Thailand MotoGP Grand Prix 2022 with Plenty of Exhilarating Moto Racing Action

Thailand MotoGP Grand Prix 2022 with Plenty of Exhilarating Moto Racing Action - - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, October 1, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand is pleased to invite tourists to the 2022 MotoGP World Championship motorcycle race, the OR Thailand Grand Prix, which is making an exhilarating return this year and will take place at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram province this weekend, from Friday, 30 September to Sunday, 2 October.

To help promote the OR Thailand Grand Prix 2022, a pre-event “MotoGP vs Muay Thai” photoshoot was held in Bangkok on 27 September, which had MotoGP race riders learning the art of Thai kickboxing or Muay Thai at the famous Rajdamnern Stadium in a promotional video to be broadcast to MotoGP fans worldwide.

This included MotoGP race riders: Álex Márquez of the Honda LCR Team, Fabio Di Giannantonio of Gresini Racing MotoGP, and Albert Arenas of the Inde Gasgas Aspar Team, as well as Moto3 race riders: Izan Guevara of the Valresa Gasgas Aspar Team and two Thai riders from the Moto2 – Somkiat Chantra of the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia and Keminth Kubo of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “We are thrilled to see the MotoGP racing event back again this year, both for the thrilling action and excitement it offers fans here in Thailand and around the world through its live broadcast, and for the enormous opportunity it presents in showcasing Thailand’s ability to host world-class sporting events. It fits well with the promotion of sports tourism in the kingdom.”

With PTT Oil and Retail Business Public Company Limited (OR) as title sponsor, this is the third edition of the MotoGP – the world’s number one motorcycle road racing championship watched by over 800 million people and broadcast live to more than 200 countries – in Thailand after the first PTT Thailand Grand Prix 2018 and PTT Thailand Grand Prix 2019. The thrilling sport has a large following in Thailand, where there are more than one million fans.

The three-day OR Thailand Grand Prix 2022 is the 17th race on the 2022 MotoGP World Championship calendar out of a total of 20 races. The event programme sees free practices and qualifying for the MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3, and Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup on Friday and Saturday. The Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup’s first race will also be held on Saturday. On Sunday is the day of the MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 races, as well as the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup’s second race.

H.E. Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, will preside over the official opening of the 17th race on the 2022 MotoGP World Championship, the OR Thailand Grand Prix, which is scheduled to be held on Sunday afternoon. He will also witness the MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 races.

Meanwhile, H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, will attend several events on Friday. Following a visit to the community park at the Chorakhe Mak Reservoir None-hunting Area and presiding over the opening of the Thai Sarus Cranes Community Tourism Festival, his schedules at the Chang International Circuit will include officially openubg the SAT SPORTS EXPO and the TAT’s Amazing Thailand booths and visiting other booths, including OR, HONDA, YAMAHA, CHANG, and the MUAY THAI EXPO.

In addition to the motorcycle races, the three-day programme features a music concert by popular Thai artists Joey Boy and Slot Machine on Friday evening, a Muay Thai or Thai kickboxing competition and concert by Thai singer, Katai Pannipa, on Saturday evening, and a concert by another Thai singer, Oat Pramote, on Sunday evening.

Tickets to the OR Thailand Grand Prix 2022 can be purchased at 7-Eleven stores nationwide, or through

For more information, please go to,, or the Facebook page Chang Circuit Buriram.

Southeast Asia’s Hospitality Leaders Fight For Sustainability at PHIST 5

Southeast Asia's Hospitality Leaders Fight For Sustainability at PHIST 5 - TRAVELINDEX - VISITPHUKETPhuket, Thailand, September 30, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism) is back as a live, in-person gathering, this important annual forum embraced the combative, cultural spirit of Muay Thai to spark candid conversation and instigate positive change in the travel and tourism industry. The theme of PHIST 5 was Muay Thai, the high-energy, culturally-rich sport of Thai boxing, which has gained global popularity and represents the battle to preserve authentic art and heritage

PHIST, Southeast Asia’s biggest and best responsible travel and hospitality forum, returned on Monday 26th September to deliver a knockout blow to unsustainable tourism in Southeast Asia! Back as a live, in-person gathering, this fast-paced event tackled the key topics impacting the region and supported the green recovery of hotels and tourism operators following the global pandemic.

Hosted at ACES, Angsana Laguna Phuket, the theme of this year’s PHIST was Muay Thai, the high-energy, culturally-rich sport of Thai boxing, which has gained fame and popularity around the world and represents the battle to preserve authentic art, heritage and tradition. Muay Thai fighters from Australia, Brazil, Thailand and the USA faced off in the main hall of ACES on Monday in a series of “super fights” for the Nai Khanom Tom belt, which is partly woven by the Me Fah Luang Foundation in the hills of northern Thailand.

Following these physical battles, keynote speakers delivered verbal blows as they provided unique insights on the critical issues facing the industry, including community tourism, green operations, ocean health, destination management, post-COVID trends and more. This included the “Rumble in the Jungle” – seven verbal bouts between two speakers, culminating in a battle of the heavyweights.

A series of expert-led workshops focused on practical subjects such as “Green Finance for Hotels,” “Zero Waste” and “Materials for Sustainable Tourism,” and a Green Expo presented a comprehensive selection of innovative, eco-friendly products from approximately 30 exhibitors. Finally, delegates were able to discuss the day’s events with evening networking drinks.

Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks and the co-founder & co-organiser of PHIST, said: “We are so pleased that PHIST returned this week as a live, face-to-face event. The global pandemic disrupted every aspect of our lives, but perhaps if it had one positive outcome it is that it forced the world to live, work and think more sustainably. At PHIST 5, we dug deep into the most important trends effecting the industry and delivered practical, workable solutions that hoteliers and business owners can use to boost their operations at this challenging time – and future-proof them for years to come.”

