Green Hotel Investments to Restart Tourism

Green Hotel Investments to Restart Tourism

Madrid, Spain, July 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Destination Capital (DC) has signed a collaborative arrangement with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) of the United Nations to support the rejuvenation of the hotel industry. The arrangement supports the relationship DC has with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to promote investment in green and sustainable tourism accommodation and to stimulate re-employment, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The collaboration between UNWTO and Destination Capital is based on DC’s adoption of best practices aimed at reducing carbon emissions and operating hotels in a manner consistent with IFC’s environmental and social criteria. Against this backdrop, DC acquires and repositions freehold hotels of 150-250 rooms in Thailand and across South-East Asia with the aim of implementing sustainable water and energy systems. It also works to promote gender equality at every level of the hospitality sector, another of UNWTO’s core priorities and in line with Sustainable Development Goal number 5.

While governments and destinations around the world are working on vaccination programs to accelerate the restart of the tourism, UNWTO is working with the private sector to encourage employers to play their part in the recovery of local communities through job creation and training programs. UNWTO data shows that international tourism arrivals fell by 1 billion in 2020, with the crisis carrying over into 2021. Worldwide, this has placed as many as 120 million tourism jobs directly at risk. Moreover, Asia and the Pacific has been the worst-affected of all global regions, and young workers and women are among the hardest hit by the downturn in tourism employment.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, DC recognizes the hotel industry not only has a responsibility to re-hire and re-train hotel staff. It is also increasingly under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate the impact of energy and water consumption as well as food waste and environmental degradation. DC is committed to retrofitting its hotels to be compliant as ‘green hotel’s as per the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) standards established by IFC.

About Destination Capital
Destination Capital is a private equity real estate investment company based in Bangkok Thailand which focuses on acquiring, renovating and repositioning hotel assets such that they are EDGE compliant and follow a rigorous sustainability protocol in order to unlock value for our capital partners. Rigorous asset manage programs are in place to yield higher values upon exit while pursuing a “Triple Bottom Line” strategy: Planet, People, Profit.

Phuket Sandbox Reopens Thailand to Tourism

Phuket Sandbox Reopens Thailand to Tourism

Phuket, Thailand, July 1, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that Phuket’s highly anticipated reopening to tourism is now officially in effect, with the launch today of the Phuket Sandbox programme that welcomes fully vaccinated international visitors to the destination with no need to quarantine.

Right from Day one to four, major airlines including Etihad, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways International (THAI) are flying direct to Phuket from cities like London, Frankfurt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Singapore.

General information on the Phuket Sandbox programme; such as, entry requirements, on-arrival procedures, hygiene measures, and FAQs can be found here.

H.E. Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said “The reopening of Phuket signifies a crucial step forward in the revitalisation of Thailand’s tourism industry with the island serving as a pilot destination. It is indeed wonderful to be welcoming visitors once again, and they can rest assured that their safety and well-being is of utmost importance to Thailand.”

Much has been done safety-wise in the lead-up to the Phuket Sandbox launch. Of particular note is the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration or SHA certification scheme that was introduced in May 2020, and which is itself certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

In time for the reopening of Phuket, Travelindex launched the first “Top 25 Restaurants Phuket” to promote Phuket as a prime gastronomy destination and to support all restaurants on the island; visit Phuket’s restaurants here…

There are currently well over 1300 hotels, restaurants, activities, attractions, shops, and other venues and businesses across Phuket that are SHA certified, meaning they have the required safety and hygiene measures to control COVID-19.

More and more of these are also becoming SHA Plus certified, meaning that at least 70% of their employees are fully vaccinated.

Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “It is with great pleasure we can now welcome the world back to Phuket. Fully vaccinated visitors can once again enjoy the famed beaches, warm hospitality, and many other attractions that have made Phuket one of the world’s favourite destinations.”

It is this longstanding popularity among travellers the world over that makes Phuket the ideal destination with which to restart Thailand’s tourism industry. The reopening of other places like Samui, Krabi, Phang Nga and Chiang Mai are planned to soon follow.

