mu Space Uncovered Plan of Pushing Thai Technology into Space

mu Space Uncovered Plan of Pushing Thai Technology into Space

Bangkok, Thailand, October 20, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / mu Space revealed the space technology development plan after the press conference of MoU signing between TOT and muSpace for advancement of research and development in space industry

This time is considered to be the fourth launch of payload and experimental equipment that will be delivered into space with Blue Origin on the flight of New Shepard rocket under the New Shepard Mission (NS-13). mu Space, led by Mr. James Varayuth Yenbamroong, a space and satellite industry entrepreneur and engineer revealed another space technology development plan, confirming the project to create the HTS (High Throughput Satellite).

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More than 40% of the materials inside the satellites are manufactured by mu Space and by domestic manufacturers using Thai technology. This satellite is expected to launch by 2024, another ambitious goal of mu Space is to become Thailand’s first foreign satellite service provider, when an Open Skies policy occurs.

The arrival of the low-orbit earth satellite or LEO satellite will be extremely beneficial and important for future communications systems. And it is also regarded as upgrading Thailand’s communication technology to be effective in order to compete with other countries.

In order to support new technologies such as 5G, Cloud storage, Online transactions, as well as security in doing business to be more complete, which makes mu Space a new alternative for Thai people, which can develop a working model in new directions. Able to meet the needs of the group of customers thoroughly while helping to make signal transmission more efficient and accessible to various areas.

And the highlight of this launch is the plan to establish a spaceship or the first small space vehicle in Thailand. Behind this plan, there are various important goals to reach.

1) Aiming to build a Data Center outside the Earth’s atmosphere. This will eliminate the major problems of creating a data center infrastructure such as to control the temperature to be more stable and it must be appropriate for the operating of the system, it must be low temperature. This will be used up to 40% of total electricity (research of Power Consumption by Subsystems), bringing the data center out to a cooler environment of -270 ° C., making it possible to eliminate the obstacles of temperature.

2) This will be the utilizing of pure energy without relying on the world energy resources and this spaceship will orbit into space and be able to receive energy of solar radiation underside of the spacecraft all the time. Able to work independently without having to lean on the world energy resources. And this causes the next consequence.

3) Safety due to the spaceships that floated in the sky and connected in a network or constellation. Making it secure from natural disasters and accidents on Earth caused by fires and floods, as well as connecting in large groups covering the entire world. This will make the connection smooth and accessible to every corner of the world.

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For the part of development, mu Space has begun testing the materials which are suitable for constructing. In August, there was a material strength testing by simulating a special projectile with the speed equivalent compared to the speed of space debris. With the speed over 1,100 m / s and finally be able to pass the level 3 bullet protection standard in 2020. At the moment, mu Space is preparing to construct a medium-sized factory in order to start building spaceships in 2021.

Thailand Celebrates Loi Krathong Festival 2020 in New Normal

Thailand Celebrates Loi Krathong Festival 2020 in New Normal

Bangkok, Thailand, October 20, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is hosting the “Delightful Colours of the River, Loi Krathong Celebrations 2020” in Ayutthaya and five unique destinations – Chiang Mai, Sukhothai, Tak, Samut Songkhram and Roi Et – in line with the new normal practice to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

The full moon night of the 12th lunar month this year falls on 31 October, and TAT has planned special activities in Ayutthaya and five provincial locations.

Delightful Colours of the River, Loi Krathong Celebrations 2020, Ayutthaya

29-31 October, 2020, at Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya Historical Park, Ayutthaya

The event features the traditional way of Loi Krathong reflecting the glorious of the Ayutthaya era. Highlights include rare cultural performances; traditional krathong procession and fireworks display; ‘Premium Craft’ market, and performances by leading Thai artists and bands. Visitors are encouraged to wear traditional Thai costumes or fabric, and must book their participation in advance with the QueQ mobile app.