Bjorn Courage, President of the Phuket Hotels Association, commented: “Last year, even when many businesses were struggling to stay above water, we saw the travel trade come together at our virtual forum to advance the cause of sustainability. This week, as 500 delegates from across Southeast Asia met face-to-face at PHIST 5, we were able to share more ideas and put our pledges into action. Collaboration is the key – when people come together, great things can happen. What we decided at PHIST can drive positive benefits for your business and the entire region. It was great to see everyone jumping in the ring and getting involved!”

Hope Uy, Managing Director of South Palms Resort in Panglao, stated: “Islands such as Panglao and Phuket feel environmental and social issues even more acutely than other destinations. Fresh water, waste disposal, coral bleaching; these are not only concepts – they impact our lives and operations on a day-to-day basis. The only sustainable solution is to work hand-in-hand with communities and to create a circular economy. I was delighted to come together with like-minded people at PHIST 5 to share our experiences and offer workable solutions.”

Kevin Deisser, CEO & Founder of Invest Islands, added: “In a diverse archipelago such as Indonesia, preserving the integrity of island life is at the heart of everything with do. Every development we undertake must have a positive impact on local people, and, if undertaken in the right way, this will drive long-term benefits to all parties. In Indonesia and across Southeast Asia, indigenous people have already established highly sustainable ways of life. As outsiders, tourism providers and developers need to work with the islanders and learn from them.”

Eric Ricaurte, founder & CEO of Greenview, concluded: “Prior to the pandemic, traveller mindsets were already changing. Now, with travel and tourism at a crossroads, people are wanting more authentic experiences that connect them with their chosen destination. Our PHIST workshops were designed to create best practices for hotels that will not only strengthen their sustainability objectives, but also bring them closer to the local community. Tourism plays a pivotal role in the development of islands, so it is critical that we act responsibly.”

An exciting new feature at this year’s PHIST was the inaugural award for “Sustainable Design Innovation”, which was presented to Patrick Keane, founder of Enter Projects. Founded in 2005, Enter Projects has created myriad award-winning projects and continues to gain global acclaim for its eco-master planning, architecture and interior services.

A collaboration between the Phuket Hotels Association, Greenview and C9 Hotelworks, with support from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, American Chamber of Commerce Thailand (AmCham), QUO, Creative Concept AV, Delivering Asia Communications, Banpu NEXT, Indorama Ventures, Junkyard Theatre Phuket, GIZ, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Blue Tree Phuket, XCO2, ZeroWater Thailand, Revolution X, AustCham Thailand, Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, Thaiger, Travel Daily, Teak Timber Phuket, Mbs Thai, Cocktails & Co, Wine on Tap, FullMoon Brewworks, and Kombuchawow.

For more information, please visit:

Exhibitors: Royal Phuket Marina, Reddonatura India Private Limited, Sentinel Solution (Thailand) Co.,Ltd, Development Management Group Co., Ltd., Ecolab LTD, Reef Repair, OKLIN (THAILAND) CO., LTD, Hoteliers.Guru, CREATIVE MOVE COMPANY LIMITED, Green Footprint Solutions Ltd, PHUKET TEINTHONG, EHL Hospitality Business School, Good Drop Water, SensorFlow, Sustainable Maikhao, SOS, Zero water, Seeds of Change, Hobart Thailand, Smarter Enegy Solution, Diversey Hygiene (Thailand) Co.,Ltd., Sunsear Phuket, Banpu NEXT Co., Ltd., Blue Tree, and BAAN SAIJAI CO., LTD.

Phuket Hotels Association members are as follows:
Absolute Twin Sands Resort, Amanpuri, Amari Phuket, Amatara Resort & Wellness, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort, Anantara Maikhao Phuket Villas, Anantara Vacation Club Maikhao Phuket, Andara Resort & Villas, Angsana Laguna Phuket, Angsana Villas Resort Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket, Burasari Resort Phuket, Cape Sienna Hotels & Villas, Centara Grand Beach Resort, Club Med Phuket, COMO Point Yamu, Dewa Nai Yang, Dream Phuket Hotel & Spa, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Grand Mercure Phuket Patong, Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, Holiday Inn Maikhao, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Patong, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Impiana Resort Patong, InterContinental Phuket Resort, JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Kata Rocks, Keemala, Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, Maikhao Dream Villa Resort & Spa, Manathai Surin Phuket, Millennium Resort Patong Phuket, Movenpick Resort Bangtao Beach Phuket, Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach, Novotel Phuket Phokeethra, Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort, Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort, Paresa Resort, Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa Merlin Beach, Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa Nai Yang Beach, Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach, Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort, Ramada Plaza Chaofa, Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa, Rosewood Phuket, SALA Phuket Resort & Spa, Serenity Resort and Residences, Splash Beach Resort, Swissotel Resort Phuket Patong Beach, Thanyapura Sports Hotel, The Bell Pool Villa Resort, The Boathouse Phuket, The Clover Hotel Patong, The Nai Harn Phuket, The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, The Nature Phuket, The Pavilions Phuket, The Slate, The Surin, The Village Coconut Island, The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa Phuket, Trisara, Twinpalms MontAzure, Twinpalms Phuket, U Zenmaya Phuket, Wyndham Grand Phuket Kalim Bay, Wyndham Sea Pearl Resort Phuket

UNWTO Partners with Ojimah for Branding and Innovation in African Tourism

UNWTO Partners with Ojimah for Branding and Innovation in African Tourism - - TRAVELINDEXArusha, Tanzania, October 19, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO is to work with Ojimah to make positive storytelling and digitalization key drivers of tourism recovery across Africa.

Building on UNWTO Agenda for Africa – Tourism for Inclusive Growth, the new agreement will see the two parties work together around shared goals and priorities. As a multichannel platform with reach across the continent, Ojimah will advocate for ‘Brand Africa’, enhancing the image of the region on the global stage through positive stories from across the tourism sector.

Ojimah will advocate for ‘Brand Africa’, enhancing the image of the region on the global stage through positive stories from across the tourism sector

For the African branding portal , Connecting Africa to the World, go to

The agreement will also see UNWTO and Ojimah collaborate in supporting the digital transformation of African tourism, with the aim of both enhancing the tourist experience and helping destinations become more competitive and resilient as they recover from the impacts of the pandemic. Additionally, recognizing the sector’s potential to advance sustainable development and growth, the partnership will focus on supporting local communities, including through the creation of jobs.

