PATA and UNESCO Launch Online Course to Reduce Plastics in Tourism

PATA and UNESCO Launch Online Course to Reduce Plastics in Tourism - TRAVELINDEX - SUSTAINABLEFIRST.comBangkok, Thailand, August 8, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association is pleased to announce the launch of a new online resource for increasing the sustainability of the tourism sector. The course, Targeting Zero Plastics in Tourism Businesses – with UNESCO, PATA & Expedia Group, is launched in conjunction with this year’s PATA Destination Marketing Forum (PDMF), held in Songkhla, Thailand, from August 2-4.

In March 2022, PATA started a collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) with the goal of advising tourism and hospitality businesses on plastic waste reduction. To achieve this, PATA has developed this online course to provide step-wise guidance on minimising the sourcing and consumption of single-use plastics as well as the importance for organisations to sign the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge.

The Pledge, which is a collaboration between UNESCO and Expedia Group, is open and applicable to all tourism businesses, regardless of their size or location. By signing the Pledge, they will be joining a network of leading tourism and hospitality businesses that are helping their destinations in the development of sustainable tourism. “The Sustainable Travel Pledge is particularly timely as we work to build a new kind of tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, by inviting local tourism stakeholders to commit to inclusive and sustainable measures”, said Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.

“The pandemic caused hardship in tourism destinations worldwide, but also led to severe setbacks in our fight against plastic waste”, said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “Now is the time to take action and strive for a more sustainable tourism and hospitality industry. We’re proud to make this contribution to plastic waste reduction efforts. ”

The amount of plastics we currently produce, consume and dispose of is unsustainable, and tourism activities and hospitality businesses do contribute largely to this issue. In the Mediterranean, for example, marine litter increases up to 40% during tourist peak season (One Planet, 2021), and this poses a threat to tourism destinations themselves.

As put by Ang Choo Pin, Managing Director Asia, Expedia Group, “it is essential for hotels, restaurants, tour operators and all other tourism businesses to reduce the amount of plastics they generate and dispose of the unavoidable plastics responsibly if they wish to protect the very assets they rely on to attract customers”.

Reducing single-use plastics in tourism and hospitality businesses provides not only an opportunity to protect the destination’s ecosystems but also to support the local community and economy, as it is advocated throughout the online course. This is because sourcing local products and using local resources and services in tourism offerings and activities reduces reliance on international supply chains as well as economic leakages. Moreover, local artisanal products are more likely to be made of natural, renewable materials than mass-produced ones.

“The course developed by PATA is an incredible resource for businesses to understand the relationships between communities, culture and environmental protection through plastic waste reduction”, says Dr. Hanh Duong Bich, Program Specialist and Chief of Culture Unit at UNESCO Office in Bangkok. “It gives great guidance and examples on how businesses can help fight plastic waste and at the same time promote local heritage and strengthen local supply chains.”

The course “Targeting Zero Plastics in Tourism Businesses – with UNESCO, PATA & Expedia Group” is open-sourced and available at PATA’s website. Participants can receive a certificate if they achieve the minimum required score in the final quiz. Click here to access the course.

About PATA
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (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 member organisations, which including government, state and city tourism bodies; international airlines and airports; hospitality organisations, and educational institutions, as well as thousands of 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 32 local PATA Chapters worldwide, while hundreds of students are members of the 28 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, India and London.

Dusit Hotels International Brings Hybrid Hospitality to Nairobi

Dusit Hotels International Brings Hybrid Hospitality to Nairobi - TRAVELINDEXNairobi, Kenya, August 8, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The new Dusit Princess Hotel Residences Nairobi features a unique hybrid collection of one-bedroom apartments, studio apartments, and deluxe hotel rooms in the leafy commercial hub of Westlands in the city of Nairobi. Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has continued its global expansion with the opening of a unique hybrid property in Nairobi – Dusit Princess Hotel Residences – which features 100 spacious deluxe hotel rooms and apartments in the city’s prime Westlands neighbourhood, just 40 minutes by road from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport via the newly built Nairobi Expressway.

Discover magical Kenya with the exclusive travel guide VisitKenya.com, Where the Safari was Born.

Designed to meet the needs of business and leisure travellers alike, the new upper-midscale property is tastefully furnished in a contemporary style and offers superior in-stay essentials for short and long-stay guests.

Throughout its 14 deluxe hotel rooms, 30 studio apartments, and 56 one-bedroom apartments, guests can expect highly comfortable beds with Egyptian cotton sheets, high-pressure showers, and thoughtful working spaces complete with USB charging ports and complimentary high-speed internet access. The one-bedroom apartments also feature a kitchenette and dining area with a built-in fridge, microwave oven, a four-plate induction cooker, and a washing machine with dryer. High ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows allow for plenty of natural light and stunning views of the city’s skyline.

Alongside Dusit’s unique brand of Thai-inspired gracious hospitality, artfully blended with Kenyan culture and heritage, guests will enjoy a wide range of facilities, including a heated swimming pool, an ultra-modern rooftop gym, and five state-of-the-art meeting rooms whose combined capacity can seat up to 150 guests in theatre style.

For dining, guests can choose from an efficient, convenient grab-and-go outlet and two exciting additions to Nairobi’s food and beverage scene – The Olive Restaurant and The Aviary Lounge Bar.