Loi Krathong Sai Festival and a Thousand Floating Lanterns 2020, Tak

31 October – 1 November, 2020 at Lan Krathong Sai by the Ping Riverside, at the foot of the Somphot Krung Rattanakosin Song Roi Pi Bridge, Tak

Highlights: The ceremony to invite the nine Royal Inaugurated Krathongs and Lanterns, each from His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn and the other eight members of the Royal Family; the releasing of the nine Royal Inaugurated Krathongs and Lanterns; the releasing of the 1,000 floating Lanterns;  the ceremony to ask for the apology and wish for a blessing from “Phra Mae Khongka” (Goddess of River); krathong sai competition, and a fair selling local products.


As well as Ayutthaya and the five unique destinations, TAT is also supporting the hosting of Loi Krathong 2020 events in Bangkok, including the “Chao Phraya River of Eternal Prosperity at the River Park, ICONSIAM; and the Bangkok River Festival 2020 at nine locations along the Chao Phraya River; namely, Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Prayun Wongsawat, Wat Kalayanamitr, Wat Rakhangkhositaram, Tha Maharaj Pier, Lhong 1919, Asiatique the Riverfront, and Yodpiman Riverwalk.

TAT expects some 300,000 Thai tourists will visit the six locations where it is hosting the Loi Krathong celebrations generating more than 580 billion Baht for the local economy.

WTTC to Establish Global Steering Committee to Revive Travel

WTTC to Establish Global Steering Committee to Revive Travel

London, United Kingdom, October 19, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council is to spearhead a major global drive to revive international travel with the public and private sector working together in partnership.

Last week, G20 Tourism Ministers hosted more than 45 CEOs and Members of WTTC, who at the request of Saudi Arabia, presented their Jobs Recovery Plan to save the besieged Travel & Tourism sector and 100m jobs globally.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

The WTTC Jobs Recovery Plan could save 65 million jobs across all G20 countries, including Spain. Regionally, Asia Pacific could save the most, with 45.8 million jobs, followed by the Americas with 20.2 million and Europe with 19.9 million.

During the historic G20 Tourism Ministers session, WTTC and its Members presented their plan to save the embattled Travel & Tourism sector and explored key initiatives to deliver the prompt recovery of the sector and save millions of lost jobs.

Following its success, WTTC is continuing to lead the response to the devastating challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the struggling Travel & Tourism sector.

Now it intends to establish a structure to deliver on these goals, led by a global Steering Committee, comprised of 12 WTTC Member CEOs and other business and institutional leaders to establish an international consensus to take action.

The priorities and recommendations made by the Steering Committee, will be passed onto functional working groups for action and delivery.

These specialised working groups will address how to open up travel by creating crucial ‘air corridors’ and a globally recognised standard for an airport test and trace regime, amongst others.

In addition, a Government Affairs Working Group, will liaise with individual governments to ensure they have all the relevant data and information needed to support our efforts.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “WTTC is uniquely positioned to provide a platform at the highest level where the private and public sector can work together to help revive international business and leisure travel and save 100 million jobs globally.

“What came out of the historic G20 meeting with international business leaders was a clear consensus that only cooperation at the highest level and engagement with the public and private sector will achieve action.

“It is vital that ‘air corridors’ be restored between the world’s leading financial hubs, such as the hugely important transatlantic route between London and New York.

“Restoring these routes for international business travellers must be coupled with the agreement and adoption of globally recognised standards for a rapid, cost effective airport test and trace regime. 

“Together these will help create a safe and hygienic environment to travel and aid the beleaguered Travel & Tourism sector which continues its fight for survival.

“This in turn will act as an engine to help kickstart the economic global recovery to benefit the whole Travel & Tourism sector and millions of jobs throughout the supply chain which are dependent upon international travel.

“The economic fallout from COVID-19 continues to relentlessly burn its way through the Travel & Tourism sector. However, our plan could save 100 million jobs through strong international cooperation, removing travel barriers and introducing an international testing protocol at airports to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

“While I am encouraged by the unity and strength of purpose shown by the private and public sector at the recent G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting, there is so much at stake that we must redouble our collective efforts to save the sector together.”

