Turkey’s Tourism Sector to Grow at Twice the Rate of National Economy

WTTC - Turkey's Tourism Sector to Grow at Twice the Rate of National Economy - TRAVELINDEX - EUROPETOURISM.netAnkara, Turkey, May 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel and Tourism Council latest Economic Impact Report reveals Turkey’s Travel & Tourism’s GDP is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 5.5% annually between over the next decade, more than twice the 2.5% growth rate of country’s overall economy.

The forecast from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows by 2032, the sector’s contribution to the nations GDP could reach nearly TRY 1,036 billion (US$117 billion), representing 11% of the total economy.

The sector is also expected to create more than 716,000 new jobs over the next decade.

By the end of this year, the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 15.5% to nearly TRY 607 billion (US$68.5 billion), amounting to 8.3% of the nation’s economy, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 4% to reach more than 2.5 million jobs.

Latest flight booking data from WTTC’s knowledge partner ForwardKeys shows that over the key summer period this year, Turkey is set to be the fourth most popular European hot spots amongst sun-seeking travellers, who will be heading to city destinations such as Istanbul, and the beaches of Antalya, Bodrum, and Dalaman.

The data shows that flight bookings are already overtaking pre-pandemic levels with bookings from the UK up 101%.

Other source markets are also outperforming 2019, with bookings from the U.S., Canada, and Ireland up 57%, 28% and 18% respectively.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The future looks bright for Turkey’s Travel & Tourism sector with its contribution to GDP set to outpace the national economy for the next 10 years, creating almost three quarters of a million new jobs.

“Flight booking data from our partner ForwardKeys clearly shows that this popular destination is set to enjoy a bumper summer season.

“Before the pandemic, Turkey’s economy was highly reliant on international tourism, so its recovery is critical to both the economy and jobs.”

Turkey’s Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP was 11% (TRY 693.3 billion or US$78.2 billion) in 2019, falling to just 5.1% (TRY 327.2 billion or US$36.9 billion) in 2020, which represented a painful 52.8% loss.

The sector also supported nearly 2.6 million jobs across the country, before suffering an 18% drop, falling to 2.1 million.

WTTC’s latest EIR report also reveals that 2021 saw the beginning of the recovery for the Turkish Travel & Tourism sector.

Last year, its contribution to GDP climbed 60.6% year on year, to reach TRY 525.5 billion (US$59.3 billion).

The sector also saw a recovery of almost 300,000 Travel & Tourism jobs, representing a 14% rise to reach more than 2.4 million.

The global tourism body says the sector’s contribution to the economy and employment could have been higher if it weren’t for the impact of the Omicron variant, which led to the recovery faltering around the world, with many countries reinstating severe travel restrictions.

First Destination Spa at Victoria Falls to Open Soon

First Destination Spa at Victoria Falls to Open Soon - TOP25SPAS.com - TRAVELINDEXVictoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The largest and first purpose-built spa in Victoria Falls is scheduled to open in October, following a rapid post-Covid tourism recovery, placing Zimbabwe’s top tourist attraction on the map as a wellness destination.

Victoria Falls Safari Spa is being constructed by hospitality group Africa Albida Tourism, whose accommodation portfolio is made up of Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites and Lokuthula Lodges.

Construction of Victoria Falls Safari Spa resumed last month, following a two-year delay due to the uncertainties around the impact of Covid-19 on travel and tourism. It had originally been scheduled to open in September 2020.

The spa will be located along a north facing ridge in indigenous woodland in a tranquil setting on the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge estate. It will be built in harmony with its surrounds, under canvas, reminiscent of African safari tents and filled with ethnic fabrics and artefacts.

It will include a 280m₂ central area featuring manicure and pedicure stations, private relaxation rooms, a café serving healthy dishes, a hair salon and change rooms, including one that is wheelchair-friendly, as well as three outlying separate secluded treatment rooms (one double and two singles).

Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said this an incredibly exciting development to be able to announce on the back of what is showing to be a much more rapid resurgence of tourism post-covid than expected.

“For two years we have had to look at the foundations that we started in March 2020 and to now see the contractors back on site and the project becoming a reality once more is a testament to the tourism recovery we are witnessing and contributing to,” Kennedy said.

“Regional competition requires us to be always reinvesting in our properties and products, and this is just one of the additions we have planned. We are required to create competitive differentiators whilst at the same time enhancing the destination offerings to a wider audience,” he said.

“The health and wellness market is rapidly growing and we believe that Victoria Falls Safari Spa will allow us to fully enter this market. The layout and design allows us to add further treatments and therapies in the future.”

Victoria Falls’ first destination spa will be ideal for wellness weekends, Monday to Thursday breaks, couples’ and wedding packages where bridal parties can book it exclusively.

Victoria Falls Safari Spa will be managed by Michele Vickery, who has 19 years’ experience as a beauty therapist, and treatments will include manicures, pedicures, waxing, tinting, facials, reflexology, body treatments, massages and hairdressing.

The design, décor and treatment menu at the spa, which is expected to create eight jobs, will reflect Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, and the spa will use all-natural African products with plant-based ingredients.

Food Ordery Partners with Thai Food Delivery Platform eatsHUB

Food Ordery Partners with Thai Food Delivery Platform eatsHUB - TOP25RESTAURANTS.com - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, May 16, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) together with Food Ordery Co., Ltd launch new digital platform eatsHUB to help small entrepreneurs and food venders through Thailand’s National Delivery Platform project. The platform aims to create the accessibility to food online services for all with lower costs, high benefits, and match with consumer’s lifestyle. The eatsHUB plans to reach user’s registration with more than 500,000 users, more than 5 million transactions and create the economy value more than 500 million baht in the first year. Now available for download both android and iOS operating system.

Discover gastronomy destination Bangkok and the Asia’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

Asst. Dr. Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, President/CEO of Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) stated that, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected in various way of life. In the other hand, the pandemic is another reason surge that push the adaption with digital technologies due to the social distancing norms and nationwide lockdowns.

People and organizations all over the world have had to adjust to new ways of work and life. There are main factors that drive the food delivery platform business continue growth in two years during the pandemic.

Currently, the food delivery platform business has strongly competitive because of the market is the large segment and it has many companies’ wants to increase the market share as the foreign company. Nonetheless, the operation cost for small entrepreneurs and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which open the food restaurant that small business has a higher cost and less profit compared with the large-sized restaurant.

Some of small business has increase the food price burden on consumers, so the eatsHUB can help small entrepreneurs to access to the digital platform and reduce inequality. depa and Food Ordery join hands launche eatsHUB platform, is a Thai platform under the National Delivery Platform Project that aims to help small entrepreneurs, food riders and people who want to join with eatsHUB

“Our greatest strength, eatsHUB will charge the gross profit (GP) shares of about 8-10% collected from food vendors, lower than other online delivery platforms have cried foul about GP shares of about 30% collected from food vendors. It will benefit to food buyers too. Depa expects to have user’s registration with more than 500,000 users, use the app more than 5 million times and create the economy value more than 500 million baht in the first year and create the new food rider around 2,000 riders in the first year.” He said.

Mr. Thammanit Khamwangyang, Chief Executive Officer of Food Ordery Co.,LTD said that the projected success of eatsHUB provides its services covered four arears in Bangkok including Bangkhen, Chatuchak, Ladprao and Suan Luang. Also, it plans to expand the service cover all Bangkok and the perimeter an with in July 2022. He expects the eatsHUB will cover 18 provinces in the first year including Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phetchaburi, Surat Thani, Phuket, Songkhla, Chon Buri, Chanthaburi, Rayong, Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani, Ubon Ratchathani and Nakhon Phanom. The company expects the food vendor will join with eatsHUB more than 20,000 food venders in the initial.