The Olive Restaurant is a modern Italian-inspired all-day dining outlet whose décor bears the colours and images of harvested grapes and olives. Alongside buffet breakfast, it offers a carefully curated variety of international cuisines and local favourites.

The new rooftop hangout The Aviary Lounge Bar, meanwhile, is a vibrant place to meet, mingle and relax in a modern, stylish setting inspired by the life of birds, flora and fauna. Decorated with elegant bird cages and featuring sweeping views of the city, The Aviary Lounge elevates the bar experience even further with its wide range of classic, innovative cocktails, creative bar snacks, and atmospheric beats from an in-house DJ.

Guests and residents at Dusit Princess Hotel Residences Nairobi will also benefit from the property’s unique local connections offering numerous opportunities to explore the rich heritage of Kenya’s capital and the natural wonders of its broader surrounds. The Nairobi National Park, the only national park in the world within a capital city, is only a 45-minute drive from the property. A day trip gives guests the opportunity to spot big game such as lions, buffaloes, leopards, rhinos, and more.

“Dusit Princess Hotel Residences Nairobi has all the elements to deliver comfort and convenience at excellent value for international guests and locals alike,” said the property’s General Manager, Mr Franco Rienzo. “Our prime location in the exclusive Westlands neighbourhood is only five kilometres from the CBD, and our unique blend of one-bedroom apartments, studio apartments, and deluxe hotel rooms ensures we are the ideal base for short trips and extended stays – a great option for anyone looking to work remotely from the hotel in style.

“With global travel rebounding and Kenya’s tourist arrivals on the rise, we look forward to welcoming the world to discover Dusit’s unique brand of Thai-inspired gracious hospitality at Dusit Princess Hotel Residences Nairobi, an exciting new addition to Nairobi’s hospitality industry.”

To celebrate its opening, Dusit Princess Hotel Residences Nairobi is offering a special room package starting from only USD 3,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and USD 120 per day for the entry-level room (deluxe room with breakfast). The offer is inclusive of all taxes and valid from 1 September to 31 December 2022.

Discover magical Kenya with the exclusive travel guide VisitKenya.com, Where the Safari was Born.

About Dusit International
Established in 1948, Dusit International or Dusit Thani Public Company Limited (DUSIT) is a leading hospitality group listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Its operations comprise five distinct yet complementary business units: hotels and resorts, hospitality education, food, property development, and hospitality-related services.

The group’s portfolio of hotels, resorts and luxury villas includes more than 300 properties operating under a total of six brands (Dusit Thani, Dusit Devarana, dusitD2, Dusit Princess, ASAI Hotels, and Elite Havens) across 16 countries worldwide. The group also operates culinary schools and hospitality colleges in Thailand, plus catering companies for the education sector in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Dusit International’s diversified investments in real estate development, hospitality-related services, and the food sector are part of its long-term strategy for sustainable growth, which focuses on three key areas: balance, expansion and diversification.

Rebuilding Confidence in Intra-Africa Tourism

Rebuilding Confidence in Intra-Africa Tourism - VISITSEYCHELLES.org - TRAVELINDEXVictoria, Mahe, August 8, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Aviation & Allied Business Journal has published an interview with Alain St.Ange former Seychelles Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine on “Rebuilding Confidence In Intra-Africa Tourism” republished because the points made are seen as interesting for Africa and its islands.

Q: You were the successful tourism minister of the Seychelles who turned tourism around to reach new heights. What are you doing now?

A: After my years in Government of the Seychelles that ended with me as the island’s Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine I ran to become the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in my country’s bid to get Africa to lead this UN Body, but politics can often bring out the worst that left our continent licking its wounds. But that is history, and after that UN Saga, I launched my very own Tourism Consultancy (Saint Ange Tourism Consultancy) and have been actively working with Tourism Boards, Ministries of Tourism and also the Private Sector groupings all over Africa and in the ASEAN Block.

This keeps me very busy, and more so with the reopening of tourism in this post-covid era. I was also one of the three Presidential Candidates for our island nation in the 2020 Presidential Election because I was determined to use tourism and aviation to recreate a solid economy for Seychelles. I was not successful but the seeds sown to keep tourism alive with diversification possibilities within the tourism industry continues to be heard as discussion points on a daily basis. Today I continue to do what I love and deliver with passion and this is assisting tourism to grow where ever my expertise is called for.

Q: Tourism is no more the same as the pre-covid times. Your thoughts.

A: Tourism cannot be the same as before. Sitting on our past approaches and successes is only a remedy to disaster. Covid showed the world how fragile tourism and aviation was and how easily economies depending on this industry could find themselves in trouble. One can ask if we have learnt our lessons, or if we are acting as ostriches and burying our heads in the sand hoping for the best. Nothing will happen by itself and if you are talking about our great continent of Africa, we can all see approaches of the past and the inability for our States to call in their human assets beyond their political party lines and ‘place square pegs in square holes and round pegs in round holes’ and in so doing give the country a fighting chance to bring a break for our investors.

Q: This brings us to our burning question. Can the key tourism source markets of pre-covid be taken for granted, and is it time for a new impetus for Intra-Africa approaches?