WTTC will continue working with major industry bodies and global organisations, such as International Air Transport Association (IATA, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Airport Council International (ACI), World Economic Forum (WEF), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), to further take forward the positive steps which have already been achieved.

WTTC has been at the forefront of leading the private sector in the drive to rebuild international travel.

Its 2020 Economic Impact Report shows how critical the Travel & Tourism sector will be to the economic recovery. During 2019, the report detailed how Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million in total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

UNWTO, Expedia to Share Data and Insights to Guide Tourism Recovery

Madrid, Spain, October 19, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will work alongside the Expedia Group to strengthen ties between the public and private sectors and drive tourism’s recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see them collaborate on a range of topics, with the common goal of driving recovery and making the sector more resilient and sustainable.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Announcements here.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili met with representatives of the Expedia Group in Brussels, on the back of successful talks with leaders of the European Institutions. Highlighting UNWTO’s commitment to strengthening ties with the private sector, this enhanced partnership will see the United Nations Specialized Agency work more closely with the Expedia Group. Joint actions will focus on market intelligence and innovation. UNWTO and Expedia will also work together to promote entrepreneurship and professional education, and in the field of consumer protection.

From the very start of this crisis, UNWTO has been a strong advocate of close cooperation between the public and private sectors

Secretary-General Pololikashvili said: “From the very start of this crisis, UNWTO has been a strong advocate of close cooperation between the public and private sectors. This enhanced partnership will help improve our knowledge of global tourism trends, allowing us to respond to new challenges and guide tourism’s recovery. It will also help us place innovation and sustainability at the heart of this recovery, ensuring tourism emerges stronger than before.”

The partnership with between UNWTO and Expedia Group will see both parties share data on tourism trends and developments, both at the global and the local scale. This will help inform decision-making, producing data-based policies aimed a tourism’s sustainable recovery and future development.

Survey Finds 70 Percent of Travelers Plan to Holiday in 2021

Survey Finds 70 Percent of Travelers Plan to Holiday in 2021

New York City, New York, USA, October 17, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / An overwhelming majority of US and Canadian travelers (99 percent) are eager to travel again, with 70 percent stating that they plan to take a holiday in 2021, according to a Travel Leaders Group survey of nearly 3,000 frequent travelers. The survey was conducted in September in conjunction with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector.

Results indicate that 45 percent of respondents have already made plans or are starting to make finite plans for their next holiday, while 54 percent say they are dreaming of when they can travel again.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

“These are really strong numbers. The fact that 99 percent of travelers surveyed said they are planning a trip or looking forward to the time they can travel again indicates that as concerns about COVID-19 are addressed, leisure travelers will lead the recovery,” said John Lovell, President of Travel Leaders Group.

In the survey, 23 percent of respondents said they plan to travel by the end of 2020, 70 percent said they will travel in 2021 with just 18 percent saying they will resume traveling in 2022.

“Consumer uncertainty about the risk of exposure or concerns about being quarantined is a core problem,” said Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO. “With rapid testing to replace quarantine requirements, enhanced contact tracing and industry-wide standards by sector that can be clearly communicated to the public, we can help alleviate many of those concerns.”

The willingness of Americans to travel can be seen in the slow, but steady, increase in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) daily screening numbers, which fell below 90,000 a day in April and are now approaching 1 million a day at peak periods. In 2019, TSA daily traveler counts averaged between 2.3 and 2.7 million passengers a day.

More than half of travelers surveyed say they are concerned about the risk of being infected when traveling on a plane or cruise ship, getting stuck while away from home or being quarantined on a cruise ship or at a hotel. A lesser number named concerns about them or a family member contracting the virus while traveling, worries about getting a refund if the trip is cancelled, and concerns about family members with higher risk health conditions

A majority of survey respondents said the following health and safety initiatives at airports, aboard aircraft and at resorts will make a big difference in their decision to travel in the future: mandatory masks, social distancing, enhanced cleaning, temperature checks and access to sanitizing gel. For resorts, contact-free services and customizable room cleaning were also cited.