Looking beyond the short-term recovery of African tourism, the Memorandum of Understanding signed by UNWTO and Ojimah also sets out plans to work with African governments to enhance connectivity across the continent. Priorities include embracing innovation to improve visa facilitation policies, above all through the expansion of e-visas, allowing for smooth and seamless travel between destinations.  To advance all of these goals, the partnership will also focus on capacity building, with key stakeholders from both public and private sectors, to be supported in their shift to digital and branding initiatives.

For the African branding portal , Connecting Africa to the World, go to

The MoU between UNWTO and Ojimah was signed within the framework of the 65th UNWTO Regional Commission for Africa, Arusha and will remain in force until the end of 2024.

Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach Unveils Senior Leadership Team

Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach Unveils Senior Leadership Team - TRAVELINDEX - TOP25HOTELSPattaya, Thailand, October 14, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, Hyatt’s inaugural Andaz-branded luxury and lifestyle resort in Thailand, has unveiled its highly skilled and experienced executive management team ahead of its grand opening in the fourth quarter of 2022.

This one-of-a-kind beachfront retreat will be led by Mr. Ranjeet Y. Rajebhosale, General Manager of Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, who has enjoyed 28 years in the highest levels of the hospitality industry. A graduate of the prestigious Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Ranjeet started his career working with Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris, India’s leading luxury hospitality company. He first joined Hyatt in 2002, as Assistant Director of Food & Beverage at Hyatt Regency Delhi and has not looked back since.

Over the last two decades, Ranjeet has demonstrated his talent at Hyatt hotels and resorts in six countries and territories worldwide, gradually moving up through the managerial ranks. Most recently, he was GM of Hyatt Regency Liberation Square Chongqing, China, where he oversaw a complete renovation and rebranding of the hotel. He is now bringing his lifetime of expertise to Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach, as it prepares to welcome guests later this year.

He will be very ably supported by Ms. Anna Rhee, who has been appointed Executive Assistant Manager – Rooms, and brings extensive experience to this chic beachfront hotel. Hailing from Seoul, Anna was educated in Korea and the US before she entered the hospitality sector with Hilton. Anna joined Hyatt in 1998, initially as a corporate management trainee, and has spent more than 23 years with the family, including spells at Park Hyatt Los Angeles, Grand Hyatt Singapore, Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Hyatt Regency Kota Kinabalu and Hyatt Regency Danang. Most recently, she served on the pre-opening team for Hyatt Regency Nha Trang in Vietnam.

Heading up the commercial strategy is Director of Sales & Marketing Ms. Sunny Yu. Originally from China, she graduated from Australia Blue Mountains Hotel Management School and has worked in hospitality ever since. Sunny’s career includes launching InterContinental Phuket Resort, DOSM for Rosewood Bangkok, and Head of Commercial for JA Hotels & Resorts – Middle East & Indian Ocean (managing 10 properties). The majority of the last decade has been spent with IHG’s corporate offices in both Shanghai and Bangkok, where she held roles in Loyalty Marketing, Global Sales Effectiveness and Commercial Marketing. Sunny is an active keynote speaker on the webinar, meeting and conference circuit in Asia, and is in her fifth year serving as President of the Thailand Chapter of HSMAI (Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International).

Overseeing the hotel’s restaurants, bars and lounges is Mr. Alexis Movio, Director of Food & Beverage at Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach. Born in London but of Italian descent, Alexis comes from a family of restaurateurs. A dynamic F&B professional, he has worked in some of Asia’s most luxurious hotels and resorts, including Ritz-Carlton properties in Sanya and Mandarin Oriental in Shanghai, plus the Michelin-starred restaurant, Opera Bombana Beijing. Passionate about travelling and experiencing new cultures, Alexis understands how to create exceptional epicurean journeys for the world’s most discerning diners.

He is now putting the finishing touches to the six unique F&B concepts at Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach: Wok Wok, a Thai and Asian wok restaurant; La Cucina, an authentic Italian trattoria; Village Butcher, the premium steakhouse; Fish Club, a beachfront restaurant and bar; Teak Lounge, a chic venue for light bites and relaxation; and Ruen Thai, the traditional teak Thai teahouse.

These innovative venues will provide the perfect stage to showcase the talent of Chef Vincenzo Gatti, the resort’s Executive Chef. Born in the Puglia region of Italy, Chef Vincenzo has worked in the top kitchens of Europe and Asia for two decades, giving him a wide repertoire of techniques in the global gastronomic arts. Having commenced his career in Italy, he went on to work in top restaurants in Asia and arrived in Thailand in 2019. He has extensive experience of Hyatt and its brands, having worked at Park Hyatt Guangzhou, Grand Hyatt Seoul and Hyatt Regency Hua Hin in the past six years.

Also joining the executive team at Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach will be Mr. Thanate Likhittumrongkawin, Director of Finance, who is originally from Phuket and has worked with brands including JW Marriott and W Hotels before joining Hyatt Regency Phuket; Ms. Dollarpapat “Mali” Sookmuang, Director of Human Resources, a Thai national who has worked with Four Seasons, Six Senses and most recently, Park Hyatt Maldives; and Mr. Kriengkrai Chongkhanpond, Director of Engineering, who was born in Bangkok and most recently worked on the successful launch of Hyatt Regency Koh Samui.

Nestled on a serene 6.4-hectare plot of land at Tawanron Beach, on Thailand’s Eastern Seaboard, Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach will introduce global explorers to a new era of experience-driven hospitality. This resort has been sensitively woven into a former family estate, complete with mature gardens, fully-grown trees and restored Thai heritage houses. With low-rise clusters of rooms and villas, shady courtyards, sparkling pools and creative event spaces, this enchanting retreat will allow guests to connect with the local culture, true to the spirit of the Andaz brand and Hyatt’s Boundless Collection.

About Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach
Nestled on a serene stretch of beach on Thailand’s sunset coast, Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach is a luxury and lifestyle resort that seamlessly weaves world-class hospitality with authentic Thai heritage. A former private seafront estate with mature gardens, shady trees and heritage houses has been sensitively reimagined as a 204-room and villa resort, including six restaurants and bars, three swimming pools, inspiring event spaces, a kids’ club and more. Global explorers, including experience-seeking couples and families, can reconnect with nature, discover Thai culture and enjoy myriad activities, all just a short drive from Bangkok and Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

About Andaz
Global in scale while local in perspective, the Andaz brand of luxury lifestyle hotels weaves the sights, sounds, and tastes of each property’s surroundings for a distinctively local experience. Through thoughtful, unscripted service tailored for travelers, Andaz hotels enable guests to go beyond the familiar and satiate their curiosity while immersing them in the spirit of the eclectic culture around them. There are currently 25 Andaz hotels: Andaz 5th Avenue and Andaz Wall Street in New York, Andaz San Diego, Andaz West Hollywood, Andaz Napa, Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows, Andaz Savannah, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo, Andaz London Liverpool Street, Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor, Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere, Andaz Singapore, Andaz Delhi, Andaz Xintiandi in Shanghai, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, Andaz Seoul Gangnam, Andaz Xiamen, Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, Andaz Dubai The Palm, Andaz Shenzhen Bay, and Andaz Bali.

About Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of March 31, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,150 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 71 countries across six continents. The Company’s offering includes the Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Alila®, Andaz®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, Caption by Hyatt, JdV by Hyatt™, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Place®, UrCove, and Hyatt Residence Club® brands, as well as resort and hotel brands under the AMR™ Collection, including Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services.

Mövenpick to Open Newest Resort in Phan Thiet Vietnam

Mövenpick to Open Newest Resort in Phan Thiet Vietnam - TRAVELINDEXPhan Thiet, Vietnam, October 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts is excited to unveil its latest address in Phan Thiet, a port city in Southeast Vietnam. The new hotel brings Swiss-inspired hospitality to the expansive entertainment complex by NovaWorld, which consists of a golf course and a collection of theme parks.

The unique concept of Mövenpick Resort Phan Thiet is inspired by Port Royal Castle, the former capital of the infamous Caribbean pirates and features Dutch colonial architectural elements. The resort is located in the capital of the Binh Thuan Province, on the southeast coast of Vietnam, a 4-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City.

Mövenpick Resort Phan Thiet features 248 guestrooms and suites, with premium facilities orientated towards families, couples and adventurers. In addition, the resort boasts two swimming pools, a spa and fitness centre, and five restaurants and bars.

Thoughtfully designed for families and adventurers looking to make meaningful connections and lasting memories, the resort offers spacious rooms and family suites complete with bunk beds. The Classic and Deluxe room categories offer at least 25 square metres of space, with tropical-inspired interiors and a balcony to enjoy views of the colourful townhouse or the signature Queen Anne Revenge ship. Guests staying in the Executive room categories can enjoy beautiful ocean views and access to the Admiral Executive lounge. The 70 square metre Executive Family suites feature bunk beds and panoramic ocean views from the large balcony making this room an ideal choice for a family vacation. The 69 square metre Admiral Suite offers ocean views, with a large balcony and separate living room areas and access to the Admiral Executive Lounge.

Complemented by five restaurants and bars with menus inspired by Swiss culinary traditions, Mövenpick Resort Phan Thiet is a destination where indulgence is done right. The spacious Bounty restaurant and bar offers the signature Mövenpick breakfast buffet in the morning and sumptuous seafood menus for dinner. For those who prefer a cosy yet intimate dining experience, Black Pearl serves a special globetrotter pirate menu that blends Caribbean specialties.

The Captain Lounge is located in the lobby and offers the brand’s signature daily Mövenpick Chocolate Hour with pirate-inspired pastries paired with Mövenpick coffee. Guests who prefer to enjoy the sea breeze can choose to visit Treasure Island pool bar to enjoy smoothies, cocktails and comfort foods from the bar’s sunbeds. Located on the 9th floor, the Admiral Executive Lounge serves a breakfast buffet and a la carte menus for guests staying in Executive Rooms and Suites, complemented by happy hours, pre-dinner canapés and a selection of international wine and cigars.

“We are delighted to bring Mövenpick to the market while also expanding Accor’s footprint into emerging destinations across Vietnam. Mövenpick Resort Phan Thiet will continue the brand’s mission to create dreams, memories and unforgettable experiences for our valued guests. Designed with a unique theme and an array of family-orientated facilities, the resort is an exciting addition to our portfolio of four properties across Vietnam,” said Garth Simmons, Chief Executive Officer of Accor Southeast Asia, South Korea and Japan.

Developed as the first Mövenpick property in the highly sought after beach destination of Phan Thiet, the resort is built to help bring people together, enable connections and create magical culinary moments. Notable property features include a Treasure Island lagoon pool and a custom pirate ship positioned in the middle of the pool, ready for young guests to explore and enjoy.

The resort’s Oasis Wellness & Spa offers a selection of Vietnamese and Thai massages paired with modern holistic treatments and the latest international skincare enhancements by certified therapists. The spa caters to both couples and solo travellers with treatment packages such as the Legend of Love, Awakening Himalayan Singing Bowls or Sanctuary Pampering all of which leave guests feeling rejuvenated.

An emerging holiday destination with a tropical climate, Phan Thiet boasts a number of unique attractions such as the Mui Ne fishing village where visitors can select fresh seafood under the shade of palm trees, the breath-taking Red Sand dunes – one of the most photographed locations in Vietnam, or the White Sand Dunes where Adventure lovers can ride across the landscapes in a jeep.

“We’re delighted to be introducing the premium hospitality offerings of Mövenpick to Phan Thiet. Bordered by the beautiful ocean, fishing villages and theme parks, this is a hotel to indulge in and will certainly serve as a destination in itself, complemented by Mövenpick’s rich culinary legacy and heartfelt approach to hospitality. Mövenpick Resort Phan Thiet is sure to become a remarkable holiday choice for guests seeking joy and an array of premium lifestyle experiences”, said Mr. Michael Vorderleitner, General Manager of Mövenpick Resort Phan Thiet.