Among Phuket’s commitments to safely reopen to fully vaccinated visitors are the vaccination programme for 70% of the island’s population. To date, 80% of the people have already received their first vaccine dose, while more than 60% had received both doses.

Mr. Narong Woonchiew, Governor of Phuket Province, said, “On behalf of the people and the tourism industry of Phuket, I would like to say how great an honour it is for us to be the pilot destination in the much-anticipated revitalisation of Thai tourism. We are extremely excited to again be able to welcome travellers to the famed beaches, legendary accommodation, spectacular attractions, and warm hospitality that makes Phuket one of the world’s favourite tropical island getaways.

Phuket awaits in all its exotic glory. Come and see for yourself!

In time for the reopening of Phuket, Travelindex launched the first “Top 25 Restaurants Phuket” to promote Phuket as a prime gastronomy destination and to support all restaurants on the island; visit Phuket’s restaurants here…

IATA: Marginal Improvements in May Travel Demand

IATA: Marginal Improvements in May Travel Demand

Geneva, Switzerland, July 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that both international and domestic travel demand showed marginal improvements in May 2021, compared to the prior month, but traffic remained well below pre-pandemic levels. Recovery in international traffic in particular continued to be stymied by extensive government travel restrictions.

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to May 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.

  • Total demand for air travel in May 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 62.7% compared to May 2019. That was a gain over the 65.2% decline recorded in April 2021 versus April 2019.
  • International passenger demand in May was 85.1% below May 2019, a small step-up from the 87.2% decline recorded in April 2021 versus two years ago. All regions with the exception of Asia-Pacific contributed to this modest improvement.
  • Total domestic demand was down 23.9% versus pre-crisis levels (May 2019), slightly improved over April 2021, when domestic traffic was down 25.5% versus the 2019 period. China and Russia traffic continue to be in in positive growth territory compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, while India and Japan saw significant deterioration amid new variants and outbreaks.

“We are starting to see positive developments, with some international markets opening to vaccinated travelers. The Northern Hemisphere summer travel season is now fully arrived. And it is disappointing that more governments are not moving more rapidly to use data to drive border opening strategies that would help revive tourism jobs and reunite families,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

International Passenger Markets

  • European carriers’ May international traffic declined 84.7% versus May 2019, improved from the 87.7% decrease in April compared to the same month in 2019. Capacity dropped 75.7% and load factor fell 31.3 percentage points to 52.9%.
  • Asia-Pacific airlines saw their May international traffic fall 94.3% compared to May 2019, fractionally worse than the 94.2% drop registered in April 2021 versus April 2019. The region experienced the steepest traffic declines for a tenth consecutive month. Capacity was down 86.4% and the load factor sank 45.5 percentage points to 33.2%, the lowest among regions.
  • Middle Eastern airlines experienced an 81.3% demand drop in May compared to May 2019, slightly bettering the 82.9% decrease in April, versus the same month in 2019. Capacity declined 63.7%, and load factor fell 35.3 percentage points to 37.7%.
  • North American carriers’ May demand fell 74.4% compared to the 2019 period, an improvement over the 77.6% decline in April versus two years ago. Capacity sagged 58.5%, and load factor dropped 32.2 percentage points to 51.7%.
  • Latin American airlines saw a 75.1% demand drop in May, compared to the same month in 2019, notably improved over the 80.9% decline in April compared to April 2019. May capacity was down 69.9% and load factor decreased 14.6 percentage points to 69.5%, which was the highest load factor among the regions for the eighth consecutive month.
  • African airlines’ traffic fell 71.4% in May versus May two years ago, a gain from the 75.6% decline in April compared to April 2019. May capacity declined 61.8% versus May 2019, and load factor dropped 16.9 percentage points to 50.2%.
  • India’s domestic traffic fell 71.0% in May compared to May 2019 amid the emergence of the new and more contagious “Delta” variant. This compared to a 42% decline registered in April versus the same month two years ago.
  • Brazil’s domestic traffic rebounded from a 60.9% decline in April versus the same month in 2019, to a 44% decline in May, as travel restrictions were eased.

