Pimalai Showcases the Flavors of Koh Lanta

Pimalai Showcases the Flavors of Koh Lanta - TRAVELINDEX - TOP25HOTELS.comKoh Lanta, Thailand, February 7, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Five-star resort focuses on sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients from the island’s farms and fishing communities, curated by Chef Peng and served in a seafront setting at Spice and Rice, the popular restaurant. Pimalai Resort & Spa, the five-star sanctuary on the southern Thai island of Koh Lanta, has launched a new menu that features some of the most iconic and authentic dishes from Southern Thailand. Cooked with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, these recipes reinforce the resort’s commitment to nature, the community and creating highly original experiences for its discerning clientele.

The new menu has been curated by Chef Supon “Peng” Kaewcharoenpaiboon, Pimalai’s Executive Chef Thai de Cuisine, who has more than 20 years of experience. Having first learned about Thai cooking through his family’s food business, Chef Peng is now an expert in the art of Royal Thai cuisine and has served as Head Chef at Blue Elephant, the famous Thai restaurant in Dubai, UAE. He is keen to showcase Thai food on an international stage and has been a culinary ambassador at events in Indonesia, Singapore, UAE and USA. He even represented the Thai Embassy at the United Nations Food Festival in New York.

Southern Thailand has an exotic food culture that derives from the region’s native ingredients. Chef Peng has carefully researched the various herbs, spices and products from different provinces in order to understand Southern Thailand’s unique flavours. This helped him to devise a selection of recipes that reflect the culinary and cultural heart of the region. These can now be enjoyed at Spice and Rice, Pimalai’s popular sea-facing Thai restaurant. Guests can choose from the following dishes:

– Budu Herb Rice Salad – This vibrant salad blends Budu sauce from Saiburi – one of Southern Thailand’s most famous sauces – with fresh vegetables from the local villagers’ gardens and brown rice from the Rim Ping Organic Farm in Chiang Mai.
– Kaeng Som (Phatthalung Recipe) – This local twist on the popular sour & spicy soup is made using a chili paste from Phatthalung, along with tamarind and turmeric to give it a vibrant orange colour.
– Kaeng Tai Pla – This spicy fish soup is made with coconut milk and chili paste to give it a hot and smooth sensation. Chef Peng also uses pickled mackerel kidneys to create a truly unique homemade recipe.
– Sataw Phad Goong – This delectable dish of stir-fried pakria with shrimp and minced pork uses Koh Lanta’s famous shrimp paste, pakria (bitter beans) from villagers’ garden and fresh shrimp from the island’s fishing community.
– Kanom Ko – One of the most popular desserts in Southern Thailand, this sweet dish is made using coconut milk from the coconut groves of Koh Lanta.

These Southern Thai recipes can be enjoyed alongside a wide range of delicious, traditional Thai dishes at Spice and Rice. Some of the restaurant’s other popular menu items include Dried Fish with Watermelon, Braised Wagyu Beef Massaman Curry, Green Chicken Curry with Roti, Tom Kha Gai with Liang Leaves, and even a special Pad Thai that Chef Peng used to promote Thailand at international food shows.

Pimalai is committed to supporting local communities and reducing its environmental impact. By sourcing ingredients from within Koh Lanta, it ensures the freshness and flavour of the produce, while also providing a source of income for fishermen, farmers and small-scale producers, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with transportation. In fact, Pimalai has been able to reduce the frequency of trucks transporting raw materials to the resort from daily to no more than twice a week. In addition, any leftover food from Pimalai’s restaurants is brought into the composting process to be used as fertiliser for the resort’s gardens.

“Today’s travellers are seeking highly authentic, localised experiences that connect them with their destination. Food is a key aspect of this and Pimalai is committed to strengthening the links between our guests and the island by offering original cuisine that cannot be found anywhere else. Pimalai is also completely committed to giving back to the community and caring for the environment. Every aspect of our business must be as sustainable as possible and have minimal impact on the environment,” said Charinthip Tiyaphorn, Owner Representative of Pimalai.