“Our industry needs to do more to inform potential travelers about all of the health and safety protocols that have been implemented across the industry and continue to standardize those protocols to restore consumer confidence in travel,” said Lovell. “Airlines, airports and cruise lines have made major strides in the health and hygiene measures they have taken in close consultation with the world’s leading medical experts. We need to share that story with the traveling public.”

Nearly 60 percent of respondents said the requirement of a negative PCR test prior to arrival in a destination would make no difference or would be viewed as a positive, while about 40 percent said such a requirement would be a deterrent. Those concerns can be addressed with rapid testing, Lovell said. “We believe the widespread availability of rapid testing will result in greater acceptance of pre-trip testing and encourage more people to travel,” he stated.

Modes of Travel & Destinations

Most of those surveyed who said they plan to take a holiday said they will fly to their next holiday destination (47 percent), 21 percent will drive, 17 percent said they plan to take an ocean cruise, with 5 percent opting for a river cruise.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

“We continue to see strong interest in domestic travel, beach destinations and less crowded destinations in both the US and Canada, while the popularity of Europe across the board is encouraging,” said Stephen McGillivray, Chief Marketing Officer for Travel Leaders Group.

Europe (38 percent), the Caribbean (34 percent) and Mexico (15 percent) are the top-ranked international destinations of interest, followed by Canada (for US travelers), Central and South America, Australia, Africa and Asia.

For US travelers, uncrowded, outdoor and beach experiences topped the list of desired domestic destinations, with National Parks, Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, California and “anywhere uncrowded” high on the list while traditionally popular sites, such as New York and Nevada, scored lower.

For Canadians, British Columbia, Atlantic Canada, Alberta, Ontario, “anywhere uncrowded” and National Parks led the list.

The survey results are validated by Travel Leaders Group’s online inquiries. Online leads declined in late March, reaching a low point on April 12 then peaking on June 14. Following a second outbreak of COVID-19 in some areas, leads dropped again and are now on the upswing, up 88 percent from the low in April, McGillivray said.

Close-in booking windows are a trend among online shoppers. The majority of consumers reaching out online want to travel by the year’s end 2020, followed by January/February 2021, spring and summer. Milestone birthdays, anniversaries and honeymoons are popular reasons to travel. Camper vans and home and villa rentals are in high demand.

Many come seeking the expert advice of a travel advisor. Here’s a sampling of the inquiries:

  • “Where can I go without self-quarantine?”
  • “I need to get out of here, where can I go?”
  • “I’ve never used a travel agent before…”
  • “I NEED a travel agent.”
  • “I am an avid cruiser always booked direct but need a travel agent to help me book them now.”

“Booking with a travel advisor is the best possible strategy to navigate the new world of travel,” McGillivray said. “They can provide all the facts you need to know about destinations, requirements, how to protect your purchase, and best of all, they provide peace of mind.”

Peru, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and more Get Global Safety and Hygiene Stamp

Peru, Bahamas, Puerto Rico and more Get Global Safety and Hygiene Stamp

Nassau, Bahamas, October 16, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / Peru, Bahamas and Puerto Rico are the latest destinations to use the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp, launched earlier this year by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, recently announced that in just three short months, 100 destinations are now using its ‘Safe Travels’ stamp, with the Philippines becoming the official 100th destination.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

The stamp, which was developed to help restore confidence in travellers and aims to revive an ailing Travel & Tourism sector, is now also being used by many more major holiday destinations such as Paraguay, Gambia, Zambia, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The stamp enables travellers to recognise destinations around the world which have adopted standardised global health and hygiene protocols – so they can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

This landmark move by WTTC also received the backing of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The launch of global protocols to recover the Travel & Tourism sector have been embraced by over 200 CEO’s, including some of the world’s major tourism groups.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Our Safe Travels stamp continues to go from strength to strength and we are delighted with its success so far. More than 120 destinations now proudly use the stamp, all of which are working together to help rebuild consumer confidence worldwide. 