Discover gastronomy destination Bangkok and the Asia’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

He added, eatsHUB will create the new standard for the food vendors such as asking online food delivery platforms to lower GP rate to 8-10% compared the other food services. The food vender who joins with eatsHUB will receive their cash transfers in the next day without the minimum rate. The eatsHUB has several marketing promotions and the Big Data analysis. Nevertheless, eatsHUB is established through the collaboration project between the government and the private sector so it has a reliability and satisfy the customer needs. This platform also can sustain a food vendor quality to meet the high standard and fair prices.

SAii Laguna Phuket Launches New Meetings and Events Centre

SAii Laguna Phuket Launches New Meetings and Events Centre - VISITPHUKET.org - TRAVELINDEXPhuket, Thailand, May 13, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / SAii Laguna Phuket, the free-spirited lifestyle resort on Phuket’s stunning sunset coast, is now set to become one of the island’s most impressive venues for corporate and social events, including weddings, following the grand opening of its brand-new Meetings & Events Centre.

Newly constructed in 2021, this standalone MICE destination comprises 1,900 square metres of flexible, fully-connected function space, including the 350-guest Similan Ballroom, with its six-metre-high ceilings, plus nine well-equipped breakout rooms, a spacious foyer area and a VIP room. Each of these state-of-the-art venues will feature the latest audio-visual technology, so every event will make a lasting impression.

The centre’s inspiring indoor areas will be complemented by three ocean-facing outdoor spaces, including an elegant poolside lawn and the beautiful beach. Together, these fantastic facilities will enable SAii Laguna Phuket to host a wide range of occasions, from important business meetings and major corporate conferences to grand gala dinners, glittering award ceremonies, key product launches and more.

For brides and grooms, SAii Laguna Phuket also provides a spectacular setting for destination weddings. With a choice of different themes and set-up options, from traditional Thai and classical Chinese ceremonies to Western-style white weddings and lavish Indian celebrations, the resort’s highly experienced team of wedding planners will take care of every detail to create magical moments and make memories that last a lifetime.

Whatever the occasion, customers will be promised professional support services, creative catering from the talented culinary team at SAii Laguna Phuket, a curated collection of local partners and suppliers, and a wide range of packages to suit all budgets. Under SAii Resorts’ deep commitment to sustainability, guests can rest assured that their event will be environmentally sensitive, with no single-use plastics.

At SAii Laguna Phuket, every event host, business delegate, bride, groom or wedding guest will able to stay in style with a choice of bright and inviting rooms and suites, and welcomed with warm and genuine Thai hospitality. Surrounded by tranquil lagoons on Phuket’s west coast, overlooking Bangtao Beach, the resort allows its clientele, or “InSAiiders”, to cool off in sparkling swimming pools, enjoy water sports on the lagoons, play tennis, squash, archery and more. There is also a kids’ club, fitness centre, club lounge and diverse restaurants and bars including SAii’s unique brand concepts, Mr. Tomyam and Miss Olive Oyl.

“I am delighted to unveil our new Meetings & Events Centre. SAii Laguna Phuket is already one of the most popular resorts for leisure travellers, due to our extensive recreational amenities and activities. The launch of a dedicated hub for MICE and weddings will enable us to expand our customer base and host exceptional corporate events, social gatherings and dream wedding and engagement ceremonies. This outstanding new facility will also play an important role in helping Phuket’s tourism industry to rebound strongly from the global pandemic,” said Bart Callens, Cluster General Manager of SAii Laguna Phuket and SAii Phi Phi Island Village.

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

UN-Habitat and OCEANIX Unveil World’s First Floating City

UN-Habitat and OCEANIX Unveil World's First Floating City - TRAVELINDEXBusan, South Korea, May 13, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UN-Habitat, the Busan Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea, and OCEANIX today unveiled at the UN Headquarters the design of the world’s first prototype sustainable floating city. OCEANIX Busan aims to provide breakthrough technology for coastal cities facing severe land shortages that are compounded by climatic threats.

