and connect participants from around the world, the Forum will be held in a hybrid format. This way, delegates meeting in the Concertgebouw of Bruges will be joined virtually by participants from every global region via a special online platform.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili says: “There is no better time than now to re-shape the future for food and tourism. Gastronomy continues to prove its ability to help destinations diversify and to stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world. This is especially true for rural communities where it can help preserve the identity and authenticity of local traditions.”

Joxe Mari Aizega, Director of the Basque Culinary Center, remarked that “We are currently in a particularly challenging and unique time, and rural communities, innovation and creativity will be key to transition successfully towards a new scenario. That is the reason why it is necessary to increase the contribution of the entire value chain of gastronomy for the future, generating a suitable institutional framework through specific policies. This kind of forums are essential to encourage projects that generate and develop sustainable gastronomic initiatives that transform and have a positive impact on the sector”.

Flemish Minister of Tourism, Zuhal Demir says: “We are very much looking forward to welcome participants, both live and online, to explore culinary Bruges during the Forum in November. This is a great opportunity for destinations to exchange experiences facing challenging times and putting gastronomy and tourism at the centre of recovery plans. Flanders, as one of Europe’s gastronomic hubs, is ready to lead the way for a sustainable future of gastronomy tourism.”

The Forum has been co-organized by UNWTO and the BCC since 2015 with the aim of promoting the exchange of experiences between experts in tourism and gastronomy, identify good practices and promote gastronomy tourism as a driver of sustainable development.

About BCC

Basque Culinary Center represents a unique ecosystem where training, innovation, research and entrepreneurship coexist with the aim of developing and propelling gastronomy, which is understood as reasoned knowledge about what and how we eat.

Its mission is rooted in values such as passion, innovation, excellence and social commitment. Located in San Sebastian since September 2011, Basque Culinary Center is a pioneer institution conformed by the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences, and the Centre for Research and Innovation in the field of gastronomy.

In 2021 Basque Culinary Center celebrates its 10th anniversary. Since its origin, the institution has developed its 360º vision of Gastronomy through different initiatives and projects. This year, we celebrate our achievements and the challenges to come, always rooted in our values: passion, orientation towards excellence, innovation and social commitment.

Mastercard Foundation to Deploy $1.3B to Save Lives and Livelihoods in Africa

Mastercard Foundation to Deploy $1.3B to Save Lives and Livelihoods in Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Mastercard Foundation has announced that it will deploy $1.3 billion over the next three years in partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa and hasten the economic recovery of the continent.

The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more across the continent, lay the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa through a focus on human capital development, and strengthen the Africa CDC.

“Ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent. This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation. “In the process, this initiative will catalyze work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy,” she added.

The African Union’s goal as set out in the African COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy is to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its population – approximately 750 million people or the entire adult population of the continent – by the end of 2022. To date, less than two percent of Africans have received at least one vaccine dose.

The new partnership builds on the efforts of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX), the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and the global community to expand access to vaccines across Africa. The number of vaccines available to Africa represents a small portion of the global supply and the financial costs to purchase, deliver, and administer vaccines remain significant. The Africa CDC is calling on governments, global funders, the private sector, and others to help meet this goal.

“Ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, it’s the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC. “This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is a bold step towards establishing a New Public Health Order for Africa, and we welcome other actors to join this historic journey.”

In 2020, Africa faced its first economic recession in 25 years due to the pandemic. The African Development Bank has warned that COVID-19 could reverse hard-won gains in

poverty reduction over the past two decades and drive 39 million people into extreme poverty in 2021. Widespread vaccination is recognized as being critical to the economic recovery of African countries.

The initiative builds on an earlier collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa CDC to expand access to testing kits and enhance surveillance capacity in Africa. Through the Foundation’s support, the Africa CDC’s Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) deployed nearly two million COVID-19 tests and more than 12,000 trained health care workers and rapid responders across Africa. In total, the PACT has enabled over 47 million COVID-19 tests across the continent.

About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation is a Canadian foundation and one of the largest in the world with more than $39 billion in assets. The Foundation was created in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. Since its inception, the Foundation has operated independently of the company. The Foundation’s policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by its Board.

About Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programs.

Beachfront Twinpalms MontAzure Resort Nominated for Top 25 Hotels in the World

Beachfront Twinpalms MontAzure Resort Nominated for Top 25 Hotels in the World

Phuket, Thailand, June 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Twinpalms MontAzure has been nominated for the Top 25 Luxury Hotels awards by Top25Hotels, which honours the world’s leading hotels.