The Bottom Line

“To paraphrase an old saying, when you think that all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Too many governments continue to act as if the only tool in their anti-COVID-19 arsenal is a blanket border closure or an arrival quarantine. In fact, research from leading medical organizations around the globe confirms that vaccinated travelers pose very little risk to the local population(i) while data show that pre-departure testing largely removes the risk of unvaccinated travelers importing COVID-19(ii).

“It is long past time for governments to start responding to this information with more nuanced data-driven risk-based strategies. These will minimize the chance of importing COVID-19 while allowing the world to reopen to travel and all the opportunities it brings to reconnect with loved ones, to realize business opportunities, to explore the world or take a well-deserved vacation,” said Walsh.

Cross Hotels & Resorts Appoints General Sales Agent in Japan

Cross Hotels & Resorts Appoints General Sales Agent in Japan

Tokyo, Japan, July 3, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Cross Hotels & Resorts recognizes the opportunities in the Japanese inbound and outbound markets, and to reinforce its expansion plans into the Japanese market, Cross Hotels & Resorts has appointed Biz M Asia as their General Sales Agent (GSA) in Japan.

The Japanese market is one of the ‘Big 4’ key players in the Asian tourism and hospitality market, the other players being Thailand, Bali and Vietnam.

Biz M Asia will represent Cross Hotels & Resorts and support the opening of the Away Okinawa Kouri Island Resort property, as well as represent all hotels in their portfolio in the Japanese market.

Lead by Mary Tolentino, fondly known as ‘Mary San’ in the Japan travel industry; Mary has over three decades of experience in sales and marketing and representing international hotel brands and independent properties in key destinations.

Her knowledge and extensive network in the industry will bring Cross Hotels & Resorts closer to the Japanese market and help Cross Hotels & Resorts become one of the favored hotel brands of choice for Japanese travelers both domestically and abroad.

Biz M Asia specializes in selling to professional wholesalers, retail leisure travel agencies as well as corporate and group travel, all of which are key markets for Cross Hotels & Resorts.

In 2018 and 2019, inbound markets from Thailand and Australia experienced significant growth, with almost 1.3 million Thais and 20,000 Australians traveling to Japan each year. Vietnamese and Indonesian travelers to Japan grew substantially in previous years, with Japan welcoming approximately 260,000 travelers from these markets each year. Japanese outbound travelers to these same markets also grew significantly with approximately 1.7M Japanese visitors to Thailand, 260,000 to Bali and almost 1 million Japanese visitors to Vietnam over the same period.

“Cross Hotels & Resorts has 7 hotels in Japan; we look to see growth in the Japanese market both domestically, as well as establishing Cross Hotels & Resorts as a preferred option for outbound Japanese leisure and business travelers. Having a dedicated Japan based GSA is a demonstration of our commitment to growth and commitment to our local partners,” said Paul Wilson, Executive Vice President – Commercial, Cross Hotels & Resorts.

“Cross Hotels & Resorts has so much to offer. The unique designs that you experience in each property along with impeccable service and dynamic teams make them a perfect fit. We are proud to be working and representing Cross, Cross Vibe and Away in the Japanese Market,” said Mary Tolentino

With its vision and effort, and robust sales and distribution supported by Flight Centre Travel Group, Cross Hotels & Resorts will be actively expanding across the Asia Pacific region in the coming years.

Cross Hotels & Resorts currently operate 22 hotels across three distinct brands – Cross, Cross Vibe and Away in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan.

A Holistic Wellness Retreat on the Banks of the Zambezi River

A Holistic Wellness Retreat on the Banks of the Zambezi River

Victoria Falls, Zambia, July 8, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Marrying world-class expertise with indigenous wellness culture and breathtaking scenery, The Royal Livingstone Hotel by Anantara in Zambia will be the location for a holistic wellness retreat from 19-22 August 2021. Set along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, in full view of the spray of the Victoria Falls, guests can expect a retreat that will nourish both mind and body in a naturally serene outdoor environment, with daily Vinyasa yoga and meditation sessions conducted on the Royal deck overlooking the Zambezi.

See the World’s Best Luxury Hotels here.