A: Africa is the continent for the future. It has everything, but it is also not able to reap the benefits of what it has been blessed with for the benefit of it citizens. The first step for Africa to do is to get to know Africa and then decide for Africa to work with Africa. Out key tourism source markets are still salvageable, but they have their own challenges. They have a thirst for travel after being locked up two years, but their economy is going through difficult times, inflation is hitting them badly, and the new Russia – Ukraine war has brought about new challenges. The reality check for 2022 onwards is saying loud and clear – reassess, re-plan, re-launch and to be more focused. Keeping a foot in each camp is today essential as we should be working to re-grab our key traditional tourism source markets as we should be energizing regional and continental options.

Uniting countries in marketing groups to create a new tourism destination as was done successfully in the Indian Ocean with the Vanilla Islands concept is today worth exploring, but opening doors to our very own Intra-Africa options is over necessary. African discerning travelers are good holiday makers and should be targeted and tourism and travel shows across Africa should be given new clout as this will give continental options to our continent’s potential travelers. Yes we have a lot of tidying up to do, but it can be done and if we take the line of President Obama of ‘Yes We Can’ and ride on this wave there will be a stronger re-bound of our continent’s industry.

Q: What sort of challenges and tidying are you talking about?

A: Africa needs to deliver on what we say we are. Value for money is more important than ever, and for Africa Governments to accept that tourists are not milking cows. We have to earn every dollar we make and stop dreaming of new taxes and fees. But we also need to go back to basics with inhouse training and assessments. Get outside help to bring the industry together as the saying of ‘No One Is A Prophet In His Own Country’ is also still true. Get the trade to embrace the need to relook at tourism with a post-covid eye and to accept the idea that tourism is not just our bread and butter, but that is can be a full breakfast if we are together as one in this needed public-private sector task force to deliver for our respective economies.

Best Western Takes Off with New Hotel at Bangkok’s Airport

Best Western Takes Off with New Hotel at Bangkok's Airport - HOTELWORLDS.com - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, August 6, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Best Western Hotels and Resorts has reaffirmed its position as one of Thailand’s leading international hotel groups with the opening of a new hotel located close to Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport.

Best Western Nada Don Mueang Airport Hotel is perfectly positioned in North Bangkok, just 15 minutes from the airport and within walking distance of the skytrain, ensuring seamless connectivity for all visitors. This modern midscale hotel features 235 rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant and fantastic facilities for meetings and events, including a 200-guest ballroom and six additional function rooms. Phahonyothin 59 BTS station is just moments away.

With excellent accessibility via the skytrain and elevated expressway, as well as free onsite parking, this hotel is set to become a popular option for business and leisure travelers flying into and out of Don Mueang, as well as local event planners seeking the ideal place to host their next gathering.

This new property will join the global network of Best Western Rewards®, the group’s award-winning guest loyalty program, which offers exclusive member-only benefits at approximately 4,500 hotels and resorts in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide.

The launch of Best Western Nada Don Mueang Airport Hotel reaffirms Best Western’s position as one of the leading hotel operators in Bangkok and reflects the company’s long-term confidence in this dynamic destination. The group now offers its customers a choice of seven properties in the Thai capital, covering six distinct brands: Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Vīb®, SureStay Plus® and SureStay Collection®. The BWH Hotel Group® regional head office for Asia is also located in Bangkok.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the opening of Best Western Nada Don Mueang Airport Hotel. Prior to the global pandemic, Don Mueang was Thailand’s second busiest airport, handling over 41 million passengers in 2019¹. The home base of low-cost carriers such as Thai AirAsia, Thai Lion Air and Nok Air, this airport is popular with domestic and international passengers visiting the Thai capital. With the launch of our new hotel, travelers now have a comfortable, convenient, and fully connected place to stay,” said Erwann Mahe, Managing Director of International Operations – Asia, BWH Hotel Group.

“This marks our second new hotel opening in Bangkok in the last two months, following the launch of Seekers Finders Rama IV, SureStay Collection by Best Western in June. This rapid expansion underscores our enduring confidence in the future of Thailand’s tourism industry,” he added.

Thailand has now lifted all travel restrictions for international visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as the country returns to normal following the global pandemic.

About Best Western Hotels and 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 4,500 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 are SureStay®, SureStay Plus®, SureStay Collection®, and SureStay Studio® 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.

Hilton Introduces First Global Brand Platform

Hilton Introduces First Global Brand Platform - HOTELWORLDS.com - TRAVELINDEXMcLean, VA, United States, August 6, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Inspired by global consumer insights, Hilton proves the stay is the crucial element that can make or break any trip through its new advertising campaign, “It Matters Where You Stay”. Hilton is shaking up hotel marketing and advertising with the announcement of its first global brand platform that identifies what has been missing from hotel marketing – the hotel stay.

”Hilton. For the Stay” places the hotel front and center, elevating the role and importance of the stay at a time when lodging advertising is a sea of sameness, featuring overused destinations, cliché walks on the beach and generic descriptions of travel.

Hilton is debuting “It Matters Where You Stay,” a new advertising campaign to introduce the platform, using humor to push against some of the common but unspoken pitfalls of travel, boldly poking fun at what can go wrong when booking or on a trip. The campaign also features the multi-faceted businesswoman and philanthropist Paris Hilton, who grew up living in and staying in numerous Hilton hotels across the world, which gave her a unique exposure to the hotel business early on. Her role in the campaign is inspired in part by the legacy of her family, whose belief in the power of travel and the hotel stay to connect people and cultures continues to motivate Hilton team members around the world today.

In addition to Paris, renowned actor Catherine O’Hara lends her voice to the campaign, with TV commercials first airing in the U.S. on July 25 and audio rolling out shortly thereafter.