Twinpalms MontAzure is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and features beautifully appointed Suites and Penthouses, some with private pools. Offering a serene setting for a luxurious stay, the recently launched resort is located directly on Kamala Beach on the west coast of Phuket Island.

Discover all the World’s Best Luxury Hotels here.

“We are delighted to be included in the Top 25 Hotels in the World and in the World’s Best Luxury Hotels Awards,” said General Manager Olivier Gibaud upon receiving the nomination certificate. He adds, “We are grateful for the continued support and trust our professional staff, as well as our partners and guests, give us.”

The luxurious resort also boasts two large pools, a fantastic beachfront restaurant and bar and guests have full access to the plethora of Twinpalms Hotels and Resort’s beach clubs, restaurants, bars, and yachting services.

About Twinpalms Hotels & Resorts
Established in 2004, with the launch of the initial resort, Twinpalms Phuket, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and located on Surin Beach. Twinpalms Hotels & Resorts include a range of lifestyle brands, Catch Beach Club, HQ Beach Lounge, Palm Seaside, BAKE and Andaman Cruises Luxury Motor Yachts. Launched in 2019 Twinpalms MontAzure Hotel, Shimmer Beachfront Restaurant, Love Noodles and in 2020, Wagyu Steakhouse. 2021 saw the opening of The Lazy Coconut.

About Top25Hotels.com – World’s Best Luxury Hotels
Top25Hotels.com is a collection of exceptional hotels, resorts, eco-lodges, retreats and private islands featuring the top 25 luxury properties in the world and each destination. Top25Hotels.com by Travelindex is the world’s only rating system based on natural language processing technology combined with human expertise. The ratings and rankings are synthesized by a proprietary, artificial intelligence algorithm and re-assessed by some of the world’s top hospitality experts, resulting in the trusted “Hotel Rating Index”. The company puts a priority on the integration of reliable data with human discernment to make trusted information accessible to all.

Discover all the World’s Best Luxury Hotels here.

Contact & Reservations for Twinpalms MontAzure:
Address: 129/86 Kamala Beach Road, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 7684 368
E: book@twinpalms-montazure.com
W: www.twinpalms-montazure.com

Indonesia Tourism Celebrates Opening of Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary

Indonesia Tourism Celebrates Opening of Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary

Maratua Island, Indonesia, June 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Governor of Kalimantan Timur, H.E. Dr. Ir. H. Isran Noor, M. Si., the Bupati (Local Premier) of Kabupaten Berau, Hj. Sri Juniarsih Mas and their tourism department delegations were joined by H.E. Nico Barito, the Seychelles Special Envoy to ASEAN and Alain St.Ange, the Secretary General of FORSEAA (Forum of Small Medium Economic Africa Asean) to mark the formal opening of the Arasatu Villas and Sanctuary on the pristine Maratua Island. Representing the owners at the ceremony were Yan Surya Kusuma Darmabasuan and Angelia Darmabasuan.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Wonderful Indonesia, go to VisitIndonesia.net

Alain St.Ange, who is the successful former Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine Minister of the Seychelles was in Indonesia to consolidate the spirit of South-South Cooperation using Indonesia as the needed bridge between Africa and the ASEAN Block. Referred to as a unique PARADISE ON EARTH development the new Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary is a pilot project of Indonesia and Seychelles in Maratua Island. Built on the eastern side of Borneo, Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary offers you a one-of-a-kind staycation experience of living above Maratua Island’s finest turquoise water.

“The cozy hammock on the terrace makes you feel immersed in the beauty of the island whilst sipping a signature beverage under the blazing sun and shining stars is surely a thing you can’t resist” said a staff member of the new hotel property. The hotel’s enchanting wooden ornaments are also mainly crafted by the locals on Maratua Island all in a bid to support the local economy and likewise, to stick to the developer’s vision of reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the country. “No trip to Maratua is complete without snorkeling.

Experience snorkeling in transparent sea water and witness these beautiful corals right under the villas. Arasatu aims to support marine ecosystems and as home to Maratua Island’s giant clams. For that reason, the Cocoral Dive Center was founded” says the Hotel’s representative.

