Dusit Hotels International Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

Dusit Hotels International Appoints New Chief Operating Officer - HOTELWORLDS.com - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, June 24, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has appointed Mr Gilles Cretallaz as its new Chief Operating Officer, effective 10 June 2022. Replacing Mr Lim Boon Kwee, who retired from the position in May after almost nine years of service with the company, French national Mr Cretallaz brings to the role more than 30 years of experience leading luxury, renowned, and iconic hotels for the Accor group across Turkey, China, and Southeast Asia.

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Alongside driving brand evolution, he has a strong track record for formulating and implementing strategies to increase market share, guide sustainable development, introduce award-winning F&B concepts, and boost guest and customer satisfaction at properties under his care.

During his illustrious career, he has overseen pre-opening, rebranding, and operations for hotels under renowned Accor brands, such as Sofitel, Fairmont, and Raffles. This includes, amongst others, serving as Regional General Manager – Accor North Vietnam, and General Manager for the iconic, award-winning Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. He also conceptualised ‘So,’ Accor’s first playful luxury brand, and established the brand in Thailand as General Manager of the unique Sofitel So Bangkok.

Expanding his scope regionally, internationally, and across brand segments, he was appointed Director of Operations Sofitel Luxury Hotels – Thailand and Singapore, and later promoted to Vice President Operations Upscale and Luxury Segments for Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and the Maldives.
In his most recent role, he was Senior Vice President Operations – Southeast Asia, responsible for leading Accor’s Bangkok Office and overseeing the operations of 150 highly-rated and prestigious hotels – including nine distinct brands – across Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar.

In his new role for Dusit International, Mr Cretallaz will be responsible for overseeing the financial and operational responsibilities of Dusit’s hotel business unit, including all Dusit Hotels and Resorts, ASAI Hotels, Elite Havens, White Label properties, and condominiums/residences under Property Management, at both corporate and property levels.

“I am honoured and delighted to join the talented team at Dusit International and contribute to the company’s vision to uniquely deliver Thai-inspired, gracious hospitality to the world,” said Mr Cretallaz.

“Drawing on my extensive experience in overseeing hotel operations, brand evolution, property development, and sales and marketing, I very much look forward to helping drive sustainable expansion of our operations in existing and emerging markets, establishing new group-wide synergies to maximise growth potential, and introducing new products, services, and experiences to enrich the guest and customer experience and deliver enduring value for all stakeholders.”

Fluent in French and English, Mr Cretallaz holds an Advanced Certificate in Hotel Management from the Hotel Management School of Lausanne, Switzerland; a BTS Diploma from the Hotel Management School of Toulouse, France; and a Baccalauréat Technologique Diploma from the Hotel Management School of Thonon-Les-Bains, France.

During his time at Accor, Mr Cretallaz was honoured to be nominated for, and receive, numerous awards for his work. Among them: the ‘Bernache Imagine’ Award – the highest accolade within Accor – and the ‘Asian Businessman Award,’ from the ASEAN Capitals Business Forum.

For all your booking and lodging solutions worldwide book at HotelWorlds.com at best rates available.

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

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

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

WTTC Report Analyses Critical Factors for Hotel Investment Post Pandemic

WTTC Report Analyses Critical Factors for Hotel Investment Post Pandemic - HOTELWORLDS.com - TRAVELINDEXSan Juan, Puerto Rico, June 24, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) published ‘Critical Factors to Attract Hotel Investment’, a new report highlighting the importance of attracting capital investment to enable the Travel & Tourism sector’s full growth potential post COVID-19, following a 25% drop in 2020.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

The report, launched today at the Sustainability and Investment Summit taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, looks at key enabling factors for hotel investment, and success stories of destinations that have employed such factors and shown strong growth in investment.

In 2020, when international travel came to an almost standstill, the Travel & Tourism sector saw 62 million job losses and its GDP contribution halved, representing a painful loss of nearly USD 4.9 trillion.

According to the paper, capital investment in the sector also fell substantially during the height of the pandemic, from nearly USD 1.1 trillion in 2019, to only USD 805 billion in 2020, representing an almost 25% drop.

Investment in the sector continued to decline last year with a further 6.9% decline to USD 750 billion.

The report does however provide grounds for optimism as it forecast a strong growth in Travel & Tourism investment over the next decade. However, the global tourism body warns that to achieve this, governments around the world must create a favourable enabling environment.