To celebrate the hotel’s opening, Mövenpick Resort Phan Thiet guests can enjoy a special opening offer of USD324 ++ for two nights, including accommodation in a classic room, breakfast for two adults and two children under 12 years old, one set lunch or dinner for two, complimentary Circus Land tickets for two adults and two children and a 10% discounts on treatments at Oasis Wellness and Spa.

Mekong Tourism Forum 2022 Focused on Rebuilding a More Resilient Tourism Industry

Mekong Tourism Forum 2022 Focused on Rebuilding a More Resilient Tourism Industry - TRAVELINDEXHoi An, Viet Nam, October 18, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / After two years of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mekong Tourism Forum returned as a physical event in 2022. It was be held in Quang Nam Province, home to Hoi An ancient town in central Viet Nam, on 12 October 2022.

Under the theme “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience,” it was be the first interactive in-person event convening public- and private-sector tourism leaders and experts from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and beyond since the pandemic began. This GMS signature forum focused on targeted regional efforts and cross-sectoral collaboration to foster real action toward rebuilding a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable tourism industry.

The Mekong Tourism Forum 2022 took place at the Hoiana Resort and Golf (Hoiana), Quang Nam Province, Viet Nam, under the theme “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience”. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Viet Nam hosted the event in collaboration with the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and support of the Asian Development Bank. The Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF) was preceded by the 50th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Working Group and the MTCO Board Meeting.

The annual MTF aims to raise the profile of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) as a unified tourist destination, provide an industry-wide platform for the public and private sectors to address sub-regional tourism issues, and expand marketing networks and opportunities for promoting the GMS while pooling collective resources to create intra- industry synergies.

The MTF 2022 was the region’s first in-person, government-led event since the pandemic began, marking a significant milestone in the recovery of tourism within GMS member countries. The interactive event served as a platform for tourism stakeholders and development partners to reconnect in person, exchange tourism recovery communications knowledge and experiences, and gather new GMS travel insights from industry experts.

In light of the gradual international tourism recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, the MTF 2022 focused on the theme “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience”. The event brought together regional tourism leaders to rethink the rebuilding of GMS tourism by adopting resilience-based approaches and effectively leveraging technology to create a more sustainable and inclusive sector.

H.E. Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Viet Nam, gave an opening remark that urged public and private stakeholders to rethink and reshape the tourism industry towards a more sustainable, inclusive, and resilient future. Despite the positive trends underway in tourism recovery, the challenging economic environment created by high oil prices, inflation, and international supply chain disruptions has resulted in higher transport and accommodation costs for the tourism sector. This adds pressure to tourism businesses and traveler purchasing power, which could delay the sub-regional tourism recovery. H.E Nguyen Trung Khanh further encouraged tourism stakeholders of all sizes to leverage digital tools to support the resilience and sustainability of the sector and to boost the tourism industry’s capacity through reskilling and upskilling programs.

H.E Nguyen Trung Khanh commended the strong commitments of GMS NTOs to reinforce subregional efforts to foster cross-sectoral collaboration; strengthen engagement and support for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); and promote equal opportunities for local employment. His Excellency further emphasized the importance of capacity-building and knowledge-sharing programs to enhance the skills of tourism professionals, particularly in developing green, sustainable growth.

H.E Nguyen Trung Khanh recognized a series of initiatives carried out by the MTCO under the GMS Tourism Recovery Communication Plan. In addition to updating the MTCO website, these include the development of the monthly Mekong Tourism newsletter, the GMS Tourism Recovery Communication Toolkit and online seminar, and the #MekongPostcard campaign, which involved active participation from tourism stakeholders, influencers, and residents in the region. His Excellency also acknowledged the support provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

H.E. Tran Van Tan, Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Quang Nam Province, delivered a welcome address and expressed his warmest gratitude to all delegates attending the MTF 2022, which was the first physical regional tourism event held in Quang Nam since 2020. This was a golden chance for Quang Nam to present its image as a destination and strengthen tourism linkages with GMS member countries and beyond. Mr. Tran Van Tan affirmed that Quang Nam is intensifying efforts to help the tourism sector recover due to its economic importance, as well as its social and environmental values. Quang Nam is also the host of the year’s biggest national tourism event, “Visit Vietnam Year 2022,” under the theme “A green tourism destination.” The province is committed to the sustainable growth of the tourism sector by leveraging technology to reduce negative impacts while promoting protection of the natural environment. Mr. Tran Van Tan further encouraged delegates to experience Quang Nam’s treasures, including the Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Sanctuary, Cu Lao Cham World Biosphere Reserve, delicious local cuisine, spectacular beaches, and charming villages.

The keynote on “The Future of Tourism – Rethink Travel, Rethink Destination Marketing and Management” was given by Ms. Liz Ortiguera, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Ms. Ortiguera discussed the evolution of mega trends and their impact on travel dynamics in Asia and the Pacific, especially within the GMS, and how tourism stakeholders should adapt.

ADB’s Senior Sustainable Tourism Specialist, Mr. Wouterus Schalken, shared his perspective on “Sustainably Reviving Tourism – Mekong Reflections.” He highlighted the concerted policies, regulations, and investments needed to ensure tourism resilience and sustainability, emphasizing quality infrastructure, nature-based solutions, and industry-wide adoption of environmentally friendly operational practices and diversification.

The MTF 2022 featured three expert-led panel discussions. The first panel session on “Social Enterprises: A Purposeful and Powerful Tool for Sustainable Tourism Recovery, Development and Promotion” explored how social enterprises offer a promising business model for inclusive growth, environmental sustainability, and positive branding of destinations. The panelists discussed knowledge, skills, and resources required to enhance visibility, legitimacy, and legal frameworks to boost the competitiveness and leverage the power of social enterprises toward sustainable tourism recovery in the GMS.