“Today, as we make company history with Hilton’s first brand platform, we’re reminding guests that at the heart of a great trip is a great stay and that it’s just different when that stay is with Hilton,” said Mark Weinstein, chief marketing officer, Hilton. “As we enter this next era of travel, it has never been more important to consider where you stay – and Hilton is uniquely committed to making sure your stay is everything you need it to be.”

Hilton and TBWAChiatDay New York, Hilton’s agency since 2017, used TBWA’s Disruption methodology to architect the bold new vision, born from the insight the hospitality industry has become almost entirely focused on the destination, not the stay itself. Consumer research uncovered “the Stay,” and being cared for, are the crucial elements that can make or break any trip. So, Hilton is doubling down on its new brand platform to prove to its guests that truly, “it matters where you stay.” The platform will permeate nearly every consumer touchpoint, from broad-reaching consumer advertising through the travel planning process and the guests’ stay with Hilton, as well as post-stay.

“With ‘Hilton. For the Stay,’ we are more fully connecting our external customer marketing to our purpose – staking our rightful claim that Hilton owns the Stay,” said Weinstein. “The idea of the Stay was incredibly natural to Hilton, and yet no one else was talking about it. As others tout the generic virtues of travel, minimize the role of the hotel and the hotel team members, and romanticize the destination, through our platform and the campaign it inspires, we’re reminding travelers that ‘It Matters Where You Stay’ and boldly affirming ‘Hilton. For the Stay.’”

“IT MATTERS WHERE YOU STAY” CAMPAIGN

The advertising creative has a fun, relatable tone in which Hilton breaks from the formulaic approach seen across the industry, highlighting the benefits Hilton offers to make guests feel cared for – from amazing service and pet-friendly travel to the choices available in the Hilton Honors app to skip the front desk and personalize your stay, to Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton and more.

In one of the featured TV spots, “Haunted,” the brand pokes fun at what can go wrong when booking a vacation rental – depicting a family showing up to a hilariously creepy property that wasn’t exactly as advertised.

“Confirmed Together” zeroes in on a unique Hilton feature that addresses a very real pain point of family travel, the importance of securing connected rooms at the time of booking. And in “Extra Storage,” Paris Hilton has an innovative solution for her extra luggage.

The campaign includes television, audio, social media, print, and out of home, spanning 13 commercials and bespoke social executions. It will launch first in the U.S. followed closely by the U.K. and select Asia-Pacific and Middle East markets. Hilton tapped a world-class creative team to bring this global campaign to life, including A-list commercial director Matt Aselton of Arts & Sciences.

To extend the brand platform, Hilton will lean into social media, experiential and influencers. Across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, Hilton will engage in an already robust conversation around travel and trip disasters by helping travelers have a better stay – whether planning for a future trip or helping rescue a trip that has gone off the rails. Hilton has also partnered with familiar voices on social media to bring “Hilton. For the Stay” to life.

“In developing the campaign, we were inspired by showing the realness of travel; the tensions, the hardships, the too-high expectations. It goes against convention in the hospitality category and it’s an exciting space for the brand to own,” said Amy Ferguson, chief creative officer, TBWAChiatDay New York.

For more than 100 years, Hilton has been a pioneer in the hospitality industry, and that has never been more evident than the past two years. “Hilton. For the Stay” encompasses the brand’s world-class hospitality; from innovations such as Digital Key Share, Confirmed Connecting Rooms, early confirmation of upgraded rooms for Hilton Honors members and through thoughtful service, proving out that it matters where you stay.

World Gourmet Festival Returns to Bangkok

 World Gourmet Festival Returns to Bangkok - TOP25RESTAUNTS.com - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, August 5, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Bangkok’s most prominent and longest-running international culinary event, World Gourmet Festival returns to the City of Angels to gather award-winning Master Chefs under one roof for a weeklong celebration of outstanding food paired with superb wines in an environment that fosters free exchange of ideas.

Held from the 6th to 11th September 2022 at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, the festival promises an extraordinary line-up of some of the world’s best chefs who will showcase their distinctive styles at one of the capital’s most exclusive addresses. Nine acclaimed chefs from the Netherlands, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Thailand with four Michelin stars between them will present an international culinary extravaganza:

Peter Gast: Graphite in Amsterdam, Netherlands (1 Michelin star)
Davide Caranchini: Materia in Como, Italy (1 Michelin star)
Nicolas Isnard: Auberge de la Charme in Prenois, France (1 Michelin star)
Amerigo Sesti: J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain in Bangkok, Thailand (1 Michelin star)
Christian Martena: Clara in Bangkok, Thailand
Sugio Yamaguchi: Botanique in Paris, France
Chudaree “Tam” Debhakam: Baan Tepa in Bangkok, Thailand
Claire Clark: Pretty Sweet in London, the United Kingdom
Sutakon Suwannachot: Chocolatier Boutique Café in Bangkok, Thailand

The proceedings will kick off with a glittering gala dinner on the 6th of September held at Anantara Siam’s ballroom giving guests a taste of what’s to come during the festival: exquisite starters from Sugio Yamaguchi and Peter Gast, mains from Nicolas Isnard and Davide Caranchini, dessert from Claire Clark and petit four from Anupong Nualchawee, Anantara Siam’s Executive Pastry Chef. The experience is open to the public and tickets are available for THB 8,500++ for a five-course meal including wine pairings.