Spice and Rice, Pimalai’s elegant Thai restaurant

Pimalai Resort & Spa is one of the world’s most luxurious resorts, with a total of 121 suites and private pool villas all surrounded by lush greenery and mountains overlooking the Andaman Sea. In 2022, Pimalai was named as the 12th best hotel in the world in Tripadvisor’s “Traveller’s Choice 2022 – Best of the Best Awards”, while Condé Nast Traveller placed Pimalai in its “Top 15 Resorts in Thailand” list. In addition, the Boutique Hotel Awards 2022 honoured Pimalai with two illustrious titles: “Best Hotel with a View Asia 2022” and “World’s Best Hotel with a View 2022.” Pimalai is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s (SLH) Considerate Collection, a group of five-star luxury hotels that place great emphasis on social responsibility and environmental preservation.

For more information about Pimalai Resort & Spa, please email reservation@pimalai.com, call +66 (0) 2 320 5500

About Pimalai Resort & Spa
Koh Lanta’s first five-star resort, Pimalai Resort & Spa has been redefining luxury hospitality on this idyllic Andaman island since it launched almost two decades ago. Voted Southeast Asia’s second best resort in Travel + Leisure’s annual “World’s Best Awards”, this award-winning property cascades through 100 acres of tropical jungles easing its way towards one of Thailand’s best beaches: Kantiang Bay. It’s here that guests while the days away lounging on what often feels like a private beach or spend action-packed afternoons out in the cerulean sea scuba diving, snorkelling or simply relaxing on a sunset cruise. A smattering of local bars and restaurants line the beach, but its Pimalai’s onsite eateries that tend to steal the show. The legendary Rak Talay beachfront bar and restaurant is as loved for the sumptuous Thai-style seafood as it is its sunset setting, while nestled in the resort’s jungle interior, Seven Seas serves up Michelin-chef-conceived menus throughout the evening. Guests can also indulge in an array of onsite wellness experiences, ranging from traditional Muay Thai classes to early evening tennis matches and pampered afternoons at the signature Pimalai Spa. With no immediate neighbours, the 121-room resort is a serene sanctuary where guests can feel completely at peace in their private surroundings. From Hillside Ocean Pool Villas that command vistas of the stunning scenery through to the Beachside Villas, situated only a few short steps away from the shoreline, rooms at Pimalai cater to all tastes with spacious layouts and designs that seamlessly integrate with the natural surroundings.

IATA Signs Cooperation Agreement with Government of Somalia

IATA Signs Cooperation Agreement with Government of Somalia - AIRLINEHUB.com - TRAVELINDEXNairobi, Kenya, February 6, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia agreed to deepen and formalize cooperation with the aim of strengthening the economic and social benefits of aviation in Somalia.

Under an agreement signed by Kamil Alawadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President, Africa and the Middle East, and H.E. Fardowsa Osman Egal, the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Federal Republic of Somalia, a new framework was established that will also see an expansion of IATA’s activities in the country.

“Aviation is a significant contributor to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so the potential for a strengthened air transport sector to contribute to Somalia’s development is enormous. This agreement aims to realize that potential for social and economic development by focusing on global standards and best practices. H.E. Minister Fardowsa Osman Egal has a strong vision for a successful aviation sector to contribute to a more prosperous Somalia. And we are determined to support that by turning the words of our agreement into real actions,” said Alawadhi.

The agreement provides the framework to support IATA’s mission for aviation in Africa: the creation of a safe, efficient, sustainable, and economical air transport sector that generates growth, creates jobs, and facilitates international trade and tourism as well as playing an essential role in supporting the UN SDGs through generating connectivity between nations.

“Aviation is essential to the success of Somalia’s development plans. The Government of Somalia is committed to developing its air transport sector to help promote long-term social and economic growth in the country. And we will ensure that global best practices are at the core of development. This agreement will pave the way for closer cooperation on the priorities for aviation in the country,” said Egal.

The Crystal Grill House Inaugurates a New Glamorous Era of Riverside Gastronomy

The Crystal Grill House Inaugurates a New Glamorous Era of Riverside Gastronomy - TRAVELINDEX - TOP25RESTAURANTS.comBangkok, Thailand, February 4, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park and Asset World Corp Public Company Limited (AWC) is inviting guests to step into a glamorous world of gastronomy and mixology at The Crystal Grill House, a stylish departure from a traditional steak and seafood restaurant on the banks of the Chao Phraya, Bangkok’s historic “River of Kings”.