“As the stamp continues to grow in popularity, travellers will more easily be able to recognise the destinations worldwide which have adopted these important global protocols, encouraging the return of ‘Safe Travels’ around the world. 

“The success of the stamp shows its importance not only to countries and destinations, but also to travellers and the 330 million people around the world who work in and depend on a thriving the Travel & Tourism sector.”

Carla Campos, Puerto Rico Tourism Company’s (Government of Puerto Rico) Executive Director said: “Puerto Rico was one of the first destinations in the Western Hemisphere to design and implement an industry-specific safety and health program for the entire destination with the creation of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company Gold Star Health and Safety Seal Certification back on May 4. Today, we are proud to join WTTC’s Safe Travels global protocols and stamp program. 

“Operating guides and certification programs such as these are vital for the reopening of the travel and tourism sector at both a global and regional level, as well as an important recognition that will place Puerto Rico in a highly competitive position as the travel and tourism market reopens. As a destination, we acknowledged early on that consumers will consider the destinations best prepared to provide them with the necessary measures and resources to protect their health and our destination-wide program was developed using the most rigorous standards, best practice cases, as well as guides and recommendations from the agencies and organizations that specialize on the subject. 

“Ensuring collective participation and compliance of the recommended protocols, both by companies and customers, will be key in facilitating the safe restart of leisure and business travelling”.

Hamat NK Bah, Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture, the Gambia said: “As destinations all over the world are gradually reopening their tourism sectors, the Gambia, the smiling coast of Africa is at the forefront of these efforts. Tourism plays a pivotal role in the economic growth of the Gambia, and as we strive to recover from the devastating impacts COVID-19 has on our economy, tourism is integral in this process.  

“We are delighted to be part of the WTTC Safe Travel stamp and protocols and therefore committed to protecting the health and safety of all players in the travel and tourism sector.”

Read all the latest WTTC News and Press Releases here.

Felix S. Chaila, Zambia Tourism Agency CEO said: “Tourism is very important for Zambia, especially its contribution to revenue generation, job creation and poverty reduction among many other benefits to be accrued from the sector. As Zambia begins its road to tourism recovery, we are pleased to be associated with the WTTC’s Safe Travels global protocols. 

“We are committed to meeting COVID-19 safety requirements that promote restarting tourism without inhibiting our tourism business sector.  In this light, we have put in place simple and practical safety protocols for the tourism sector with the intention to enhance the visitor experience as they create their travel memories during this difficult time. The Safe Travels stamp will give travel consumers the confidence to travel to our destination.

“We pledge to remain compliant with the safety measures, in partnership with the private sector, to ensure both the hosts and travellers are safe and subsequently restore the tourism sector to where it was before the pandemic brought it to a halt.”

Morena Valdez, Minister of Tourism of El Salvador said: “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism of El Salvador led the development of eight biosecurity protocols for the entire Tourism Industry and the Safe Travels stamp recognises the work of our Government and gives a message of confidence to all travellers who decide to come again or visit our country for the first time.

“Together with our National Seal for the Verification of Biosafety Protocols in Tourism, the WTTC Safe Travels stamp supports El Salvador’s commitment to offer a tourist operation in line with the expectations of the new normal.

“Tourism is the industry that allows us to move around the world and we are focused on offering visitors the best destination experience, but above all, safe. I invite you to cross borders and discover that El Salvador is an ideal place to visit, establish tourist operations, do business and live.”

The widespread adoption of the stamp demonstrates that WTTC and all its Members from around the world have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.

The protocols follow guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as considering best practices from WTTC’s members.

Evidence from WTTC’s Crisis Readiness report, which looked at 90 different types of crises in the last 20 years, highlights the importance of public-private cooperation and the implementation of standardised protocols.

WTTC has been at the forefront of leading the private sector in the drive to rebuild global consumer confidence and encourage the return of Safe Travels.

According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for one in 10 jobs (330 million total), making a 10.3% contribution to global GDP and generating one in four of all new jobs.