In addition to political stability and liquidity, considered essential for investment, a clear, open, and consistent government action and support, favourable tax incentives, and safety and security, amongst others, remain prerequisites to attract hotel investments.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “Hotel investment is absolutely key for the recovery and growth of the Travel & Tourism sector. Destinations must have a clear commitment and take a holistic approach to become resilient and competitive.

“As we recover from the pandemic and we build back better, investments not only need to benefit destinations economically, but more importantly, socially and environmentally.”

According to the innovative report, the key enabling factors for hotel investment include governance and rule of law, a key enabler for investors, as it determines how easily and successfully a business operates, physical infrastructure, air and ground connectivity, and workforce.

The report analysed a number of popular destinations which benefitted from implementing these elements. For instance, the Netherlands provides an enabling environment for foreign investment with less restrictive regulations and strict laws to penalise corruption.

Physical infrastructure, air and ground connectivity is also crucial to investment as well-connected hubs support wider regional development and provide access to lesser-known destinations that offer tourism opportunities.

South Korea, for example, ranks as one of the best-connected countries in the world. The announcement of the country as the 2018 Winter Olympics host, incentivised investment in transport infrastructure, which resulted in hotel room supply soaring by almost 15%, outstripping the healthy overall Travel & Tourism capital investment growth of 8.7% in 2017.

The paper also highlights the importance of re-skilling and up-skilling the workforce. Leading the way in this area is Portugal, which focussed on strategies to help reskill the sector, such as the Tourism Training Talent (TTT) programme, committed to improving the quality of tourism’s training services.

Some additional factors and success stories in the report include liquidity in Maldives, government aid in Saudi Arabia, taxation in Colombia, destination planning and sustainability in Singapore and Rwanda, service culture in the Philippines, and travel facilitation in Aruba.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

With contributions from STR, KSL Capital Partners, and JLL, the report, draws from experience to inspire both the public and private sector, as they develop and implement Travel & Tourism investment policies that will boost the long-term recovery of the sector.

Japanese Fine Dining Restaurant Kyo-Tei Celebrates First Anniversary

Japanese Fine Dining Restaurant Kyo-Tei Celebrates First Anniversary - TOP25RESTAURANTS.com - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, June 23, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Aquarius International celebrates the first anniversary of Kyo-Tei, a Japanese fine dining restaurant in Thong Lor. A new seasonal menu “Early Summer in Kyoto Kamogawa” is introduced to mark the occasion. Kyo-Tei opened its doors in June 2021, delighting guests with its original, eye-catching cuisine. The restaurant presents a contemporary atmosphere that immerses visitors in natural elements of wood and stone. There is a backyard ‘Ryokan’, a traditional Japanese inn that invites diners to experience authentic Kaiseki cuisine.

The name Kyo-Tei comes from the word “Kyo” 京 from Kyoto, Japan’s imperial capital where Kaiseki cuisine was created in the 9th century, and “Tei” 亭 which represents a culinary destination.

Kyo-Tei is located on Sukhumvit Soi 38 in Bangkok’s trendy Thong Lor district. The restaurant is divided into a series of distinct areas, including the Sushi Counter where guests can watch the chefs expertly crafting pieces of sushi and sashimi, alongside a bar where talented mixologists shake and stir Asian-inspired cocktails. On the upper level, the Exquisite Bar houses premium whiskies and sakes. A private Kaiseki Omakase Room with only eight seats is ideal for special occasions. An intimate Teppanyaki Room features only six seats surrounding a spectacular teppanyaki grill.

Led by Chef Nishioka Masaki, a Japanese culinary master with three decades of experience, this elegant destination showcases elevated kaiseki, teppanyaki and omakase cuisine under one roof. Blending traditional and modern techniques, it optimises fresh ingredients that change with the seasons to deliver truly extraordinary epicurean journeys.

For the 1st year anniversary, the chef unveils his new seasonal menu, “Early Summer in Kyoto Kamogawa”, which focuses on the finest produce from the land and sea, highlighting Motobu Wagyu A5 beef from Okinawa, premium scampi from New Zealand, and sublime Japanese seafood such as sea urchin, abalone and blue crab. Treated with exceptional care and precision, these exquisite ingredients are used to craft a selection of delicacies that will pay homage to Kyoto.