The Arasatu’s floating villas that were inspired from East Borneo’s overwater bungalows, convey an intimate connection to the shimmering Celebes Sea. Private sun deck with suspended hammocks over turquoise waters for a relaxing time or just a few steps away to the beach for a dip, these floating villas offers endless activities and experiences to satisfy anyone’s island vacations. This villa features an extended sun deck with outdoor shower, over-the-water hammock for two, private stairs to the ocean and an extra large daybed to maximize your overwater vacation. The semi-open bathroom is equipped with a walk-in rain shower and large backlit mirror Plus, each villa boasts private see-through glass doors for ocean viewing and roof window for stargazing.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Wonderful Indonesia, go to VisitIndonesia.net

Alain St.Ange said that the proximity of Maratua Island to UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kakaban Island where the unique freshwater jellyfish lives provides a rare opportunity that is not to be missed. “This pink jellyfish does not sting and I personally swam with them” said Alain St.Ange.

Golfasian Announces Acquisition of FORE Management Group

Golfasian Announces Acquisition of FORE Management Group

Bangkok, Thailand, June 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Golfasian, Asia’s largest inbound tour operator, is utilising strength in diversity to take Thailand’s golf industry to a higher level.

The Bangkok-based company has acquired FORE Management Group, a respected organiser of golf events in Thailand. Its formidable track record includes the Thailand Open (an Asian Tour event), the World Corporate Golf Challenge, and the Thailand instalment of the Faldo Series: the only global amateur series for juniors.

Golfasian has also forged a strategic partnership with FENIX XCell, one of the region’s most creative names in golf apparel.

“Together the companies will create the strongest brands in the Asia golf industry, particularly related to golf travel, golf events, and golf apparel,” commented Mark Siegel, the founder and chairman of Golfasian.

“The new status will facilitate additional vertical integration and allow the companies to offer a broader range of products and services for golfers and international partners.”

Since its founding in 2016, FORE Management Group has established itself as the go-to firm in Thailand for professionally run, fun golf tournaments — organising over 70 events per year.

Its acquisition will allow Golfasian to utilise its logistic expertise at a packed roster of events including corporate days, charity tournaments, and open events for domestic and visiting golfers at some of Thailand’s most premium clubs.

“FORE Management Group is delighted to become the event arm of Golfasian,” said Chris Watson, the co-founder of FORE Management Group who will now become Chief Commercial Officer at Golfasian.

“Golfasian already has an exemplary reputation worldwide thanks to its status as the region’s biggest tour operator. The new arrangement strengthens its position domestically and provides numerous synergies. It’s exciting.”

The pandemic has been devastating for the golf tourism industry in Thailand. But while most companies are in survival mode, Golfasian is utilizing strength in numbers to ensure that it emerges intact AND enhanced from the global crisis.

“We believe that we are the strongest Thailand-originated brands in the industry,” says Michael Moir, the founder of FENIX XCell. “These have been very uncertain times, but by joining together we can show potential partners that we offer foresight, vision, and stability.”

Golfasian has helped cement Thailand’s reputation as a must-visit destination for golf since its establishment back in 1997.

Utilizing expert knowledge of the game and the region itself, it prides itself on being the first choice for golfers embarking on a dream vacation to the Kingdom and other thrilling golf destinations in Southeast Asia.

With international travel severely restricted, clubs have been forced to rely on domestic clients since early 2020.

But with Thailand’s government proceeding with a mass vaccination program for its population, there’s growing confidence that international visitors will be able to return to the Kingdom’s fairways sooner rather than later.

With that in mind, Golfasian believes that diversifying its services can help Thailand build momentum with a domestic audience and also swiftly regain its status as a bucket-list destination for golf travelers.

“Thailand’s reputation as a golf destination was as bright as it has ever been before the pandemic,” said Boyd Barker, Golfasian Chief Operating Officer. “We can’t wait to showcase the country to visiting golfers again while growing the domestic golf market through compelling events.”

About Golfasian Co. Ltd.
Established in 1997 in Bangkok, Thailand, Golfasian is the most established dedicated golf tour operator in Asia. Golfasian’s quality of services and expert knowledge has made the company the first choice for golfers and golf tour operators worldwide.

Golfasian prides itself on its high number of repeat customers and referrals and maintains a membership base of 267,346 golfers seeking quality golf experiences in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Laos, Myanmar, and the UAE.