The second panel, “New Ways of Connecting Sustainable Tourism Suppliers and Buyers,” examined new strategies to connect sustainable tourism suppliers and buyers with markets, financing, and nature. The panelists discussed financing instruments, partnership structures, and incentivizing mechanisms for both tourism suppliers and buyers to collaborate with each other, investors, and development partners for a resilient and sustainable future.

The final panel covered “Technology: Unlocking Green Tourism Opportunities,” in which the panelists shared best practices on leveraging digital tools to maximize the positive impacts of tourism on the environment and local communities. The panel discussion highlighted the challenges, solutions, and opportunities for tourism SMEs and MSMEs to better adopt technology and integrate into the booming digital economy.

Overall, the Mekong Tourism Forum 2022 concluded with success. Viet Nam wished to express sincere gratitude to GMS NTOs, MTCO, participants, and speakers, including representatives from PATA, ADB, Agoda, ASEANTA, Destination Mekong, Yaana Ventures, OAG, Exo Travel, JNE Group, Song Saa Collective, CBT Travel, Planeterra, Social Enterprise Thailand Association, Green Discovery Laos, Seeva Capital, Travelife, Clickable Impact, etc. More than 250 delegates participated in the MTF 2022, including both international and local participants.

The Kingdom of Cambodia will host the next MTF from 16-20 March 2023 in Preah Sihanouk province under the theme “Rethink for Resiliency and Digitalization” as we are embarking into a new age of traveling and living in the context of the new normal era of the post COVID-19 global pandemic, which are the dynamic region full of excitement, experience, resilience, and most importantly healthy safety measures to all passionate travelers. 2023 is Visit Cambodia Year in which we will also be the host of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games in the spirit of “Sports Live In Peace”. Looking forward to welcome you all to Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder- Feel the warmth (safe, clean and green).

About Mekong Tourism Forum
First held in 1996, the Mekong Tourism Forum is an annual government-led event dedicated to the tourism industry in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The event provides a cooperative platform for travel and tourism stakeholders to discuss regional tourism development, along with the marketing and promotion of travel to, from, and within the GMS. It presents an inclusive, interactive, and results-oriented opportunity to encourage public- and private-sector participation in promoting the GMS as a single destination.

Mekong Tourism Forum aims to:
– Raise the profile of the Greater Mekong Subregion as a single tourist destination,
– Provide an industry-wide platform for the public and private sectors to address sub-regional tourism issues,
– Expand marketing networks and opportunities for promoting the GMS and pool collective resources to create intra-industry synergies.

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) organized the first Mekong Tourism Forum in 1996 and led it for 10 consecutive years. In subsequent years, the private sector initiated similar events that shared the Forum’s vision and objectives. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) revived the Forum in 2010 in Siem Reap, Cambodia with the theme of “New Roads, New Opportunities.” Since then, the GMS member countries have co-hosted this influential event with the MTCO annually on a rotating basis. Each event is designed to focus on a unique theme that addresses critical subregional tourism issues and sets future strategic directions.

SOCOTEC Certification International Announced as GSTC-Recognized Standard

SOCOTEC Certification International Announced as GSTC-Recognized Standard - TRAVELINDEXParis, France, October 20, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is pleased to announce that SOCOTEC Certification International, the Certification-specialized subsidiary of the SOCOTEC group, has achieved the ‘GSTC-Recognized Standard’ status for its Sustainability Management System for Hotels.

The Sustainability Management System provided by SOCOTEC Certification International helps organizations and tourism businesses (travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGOs and communities, to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism. The GSTC-Recognized status refers to the standard itself, indicating that a sustainable tourism standard or system has been reviewed by GSTC technical experts and the GSTC Assurance Panel and deemed the standard or system equivalent to the GSTC Criteria for sustainable tourism. It shows that the set of standards is based on the four pillars of the GSTC Criteria: Sustainable Management, Socioeconomic, Cultural, and Environmental principles. GSTC Recognition does not relate to the process of certification or accreditation.

“As an internationally recognized and independent third-party certification body, we are very pleased to achieve this important pillar in our mission to build a safer and more sustainable world. Result of few months of workshops preparation and on-the-field research with hotel groups, our standard is fully designed and adapted to elevate and recognize the significant efforts of the hotel sector to contribute to the CSR and Sustainability challenges of today. Based on our worldwide auditing experience in various sectors, we are convinced that our teams of experts will bring a real added value to the hotel sector sustainability challenges,” said Xavier Daniel, SOCOTEC Certification International General Manager.

“GSTC is pleased to see SOCOTEC join other standards owners in harmonizing their approach with the GSTC Criteria, the inclusively-created global standards for sustainable tourism,” said Randy Durband, Chief Executive Officer of GSTC.

Currently, 11 destination standards, 36 hotel standards, and 15 tour operator standards have achieved GSTC-Recognized status. The status offers the market proof that these standards adhere to international norms. GSTC Recognition does not ensure that a certification process is reliable, only that the set of standards used to certify are equivalent to the GSTC Criteria. GSTC-Recognized standard owners are encouraged to follow and complete the accreditation process, which assures that the certification process used to apply the standard meets international best practice, transparency, and rigor. A list of GSTC-Accredited certification bodies is available here.

About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources, while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for Accreditation of Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services; GSTC provides an accreditation program through its partner Assurance Services International to accredit Certification Bodies. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGO’s, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

SOCOTEC Certification International is a subsidiary of the SOCOTEC group, that provides management system assessments and accredited ISO certification services to organizations around the world since 1995.

Accompanying companies for 70 years, the SOCOTEC Group, chaired by Hervé Montjotin, has built its reputation as an independent trusted third-party in the fields of risk management, compliance, safety, health and environment in the Building, Real Estate, Infrastructure and Industry sectors.As a guarantor of the integrity, sustainability and performance of built assets, SOCOTEC is developing a range of services in testing, inspection and certification, from technical control, the group’s historical expertise, to technical consulting and risk management services. Its expertise enables it to support its private and public sector clients throughout the life cycle of their buildings and equipment in order to strengthen their sustainability.