“We are delighted to invite diners to celebrate the first anniversary of Kyo-Tei. Since opening last year, we are fast becoming one of Bangkok’s most exciting places to dine. The local community has really embraced our concept, so we want to thank them for their support by offering the opportunity to come together with us and discover our new menu. As the world starts to open up again, we look forward to welcoming even more local and international diners to Kyo-Tei in 2022, and for many years to come,” said Edward Chi, Founder of Aquarius International.

Kyo-Tei is the flagship of AQ Gourmet & Dine, the F&B arm of Aquarius International,owned by Norcal Thailand, a division of Hong Kong-based Norcal Venture Capital Group Limited (NVC), which has global assets in excess of US$1 billion. The company portfolio encompasses five-star resorts, residences, yacht charters, fine-dining and membership services, all woven together by AQBooking.com, its premium, personalized booking platform.

AQBooking .com is an exclusive club that enables its members to explore a curated A-list of high-quality tourism brands, from the finest hotels and resorts to world-class dining, yacht charters, premium flights and more. Every aspect of their journey will be supported by bespoke concierge services and club benefits, all available at the touch of a button.

Make a reservation at Kyo-Tei restaurant, call 063 306 3636. Open from Sunday-Wednesday from 11:00am – 9:00pm and Friday-Saturday from 11:00am – 10:00pm (Lunch at 11:00 am – 2:30pm / Dinner from 5:30 pm).

UNWTO to Host First Global Youth Tourism Summit

UNWTO to Host First Global Youth Tourism Summit - TRAVELINDEXSorrento, Italy, June 23, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The first UNWTO Global Youth Tourism Summit will bring more than 130 young people from 60 countries to Sorrento, Italy, next week, giving them a unique platform to play a leading role in the future of the sector.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The event, first of its kind, is organized by UNWTO and hosted in Italy in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and the National Tourism Agency (ENIT). It will unite global youth aged between 12 and 18 with leaders from across the sector, including politicians and key figures from the worlds of sport, gastronomy, entertainment and innovation. The Summit has received the medal of the President of the Republic of Italy and patronage of the Department of Youth Policies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “The Global Youth Tourism will celebrate and empower the next generation of tourism leaders. It will help build a lasting legacy by providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need to transform tourism not only in their communities but everywhere”.

Due to take place from 27 June to 3 July, the Summit will feature six Masterclasses, alongside two evening talks, as well as a simulation of the UNWTO General Assembly and interactive sessions where participants will be able to engage directly with UN and with Ministers of Tourism and other high level officials from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Croatia, Germany, Georgia, Albania, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Maldives, Spain, Montenegro, Sao Tome & Principe, Yemen and many other UNWTO Member States.

It will help build a lasting legacy by providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need to transform tourism not only in their communities but everywhere

The Italian Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, adds: “The Italian government is proud to host the first World Youth Tourism Congress in Sorrento. We are confident that ideas and proposals will emerge that can advise governments on how to improve the global tourism offer and make it closer to the needs of new tourists”.

Alessandra Priante, UNWTO Director for Europe, added: “Tourism gives opportunities to young people. But young people give tourism the opportunity to become stronger and more resilient. We are extremely proud of the first generation of GYTS-ers, who are already showing their promise and commitment to transform tourism, starting from their local communities”.

Roberta Garibaldi, CEO of ENIT, pointed out: “The synergy that can be created in the exchange among the under-19 generation and organizations on a level playing field cannot be anything but good for tourism, to look to the future with new eyes and forward-thinking ideas. We are even more excited than the young people we will be meeting”.

Sustainability, rural development, gastronomy and innovation

The Summit will focus on some of the key challenges and opportunities facing global tourism right now, with an emphasis on the sector’s role in achieving the UN 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will include an in-depth look at biodiversity, to be organized in collaboration with Marevivo and the MSC Foundation. Participants will take an excursion to the Marine Protected Area of Punta Campanella, to see first-hand how tourism is helping protect coastal areas and biodiversity. This will be complemented by a deeper study of the techniques of the sea and navigation, with the MSC Foundation providing an overview of the important role of the cruise industry for local and national economies.

Reflecting UNWTO’s wider focus on innovation and the digital transformation of tourism, the Summit will also feature a special session focused on online security, organized in collaboration with fellow UN agency the ITU (International Telecommunication Union), as well as a talk on virtual tourism and the Metaverse, organized in partnership with Meta. Alongside this, the World Food Forum (facilitated by the UN’s agricultural organization, FAO) will host a debate on solutions to reduce food waste in tourism.