The retreat will be conducted by Stuart Kirton of Cape Town’s Yo Yoga Studio. Stuart has been instructing classes since 2003 in a multitude of styles such as Ashtanga, Hot 26, Restorative and Vinyasa yoga. Originally trained and certified in London through the Shadow Yoga method, he has a vast amount of knowledge and experience, spanning over 17 years.

Set on the banks of the Zambezi River, Anantara Spa will provide a spectacular outdoor setting for natural revitalisation in riverside gazebos, immersed in the idyllic beauty of the Zambezi River and surrounding landscapes, with rushing water, chirping birdsong and the calls of wildlife providing an uplifting soundtrack. Daily spa treatments will leave guests feeling relaxed. The spa’s menu reads like an Out-of-Africa odyssey, drawing on revered local wellness traditions and age-old beauty secrets. Signature experiences include the Zambezi Massage and the Anantara Signature Massage. The Zambezi Massage uses a traditional technique also known as Ukuchina. In this massage, warm towels are used in kneading and compression movements to relieve muscle pain and tension.

The combination of authentic African techniques and Western massage creates the ultimate relaxation experience and promotes wellbeing throughout the body. Traditionally performed to rejuvenate and cure malaria, fatigue, muscle pain, inflammation and other body ailments, Ukuchina massage is also a popular postnatal treatment for women and has been passed down through generations. The Anantara Signature Massage combines revered Eastern and Western techniques in purpose-designed movements. A signature oil blend stimulates circulation and deeply relaxes muscles. Reflexology clears any energy blocks and promotes an overall sense of wellbeing.

See the World’s Best Luxury Hotels here.

Victoria Falls is a haven for bucket list adventures and when guests aren’t relaxing in the hotel or its vast grounds they can experience the myriad of adventure activities that the destination has to offer, such as a swim in the Devil’s Pool, a uniquely located plunge pool right on the edge of the Falls, where the thundering cascade plummets 350-feet, providing a pulse-racing dip for those brave enough to venture into the Zambezi River. A once in a lifetime helicopter ride can be enjoyed as guests watch from above as the mighty Zambezi River carves its way through the steep cliffs of the Batoka Gorge and transforms from a gentle and serene river into the rampant Victoria Falls that descend 120 metres to the floor of the valley. Wildlife river safaris on the Zambezi reveal excellent game and bird viewing and provide a mesmerising way to end the day.

About Anantara
Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences.

From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travellers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise. The portfolio currently boasts over 40 stunning properties located in Thailand, the Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zambia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia, Portugal, Spain and Mauritius, with a pipeline of future properties across Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and Africa.

Expo 2020 Dubai Tickets to Go on Sale Worldwide July 18

Expo 2020 Dubai Tickets to Go on Sale Worldwide July 18

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, July 2, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Expo 2020 Dubai tickets will go on sale worldwide from 18 July 2021, opening up a spectacular world of innovation and entertainment for every visitor across 182 visually striking and emotionally inspiring days from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022.

With three months to go, Expo 2020 has announced three ticket tiers to ensure every visitor will be able to enjoy the spectacular event, regardless of the duration of their visit to Dubai. One-day tickets are priced at AED 95 (USD 26); multi-day tickets, offering unrestricted entry for 30 consecutive days, are priced at AED 195 (USD 53), and season passes, with unlimited entry for the entire six months of Expo 2020, are priced at AED 495 (USD 135).

For a comprehensive travel guide on Dubai, Visit Dubai – World Leading Tourism Destination, at TourismDubai.org

Best Western Hotels and Resorts Honored in Travelers Choice Awards

Best Western Hotels and Resorts Honored in Travelers Choice Awards

Bangkok, Thailand, July 8, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Best Western Hotels and Resorts is celebrating after 31 of its properties in Asia (Southeast Asia and Japan) were honored in the 2021 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards! Hotels and resorts in eight countries – Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – won this prestigious title this year, reflecting Best Western’s region-wide commitment to service excellence.

The Travelers’ Choice Awards celebrate the Tripadvisor community’s most loved hotels, resorts, restaurants, destinations, attractions and activities around the world. The winners are selected based on the quality and quantity of their online reviews and ratings, so the awards are a genuine reflection of travelers’ opinions, rather than the views of a panel of judges.