Tourism Stakeholders Call for Swift Adoption of Harmonised EU Travel Rules

Tourism Stakeholders Call for Swift Adoption of Harmonised EU Travel Rules

Brussels, Belgium, June 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Ahead of the EU Ambassadors’ meeting on 11 June, the European travel and tourism industry associations call on Member States to approve the Commission’s proposal to start lifting travel restrictions in the EU in a coordinated way1. After months of lockdowns and a patchwork of measures across the continent, this proposal is very timely. In view of the rapidly advancing vaccination programs and improving epidemiological outlook in Europe, safe travel is possible this summer – fuelled by the strong desire of European citizens to travel again and secured by the readiness of our sector to provide safe and responsible travel.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

If adopted and fully implemented, the text – initially proposed by the European Commission on 31 May- should restore freedom of movement within the EU. In particular, the undersigned associations support the following elements:

  • Fully vaccinated people can travel without tests or quarantines from 14 days after having completed their vaccination.
  • People who have recovered from COVID-19 can equally travel without being subject to tests or quarantines for 180 days after their positive test.
  • For other travellers, travel from green zones should remain possible without any restrictions, and travel from both orange and red zones should be possible without quarantine, on the basis of a negative test.
  • Member States should adopt a uniform approach of accepting a negative PCR test result 72 hours before arrival and 48 hours in the case of rapid antigen tests.
  • Unified rules for children: minors accompanying their parent(s) should not test/quarantine where the parents are not required to do so. Children under 6 years old should be exempt from testing.
  • Increase in the thresholds of the ECDC map (14-day incidence rate for the ‘orange’ category increased from 50 to 75).
  • Vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test result can be proven by producing a Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) or by other means, until the DCC is available.

The EU has provided for an Emergency Brake system whereby if the status of a region deteriorates rapidly because of a high incidence of variants resulting in it changing to ‘dark red’, Member States should impose a testing and or quarantine even if travellers hold a DCC.

“Travel and tourism industry associations wholeheartedly welcome this important initiative towards a coordinated lifting of travel restrictions in Europe. This is an essential move to restore travellers’ confidence and reopen Europe. We believe that the European Commission has played its part, the industry is ready to ensure safe and responsible travel: we now need Member States to act fast”, declared the stakeholders.

To ensure that all European citizens who wish to travel over the coming period can do so under the best possible conditions, the undersigned travel and tourism stakeholders are therefore urging Member States to:

  • Swiftly agree and fully implement the EU Council Recommendations for intra-EU travel, as proposed by the European Commission.
  • Refrain from imposing any travel restrictions other than in the conditions detailed in the updated Recommendations.
  • Ensure that tests {PCR or antigen) are free or at least very affordable for travellers who need them to make use of their right to free movement, for whichever purpose.
  • Ensure the full integration of the Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) in the passenger journey – in particular its verification before travel (e.g. via state portals) in order to reduce waiting times and queues at departure/ on arrival (airports, ports, stations, etc).
  • Integrate the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and DCC verification into a single platform with single checks to avoid duplications in order to also reduce waiting times and queues at departure.
  • Ensure the deployment of adequate resources (staff) by competent public authorities for border control and other manual document verifications at airports, ports, stations, etc.
  • Ensure the latest COVID-19 status of their country is displayed on the Re-Open Europe EU website: www.reopen.europa.eu
  • Agree to provide a more precise outlook on their country’s latest epidemiological situation on a detailed ECDC map.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

They added: “There is huge pent-up demand for travel and everyone in the aviation, travel and tourism industries is working on detailed plans to welcome travellers back – so it’s crucially important that everyone plays their part in ens.uring that when our sector reopens, it stays open”.

Hopes Rise for Vaccinated Travelers in Europe

Hopes Rise for Vaccinated Travelers in Europe

Geneva, Switzerland, June 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the relaxation of COVID-19 border measures for vaccinated passengers, and the broader use of affordable antigen testing adopted by Spain and France this week. This is tempered by ongoing disappointment at the failure to implement harmonized measures across Europe and deep frustration at the lack of coordination among governments worldwide for a data-driven risk-managed approach to re-establishing the freedom to travel.

  • As of 7 June, Spain opened its borders to most vaccinated travelers from around the world and allowed EU travelers to enter the country with a negative antigen test. Furthermore, passengers coming from low-risk countries (including the UK) can enter without any restrictions.
  • From 9 June France opened to vaccinated travelers from all but those countries assessed as “high risk”. Vaccinated travelers from “medium-risk” countries will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test, and unvaccinated people must still self-isolate for seven days.