No. 1 in construction inspection in France, No. 1 in geotechnical services and construction quality control in the United Kingdom and Italy, the group is a major player in TIC (Testing Inspection Certification) services in the Construction and Infrastructure sectors in Europe and the United States. The SOCOTEC group has consolidated revenues of €1 billion in 2021 (50% of which generated outside France) with 200,000 clients. With a presence in 25 countries and 10,000 employees, it has more than 250 external accreditations, enabling it to act as a trusted third-party in many projects.

Speakers Announced for WTTC Global Summit in Saudi Arabia

WTTC - Speakers Announced for WTTC Global Summit in Saudi Arabia - TRAVELINDEX - TOURISMSAUDIARABIA.comRiyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 19, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) unveils its first round of confirmed speakers for its upcoming Global Summit to be hosted by Saudi Arabia, which includes leaders from some of the world’s largest Travel & Tourism businesses, Saudi officials, and tourism ministers from around the world.

Taking place at the magnificent King Abdul Aziz International Conference Centre in Riyadh from 28 November to 1 December, the global tourism body’s highly anticipated 22nd Global Summit is the most influential Travel & Tourism event in the calendar.

Under the theme “Travel for a Better Future” the event will focus on the value of the sector, not only to the global economy, but to the planet and communities around the world.

During the Global Summit, industry leaders and international government officials from across the globe will gather in Riyadh to continue aligning efforts to support the sector’s recovery and address the challenges the future poses to ensure a safer, more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable Travel & Tourism sector.

Business leaders set to take to the stage include Arnold Donald, Vice Chair of the Board of Carnival Corporation and WTTC Chair; Anthony Capuano, CEO, Marriott International; Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai International Airports; Christopher Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton; Matthew Upchurch, President & CEO, Virtuoso, and Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO, Diriyah Gate Development Authority, among others.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “We are delighted to have such influential speakers already confirmed for our Global Summit in Riyadh.

“The government of Saudi Arabia has been instrumental in the recovery of the Global Travel & Tourism sector following two years of crisis, and we are delighted to be taking our Global Summit to the Kingdom this year.

“Set to become a major tourist destination, our latest research shows that Saudi Arabia’s Travel & Tourism sector will surpass pre-pandemic levels next year and will see the fastest growth across the Middle East over the next decade.”

His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Arabia Minister of Tourism, said: “WTTC will arrive in Riyadh as tourism enters a new era of recovery. Bringing together global leaders from both the public and private sector, the Summit will be fundamental in building the better, brighter future the sector deserves.

“There is no doubt our ambitious investment, sustainability and travel experience goals can be realized through global collaboration and WTTC’s Global Summit in Riyadh will provide a platform for these important conversations, while ensuring visitors enjoy the hospitality and opportunities of one of the world’s fastest growing tourism destinations.”

The event will also welcome government speakers such as Secretary Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism Portugal; the Hon. Isaac Chester Cooper, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Bahamas; Sen. the Hon. Lisa Cummins, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Barbados; Mrs. Fatima Al Sairafi, Minister of Tourism Bahrain; the Hon Susanne Kraus-Winkler, State Secretary for Tourism Austria; the Hon Mitsuaki Hoshino, Vice Commissioner Japan Tourism Agency, and H.E. Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism Turkey, among others.

Government officials from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will also address delegates at the Global Summit. They include His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Energy; His Excellency Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism, and Her Highness Princess Haifa Al Saud, Vice Minister of Tourism.

Sabre Survey Reveals The Shifting Shape of Corporate Travel

Sabre Survey Reveals The Shifting Shape of Corporate Travel - TRAVELINDEX - AIRLINEHUB.comSingapore, Singapore, October 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Corporate travel agents and TMCs across APAC outline the new trends in the corporate travel landscape, and how they are adjusting their business models to adapt to them. Sabre Corporation announced the results of a new survey of travel agents and Travel Management Companies (TMCs) in APAC, which reveals the changing face of corporate travel as industry recovery continues to gain strength.

The research was carried out with respondents across Asia Pacific, in five languages in 21 countries, to gain insight into the evolving expectations of business travellers, and how corporate sellers in the region are adapting to service these new demands.

Respondents pointed to a growing need for the corporate travel industry to tailor service offerings for new workforce realities, such as remote and blended working arrangements, while embracing technology to capitalize on, and drive, ongoing recovery. Key findings included:

– The majority of corporate travel agents (84%) have changed their business priorities as a result of the pandemic, and are now focused on optimizing costs and efficiencies, while meeting customer and business demands with fewer employees.

– Four-fifths of respondents have adopted new technological solutions to manage Covid-19 related risk over the past two years. And, of those who haven’t, 42% plan to do so within the next two years. The most popular solutions are travel risk management tools, automated workflows and virtual payment tools.

– Half of agents said a rise in internal corporate travel, to bring remote workers together, will create recovery opportunities, while 45% said emerging corporate travel markets are important for growth.

– There’s strong optimism in the market, with 82% saying they expect a return to pre-pandemic corporate travel levels, and 15% expecting a boom greater than pre-Covid-19, within the next 12 months.

– More than two-thirds of respondents have seen an increase in bookings in the three months to August. Most are reporting an increase of not more than 30% but there’s a notable 14% with an increase of more than 50%.

– 55% say company Covid-19-related travel restrictions are easing, and 38% say total travel spend is increasing.

– Cost remains a key consideration. More than two-thirds have seen a moderate or significant increase in bookings with low-cost carriers. The trend is most prevalent in North Asia where there’s been a 42% switch from FSCs to LCCs.

– Corporate travellers place high priority on information, flexibility, and hygiene. However, companies are also turning their attention to sustainability as one of the key personalization priorities for corporate travel.

“Sabre’s own booking data is showing that corporate travel is coming back strong,” said Brett Thorstad, Vice President, Sabre Travel Solutions, Agency Sales, “so, it’s heartening to see those same results borne out among our travel agency partners through our new research.