The challenge is massive: two out of every five people in the world live within 100 kilometers of the coast, and 90 percent of mega cities worldwide are vulnerable to rising sea levels. Flooding is destroying billions of dollars worth of infrastructure and forcing millions of climate refugees to leave their homes. With nowhere to expand, rapid urban population growth is pushing people closer to the water, driving housing costs to prohibitive levels, and squeezing the poorest families out.

“Today is a pivotal milestone for all coastal cities and island nations on the frontlines of climate change. We are on track to delivering OCEANIX Busan and demonstrating that floating infrastructure can create new land for coastal cities looking for sustainable ways to expand onto the ocean, while adapting to sea level rise,” said the Chief Executive Officer of OCEANIX, Mr. Philipp Hofmann.

OCEANIX, a blue tech company based in New York, led a team of the world’s best designers, engineers, and sustainability experts in designing the flood-proof prototype. The BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and SAMOO (Samsung Group) were the lead architects of OCEANIX Busan, unveiled at the Second UN Roundtable on Sustainable Floating Cities; a follow up to the inaugural Roundtable in April 2019, where it was agreed to build a prototype with a host city. Busan signed on last year.

“As Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Busan, I take seriously our commitment to the credo ‘The First to the Future’. We joined forces with UN-Habitat and OCEANIX to be the first to prototype and scale this audacious idea because our common future is at stake in the face of sea level rise and its devastating impact on coastal cities,” said Mayor Park Heong-joon, who has set an ambitious agenda, including turning Busan into a green smart city and launching a bid for World Expo 2030.

Speaking at the Roundtable, which took place at the UN Headquarters in New York, and was attended by government ministers of housing, Mayors, Ambassadors, and high-ranking UN officials, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif said. “We cannot solve today’s problems with yesterday’s tools. We need to innovate solutions to global challenges. But in this drive for innovation, let’s be inclusive and equitable and ensure we leave no one and no place behind. I am happy this Roundtable takes place ahead of the High-Level Meeting on the New Urban Agenda, where cities and countries around the world come together to discuss sustainable urbanization.”

“In designing a solution for the most vulnerable coastal locations on the frontlines of climate change, OCEANIX’s new modular maritime neighborhoods will be a prototype for sustainable communities informed by Busan’s unique juxtaposition of old and new. Creating a connection between the city and the seaside, OCEANIX Busan will expand this spirit onto the waterfront,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

OCEANIX Busan is the world’s first prototype of a resilient and sustainable floating community. The interconnected neighborhoods total 6.3 hectares to accommodate a community of 12,000 people. Each neighborhood is designed to serve a specific purpose – living, research, and lodging. There are between 30,000 to 40,000 square meters of mixed-use programs per neighborhood. The floating platforms connect to the land with link-span bridges framing the sheltered blue lagoon of floating recreation, art, and performance outposts. The low-rise buildings on each platform, defined by their soft lines, feature terraces for indoor-outdoor living, helping to activate the network of vibrant public spaces. OCEANIX Busan will organically transform and adapt over time. Starting from a community of 3 platforms with 12,000 residents and visitors, it has the potential to expand to more than 20 platforms. The floating platforms are accompanied by dozens of productive outposts with photovoltaic panels and greenhouses that can expand and contract over time based on the needs of Busan. OCEANIX Busan has six integrated systems: zero waste and circular systems, closed loop water systems, food, net zero energy, innovative mobility, and coastal habitat regeneration. These interconnected systems will generate 100% of the required operational energy on site through floating and rooftop photovoltaic panels. Similarly, each neighborhood will treat and replenish its own water, reduce and recycle resources, and provide innovative urban agriculture.