“It’s encouraging to see more European countries taking steps to reopen borders. They recognize the opportunity created by vaccination and are making travel more affordable with the use of antigen testing. But this approach is not universal across the continent. Many European states have yet to significantly relax borders at all. This fragmentation should be replaced with a unified approach that is consistent with the recommendations of the EU to which they belong. People, businesses and economies would all benefit from greater alignment across Europe in relaxing measures and restoring the freedom to travel,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

A consistent approach across Europe is required if the EU Digital COVID Certificate is to be implemented effectively by 1 July. And around the world, governments need to allow digital certificates to be integrated in passenger applications such as IATA Travel Pass, in order to relieve pressure on airports and at borders from more complex passenger processing as the number of travelers ramps up.

IATA Urges a More Global Approach

These moves by Spain, France and other European states are a step in the right direction, but restoring global connectivity requires far more than regional or individual state initiatives. The G20 endorsed a data-driven approach to managing the risks of COVID-19 while re-opening borders. The upcoming G7 Leaders’ Summit on 11-13 June provides an important opportunity for these governments to use their leadership to kick-start a data-driven coordinated approach to re-establishing global air connectivity.

“Connectivity needs countries at both ends of the journey to be open. Many of the world’s largest air travel markets, such Australia, China, the UK, Japan, and Canada remain essentially closed with no clear plans to guide a reopening. Data should help these and other countries to introduce targeted policies that keep populations safe while moving towards a normality in world with COVID-19 for some time to come. The G7 has an opportunity later this month to set a risk-managed framework for re-establishing the freedom to travel in a way that is both affordable and practical. It’s critical that they take up the challenge,” said Walsh.

Phuket Sandbox Reopening, Initial Information

Phuket Sandbox Reopening, Initial Information

Phuket, Thailand, June 10, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to provide the initial information on the Phuket Sandbox model to safely reopen Phuket to fully vaccinated international travellers from 1 July, 2021.

The TAT Newsroom will provide the final official details on the Phuket Sandbox model as soon as officially approved directives from the Royal Thai Government are available.

Phuket Sandbox

At a glance

  • Applicable for international travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 14 days, but no later than 1 year before the travel date. They must also be from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).
  • Applicable for children under 6 years of age travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
  • Applicable for children between 6 and 18 years of age travelling with fully vaccinated parents or guardians, but they are required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at their own expense.
  • All vaccinated international arrivals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with a vaccine registered with the MoPH or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • All arrivals are required to download and install the ThailandPlus application on their smartphones, and must keep the app on all the time, as they move to different locations around Phuket.
  • All arrivals are required to stay in an accommodation establishment that is certified with the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus certification for no less than 14 nights, and thereafter will be allowed to travel to visit other Thai destinations.
  • All COVID-19 tests must follow the guidelines by the MoPH.
  • Travellers are allowed to engage in any tourism activities but are advised to strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – contact tracing application (Thai Chana and Mor Chana).

Foreign Traveller Journey

Pre-arrival

In order to be eligible to enter in Thailand, vaccinated international travellers – and their children – need to have all of their advance arrangements in good order for arrival and entry. These include:

  • A vaccine certificate to proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no less than 14 days, but no later than 1 year before the travel date with a vaccine registered with the MoPH or approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO);
  • A valid visa;
  • A Certificate of Entry (COE) issued by the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate;
  • A COVID-19 health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of US$100,000;
  • A confirmation of booking for 14 nights in a SHA Plus-certified accommodation;
  • A medical certificate with an RT-PCR laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected issued no more than 72 hours before departure;
  • The duration of stay can be less than 14 nights, but travellers must leave Phuket on or before the permit to stay date.

Arrival

  • Undergo Immigration and Customs procedures, and a COVID-19 screening, including RT-PCR tests;
  • Download the ThailandPlus application;
  • Check-in at the pre-booked SHA Plus-certified accommodation establishment and stay there for no less than 14 nights.

Stay

  • Undergo a COVID-19 test using an RT-PCR or a rapid antigen method on Day 5 of your arrival per the MoPH’s guidelines;
  • Engage in tourism activities or enjoy services in SHA Plus-certified venues and businesses, under the DMHTTA precautions;
  • For emergency in case of having respiratory or other related symptoms, please alert the staff at your accommodation or contact the nearest hospital;
  • The operator/owner of the accommodation establishment is required to report the name list and status of all foreign guests to the provincial authority on a daily basis.