Situated directly on the waterside at Asiatique The Riverfront Destination, the heritage-focused retail and lifestyle destination, The Crystal Grill House is a stylish grill house that celebrates the joy of global exploration. Situated opposite Sirimahannop, the reimagined tall ship that sailed between Thailand and the world in the early 1900s, The Crystal Grill House will recapture the spirit of this enchanting age.

Guests can unwind in five elegant private dining pavilions, sip signature cocktails and fine wines at the vibrant bar, or savor creative bites at the open kitchen with casual counter-style seating – all enclosed in a glistening glasshouse – or unwind on the banks of the river at the alfresco terrace. This makes The Crystal Grill House ideal for special occasions and celebrations, evening drinks or memorable meals, enhanced by a chic vintage design and set against the backdrop of the rippling river.

The menu focuses on the finest cuts of meat and fresh seafood cooked to-order on a signature charcoal-wood-fired Josper Grill. A variety of woods are burned daily and the embers imbue a unique fragrance that enlivens the natural flavor of the ingredients. Guests can indulge in timeless steakhouse fare, including mouth-watering cuts of beef, sublime seafood and a curated international wine list. A selection of oysters and a series of “Appetizers” will showcase the chefs’ culinary creativity. Every dining experience can end on a sweet note with a selection of international desserts.

Talented bartenders will serve up a selection of fine wines, spirits and beers, as well as classic and signature cocktails. Globetrotting options include America, India, Persia, China and Japan, all crafted using international specialty spirits and fresh ingredients.

Located at Asiatique The Riverfront Destination, The Crystal Grill House is easily accessible by road and river, including shuttle boat services from the pier next to Saphan Taksin BTS skytrain station. The stylish new venue will open daily from 16.30 hrs. to midnight (last orders at 23.30 hrs.). With a capacity of just 95 guests, advanced reservations are recommended.

For more information and to discover this new era of glamour and gastronomy next to the Chao Phraya River, please call +66 (0) 2 059 5999 or visit: www.thecrystalgrillhouse.com

About Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queens Park Hotel
The largest hotel in Bangkok and the first Marriott Marquis hotel in Asia Pacific, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park is a landmark in heart of the Thai capital. The hotel offers extensive facilities, including 1,388 rooms and suites, over 5,000m² of function space across more than 30 venues, two swimming pools, 24-hour fitness center, the Quan Spa and a collection of restaurants and bars. Centrally located on Sukhumvit Road, in Bangkok’s vibrant business and entertainment district, the hotel is the perfect choice for all travelers to this pulsating city.

Luxury Meets Innovation at Luxury Innovation Summit

Luxury Meets Innovation at Luxury Innovation Summit - TRAVELINDEX - TOP25WORLD.comGeneva, Switzerland, February 3, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / The 5th edition of the Luxury Innovation Summit will take place on 18- 20 September 2023 at Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland. This annual gathering of luxury innovators and industry leaders brings together startups, luxury leaders, major corporations, and investors to address opportunities and accelerate luxury innovation. The Summit discovers the future of luxury and experiences the brilliance of innovation.

Organised by the Luxury Venture Group (LVG), the event highlights include the global premiere of the Luxury Innovation Awards 2023 Edition, alongside the Summit, the Luxury Innovation Pavilion – an exhibition space dedicated to showcasing and promoting innovation in the luxury industry.

Deependra Pandey, CEO of LVG, says: I am thrilled to announce the 2023 edition of the Luxury Innovation Summit, the premier gathering of luxury innovators and industry leaders. This year, we have elevated the Summit by adding 9 new key themes to the program, offering a comprehensive and cutting-edge look at the latest trends, technologies, and developments in the luxury industry. The addition of the LIS Event Portal enhances the networking experience for attendees, providing them with easy access to personal and company profile creation and maintenance. And the Luxury Innovation Pavilion, with its upgraded exhibition space, offers a platform for attendees and exhibitors to showcase and explore the latest trends and technologies. The 2023 Luxury Innovation Summit is a valuable opportunity for attendees to connect, network, and gain insights into the future of luxury. We are proud to bring together luxury brands, startups, and industry leaders to drive the future of luxury innovation.