Among the international speakers due to take part in the GYTS are UN Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake, as well as UNWTO Ambassadors of Responsible Tourism Valeria Mazza, Didier Drogba, Gino Sorbillo, Pilar Rodriguez. Representing the private sector will be leading figures from Mastercard and the Hilton Group, sponsors of the event. Addressing participants virtually will be His Holiness Pope Francis, Sophia Loren, Eliza Jane Reid (First Lady of Iceland and UNWTO Ambassador), Diego Simeone, Fernando Hierro, the FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid and European Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel responsible for youth. Also joining virtually will be UNWTO Ambassador and entrepreneur Pansy Ho, who will share her personal experience in the world of travel and tourism and to discuss why innovation is a key part of the sustainable future of tourism.

Young people showing promise

Remarking the role of GYTS as a UNWTO permanent platform for youth and tourism, in the build-up to Sorrento, the participating youth were prepared through webinars that allowed them to explore, together with global influencers and leading experts, the principles of sustainability, tourism and multilateralism.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

UNWTO expresses its deepest appreciation to the numerous sponsors and partners who make the event possible: Comune di Sorrento, Regione Campania, Mastercard, Qatar Foundation, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Global Tourism Economy Research Centre, Aeroporti di Roma, Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education, Azerbaijan Tourism Board PLE, AirEuropa, and Ferrero.

Dominican Republic President Joins UNWTO in Support of Women Entrepreneurs

Dominican Republic President Joins UNWTO in Support of Women Entrepreneurs - TRAVELINDEXSanto Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 25, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Women entrepreneurs from across the tourism sector came together in Santo Domingo for a special workshop focused on financing, marketing, networking and innovation.

Forming part of UNWTO’s Centre Stage project and organized in partnership with the country’s Ministry of Tourism (MITUR), the one-day event saw around 200 female Dominican entrepreneurs share their experience and knowledge while also benefitting from expert insights into growing tourism businesses and making the sector a driver of gender equality and sustainable development.

Joining the entrepreneurs in a show of support, President of the Republic, Mr. Luis Abinader and the Minister of Tourism, Mr. David Collado, stressed the important role tourism is playing in the economic wellbeing of the country. The President singled out the opportunities being created in established tourism hubs like Punta Cana, as well as emerging destinations such as Pedregales.

As part of Centre Stage, MITUR has been working actively since November 2021 to implement policies that take into consideration the specific needs of women working in tourism. According to UNWTO research, women in tourism have been hit harder by the impacts of the pandemic than men working in the sector, emphasizing the need to incorporate a gender perspective into policymaking. The Centre Stage project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), the Germany Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and UN Women.

Oman Air Joins OneWorld Alliance to Strengthen Premier Airline Alliance

Oman Air Joins OneWorld Alliance to Strengthen Premier Airline Alliance - AIRLINEHUB.com - TRAVELINDEXMuscat, Oman, June 22, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Based in Muscat, Oman Air was elected as a oneworld member designate in Doha by the oneworld Governing Board, comprising the Chief Executives of all oneworld member airlines. oneworld member Qatar Airways will act as sponsor for Oman Air’s entry into oneworld, providing guidance and support as the airline integrates into the alliance.

Oman Air is expected to be implemented into oneworld in 2024, following which it will provide the full range of oneworld benefits to customers travelling on its flights. Members of Oman Air’s Sindbad frequent flyer programme will be able to earn and redeem miles on all oneworld member airlines, with top tier members receiving additional benefits including lounge access when travelling with other oneworld members.

Oman Air’s entry into oneworld will provide even more flights and destinations to customers planning global travel across the alliance’s members, making oneworld the only global airline alliance with three members in the Middle East after Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian. Oman Air’s joining will add new destinations to the oneworld network including Duqm and Khasab in Oman and Chittagong (Bangladesh). oneworld Emerald, oneworld Sapphire and premium cabin customers will also gain access to three Oman Air lounges at Muscat, Salalah and Bangkok.

Launched in 1993, Oman Air is the national carrier of the Sultanate of Oman. From its roots as a domestic airline, it has transformed into an international carrier serving 41 destinations in more than 20 territories. It operates a modern fleet of more than 40 aircraft comprising Boeing 737s, 787s and Airbus A330s. Configured in a two or three-class cabin, Oman Air’s aircraft offer exclusive First Class Private Suites on longer-haul flights. Known for its exceptional in-flight hospitality, the airline has received several awards including most recently the APEX Passenger Choice Award for Best Seat Comfort in the Middle East.