During the festival, each chef will host between two to three exclusive dinners in the hotel’s award-winning Biscotti, Madison, Spice Market, Guilty and Shintaro restaurants, while English master pâtissier Claire Clark, rightfully considered one of the world’s best pastry chefs, and Bangkok’s own Sutakon Suwannachot of the MasterChef Thailand and Top Chef Thailand Dessert fame will be showcasing their refined confectionery in the Lobby Lounge throughout the week.

At Guilty restaurant, Anantara Siam’s brand-new dining and entertainment venue, celebrated chef Peter Gast will host three dinners on the 8th, 9th and 10th of September inviting food lovers to experience exquisite flavours that earned his speakeasy-style restaurant Graphite in Amsterdam a Michelin star.

At Biscotti, Christian Martena of Bangkok’s Clara restaurant will be serving up a veritable Italian feast on the 7th and 8th of September, followed by two more nights of Italian extravaganza courtesy of Davide Caranchi named Best Italian Young Chef 2018 by L’Espresso restaurant guide and whose restaurant Materia made it into the ‘50 Best Discovery’ collection by the World’s 50 Best.

At Madison steakhouse, Nicolas Isnard will give two dinners, on the 7th and 8th, showing the foodie crowd why, at 27, he was awarded the notable “Young Talent” award by the Gault Millau guide. On the 9th and 10th of September, the Madison kitchen will be taken over by another culinary star, Amerigo Sesti. Having earned his stripes at Jean-Michel Lorain’s celebrated Côte Saint Jacques, he is now heading the kitchen at J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain, one of Bangkok’s top restaurants.

Lovers of French cuisine will find an unmissable offering at Shintaro, where Sugio Yamaguchi will be recreating the spirit and flavours of France’s Lyon region on the 8th, 9th and 10th of September.

At Spice Market, Chudaree “Tam” Debhakam, the youngest chef to ever compete in Top Chef Thailand, will be serving up authentic Thai dishes on the 8th, 9th and 10th.

As has become a tradition in recent years, the exclusive fringe events will return, including the hugely popular World Gourmet Brunch on Sunday, 11th September 2022. Designed to appeal to both aspiring chefs and professionals alike, daily cooking classes by all the visiting chefs will offer a unique opportunity to learn new techniques, as well as sampling specially prepared dishes from the chefs’ World Gourmet Festival repertoire and a wine master class on 7th.

The 22nd World Gourmet Festival is a proud supporter of Foundation for the Welfare of Rajavithi-Girls’ Home Under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali. THB 600 per dinner ticket sold and proceeds from the auctions, which take place throughout the festival, will be donated to the Fund.

Reservations for the 22nd World Gourmet Festival at Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel are essential and can be made by visiting www.worldgourmetfestival.asia, where detailed information and prices of all the events are available, or email: wgf.asia@anantara.com or telephone +66 2 126 8866.

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel’s Amazing World Gourmet Festival accommodation package offers gourmands a sumptuous opportunity to experience an extraordinary international culinary feast by some of the world’s best chefs in the heart of one of the world’s most enigmatic capital cities. Starting from THB 16,000++ per room per night, this special offer includes accommodation for two, a sumptuous daily buffet breakfast, and a table for two at a guest chef’s dinner each night of the stay period.

IATA Strong Passenger Demand Continues in June

IATA Strong Passenger Demand Continues in June - AIRLINEHUB.com - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, August 5, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced passenger data for June 2022 showing that the recovery in air travel remains strong.

– Total traffic in June 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was up 76.2% compared to June 2021, primarily propelled by the ongoing strong recovery in international traffic. Globally, traffic is now at 70.8% of pre-crisis levels.

– Domestic traffic for June 2022 was up 5.2% compared to the year-ago period. Strong improvements in most markets, combined with the easing of some Omicron-related lockdown restrictions in the Chinese domestic market, contributed to the result. Total June 2022 domestic traffic was at 81.4% of the June 2019 level.

– International traffic rose 229.5% versus June 2021. The lifting of travel restrictions in most parts of Asia-Pacific is contributing to the recovery. June 2022 international RPKs reached 65.0% of June 2019 levels.

“Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

– Asia-Pacific airlines had a 492.0% rise in June traffic compared to June 2021. Capacity rose 138.9% and the load factor was up 45.8 percentage points to 76.7%. The region is now relatively open to foreign visitors and tourism which is helping foster the recovery.

– European carriers’ June traffic rose 234.4% versus June 2021. Capacity rose 134.5%, and load factor climbed 25.8 percentage points to 86.3%. International traffic within Europe is above pre-pandemic levels in seasonally adjusted terms.

– Middle Eastern airlines’ traffic rose 246.5% in June compared to June 2021. June capacity rose 102.4% versus the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 32.4 percentage points to 78.0%.

– North American carriers experienced a 168.9% traffic rise in June versus the 2021 period. Capacity rose 95.0%, and load factor climbed 24.1 percentage points to 87.7%, which was the highest among the regions.

– Latin American airlines’ June traffic rose 136.6% compared to the same month in 2021. June capacity rose 107.4% and load factor increased 10.3 percentage points to 83.3%. After leading the regions in load factor for 20 consecutive months, Latin America slipped back to third place in June.