The on-stage Summit program will include discussions of the topics that matter to the global luxury industry. Speakers will consist of international luxury leaders, entrepreneurs, and industry insiders. Together, they will examine the evolving nature of luxury, new consumer attitudes, and what established brands and start-ups need to build and maintain relevance. Attendees will learn about the latest trends and technologies and network with key players in the luxury industry. The summit will offer a unique opportunity to connect, learn, and grow.

Upgraded exhibition Space – Luxury Innovation Pavilion The Luxury Innovation Pavilion at the Hall 3 of Palexpo offers a superior exhibiting space for luxury industry innovators and leaders. It offers a platform to showcase cutting-edge trends, technologies, and products in the luxury space. Attendees will have the chance to network with like-minded individuals, gain valuable insights into the future of luxury, and explore growth opportunities. Exhibitors will benefit from the elevated platform to showcase their innovations and connect with potential customers, partners, and investors. The Luxury Innovation Pavilion provides a perfect opportunity for the luxury industry to drive forward and stay ahead in innovation.

New Summit Portal for an enhanced experience
The Luxury Innovation Summit Event Portal enhances attendees’ experience with real- time updates, a comprehensive schedule, and speaker/exhibitor information. Attendees can create/maintain profiles, network, and message others before, during, and after the summit. The portal is the ultimate resource for the event and a convenient platform for attendees to stay informed and engaged. Exhibitors can showcase their products and services to a highly targeted audience.

New Themes: Topics to be discussed at the Luxury Innovation Summit include: 1. Disrupting the Luxury Fashion Industry (#Fashion) This theme focuses on the intersection of technology, design, and sustainability in the luxury fashion industry. Attendees will learn about the latest trends and technologies driving sustainable growth in the luxury fashion industry, including sustainable materials, ethical manufacturing practices, and innovative design techniques. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and innovators about how they harness the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, to create sustainable and ethical luxury fashion products. The theme will provide attendees with valuable insights and strategies to help them stay ahead of the curve in the rapidly evolving luxury fashion industry.

2. Enhancing Luxury Beauty (#Beauty) This theme focuses on the latest trends and strategies for elevating the luxury beauty industry and meeting the evolving demands of consumers. Attendees will learn about the latest beauty industry innovations and how they drive growth and success in the luxury beauty market. Topics that will be covered include personalisation and customisation, the latest trends in skincare, makeup, and beauty technology, and the latest innovations in packaging, branding and marketing that appeal to consumers. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and innovators on how they use technology, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, to create personalised and innovative beauty products that meet the evolving demands of consumers. This theme will provide attendees with valuable insights and strategies to help them stay ahead of the curve in the luxury beauty industry and drive growth and success in their businesses.

3. Timeless Luxury – Watches and Jewellery (#Watches, #Jewellery) This theme focuses on the latest trends and strategies for driving growth and success in the luxury watch and jewellery market. Attendees will learn about the latest innovations and technological advancements in the watch and jewellery industry, including smartwatch technology, 3D printing, and other advancements in design and manufacturing. Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and innovators about how they leverage technology to create personalised and innovative products that meet the evolving demands of consumers. The theme also covers the latest trends in the watch and jewellery market, how they impact the collection and investment in these luxury items, and how to identify and capitalise on the latest trends in the market. This theme will provide attendees with valuable insights and strategies to help them stay ahead of the curve in the luxury watch and jewellery industry and drive growth and success in their businesses.

4. Elegance in Motion (#Car, #Yacht, #Jet) This theme delves into the latest trends and technologies driving growth and success in the luxury car and yacht/jet market. Attendees will gain insight into cutting-edge innovations in design and engineering, including the integration of electric and hybrid powertrains, the advent of autonomous driving technology, and other advancements in car design and manufacturing, as well as the latest technologies for Yachts and Jets. They will also have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and innovators on how they are using technology to create personalised and innovative products that cater to the evolving demands of consumers. The theme also explores the latest sustainability trends, such as using sustainable materials and manufacturing processes, and their impact on the luxury car and yacht/jet industry. Attendees will leave with valuable insights and strategies to help them stay ahead of the curve in the luxury car and yacht/jet industry and drive growth and success in their businesses.