Alain St.Ange Speaks on Seychelles Presidential Debates


Victoria,Mahé, Seychelles, October 16, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Presidential Debates were a momentous step forward for our fragile democracy. My only regret was that there were no questions pertaining directly to human rights which were put to the candidates. With key groups of people and the vulnerable members of society being traditionally overlooked and oppressed by Government, it is a pity that history repeated itself in these debates. When will they be given a voice? Particularly when traditionally overlooked by the media and key political parties and figures.

Moreover, while some candidates used their final two minutes during the debate to appeal directly to voters, one particular politician preferred to reveal his true nature by making a personal attack instead of justifying why the public should put their trust in him yet again. The trouble with targeting members of a third force who have bravely chosen to stand up to do what is right, and not what is easy, and to seek to undo all the wrongs of Government (whether it be by the Legislative or Executive branch of Government), you are only serving to keep the corrosive and toxic “ek nou, pa ek nou” culture on life support. Aspiring leaders who attack those who are breathing life into a weak democracy end up only undermining their own integrity and public confidence in their leadership. They also reveal to the public that they need a firm lesson in humility. They would do well to remain humble and to never forget where they came from.

One Seychelles is fiercely proud of the team they have assembled in a short span of time. We don’t all have the free time and funds to host “mini elections” within each district prior to nominations, after all. We are able to work and excel with what we have, and not hide behind a shopping list of excuses. It is recalled that the same leaders who once cried hoarse for a balanced Assembly are now arrogantly claiming that the only way they can do their work competently is if they have total control over two branches of Government. We alone recognize the necessity of having a balanced National Assembly. Leave “total control” over most/all branches of Government back in the past (during the one-party era) where it belongs.

One Seychelles was created for a reason. The movement has amassed significant public support for a reason, and we have become a true force to be reckoned with for a reason. The reason is that a growing proportion of the population is dissatisfied with the duopoly that has been a constant feature in local politics for too long; these veteran politicians had a real opportunity to prove their dedication to the people and their worth as viable leaders of the Nation over the course of the past four years, and many believe that they have failed in these respects. We would not be here today if the call for a new force in politics had not existed. People desperately want a change, but they want the RIGHT kind of change.

With both green and red camps making the election pitch for “national unity”, despite all their recent actions contradicting the notion, they seem to have lost sight of the fact that voters no longer trust politicians whose actions do not match their words.

Change cannot happen when we use the same outdated recipe and sub-standard ingredients we have been relying upon for 30-odd years. The only way to progress as a Nation is to embrace change, real change. Some boast about offering change, but their manifestos are eerily similar to that of the ruling party. Old ideologies and old policies cannot push the Nation forwards; we will only keep going backwards.

Everyone in the debate last night agreed that politics should be removed from Ministries. One Seychelles remains the only political party realistically capable of doing this, for we have not amassed years and years’ worth of promises to deliver upon and favors to return. We proposed a technocrat-led Government from the get-go, one comprising skilled and capable Seychellois, who were selected irrespective of their political affiliation. They are waiting and ready to hit the ground running on 25th October. They alone are capable of putting National interest ahead of political and personal interests.

Those who claim to want to lower the cost of living, why didn’t they? COVID-19 aggravated the situation but poverty existed long before the pandemic crippled our economy. It existed when both Mr. Ramkalawan and Mr. Faure had control over their respective branches of Government. And though Mr. Ramkalawan is loathe to admit it, he was neck-deep in Government for the past four years. He refuses to let the public realise that the Legislature (ie the National Assembly) is the branch of Government that directly governs the Country because it REGULATES. If we want to know what things will look like under LDS, we have already had an avant gout.

We need to move forward. We cannot sacrifice our own beliefs to cater to politicians who are determinedly pushing agendas that no longer meet the needs of the masses (treating drug traffickers as victims, for one). One Seychelles will end the cycle of Government (whether it be the National Assembly or the Executive) catering to the needs and interests of the wealthy, powerful and the privileged over ordinary citizens. Don’t sign up for more of the same. If you did, you would get no different to what you always have.