Discover the World’s Best Luxury Hotels and Prestigious Hotel Awards at Top25Hotels.com

Best Western’s award winners cover eight of the group’s industry-leading brands: Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Vīb®, BW Premier Collection®, BW Signature Collection®, SureStay® and SureStay Plus®. This shows how the company is committed to upholding exceptional standards in all sectors of the market, from economy to upscale.

“We are thrilled that so many of Best Western’s hotels and resorts in Asia have been honored in the 2021 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. The last 15 months have created unprecedented upheaval for everyone involved in the hospitality industry, but we’re very proud that our properties have risen to meet these personal and operational challenges, and continue to deliver the heartfelt, caring service for which our brand is famous,” said Erwann Mahe, Managing Director of International Operations – Asia, Best Western Hotels & Resorts.

“Tripadvisor’s awards are always especially pleasing to receive, as they are based on the actual experiences and opinions of our guests. The fact that we achieved so many Travelers’ Choice Awards this year is real vote of confidence, and shows that our hotels are continuing to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations. I would like to thank every one of our team members for their amazing efforts in the last 12 months,” Erwann added.

Discover the World’s Best Luxury Hotels and Prestigious Hotel Awards at Top25Hotels.com

The Travelers’ Choice Award winners represent the most exceptional hotels and resorts around the world, in terms of their Tripadvisor reviews and ratings over a 12-month period. They are among the top 10% of all listings on Tripadvisor.

The full list of Best Western’s Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award winners is as follows:

Indonesia

  • Best Western Kamala Jimbaran, Bali
  • Best Western Kindai Hotel, Banjarmasin
  • Best Western Mangga Dua Hotel & Residence, Jakarta
  • Best Western Senayan, Jakarta
  • Best Western The Lagoon Hotel, Manado
  • Best Western Premier Agung Resort, Ubud, Bali
  • Best Western Premier La Grande Hotel, Bandung
  • Best Western Premier Solo Baru, Surakarta
  • Best Western Premier The Hive, Jakarta

Japan

  • Best Western Hotel Fino Tokyo Akihabara
  • Best Western Okinawa Kouki Beach
  • Best Western Okinawa Onna Beach
  • Best Western Osaka Tsukamoto
  • Best Western Yokohama
  • Best Western Plus Hotel Fino Chitose
  • Best Western Plus Hotel Fino Osaka Kitahama
  • The Hotel Nagasaki, BW Premier Collection by Best Western

Laos

  • SureStay Hotel by Best Western Vientiane

Malaysia

  • Best Western i-City Shah Alam

Myanmar

  • Best Western Chinatown Hotel, Yangon
  • Best Western Green Hill Hotel, Yangon

Thailand

  • Best Western Phuket Ocean Resort
  • Best Western Premier Bangtao Beach Resort & Spa
  • Best Western Plus At 20 Sukhumvit
  • Amaranth Suvarnabhumi Airport, BW Premier Collection by Best Western
  • SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sukhumvit 2
  • Tawaravadee Resort, BW Signature Collection by Best Western
  • Vīb Best Western Sanam Pao

The Philippines

  • Best Western Plus The Ivywall Resort, Panglao
  • SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western AC LUXE Angeles City

Vietnam

  • Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc

For more information about Best Western Hotels & Resorts in Asia, please visit www.BestWesternAsia.com.

Dusit Hotels Makes Oman Debut with DusitD2 Naseem Resort Jabal Akhdar

Dusit Hotels Makes Oman Debut with DusitD2 Naseem Resort Jabal Akhdar

Jabal Akhdar, Oman, July 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has expanded its presence in the Middle East with the opening of dusitD2 Naseem Resort, Jabal Akhdar – the first Dusit-branded hotel in Oman. Deluxe family-friendly resort uniquely puts guests next to a brand new Adventure Park on the stunning Saiq Plateau, just five minutes from the renowned ‘Grand Canyon of the Middle East.

Owned by the Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN), which is the executive arm of the Sultanate for tourism development, the deluxe resort is located within a brand new 8,000 sq m Adventure Park on the Saiq Plateau in the Jabal Akhdar area, just a five-minute drive from the ‘Grand Canyon of the Middle East,’ and two hours by car from Muscat International Airport.