– African airlines had a 103.6% rise in June RPKs versus a year ago. June 2022 capacity was up 61.9% and load factor climbed 15.2 percentage points to 74.2%, the lowest among regions. International traffic between Africa and neighboring regions is close to pre-pandemic levels.

The Bottom Line
“With the Northern Hemisphere summer travel season now fully underway, predictions that the lifting of travel restrictions would unleash a torrent of pent-up travel demand are being borne out. At the same time, meeting that demand has proved challenging and likely will continue to be so. All the more reason to continue to show flexibility to the slot use rules. The European Commission’s intent to return to the longstanding 80-20 requirement is premature.

“Just look at the issues that airlines and their passengers at some hub airports are being confronted with. These airports are unable to support their declared capacity even with the current 64% slot threshold and have extended recent passenger caps until the end of October. Flexibility is still essential in support of a successful recovery.

“By capping passenger numbers, airports are preventing airlines from benefitting from the strong demand. Heathrow Airport has tried to blame airlines for the disruption. However, Service Level Performance data for the first six months of this year show that they have failed miserably to provide basic services and missed their Passenger Security service target by a massive 14.3 points. Data for June has not yet been published but is expected to show the lowest level of service by the airport since records began,” said Walsh.

Rosewood Hotels Announces Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills

Rosewood Hotels Announces Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills - TOP25HOMES.com - TRAVELINDEXBeverly Hills, California, United States, August 4, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Exclusive Development Marks Rosewood’s First Standalone Branded Residential Project in Los Angeles, California. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts® continues to grow its portfolio of exceptional residences with the announcement today of Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills, the brand,s first standalone residential condominium development in California. Located on Santa Monica Boulevard neighboring world-renowned landmarks and timeless Beverly Hills icons, the boutique development, comprised of 17 ultra-luxury residences, will serve as a model for enriched living in Southern California. Developed by Nahla Capital and GPI Companies, Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills is scheduled for completion in 2024, with sales to officially commence in 2023.

Situated in the heart of Beverly Hills, Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills features exterior architecture and interiors designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen, known internationally for his excellence in craftsmanship and design of residential developments, custom residences and elegant restaurants. Evoking Rosewood’s guiding A Sense of Place® philosophy, wherein each property reflects the texture and typology of its location, the residences will feature custom interiors and exquisite finishes that epitomize California’s timeless and casual sophistication. Ranging from 3,000 to over 7,000 square feet, every private home comprises a vast array of truly unique amenities including private elevator access, large entry foyers, indoor and outdoor living areas, expansive chefs’ kitchens with double islands, and mudroom/laundry rooms accessed by a discrete service elevator. Private swimming pools in nearly half the residences will create a focal point for their large terraces. Additional al-fresco features and amenities scattered across select residences include fully equipped outdoor kitchens, wet bars and firepits, lending to exceptional living and entertaining.

“As the popularity of standalone branded residences continues to grow, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to present this opportunity to enjoy the height of living in the prominent market of Beverly Hills,” said Brad Berry, vice president of Global Residential Development at Rosewood Hotel Group. “Thoughtfully conceived to extend the utmost in design, service and experience, Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills is poised to emerge as one of the most desirable destinations not only in California, but across the country. We are proud to bring this incredible project to life alongside our partners and to further reinforce our commitment to delivering exceptional residential experiences in the most sought-after locations around the world.”

Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills will be exclusively managed by a dedicated Rosewood Residential Team who oversee every aspect of the property’s luxury service offerings. Coveted amenities will be available to its intimate group of homeowners, including a beautiful resort-like rooftop retreat featuring a pool, whirlpool spa, fitness center and outdoor relaxation areas boasting breathtaking views of the city. Residents will also enjoy communal rooftop lounge and dining spaces affording them with the ability to host gatherings small or large.

“Nahla Capital and GPI Companies are proud to work alongside Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to introduce Rosewood Residences to the iconic Beverly Hills community,” said Genghis Hadi, co-founder and managing principal of Nahla Capital. “Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills will consist of one-of-a-kind homes with many exquisite amenities, and we are excited to collaborate with Rosewood, Compass Development Marketing group and best in class firms including Thomas Juul-Hansen and executive architect MVE Architects to bring this project to life.”

About Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts manages a global collection of 30 one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and residences in 18 countries. Each Rosewood property embraces the brand’s A Sense of Place® philosophy to reflect the individual location’s history, culture and sensibilities. The Rosewood collection includes some of the world’s most legendary hotels and resorts, including The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel in New York, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris, as well as new classics such as Rosewood Hong Kong and Rosewood São Paulo. For those who wish to stay a little longer, Rosewood Residences offer a distinct opportunity for the ownership or rental of properties co-located with a Rosewood hotel or resort and of standalone for-sale residences. Rosewood Residences are defined by the brand’s commitment to Enriched Living through thoughtful details and experiences that enhance the quality of life while evoking a sense of discovery and inspiration.

About Nahla Capital
Nahla Capital is a New York based Real Estate Private Equity firm that manages and invests capital for institutional and global private clients in core urban markets in the United States. We invest in urban markets that are major gateway cities in the United States including New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and Chicago, which have positive economic growth factors, compelling supply and demand dynamics, and strong employment sectors. At Nahla Capital we create a risk-adjusted investment strategy for our investors. We focus on delivering superior returns while actively managing exposure to risk and market fluctuations. We invest in core-plus, value add and opportunistic and mezzanine transactions. To date, Nahla Capital has invested in excess of $400 million in equity for a total AUM of $1.85 billion.