UNWTO Delegation in Brussels for Talks with European Leaders

UNWTO Delegation in Brussels for Talks with European Leaders

Brussels, Belgium, October 15, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has led a high-level delegation to Brussels for a series of meetings aimed at ensuring tourism remains at the top of the political agenda of the European Institutions.

As UNWTO guides the global restart of tourism, Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has been working closely with European leaders to ensure the sector receives the political and financial support needed to protect livelihoods and safeguard businesses. During his visit to Brussels, Mr. Pololikashvili urged the leaders of the European institutions to transform the ambitious plans for the recovery into reality by coordinating a package of response measures that will allow for tourism to return and to drive the recovery of the EU economy.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Announcements here.

At the same time, the UNWTO leadership stressed the importance of supporting and growing domestic tourism. According to Mr Pololikashvili, domestic tourism has immense potential, including for the recovery and development of rural communities. However, for this potential to be realized, governments and the European Institutions need to provide greater direction and stronger leadership.

Tourism is a central pillar of European economies, a leading employer and a source of opportunity for many millions of people across the continent

The UNWTO delegation met with Mr. Margaritis Schinas, Vice President of the European Commission, Mr. Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, with the office of Mr. David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament and key representatives of the European Council. On the back of the meetings, it was confirmed that the issue of easing travel restrictions will be on the agenda at the next meeting of the European Council, highlighting the importance and timeliness of UNWTO’s interventions.

High-level leadership essential

Secretary-General Pololikashvili said: “Tourism is a central pillar of European economies, a leading employer and a source of opportunity for many millions of people across the continent. The leaders of the European Institutions have signaled their commitment to supporting tourism at this challenging time. High-level leadership and unprecedented levels of cooperation between the Institutions, governments and businesses will be needed to translate good intentions into firm actions and so help tourism lead the continent’s recovery from crisis.”

Secretary-General Pololikashvili congratulated European leaders for their role in opening the borders of EU Member States before the end of the summer season. This gave some much needed impetus to travel and tourism and saw a promising upturn in international tourist arrivals in several European markets.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Announcements here.

Coordination only way to restart tourism

UNWTO calls on governments to avoid acting unilaterally and closing borders as this has proven not to be effective in controlling the spread of the virus. It is vital that the focus shifts from limiting travel to ensuring safe travel by putting in place measures like widely accessible, fast testing at departure. Such measures will protect the health of travellers as well as tourism- and travel-related workers, while at the same time fostering trust and boosting confidence.

Tourism contributes 10% of total GDP for the European Union and supports more than 2.4 million businesses. The sector is on track for a fall of between 60% and 90% in bookings compared to similar periods in previous years. The estimated revenue loss this year for hotels and restaurants, tour operators, long distance rail and for cruises and airlines is from 85% to 90%. As a result of this pandemic, 6 million people may lose their jobs.

This visit to Brussels comes on the back of the European Tourism Convention, during which Mr. Pololikashvili stressed the importance of supporting and promoting green investments in tourism so as to drive sustainable recovery from the present crisis.

ABTA Launches Tourism for Good Report, Sustainability can be at the Heart of Recovery

ABTA Launches Tourism for Good Report, Sustainability can be at the Heart of Recovery

London, United Kingdom, October 14, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / The Travel Association, ABTA,  has published a new report which sets out how the devastating impact of the global pandemic has brought into relief the value of tourism to holidaymakers, the UK and destinations.

Entitled: ‘Tourism for Good – A Roadmap for Rebuilding Travel and Tourism’, the report explains how it is imperative to purposefully rebuild a more responsible and resilient tourism industry that benefits all those involved – and provides a framework for collaborative action to build better places to live in and better places to visit.

There is clear consumer demand for the industry to embrace sustainability on its path to recovery, with new figures revealing that more than half of people (52%) believe that the travel industry should open in a greener way. Consumers have been increasingly keen to know that their holidays benefit the people and places they visit, with research from 2020 revealing that half (49%) consider the sustainability credentials of their holiday provider to be important or essential when choosing which company to book with, compared to only a fifth back in 2011.