Departure

  • For travelling from Phuket to other Thai destinations, vaccinated international travellers are required to show a vaccine certificate and a medical certificate that they have tested negative for COVID-19;
  • For travelling from Phuket to other countries, travellers are advised to follow the guidelines and measures announced by the respective country of destination.

Relevant information

Child Policy Children under 6 years of age must travel only with their parents or guardians who have been vaccinated;

In the case the parents or guardians are found to have COVID-19, the children are to be placed in isolation for 14 days.

Countries The Phuket Sandbox is applicable only for fully vaccinated international travellers from countries/regions with a low to medium risk of SAR-CoV-2 virus as announced and constantly updated by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). *The list will be available soon.

High-risk countries are not allowed entry at this stage.

Visa & Certificate of Entry Every traveller must obtain a Certificate of Entry (COE) at Check the website to see the required documents;

Embassy/Consulate-General takes 3 working days to process the application;

Applicants can check the result of the application on the website.

Insurance International travellers must have an insurance covering treatment and medical expenses including those related to COVID-19 with a minimum coverage of US$100,000. The insurance must cover the total duration of stay in Thailand.
Vaccines   International travellers who have received the following vaccines are able to enter Phuket:
– Thai FDA approved vaccines: AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac Biotech, and Sinopharm.

Arrivals must be vaccinated more than 14 days to 1 year before entering Phuket.

Proof of vaccination must be submitted when applying for a COE.

Airlines Airlines that have announced direct flights to Phuket:
– THAI
– Singapore Airlines
– Emirates
– Qatar Airways
– Hongkong Airlines
– EVA Air
– Korean Air
– Jinair
– Cathay Pacific
– KLM

Please check the flight schedule on the respective airline’s websites.

Please be aware that some airlines are unable to operate into your home country for your return.

Before Arrival in Phuket You must get an RT-PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arrival in Phuket and submit proof to the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs when obtaining your COE.
At the Airport You must download the Thailand Plus application.

At Immigration, you are required to complete your arrival card, show your COE and passport.

SHA & SHA Plus+ ‘SHA’ is a certification for businesses who meet the basic standards of hygiene and health safety for their products and services in accordance with the nationwide measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

‘SHA Plus’ is a certification for companies/individuals who have received the SHA certificate AND 70% of the workforce has been vaccinated.

Here is the constantly updated list of SHA Plus businesses in Phuket.

While in Phuket You can go anywhere in Phuket, BUT you must strictly follow the DMHTTA precautions: D – Distancing, M – Mask wearing, H – Handwashing, T – Temperature check, T – Testing for COVID-19, and A – contact tracing application (Thai Chana and Mor Chana).

Masks must be worn at all times in public areas and if there are two or more people in a vehicle.

A COVID-19 rapid test is required on Day 5.

Q. Can a 2nd guest who is already resident in Thailand join a guest who has arrived ‘internationally’ into a ‘SHA Plus’ hotel?
A. Yes, providing the guest follows all rules stipulated for Thais and expats in Thailand.

Accommodation It is mandatory that you book a ‘SHA Plus’ hotel for the first 14 nights in Phuket;

Residing in a private residence is not allowed on the first 14 nights for COVID-19 control purposes;

Q. Must I book a consecutive stay in one place?
A. You can move between SHA Plus hotels during the 14 days.

Q. Booking must be prepaid? or if proof of the booking will suffice?
A. Prepaid.

Q. Are there standardised cancellation and refund policies for ‘SHA Plus’ hotels for peace of mind agreed upon by all ‘SHA Plus’ hoteliers?
A. Yes.

COVID-19 Test RT-PCR test.
Every hospital in Phuket can provide an RT-PCR test;
The cost of an RT-PCR covid test ranges from 2,500-4,000 Baht per person.

Rapid test.
You can get a rapid test from hospitals, clinics, and private labs in Phuket;
The cost of a rapid test ranges from 450-1,000 Baht per person.

COVID-19 testing is at the travellers’ own expense.

Tours & Excursion We recommend that you only book an excursion with ‘SHA Plus’ certified companies for your safety;

*On the first 5 days, you are allowed to visit only the islands of Phuket, which are Ko Racha, Ko Naka, and Coral Island;

*Ko Phi Phi, Ko Yao, Ko Khai, and Phang Nga Bay are NOT a part of Phuket province. Therefore, you must get a rapid test on Day 5 before going to these places.

*Information under review.