“However, while business travel is rebounding, what is clear is that it is returning differently,” added Mr Thorstad. “It is important, as an industry, that we understand these changes, and the reasons for them, and we are prepared to drive our own evolution, supported by robust technology. In this way, we can power increased revenue and efficiency across the travel ecosystem, while ensuring corporate travel agents are best placed to create the frictionless, tailored experiences that business travellers want and expect.”

About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveller experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre’s technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.

PATA Appoints Award-Winning Photographer Scott A. Woodward as Visual Ambassador

PATA Appoints Award-Winning Photographer Scott A. Woodward as Visual Ambassador - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, October 20, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce the appointment of multi-award-winning photographer Scott A. Woodward as its Ambassador for Visual Storytelling through Photography.

“Scott Woodward’s photography work is both engaging and inspiring,” said PATA CEO Liz Ortiguera. “Beyond his stunning images, which have appeared in National Geographic Magazine, Condé Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure among many other international titles, his photographs also have the ability to deliver unique insights, given his innate respect and admiration for indigenous peoples, culture and heritage. They go beyond being just being pretty social media images by providing windows into the local culture, heritage and peoples. He’s also used his lens to shed light on solutions to global concerns including hospitality education for poverty alleviation and children’s cancer in developing nations.”
Picture: L/R:

Sala Bai Hotel & Restaurant School is a tuition-free hospitality training institution in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Aimed at helping Cambodia’s most disadvantaged youth, Sala Bai’s vocational training is the fastest and most efficient way of fighting poverty, human trafficking, and teenage prostitution. Providing students with the skills and experience necessary to secure gainful employment in one of the city’s numerous hotels, guesthouses or restaurants, Sala Bai helps empower these young people, resulting economic independence and increasing the students’ — and their families’ — quality of life. This is a portrait of Soksara, one of Sala Bai’s nearly 2,000 graduates, at the Siem Reap luxury hotel where she was employed.

Deep inside the Indonesian rainforest of central Sumatra lives the Tesso Nilo Elephant Flying Squad. This group of domesticated elephants and their specially trained mahouts are operated by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in collaboration with Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry. The squad’s mission is to provide a secure haven for Riau Province’s largest remaining wild elephant population. Elephant numbers have declined in Riau from more than 1,600 in 1985 to as few as 350 today, about 150 of which live in Tesso Nilo National Park. By patrolling the fringes of the park, the squad helps prevent wild elephants from invading farms and villages – where they can cause immense damage and run the risk of being injured or killed by angry farmers and villagers – by carefully driving them back into the jungle. The Elephant Flying Squad is in constant battle to bring harmony to the local environment by mitigating human-elephant conflict.

A man who is in tune with his humanity, Mr Woodward has contributed his talent towards numerous philanthropic and anthro-cultural projects. These include documentaries for Sala Bai, a charity hospitality training institution in Cambodia that educates the poorest segment of society; for the benefit of children with cancer in developing nations (How I Live); as well as a reportage on the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF’s) Elephant Flying Squad in the Tesso Nilo National Park in central Sumatra, focusing on wildlife and habitat protection. The PATA Foundation has ongoingly been a supporter of the Sala Bai school in Cambodia over the past ten years.

Parents of patients at Yangon Children’s Hospital (YCH) in Yangon, Myanmar crowd around the nurse’s station where the caregivers prepare, label, and register the blood samples before sending them for testing. YCH is the main paediatric oncology facility in Myanmar. For a country with a population of 53 million – 25% of which are under 25 years old – this unit operates at greater than 100% capacity. The photographs in this series are part of a larger documentary project titled ‘How I Live with Cancer’ created in close partnership with the Dana Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer Center and Persistent Productions, which aims to chronicle the patients being treated within the paediatric oncology units in healthcare systems within LMIC (Lower Middle Income Countries) and how they are working to close the survival gap versus HICs (High Income Countries).

A master artisan dedicated to the preservation of the weaving tradition of the T’boli culture, Yab Man is a dreamweaver who learned the craft from her mother. The first T’nalak design she made was the Bagu K’lung and the weaving legacy lives on through her, as she has in turn has passed the knowledge on to her daughter, Elena. The golden morning light dancing off the threads feels symbolic of the promise and magic of what is to yet be created.

“According to our newly released edition of PATA’s Issues & Trends, one of the key drivers of positivity in online social sentiment about Asia Pacific travel is impactful photography. Certainly, people have been taking photos on their travels for as long as we can remember. But increasingly, travellers are yearning for meaningful experiences abroad and are keen to capture these on camera to mark their journey of seeing and learning about the world and about themselves. And Scott Woodward is just the person to inspire them and show them how they can achieve this,” she added.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr Woodward said, “I am honoured and thrilled to be PATA’s Ambassador for Visual Storytelling through Photography. It was my father who introduced me to photography when I was a young boy. He taught me how to operate a manual camera, as well as how to compose an image and use light effectively. More importantly, he instilled in me a sense of curiosity and adventure, and these are the very traits that truly make me a photographer. I am excited to share what else I have learnt to help travellers capture compelling imagery that tells stories and speaks about their personal journeys.”

Originally from Canada, Scott Woodward is now based in the Philippines. He has spent the last 25 years living, exploring and telling stories across Asia. He regularly produces editorial features for publications around the world, and has photographed advertising campaigns for numerous global brands.

Mr. Woodward has received many accolades for his work, including being named “One of Asia’s Finest Photographers” by Nikon. He has also been twice honoured by inclusion in the Luerzer’s Archive of “200 Best Advertising Photographers Worldwide”. He’s a both a Nikon Professional Photographer and a frequent Apple collaborator and iPhone content creator and during the COVID-19 pandemic hosted one of Apple’s first internationally-broadcast virtual iPhone photography workshops.

Mr Woodward will be sharing his expertise and experience at the Association’s upcoming Asia Pacific forum for travel, the PATA Annual Summit 2022 in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE (located just outside Dubai) from October 26-27.

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 includes 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 of 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 and London.