Central to the report is the belief that travel and tourism is a powerful force for good; being both physically and mentally restorative for holidaymakers while also generating significant economic, employment and social benefits in the UK and around the world. It also acknowledges the challenges that the sector faces, including the need to accelerate decarbonisation and to ensure that tourism generates greater benefits for destinations and local communities.

The report emphasises the huge value and contribution of UK outbound tourism, both domestically and internationally, in terms of job creation, livelihood opportunities, social benefits for local communities, support and funding for nature and wildlife conservation and cultural heritage protection. New research from CEBR shows that the aggregate global GVA (gross value added) of UK outbound tourism is estimated at $81.4 billion and supports 2.7 million jobs, while in the UK it generates £37 billion (1.8% of GDP) in aggregate economic impact and 526,000 full-time equivalent jobs. For certain destinations – The Maldives, Jamaica, Cyprus, Malta, Mauritius, Greece, Spain and Portugal – which rely heavily on tourism already, UK holidaymakers alone make a marked contribution of more than 1% of national GDP.

The report also acknowledges the challenges faced by the sector, and, through case studies and examples, outlines how the industry is taking steps to address its biggest issues by decarbonising, cutting waste and water consumption, ensuring that local people benefit from tourism, respecting human rights and managing animal welfare. Due to the global nature of these challenges, the report highlights that there is more to be done, with the best outcomes being achieved through a concerted worldwide approach and a willingness to share and learn across the industry.

Underpinned by a series of nine core principles, the ‘Tourism for Good’ report sets out a roadmap to guide ABTA’s commitment to working with its Members, their suppliers, destination authorities, travellers and the wider travel industry. It also calls on the UK Government to support tourism’s contribution to economic development and employment, deliver the necessary policies to encourage transport providers to transition to greener technologies, and to help consumers to transition to low-carbon transport.

In order to accurately track the progress being made, ABTA has launched a sustainability indicator survey for its Members to complete which will establish a baseline of how the travel and tourism industry is currently embracing sustainability. The findings will be used to identify the areas where progress is being made and the areas that require more focus.

Clare Jenkinson, Head of Sustainability at ABTA – The Travel Association said:
“Building on ABTA’s longstanding work on sustainability, the ‘Tourism for Good’ report is designed to act as a strategic framework to guide our activities as the industry reopens and evolves. The core principles include, for example, the need for tourism to be sustainable and resilient against future shocks, for policies and actions to be designed in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the urgent need to accelerate decarbonisation. We commit to measuring the progress that is being made and identifying the areas where more work needs to be done.”

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said:
“Tourism’s unexpected standstill has given us a unique opportunity to reflect on the type of industry we want to rebuild, fit for the challenges we face and a contributor to the global good. I believe the future prosperity of the industry depends on putting sustainability at the heart of our recovery. This report therefore underlines ABTA’s commitment to working with our Members, the wider travel industry, and the UK Government to create a more sustainable industry that allows everyone a share in its success.”

The findings are from research with nationally representative sample of 2,000 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to July 2020. Fieldwork was conducted in the last two weeks of August 2020 and was conducted by The Nursery Research and Planning.

About ABTA:
ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for 70 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.

The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.

We help our Members and their customers navigate through today’s changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.

ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit

Ethiopian Airlines Unveils COVID-19 Global Insurance Cover

Ethiopian Airlines Unveils COVID-19 Global Insurance Cover

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 13, 2020 / TRAVELINDEX / Ethiopian Airlines Group is pleased to announce that it will cover the medical insurance including repatriation, evacuation and quarantine costs related to COVID-19 as of 01st of October 2020 until 31st of March 2021. The coverage is applicable on all Ethiopian’s international flights booked with the airline’s tickets.

The global cover dubbed Sheba Comfort is part of the airline’s extra security measures to protect passengers and ensure that they travel with peace of mind.

The Sheba Comfort insurance scheme, introduced in collaboration with AXA Partners and Awash Insurance Company, is valid for 92 days for round trip and 31 days for one-way trip.