Restaurants We recommend that you only use ‘SHA Plus’ certified restaurants for your safety, but you may dine-in at non-certified restaurants, too.
Taxi & Transportation We recommend that you use only ‘SHA Plus’ certified taxis and transportation, but you may use non ‘SHA Plus’, too if you prefer. If there are more than 2 people in a vehicle, masks must be worn at all times.

Q. Is there is an app or website to be able to book SHA+ transport services?
A. Information will be available soon.

Q. Is GRAB taxi SHA+?
A. Information will be available soon.

Other Activities Q. What’s open?
A. Information will be available soon.
COVID-19 Infected If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, you must immediately get a test.

If you travel in a group, everybody in the group must undergo a test.

In case you are tested positive for COVID-19 in Thailand, you will be responsible for the medical expenses which must be covered by your insurance.

Domestic Travel After spending 14 nights in Phuket and you are tested negative for COVID-19, you are free to go anywhere in Thailand but you must follow each province’s restrictions.
International Travel You must follow your home country’s entry requirements, and Thailand is not responsible or able to assist with such updates by individual countries.

The TAT Newsroom will continue to provide regular updates on Phuket’s preparations to safely reopen to foreign tourists ranging from entry requirements and public health procedures to local vaccinations and hygiene standards.

For regular updates on the tourism-related COVID-19 situation in Thailand, visit the TAT Newsroom via www.tatnews.org

Illustration photo by Artur Kornakov on Unsplash.

Best Western Unveils New Upscale Hotel On Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard

Best Western Unveils New Upscale Hotel On Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard

Pattaya, Thailand, June 8, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Best Western Hotels & Resorts continues to enhance the hospitality landscape in Thailand with the launch of a brand-new beachfront hotel on the country’s Eastern Seaboard, overlooking the beach just moments from the vibrant resort town of Pattaya.

Scheduled to open its doors in June 2021, Best Western Premier Bayphere Pattaya is a stylish hotel with eye-catching architecture and interior design. Guests can stay in a choice of 174 contemporary rooms and suites, all adorned with modern décor, bathrooms with rain showers, working areas and state-of-the-art technology, including complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. The Deluxe and Executive Rooms promise panoramic views of the sandy shore, shimmering sea and spectacular sunsets from private balconies.

During the day, guests can unwind and soak up the tranquil ambiance with a stroll along the seafront, a swim in the ocean-facing infinity pool or a dip in the Jacuzzis. A well-equipped fitness center provides the perfect place for a rewarding workout, while the outdoor sundeck and cozy cabanas offer serene settings to chill out with cool daytime drinks and light bites.

Then, as the sun sets over the Gulf of Thailand, guests can settle down and sip cocktails at Lunar Rooftop Bar, which is perched on the eighth floor with majestic views of the ocean, or savor delicious Thai and international cuisine accompanied by fine wines at The Rocks, the hotel’s elegant all-day dining restaurant.

Visitors can also head out and explore an array of local attractions all along the Eastern Seaboard, which is fast becoming one of Asia’s leading resort destinations. Shoppers can indulge in retail therapy at a choice of malls, such as Terminal 21 Pattaya, while families can enjoy endless hours of fun at world-class water parks, including Cartoon Network Amazone. Thailand’s natural and cultural heritage can be uncovered at Pattaya Floating Market, Nong Nooch Tropical Garden and the Sanctuary of Truth temple, while golf courses, vineyards and water sports can all be discovered in the surrounding landscape of rolling hills and golden beaches.

“Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard has been transformed in recent years, with a wealth of fantastic new facilities and activities helping to draw all types of visitor, from young couples to families with children. With its close proximity to Bangkok and several major airports, this is an exceptional setting for weekend breaks or extended vacations. Smart, sleek and commanding a stunning beachfront location, Best Western Premier Bayphere Pattaya will elevate the standard of accommodation in the area and attract even more visitors to this dynamic destination in future,” said Erwann Mahe, Managing Director of International Operations – Asia, Best Western Hotels & Resorts.

Easily accessible from downtown Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi International Airport and U-Tapao Rayong-Pattaya International Airport, the region’s rapidly-expanding air hub, Best Western Premier Bayphere Pattaya is an outstanding option for local and overseas travelers alike.

Best Western Premier Bayphere Pattaya was developed by Habitat Group, Thailand’s leading property-for-investment developer, specializing in premium lifestyle investment properties and vacation home developments in the heart of Bangkok and Pattaya. It will soon be joined by BluPhere Pattaya, BW Premier Collection by Best Western, which is scheduled to open in the near future.