Oman Air operates to five oneworld member airline hubs – Amman, Colombo, Doha, Kuala Lumpur and London Heathrow – and already codeshares with four oneworld member airlines: Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian and SriLankan Airlines. Joining oneworld will pave the way for additional codeshare opportunities, further enhancing global connectivity across the alliance’s network.

Following its entry into oneworld, Oman Air will be the third new member of the alliance in five years, marking another achievement in oneworld’s rapid growth. Royal Air Maroc joined the alliance in April 2020, adding oneworld’s first full member in the African continent. This was followed by Alaska Airlines in March 2021, making oneworld the only global airline alliance with two members in the United States.

oneworld Governing Board Chairman and Qatar Airways Group Executive His Excellency Akbar Al Baker said: “Today marks a new milestone in oneworld, as our friends at Oman Air become a member elect of our award-winning alliance. Passengers of Oman Air will be offered a seamless travel journey, connecting them to more than 900 destinations across 170 countries. As the Chairman of oneworld, we look forward to welcoming Oman Air into our alliance as they will bring great benefits, allowing passengers to discover not just a new member with an excellent reputation, but a beautiful country.”

oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said: “We are delighted that Oman Air has chosen oneworld as its global airline alliance partner. With its network in Muscat and award-winning customer service, Oman Air will reinforce our position as the premier airline alliance for global travellers. As the global travel industry continues to recover from the pandemic, the significant growth of oneworld in recent years demonstrates how important alliances and partnerships will continue to be.”

Oman Air CEO Eng Abdulaziz Al Raisi said: “Oman Air’s admittance into oneworld represents a defining moment in our journey to provide passengers with greater travel options through our developing partnerships and alliances. We’re delighted to be joining the world’s foremost airline alliance at a time when demand for travel is on the rise. We look forward to welcoming oneworld members onboard Oman Air to experience the height of Omani hospitality and all that the Sultanate of Oman has to offer in terms of history, culture and natural beauty.”

About oneworld
oneworld member airlines work together to deliver consistently a superior, seamless travel experience, with special privileges and rewards for frequent flyers, including earning and redeeming miles and points across the entire alliance network. Top-tier cardholders (Emerald and Sapphire) enjoy access to airport lounges and are offered extra baggage allowances. The most regular travellers (Emerald) can also use fast track security lanes at select airports.

WTTC Publishes New Report on Destination Resilience

WTTC Publishes New Report on Destination Resilience - SUSTAINABLEFIRST.com - TRAVELINDEXSan Juan, Puerto Rico, June 22, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today published a new report on practical guidelines and case studies to support destinations in becoming more resilient and sustainable at its Sustainability and Investment Forum taking place in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The report, ‘Enhancing Resilience to Create Sustainability in Destinations’, jointly created with ICF, WTTC’s industry partner and a renowned global consultancy and digital services provider, provides practical, structured insights, for destinations as they consider their resilience and sustainability.

Following the last two years of chaos brought on by the almost complete halt to international travel, no tourism destination has been untouched by the impact of COVID-19.

And, many destinations have also been affected by major shocks, such as extreme weather.

To support and guide destinations, this innovative analysis builds on real life case studies and presents a range of resilience actions for destinations before, during or aftershock events.

The report provides five elements destinations should focus on to build both resilience and long-term sustainability: environment, infrastructure, energy, economic, and societal resilience.

It offers four phases to analyse the shock and its aftermath: ‘understand the risk’, ‘prepare for shocks’, ‘respond to shock’, and ‘longer term strategies’.

The report presents case studies illustrating how destinations which rely heavily on tourism, whether they are cities or islands, deserts or tropics, apply resilience awareness.

Puerto Rico is one of the destinations featured as a case study, highlighting the string of environmental crises and economic challenges that have made resilience a cornerstone of their tourism strategy.

Key learnings underline the importance of small businesses, identifying risks and implementing initiatives to handle any potential crisis.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “COVID has had a devastating impact, decimating the Travel & Tourism sector around the world. But it’s certainly not the first shock to bring chaos destinations and their citizens.

“This report allows destinations to understand how to better prepare, act, and plan for future risks, strengthening their resilience and long-term sustainability.

“The pandemic has taught us you can never be prepared enough. Destinations have learnt not only from their own experiences, and those of other countries as they recover and build back.