OCEANIX is a blue tech company founded by Itai Madamombe and Marc Collins Chen in 2018 to design and build floating cities for people to live sustainably on the ocean. OCEANIX design and engineering partners on the Busan prototype include: Prime Movers Lab, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, SAMOO Architects and Engineers, Arup, Bouygues Construction, Helena, the MIT Center for Ocean Engineering, the Korea Maritime and Ocean University, top environmental artist Olafur Eliasson and Studio Other Spaces, Wartsila, Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Mobility in Chain, Sherwood Design Engineers, Agritecture, the Center for Zero Waste Design, Greenwave, and the Global Coral Reef Alliance.

UN-Habitat, works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable cities and human settlements. UN-Habitat’s vision is to achieve “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world”. It works in over 90 countries to promote transformative change through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance and demonstration projects.

Busan, a city of 3.4 million residents, is the second largest city in the Republic of Korea. It is home to the biggest industrial complex in the Southeast Economic Region of Korea. Busan is one of the most important maritime cities of the 21st century, making it a natural choice to deploy the sustainable floating city prototype with its marine engineering capabilities.

Tourism to Create 14 Million Jobs in Africa within the Next Decade

Tourism to Create 14 Million Jobs in Africa within the Next Decade - VISITKENYA.com - TRAVELINDEXNairobi, Kenya, May 14, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council’s latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) reveals the African Travel & Tourism sector is expected to create almost 14 million new jobs over the next decade.

The positive forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which shows an average of 1.4 million new jobs every year, also reveals the sector will lead the economic recovery in the region, with its annual GDP growth set to outpace the overall economy for the next 10 years.

According to the report, Travel & Tourism’s GDP is forecasted to grow at an average rate of 6.8% annually between 2022-2032, more than twice the 3.3% growth rate of region’s overall economy, to reach nearly US$ 279 billion (7.2% of the total economy).

The sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 20.5% to US$ 144 billion by the end of 2022, amounting to 5.1% of the total economic GDP, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 3.1% this year to reach nearly 22 million jobs.

The global tourism body’s annual report also shows further optimism for the region’s Travel & Tourism GDP, which could approach pre-pandemic levels by 2023 – just 9% below 2019 levels.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Africa is clearly bouncing back and is set to experience a significant recovery over the couple of years and looking ahead over the next 10 years, the sector could create almost 14 million jobs.

“However, last year the recovery was significantly impacted by Omicron, which saw many countries reinstating severe and unjustified travel restrictions on several key African destinations.”

Before the pandemic, the Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to the region’s GDP was 6.8% (US$182.4 billion) in 2019, falling to just 3.8% (US$96.5 billion) in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height, nearly halving the contribution of such a crucial sector to the economy with a 47.1% decline.

The sector also supported more than 25 million jobs across the region, which after a 22.9% drop, fell to just 19.6 million in 2020.

However, looking back at 2021, WTTC’s latest EIR report reveals a year in which we saw the beginning of the recovery for the region’s Travel & Tourism sector, Travel & Tourism’s contribution to GDP increased 23.5% year on year, to reach more than US$119 billion.

It also saw a recovery of 1.6 million Travel & Tourism jobs, representing a positive 8.2% rise to reach more than 21 million.

Equatorial Guinea to Implement Electronic Visa to Promote Tourism

Equatorial Guinea to Implement Electronic Visa to Promote Tourism - VISITEQUATORIALGUINEA.com - TRAVELINDEXBata, Equatorial Guinea, May 14, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Equatorial Guinea’s Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue wants to make tourism a profitable sector in the Equatorial Guinean economy.

This vision was presented this Tuesday in a working session that the Vice President of the Republic held at the Africa Palace in Bata, with various members of the Government of the departments involved, including Catalina Martinez Asumu, Secretary of State for tourism and founder of Guineatur, together with Vincenzo Presti, CEO of Luxury Hotels Management, which boasts the management of 7 of the most important hotels in the country, including Grand Hotel Djibloho, the most big hotel in Central Africa.

The initiative, arises to study and seek mechanisms that allow tourism to boost in Equatorial Guinea.