About GPI Companies
Founded in 2008 as Goldstein Planting Investments, GPI Companies is managed by Cliff Goldstein, Drew Planting, and Lee Wagman. GPI Companies is a real estate investment and development firm that pursues a targeted range of properties where value can be enhanced through repositioning, redevelopment, or increased operational efficiency. The company and its principals have a history of delivering superior returns to their investors by successfully identifying and exploiting mispriced assets while at the same time minimizing volatility. GPI has the expertise and experience to execute projects of various sizes and complexity. With a team of seasoned real estate executives, the company’s real estate investments are managed and operated directly by GPI Companies. Capital partners include prominent private equity funds, public pension plans, offshore investors, and family offices. The three partners of GPI Companies have more than 100 years of combined experience and have acquired or developed over $6 billion in award-winning urban real estate assets and leased and managed more than 20 million square feet of commercial space.

About Compass Development Marketing Group
From project inception to building sellout, Compass Development Marketing Group partners with the world’s most forward-thinking developers and innovative architects through the lifespan of a project. Leveraging tenured expertise and the industry’s most powerful technological resources, we provide strategic advice for record-breaking results. The company offers a comprehensive range of developer services, including research and analysis, planning and design, marketing and sales for luxury real estate. With nationwide representation in over 200 Compass offices, CDMG empowers residential developers with an unparalleled sales footprint in the United States. Licensed as Compass. CDMG is a subsidiary of Compass, a Fortune 500 company and the leading real estate brokerage in the United States by sales volume.

Accor Unveils First Mercure in Putrajaya Malaysia

Accor Unveils First Mercure in Putrajaya Malaysia - HOTELWORLDS.com - TRAVELINDEXPutrajaya, Malaysia, August 5, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Accor unveils the group’s first Mercure Living concept globally with the opening of Mercure Living Putrajaya, Malaysia. Partnering with Ulster Waves Sdn. Bhd. (a subsidiary of iKHASAS Sdn Bhd), the complex of fully-furnished serviced apartments is located right in the heart of the city and just a short stroll from Putrajaya’s main shopping district, Alamanda Shopping Centre and Shaftsbury Putrajaya Mall.

The property opened on the 1st of July 2022 and is situated in the tallest building of Putrajaya, offering its residents access to the best restaurants and shops in town with tailored features for extended stays. A convenient 30 minute drive from both Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the city centre of Kuala Lumpur, it serves as an excellent base for those visiting the nearby government offices and city of Cyberjaya, home to a science park that forms an integral part of Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor.

Mercure Living Putrajaya offers 299 exquisitely appointed serviced apartments spread across 36 floors, featuring large floor plans, modern furnishings, complete amenities, a fully equipped kitchenette with cooking facilities, washer and dryer, as well as a separate living hall. With a 52-meter salt water infinity swimming pool, 24/7 gym, the Urban Bliss Spa, badminton court, and a well-appointed lounge, guests and residents can enjoy downtime in comfort.

Accor has recently opened multiple hotels in Malaysia, and we are now privileged to introduce Mercure Living in Putrajaya, a remarkable addition to our portfolio of extended stay and serviced apartment properties. This is a significant phase in our continued growth in this country and we believe Mercure Living Putrajaya will be the ideal addition to the hotel landscape in Malaysia. Mercure Living is the perfect concept, providing comprehensive offerings for both international travellers and locals,” said Garth Simmons, Chief Executive Officer, Accor Southeast Asia, Japan & South Korea.

Guests can tantalize their taste buds at the All-You-Can-Eat Shabu-Shabu Restaurant, Volcano Shabu Shabu, serving an assortment of over 200 items of the finest meats, vegetables, meatballs, noodles, fusion sushi, drinks and desserts. Each ingredient is handpicked to ensure excellence in taste, quality and value. This restaurant also offers premium buffet packages of prime beef and seafood for guests’ dining pleasure.

Soon to be opened and located at the peak of Putrajaya, Thirty6 Lounge will be an ideal place to eat, drink and meet. Offering from traditional freshly brewed coffee to international premium brew, non-alcoholic trendy drinks and fusion tapas, this dedicated lounge is best suited for business entertaining and networking.

Multiple meeting rooms conveniently allow guests to curate their personalized events and meetings in design-focused venues blessed with natural light and panoramic views of the city of Putrajaya.

“I am extremely honored to announce the opening of Mercure Living Putrajaya. The rooms, overlooking Putrajaya’s capital city, deliver comfortable stays with all the comforts of home and the facilities are perfect for a long-term stay or even a weekend getaway. We look forward to welcoming guests and showcasing the best that the area has to offer with the new and unique concept of Mercure Living,” said David Tai, General Manager, Mercure Living Putrajaya.

Part of the group’s commitment to reducing environmental impact and strengthening efforts to combat plastic pollution, Mercure Living Putrajaya applies no single-use plastics from every touchpoint of the guest experience in all areas. This property also supports local and autism artists by featuring paintings by Art-Jamila.

Accor is the largest operator of extended stay and serviced apartment properties outside of the United States of America. The group offers a leading portfolio of over 300 extended stay properties, comprising of serviced apartments and apart-hotels under brands including Swissôtel Living, Mövenpick Living, Novotel Living, and Mercure Living.