To learn more, please visit www.bwpbayphere.com. Or for more information about Best Western Hotels & Resorts in Asia, please visit www.bestwesternasia.com.

About Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand within the BWH Hotel Group® global network. With 18 brands and approximately 4,700 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market. Brands include Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, Vīb®, GLō®, Aiden®, Sadie®, BW Premier Collection® and BW Signature Collection®. Through acquisition, WorldHotelsTM Luxury, WorldHotels Elite, WorldHotels Distinctive and WorldHotels Crafted collections are also offered. Completing the portfolio is SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection® and SureStay StudioSM franchises**.

* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.
**All Best Western, WorldHotels and SureStay branded hotels are independently owned and operated.

New WTTC Campaign Shows Importance of International Travel

New WTTC Campaign Shows Importance of International Travel

London, United Kingdom, June 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / A new campaign has today been launched by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) calling on governments around the world to restart international travel and enable the world to ‘Reunite’ once again.

After more than a year of lockdowns around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new campaign will showcase the importance international travel has on individuals and businesses.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

It will also encourage travellers to share with the world, the positive impact travel makes to their lives and mental well-being.

Through its social media channels, ‘Reunite’ will urge people from all corners of the globe to share their own stories of how tourism has made a difference and changed their lives.

WTTC believes whilst Travel & Tourism makes a significant contribution to economies around the world, it also provides an essential way for individuals to connect, experience and discover cultures around the world.

The campaign launches today with a feelgood and positive video showing how now is the time to get the world moving again, to reunite families, friends, colleagues, and communities.

As vaccination rollouts advance in many countries around the world and as cases begin to drop, it is important for governments to recognise what Travel & Tourism brings to the economy and the population as a whole.

It is equally as important to recognise that some regions and countries are still battling to put the pandemic under control, and that the majority of vaccinations have been in developed countries. This means that the pandemic will continue to spread in those countries that don’t have equal access to vaccines.

This new campaign comes after WTTC’s drive to responsibly rekindle the wanderlust of travellers through its recent ‘Together in Travel’ campaign, despite the multiple global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Virginia Messina, WTTC Acting CEO, said: “Travel gives us memories which last a lifetime and the most amazing experiences to share, so we are excited to launch a campaign that gets to the heart of what travel means to people.

“Travel & Tourism has a hugely positive benefit upon the world, far beyond the immediate pleasure it brings to those who are able to explore and discover people, places and amazing experiences for themselves. Right now, so many people have been separated from their loved ones for months if not over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“For the past year WTTC has been hugely invested in advocating for the social and mental benefits of Travel & Tourism. Through this campaign. We are hoping to help kickstart the recovery of our sector through a truly worthwhile experience: reuniting with those who matter most to us. 

“With the immense pressures being faced by the global Travel & Tourism sector due to the current restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now more important than ever that we remind everyone, how travelling can make all the difference not only to the world, but to us as individuals.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began to devastate the global Travel & Tourism sector last year, WTTC has continually been at the forefront in leading the private sector in the efforts to rebuild global consumer confidence and encourage the return of Safe Travels.

WTTC believes that ‘Reunite’ could further encourage governments around the world to recognise the importance of international travel, not only to individuals, but also businesses, and communities, all of which benefit from a thriving sector.

WTTC’s highly successful ‘Together in Travel’ campaign was launched in April of last year, as countries had introduced widespread global travel restrictions.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world shared their stories, which generated more than 100 million impressions.

Travel & Tourism is one of the world’s largest and most important sectors, in which around 80 per cent of all businesses are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

As a powerful driver for socio-economic development and job creation, the sector plays an important role in driving prosperity, empowering women, youth, and other societal groups.

It is also one of the most diverse sectors, employing people from all socio-economic backgrounds regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity, and includes 54% women and 30% youth.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

WTTC research shows that across the G20 group of countries, women account for more than half of all Travel & Tourism employment, and a high proportion of jobs for youths. It is highest in Canada, the US and UK where youths account for almost a third (30%) of the sector’s employment.

Revenues generated by Travel & Tourism helps improve education, housing, health, and wellness for people.

It also contributes to vital infrastructure projects, such as road, rail, and air links, as well as services which improve the quality of life for residents.
WTTC is encouraging travellers from around the world to get involved and share their stories using hashtags #reunite.