The Government has invested large sums of millions in the construction of tourist attractions that the country has, and for the Vice President of the Council of Ministers it is necessary to make this sector more profitable in the Equatorial Guinean GDP. For this, the country will implement the electronic visa system and facilitate the entry of tourists and investors.

Equatorial Guinea, in its National Economic Development Program, is committed to economic diversification, and tourism appears as one of the priorities. To promote this domain, projects and procedures for the implementation of this online visa system will be presented before the end of this year.

Jamaica Can Now Be Booked on Emirates Airline System

Jamaica Can Now Be Booked on Emirates Airline - TRAVELINDEXDubai, United Arab Emirates, May 12, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Kingston and Montego Bay now available for booking in Emirates Airline System. A major outcome of Jamaica’s debut participation at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai is that Emirates Airlines, the largest airline in the Gulf Coast Countries (GCC) is now selling Jamaica.

Two meetings held on Tuesday May 10 saw an immediate entry of Jamaica in the airline system. Minister of Tourism, the Hon Edmund Bartlett, met with His Highness Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Emirates Group to formalize the decision, then Director of Tourism, Mr Donovan White met with the Emirates operational teams to work out the details for Jamaica to be entered into the system.

Both Norman Manley and Sangster International Airports are now listed in the airline system, with ticket pricing available. Flights are offered with options over JFK, New York, Newark, Boston and Orlando. One option goes through Malpensa Italy, allowing access to the European market as well. Importantly, this is being sold by Emirates Holidays.

According to Minister Bartlett, “This is a major initiative for Jamaica as it is opens the middle eastern gateway from Asia and North Africa. It is the first time that Destination Jamaica is entered into the ticketing system of a GCC airline and gives the JTB significant leverage to negotiate direct flights to the destination.” Discussions began in October 2021 when Minister Bartlett and Director White made their first visit to Expo 2020.

IATA: Guidance to Remove Mask Mandate, Step Towards Normality

IATA Guidance to Remove Mask Mandate, Step Towards Normality - AIRLINEHUB.com - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, May 12, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed new guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) removing its recommendation that masks should be required in-flight.

EASA’s updated Aviation Health Safety Protocol, published 11 May, calls for the mandatory mask rule to be relaxed where rules have been relaxed for other transport modes. This important shift reflects the high levels of vaccination, natural immunity levels, and the removal of domestic restrictions in many European nations. The updated guidance also acknowledges the need to move from an emergency situation to a more sustainable mode of managing COVID-19.

“We welcome EASA’s recommendation to relax the mask mandate, which is another important step along the road back to normality for air passengers. Travelers can look forward to freedom of choice on whether to wear a mask. And they can travel with confidence knowing that many features of the aircraft cabin, such as high frequency air exchange and high efficiency filters, make it one of the safest indoor environments,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Several jurisdictions still maintain mask requirements. That is a challenge for airlines and passengers flying between destinations with different requirements. “We believe that mask requirements on board aircraft should end when masks are no longer mandated in other parts of daily life, for example theatres, offices or on public transport. Although the European protocol comes into effect next week, there is no globally consistent approach to mask-wearing on board aircraft. Airlines must comply with the regulations applicable to the routes they are operating. The aircraft crew will know what rules apply and it is critical that passengers follow their instructions. And we ask that all travelers be respectful of other people’s decision to voluntarily wear masks even if it not a requirement,” said Walsh.

Proud Group Unveils Andamanda Phuket In Major Boost For Thailand Tourism

Proud Group Unveils Andamanda Phuket In Major Boost For Thailand Tourism - VISITPHUKET.org - TRAVELINDEXPhuket, Thailand, May 11, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Thailand’s tourism industry is poised for a major boost as Andamanda Phuket, a multi-million-dollar entertainment and leisure park located in the island’s Kathu district, readies to open this month.