Guests of Mercure Living Putrajaya can take advantage of Accor’s loyalty programme ALL – Accor Live Limitless, a daily lifestyle companion. ALL delivers meaningful experiences and rewards to its most engaged customers while enabling them to work, live, and play, far beyond their stay, at home and around the world.

Enjoy the opening special offer for reservations from now until 30 September 2022 for stays until 20 December 2022, from RM350/night inclusive of daily breakfast for two persons and receive an upgraded to a two-bedroom apartment for just RM100 inclusive of breakfast for a third person.

SAii Phi Phi Island Village Brings Marine Conservation to Life

SAii Phi Phi Island Village Brings Marine Conservation to Life - TRAVELINDEXKoh Phi Phi, Thailand, August 3, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / SAii Phi Phi Island Village allows guests to witness its environmental projects first-hand with a series of underwater excursions that integrate with the activities of the Marine Discovery Centre, including coral propagation and clownfish breeding programmes. The five-star lifestyle resort from S Hotels and Resorts PCL, has always put sustainability first and strived to preserve its precious environment. This idyllic island retreat also understands that its guests, or “InSAiiders”, seek activities that bring them closer to nature and have a positive impact on the planet. With this in mind, two of the resort’s facilities – the Gold Palm Dive Centre and Marine Discovery Centre – have come together to create immersive, eco-sensitive diving experiences that allow travellers to explore the vibrant underwater world in a highly responsible way.

Discover amazing Thailand during the Visit Thailand Year 2022 – 2023 at VisitThailand.net

A series of professionally-led diving excursions from SAii Phi Phi Island Village allow guests to witness first-hand the work of the resort’s resident marine biologist, who works tirelessly to replenish the area’s rich and diverse ecosystems. Having visited the Marine Discovery Centre and learned about the various projects being undertaken, including coral propagation and breeding and release programmes for clownfish and bamboo sharks, divers can take a trip out into the sparkling waters of Hat Nappharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park and see the effect these initiatives are having.

Diving into this spectacular seascape, InnSAiiders can explore the freshly planted fields of sea grass, which are wonderful nursery habitats for small fish – including the iconic clownfish that have been cared for and released by the Marine Discovery Centre. Divers and snorkellers can also see newly-grown coral at the house reef and the colourful sealife that depends in it. While the bamboo shark breeding programme is still in its incubation stages, visitors may be fortunate enough to see other keystone species in the area, such as blacktip reef sharks, leopard sharks, green turtles, hawksbill turtles and even whale sharks further offshore. A total of 17 bamboo sharks are ready to be released from the Marine Discovery Centre’s breeding facility in the coming weeks and months, so future divers may be able to witness these elegant creatures in their natural habitat.

Divers can rest assured that the PADI-certified Gold Palm Dive Centre, which is also part of the UN’s Green Fins sustainability programme, is staffed by highly experienced instructors and welcomes youngsters from the age of eight. Before they head out in small, low-impact groups, all visitors will be given a briefing on marine conservation to ensure that they act responsibly.

Guests may also notice that the seas of Hat Nappharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park are now cleaner, which is partially thanks to the efforts of SAii Phi Phi Island Village. Waste disposal is always a challenging issue for an island community, so the team of “SAiiLanders” – SAii Resorts’ term for its thoughtful associates – works with local villagers every week to clear waste from the area’s beaches and coastlines. Since this initiative commenced in 2021, 18 activities have been held and over 8,098kg of trash has been collected.

To ensure that it doesn’t accidentally contribute to the waste problem, SAii Phi Phi Island Village participates in the Thai Hotels Association’s Plastic Free Project and actively strives to reduce its consumption and output. It has eliminated single-use plastics, sorts recyclable waste carefully, minimises the use of paper and printer ink, and turns organic waste into compost. The resort also recycles 100 percent of its wastewater, which is treated and used to nourish the gardens and trees.

“At SAii Phi Phi Island Village, we recognise that we have a duty to care for the environment and keep it healthy for future generations. There are many challenges facing the oceans today, from climate change and coral degradation to plastic pollution and over-fishing, which are contributing to species decline and loss of biodiversity. But by taking practical steps to support conservation at our Marine Discovery Centre, then showing our InSAiiders the positive impact of our work first-hand, we hope to inspire even more guests – and especially young people – to help us preserve our seas and oceans,” said Bart Callens, Cluster General Manager of SAii Phi Phi Island Village and SAii Laguna Phuket.

Discover amazing Thailand during the Visit Thailand Year 2022 – 2023 at VisitThailand.net

The responsible dive packages at SAii Phi Phi Island Village start from “Bubble Makers” (for kids 8-10 years old) to advanced open water options. Beginners will be supported on every step of their diving journey, from the swimming pool to the sea, by Khun Pang, the resort’s highly skilled dive instructor. Prices start from THB 3,200.

About S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited
S Hotels and Resorts Public Company Limited, the hospitality arm of Singha Estate Public Company Limited, is a fast-growing, Thai-inspired company with an extensive international portfolio and world-class standards. Specialising in the management and investment of high-quality hotels and resorts in desirable destinations across the globe, S Hotels & Resorts has created a collection of its own distinctive lifestyle brands, whilst also partnering with the hospitality industry’s leading names. The company aims to set new standards for leisure and lifestyle through diversified business platforms and to enhance value for all its stakeholders based upon a philosophy of sustainable development and delivering benefits to local communities.