Comprising 252 beautifully decorated rooms and suites, the contemporary resort fully embraces its unique mountain location with a spacious layout that blends seamlessly with its stunning natural surrounds.

Alongside breathtaking views, guests can enjoy a wide range of facilities, including an all-day dining restaurant, a fitness centre, and a large outdoor swimming pool. A specialty restaurant, a Kids Club, and a signature Namm spa offering traditional Thai-inspired massage therapies and treatments are set to open later in the year. Dusit’s new group-wide wellness concept and approach will also be introduced to weave well-being elements throughout the stay experience. With a focus on physical vitality and mental health, this unparalleled approach will include the provision of mountain running, yoga, pilates, Thai boxing, guided meditation workshops, and other experiences and events that harness nature, sustainability, and adventure, to deliver healthy fun for adults and children alike.

The resort is also well-equipped for future business events and social gatherings, with a grand ballroom that can cater for up to 150 guests, and several adjoining meeting rooms featuring the latest audio-visual equipment.

The Adventure Park, slated to open later in the year, will feature exciting activities to delight visitors of all ages, such as zip-line rides offering impressive views of the surrounding valley. A petting zoo and science centre where budding young Einsteins can get to grips with all kinds of fun experiments are also set to open when the world reopens to international travel.

To uniquely link guests with the location, dusitD2 Naseem Resort, Jabal Akhdar will also soon offer educational hiking, cycling and quad biking tours to ancient forts, traditional markets and other local attractions, such as the historic town of Nizwa, known as the ‘Pearl of Islam.’

Alongside Dusit’s unique brand of Thai-inspired gracious hospitality, all guests also benefit from Dusit’s carefully crafted ‘Dusit Care’ services. Designed to offer ultimate peace of mind, these go beyond enhanced hygiene protocols to deliver additional convenience, experience and value while maximising guest safety. Flexible check-in, anytime breakfast, and mobile payment methods are just some of the services offered.

“We are delighted to make our Oman debut with this vibrant resort which showcases the heritage, culture and visual splendour of the destination in truly distinctive fashion,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International. “From enriching wellness experiences and exciting dining journeys to adventurous excursions and a wide range of exhilarating activities, dusitD2 Naseem Resort, Jabal Akhdar has all the elements in place to provide a highly memorable vacation for visitors of all ages. Bright days are on the horizon for international travel, and we look forward to making the property a resounding success.”

Mr Gerhard Stutz, General Manager, dusitD2 Naseem Resort, Jabal Akhdar, said, “Uniquely blending Dusit’s unique brand of Thai-inspired gracious hospitality with local customs and traditions, our resort provides unparalleled access to wonder and adventure in a gorgeous location surrounded by breathtaking mountains and valleys. It’s truly a distinctive proposition for travellers, and we look forward to leveraging our unique position and offerings to deliver amazing vacation experiences that help to put the area on the map as a must-visit destination to the benefit of our broader community.”

About Dusit International
Established in 1948, Dusit International is a leading hospitality group listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Building on its two core areas of business – Hotels & Resorts and Hospitality Education – the company has expanded its operations over the past four years to comprise five business units. The additional units include Foods, Property Development, and Hospitality-Related Services. Today, the company’s property portfolio comprises more than 300 distinctive hotels, resorts and luxury villas operating under six brands across 15 countries worldwide, as well as two leading hospitality colleges with campuses in Thailand and the Philippines. Following a three-pronged strategy for sustainable growth, including balance, expansion and diversification, the company has recently expanded into food production, on-demand hospitality services, and property development to reach new markets and add further recurring streams of revenue to the company.

About OMRAN
Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN) was established in 2005 by the Government as the executive arm of the Sultanate responsible for delivering the objectives contained in 2040 National Tourism Strategy. OMRAN works closely with the Ministry of Tourism and other governmental entities to identify priorities, projects and opportunities that will maximise the potential of the Sultanate’s tourism sector.

OMRAN creates sustainable and authentic tourism assets, lifestyle communities and destinations that drive economic growth and contribute to diversification of the economy.