The latest project by Proud Group, one of Thailand’s leading developers of high-end real estate, hospitality, retail and leisure attractions, marks the result of a THB 4.5 billion (approx. USD134 million) investment and reflects the company’s long-term confidence in Thailand’s tourism industry, and in Phuket. Perfectly positioned between the main tourism hubs of Phuket Town and Patong Beach, the new project is set to soft-open on 21 May 2022.

Andamanda is not only a water park; it is the largest leisure and entertainment destination in Phuket, covering 58 rai (9.3 hectares) of land and comprising a wide range of recreational components, including a Thai heritage-themed water park with five separate zones – Coral World, The Pearl Palace, Emerald Forest, Great Andaman Bay and Naga Jungle – plus entertainment spaces, retail outlets and a 300-key internationally-branded hotel, which is planned for phase two.

A collection of more than 12 thrilling slides and 36 activities will be available, with exhilarating names such as AquaDrop, Bubba Tub, Boomerango, AquaLoop, Whizzard and Speed Slide, plus a FlowRider Double surf simulator and a toddler splash zone. The 550-metre-long lazy river will be the longest in Asia and the vast 10,000 square-metre wave pool will able to generate waves up to three-metres high – the highest of any pool in Southeast Asia – while also catering for up to 25,000 people for concerts.

What sets Andamanda apart however, is its focus on Thai culture and mythology. The park will immerse guests in the legend of “The Lost Kingdom of the Nagon”, an inspirational folk tale of struggle, friendship and ultimate triumph set amid the landscapes and seascapes of the Andaman coast. There will be classical nang talung southern Thai puppet theatre performances, a floating market featuring traditionally-designed ruer koh lae boats to promote local community crafts, authentic food and beverage outlets and a stage for regular cultural performances.

A cluster of cosy cabanas and private VIP pavilions, plus a tropical beachfront restaurant and a series of stunning swim-up bars – including one nestled in a near life-size replica of Koh Tapu, Thailand’s famous “James Bond Island” – will also allow visitors to chill out in style.

The rides have been designed by WhiteWater West, the world’s leading water park equipment supplier, which has worked with global theme parks such as Atlantis Dubai and Disney. Contour, the award-winning architectural firm, and Coopers Hill, the landscape experts also collaborated on the project, which is globally certified by Ellis & Associates, the Florida-based aquatic safety experts.

Together, these professional partners have helped to create a world-class destination with sustainability at its core. Andamanda will adopt a circular approach to water management, with a continuous loop of water being reused and recycled. Single-use plastic will be banned, over 100,000 trees have been planted and solar power used extensively to ensure that energy levels are minimised. Staffed by a team of fully-trained local professionals, including 200 qualified lifeguards, the park will drive employment and empower communities in Phuket.

Andamanda will also offer a level of technology and innovation never previously seen in Thailand, with a bespoke location-based AI app to enhance the guest experience, raising the bar for tourism attractions in the destination and the country as a whole.

“Andamanda Phuket is blazing a new trail for waterparks in Thailand. It will become an iconic entertainment landmark for the destination – an international water park as impressive as any in the world with a full range of facilities to attract guests from all around the globe,” said Proud Liptapanlop, Executive Director of the Proud Group. “Most importantly, it will reflect the true spirit of southern Thailand. As the planet recovers from the global pandemic and people start to travel again, I am confident that Andamanda will help to boost Phuket’s economy, create employment for local people and contribute to the long-term prosperity of this amazing destination.”

About Proud Group
Proud Group is a leading Thai developer of quality property, retail, hotel, and leisure projects. The company is committed to raising industry benchmarks in Thailand with property developments that marry together bold visions and higher living standards.

About Andamanda Phuket
Andamanda is the largest leisure and entertainment destination in Phuket and the latest development by Proud Group, one of Thailand’s leading developers of mixed-use properties. Sitting on 58 rai (9.28 hectares, or 22.93 acres), with THB 4.5 billion (USD 134 million) investment, Andamanda celebrates the natural treasures of Thailand and inspired tales of adventure from the Andaman coastline encapsulated in the mythologies of the destination.