“Puerto Rico is an example of a destination that learned through COVID and natural disasters to become more inherently resilient.”

John Wasson, ICF Chair & CEO, said: “For over half a century, ICF has been passionate about partnering with organizations all over the world to enact and institutionalize sustainable policies and practices.

“Today, we are proud to partner with WTTC to offer unique insights and practical guidance on developing adaptable sustainability plans that build long term resilience, despite prevailing uncertainties and increasing extreme events.”

Lastly, the report offers recommendations identified as key for destinations in their journey to improve their resilience: developing successful governance models, ensuring ownership and shared value, and preparation and processes for the next shock.

In 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to GDP was 10.3% (U.S. $9.6 trillion), falling to 5.3% (nearly U.S. $4.8 trillion) in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height, and suffered a staggering 50% loss.

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

Its contribution to GDP climbed an impressive 21.7% year on year, to reach more than US$5.8 trillion.

The sector saw a recovery of more than 18 million global Travel & Tourism jobs, representing a positive 6.7% rise in 2021.

While recovery is underway, more can be done to ensure the sector has a sustainable and inclusive future.

To read the report in full, please click here.

UNWTO & WHO Build Coalition of Health and Tourism Partners

UNWTO & WHO Build Coalition of Health and Tourism Partners - HEALTHTRAVELPLANNER.com - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, June 22, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO will work with the WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) to strengthen ties between tourism and public health in Europe’s smallest states.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of building more sustainability and resilience into both economies and public health systems. Recognizing the need to learn from the lessons of the crisis, the two UN agencies will further develop their collaboration and strengthen cooperation. In the eighth high-level meeting of the WHO/Europe Small Countries Initiative (SCI), held in Bečići, Montenegro, UNWTO set out the case for promoting health and sustainable tourism in small countries, including the 11 European countries with fewer than 2 million people.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili told the meeting: “COVID-19 showed that any crisis that threatens the health, safety and security of people, communities and the environment is also a risk to tourism itself. I am confident that strong cooperation at all levels will place health high on the tourism agenda. It will make for healthy tourists, healthy communities, a healthy environment, and healthy economies for current and future generations.”

Montenegro Statement on health and tourism

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of building more sustainability and resilience into both economies and public health systems

Organized around the theme “Towards better health and well-being in small countries of the WHO European Region”, the ministerial event focused on two issues currently at the top of the agenda for small countries, namely emergencies (long-term prevention, health system preparedness, response and recovery) and developing healthy and sustainable tourism. On the occasion of the meeting, the “Roadmap towards better health in small countries in the WHO European Region 2022–2025” was presented and the “Montenegro Statement” was unanimously adopted.

The “Montenegro Statement” recognizes that health and tourism are deeply interconnected in the globalized world, and the reopening of travel and tourism is crucial for economic recovery, jobs and livelihoods in small countries. It highlights that cooperation and collaboration are required and welcomes and supports the creation of a coalition of partners on health and tourism, jointly coordinated by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the UNWTO to elaborate the evidence for policy measures and facilitate country dialogue.

Long-standing collaboration 

UNWTO and WHO have kept regular coordination since the outbreak of the pandemic and WHO has participated in the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, created in March 2020 to guide the tourism sector and formulate a sector-wide responseto the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and restart tourism with data-driven decisions based on scientific evidence.

New VIP Experiential Travel Club for Elite Global Explorers Launched

New VIP Experiential Travel Club for Elite Global Explorers Launched - TOP25WORLD.com - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, June 21, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The exclusive club will enable members to create personalised itineraries with luxury hotels, top dining, yacht charters, and private jets flights across Southeast Asia. AQBooking .com, the new luxury booking service for elite global travellers, launches today in Thailand, bringing a wealth of high-end travel and hospitality services to its community of savvy, experience-seeking clientele.

Owned Aquarius International, AQBooking.com is an exclusive club that enables its members to explore a curated A-list of high-quality tourism brands, from the finest hotels and resorts to world-class dining, yacht charters, premium flights and more. Every aspect of their journey will be supported by bespoke concierge services and club benefits, all available at the touch of a button.