UNWTO: Vaccines and Digital Solutions to Ease Travel Restrictions

UNWTO: Vaccines and Digital Solutions to Ease Travel Restrictions

Madrid, Spain, July 7, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The global vaccination rollout and increased adoption of digital solutions for safe travel should lead to a rise in international mobility over the weeks and months ahead, the latest data from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) indicates.

According to the newest edition of the Travel Restrictions Report from the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, as of 1 June, 29% of all destinations worldwide have their borders completely closed to international tourism. Of these, more than half have been completely closed to tourists for since May 2020 or longer, with the majority of these belonging to the Small Island Development States of Asia and the Pacific. In comparison, just three destinations (Albania, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic) are completely open to tourists, with no restrictions now in place.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Evidence-based measures and cooperation

Governments are instrumental for the restart and recovery of tourism through collaboration, use of data and digital solutions

One in three (34%) of all destinations are partially closed, and 36% request a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival, in some cases in combination with a requirement to quarantine. The data confirms the trend towards destinations adopting more nuanced, evidence-and-risk-based approaches to restrictions on travel, particularly in light of the evolving epidemiological situation and the emergence of new variants of the virus. Indeed, 42% of all destinations have introduced specific restrictions for visitors from destinations with variants of concern ranging from the suspension of flights and closing of borders to compulsory quarantine.

Additionally, since most of those destinations with the strictest measures have some of the lowest rates of vaccination, the data also indicates a link between vaccination speed and easing of restrictions. In comparison, those destinations that have higher rates of vaccination and where countries are able to work together on harmonized rules and protocols such as those being employed in the Schengen area of the European Union, are better-placed to allow tourism to slowly return.

“Governments are instrumental for the restart and recovery of tourism through collaboration, use of data and digital solutions”, says UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili:

Different paces

Regional differences with regards to travel restrictions remain. 70% of all destinations in Asia and the Pacific are completely closed, compared with just 13% in Europe, as well as 20% in the Americas, 19% in Africa and 31% in the Middle East.

Assessing current requirements for vaccinated passengers, 17% of all destinations worldwide specifically mention vaccinated passengers in their regulations. In most cases, travel restrictions continue to apply to fully vaccinated passengers (who have received two doses of an approved vaccine), though in others, all restrictions are lifted. UNWTO expects that this will significantly evolve over the coming weeks.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The report indicates that the restart of global tourism will remain muted so long as governments continue to advise caution. Four of the 10 top source markets keep advising their citizens against non-essential travel abroad (these four generated 25% of all international arrivals in 2018).

UNWTO Tourism Takes Action on Plastic Waste and Pollution

UNWTO Tourism Takes Action on Plastic Waste and Pollution

Madrid, Spain, July 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Tourism businesses and destinations are stepping up their commitment to sustainability. Aimed at reducing waste and pollution across the sector, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) is welcoming 32 new signatories, with every global region represented behind the shared goal.

The Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses, governments and other tourism stakeholders to lead by example in the shift towards a circular economy of plastics. Among the 32 new signatories  are organizations such as TUI Group, AC Hotels by Marriott, Palladium Hotel Group, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Hostelling International, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association  and Visit Valencia. These new additions bring the total number of signatories up to 93 companies and organizations. These include organizations from stages of the tourism value chain, including accommodation providers, tour operators, online platforms, suppliers, waste managers and supporting organizations.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Andreas Vermöhlen, Manager for Sustainability, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development at TUI Group said: “Together we can make important steps towards less unnecessary single-use plastic in the world and shift towards a circular economy.”

Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action

To mark the confirmation of the new signatories, UNWTO and the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, held a special  panel discussion with the theme Eliminate. Innovate. Circulate. Strategies from the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative. Participants included Accor Group, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Palladium Hotel Group, Chumbe Island Coral Park and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General said: “Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action. We are proud to see the number of signatories growing continuously since the launch of the initiative.”

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Alongside this, a keynote presentation on “A Life Cycle Approach – Key messages for tourism businesses” further highlighted the aims of the GTPI, with a special focus on innovation and the importance of context-based approaches to ensure plastics are circulated back into the economy rather than thrown away after use.