AQBooking .com has created a comprehensive ecosystem of leading travel providers, covering a wide range of sectors. Amadeus and HotelBeds, two of the world’s leading online travel and hotel distributors, will supply their extensive content to AQBooking .com, and GHM and IHG will enable members to book some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and resorts, including The Chedi Aquarius Resort Koh Chang, Aquarius International’s new 206-key five-star island resort in Thailand, which is managed by GHM. Private jet and yacht charter specialists such as Isabella Yachts Phuket and MJets will elevate every booking to new levels of luxury, and ground transport services enable seamless end-to-end itineraries.

Having crafted their tailored itinerary from AQBooking .com’s comprehensive collection of tourism products, reservations will be processed securely with major Asian and global providers such as Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay and WeChat Pay, and customers will be able to earn reward points on all their purchases.

Targeting a select customer base of high-net-worth individuals who value personal service and bespoke experiences above all else, AQBooking .com will not aim to compete with traditional online travel agencies. Instead, it will focus on quality over quantity by creating an exclusive community of like-minded globetrotters.

This launch of AQBooking .com in Thailand has been timed to coincide with the rebound of the country’s travel and tourism industry. According to the latest visitor forecast by PATA, the kingdom could receive as many as 12.4 million international visitors in 2022 – a vast improvement on the last two years – and almost 47 million in 2024. This rapid recovery is in line with the projected upward trend for Southeast Asia; PATA predicts that the region could welcome 49.6 million visitors in 2022, rising to 169.1 million by 2024.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of AQBooking .com in Thailand and support the growth of luxury travel services and quality tourism in the country,” said Edward Chi, Founder of Aquarius International.

“Today’s luxury travellers require more than just premium products; they desire personalised experiences. As the world starts to travel again, we foresee strong pent-up demand from high-end guests who have been unable to explore the world over the last two years. AQBooking .com will enable its members to create unique itineraries, including luxury hotels, private jets, yacht charters, limousine transfers and fine-dining. Our aim is to create the ultimate VIP travel club for today’s first-class adventurers,” he added.

Hospitality partner GHM’s CEO, Tommy Lai said: “We are very happy to deepen our relationship with Aquarius International by joining AQBooking .com. Since we partnered with the company on The Chedi Aquarius Resort Koh Chang project, we have been impressed by their vision and ambition. We have always strived to craft unique experiences for our guests and becoming part of this elite community will allow us seamlessly integrate stays at our world-class resorts with a full range of services.”

Aquarius International is owned by Norcal Thailand, a division of Hong Kong-based Norcal Venture Capital Group Limited (NVC), which has global assets worth in excess of US$1 billion. Aquarius International has a 360-degree portfolio that encompasses five-star resorts, residences, yacht charters, fine dining and membership services.

UNWTO and Allianz Partners Advance for Safer and more Responsible Tourism

UNWTO and Allianz Partners Advance for Safer and more Responsible Tourism - TRAVELINDEXMadrid, Spain, June 21, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO and its Affiliate Member Allianz Partners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, consolidating their joint commitment to promoting safe, responsible, and accessible tourism.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

The agreement confirms and renews the desire from both parties to continue collaborating in key areas, namely promoting the values of sustainable, inclusive, and accessible tourism; advancing the digital transformation of tourism; promoting tourism education and training; and facilitating knowledge exchange between stakeholders from across the tourism sector.

Ion Vilcu, Director of the UNWTO Affiliate Members, confirmed: “The cooperation with Affiliate Members such as Allianz Partners is one of the objectives of the Organization, and issues such as sustainable tourism development, accessibility, training and capacity building in tourism are among the priorities of the UNWTO. We thank Allianz Partners for its contribution as a member of the Working Group for the elaboration of the International Code for the Protection of Tourists.”

Our mission in the tourism sector is to offer security and protection to travellers

Borja Diaz, CEO of Allianz Partners Spain, said: “Our mission in the tourism sectoris to offer security and protection to travellers, who only have to worry about enjoying themselves. Affiliate Membership of UNWTO allows us to work along these lines and strengthen our commitment to sustainable travel with a leading organisation in the sector. We are looking for solutions that offer confidence to travellers, who now return to travel being more aware of their impact on the environment”.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

About Allianz Partners

Allianz Partners is a leading Assistance and Travel Insurance company, specializing in the areas of personal mobility, home, wellness, and travel. Its solutions combine the latest technology with excellence in customer service and are available to both partners (B2B) and end customers (B2C) through its direct and digital channels, under the Allianz Assistance brand.
Its international presence, with more than 19,800 employees in 75 countries, together with its extensive network of professionals, ‘makes life easier’ for millions of customers every year, all over the world.