5. Luxury Escapes of the Future (#Travel, #Hospitality) This theme delves into the latest trends and technologies driving growth and success in the luxury travel and hospitality industry. Attendees will gain insight into cutting-edge innovations in luxury travel and hospitality, including virtual and augmented reality experiences, sustainable and eco-friendly accommodations, and personalised and customisable travel options. They will also have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and innovators about how they use technology to create unique and innovative experiences for luxury travellers. The theme also explores the latest trends in luxury travel and hospitality, such as experiential travel and the use of technology to enhance the guest experience. Attendees will leave with valuable insights and strategies to help them stay ahead of the curve in the luxury travel and hospitality industry and drive growth and success in their businesses.

6. Luxury Living Reimagined (#Realestate) This theme delves into the latest trends and technologies driving growth and success in the luxury real estate market. Attendees will gain insight into cutting-edge innovations in real estate investment and design, including smart home technology, sustainable building materials and practices, and virtual and augmented reality in real estate marketing. They will also have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders and innovators about how they leverage technology to create personalised and innovative luxury living experiences. The theme also explores the latest trends in luxury real estate, such as using data and analytics to identify investment opportunities and technology to enhance the guest experience. Attendees will leave with valuable insights and strategies to help them stay ahead of the curve in the luxury real estate market and drive growth and success in their businesses.

7. Innovating the Art Industry (#Art) The theme of “Leveraging Innovation in the Art Market” aims to provide attendees with a comprehensive understanding of how innovation is shaping the art market, from collecting and investing to the emergence of digital art, AR/VR, NFTs and new art spaces and collaborations. This theme will delve into the impact of these emerging technologies and trends on the art industry and how they change how we experience, create, collect and invest in art. Attendees will gain valuable insights into how these innovations are revolutionising the art market, including digital platforms, blockchain technology, and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), changing how we discover, buy, and sell art. Additionally, attendees will learn how digital art, virtual and augmented reality are transforming how we view art and how new art spaces and collaborations are changing how artists and art enthusiasts interact. Whether you’re an artist, a gallery owner, an art collector, or simply an art enthusiast, this theme will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and strategies to help you navigate and leverage the ever-evolving art market landscape.

8. Luxury as Currency (#PreLoved) The theme of “Innovations in Luxury Collectibles: Navigating the Future of Vintage and Antique Luxury Goods Investment” aims to provide attendees with an understanding of the latest trends and technologies that are shaping the luxury collectables market and how they are impacting the way we invest in vintage and antique luxury goods. This theme will delve into how innovation is driving the luxury collectables market, including the use of digital platforms, blockchain technology, and other cutting-edge tools that are revolutionising the way we discover, buy, and sell vintage and antique luxury goods. Attendees will gain valuable insights into how these innovations are changing the luxury collectables market and how they can leverage them to make informed investment decisions. Whether you are an experienced collector or new to the world of luxury collectables, this theme will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and strategies to help you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of vintage and antique luxury goods investment.

9. Venture Capital and Private Equity in the Luxury Market (#LuxuryFund) This theme will help attendees understand the role of venture capital and private equity in the luxury market and how they drive innovation and growth in luxury brands. This theme will cover how venture capital and private equity firms identify and invest in luxury startups and emerging luxury brands, as well as their strategies to help these brands succeed. Attendees will learn about the key trends and opportunities in the luxury market and how venture capital and private equity firms are positioning themselves to capitalise on them. Additionally, attendees will learn how to evaluate the potential of a luxury brand and how to make smart investment decisions in the luxury market. Whether you are a venture capitalist, private equity investor, or simply interested in the luxury industry, this theme will provide valuable insights and strategies to help you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of venture capital and private equity in the luxury market.

About the Luxury Venture Group
LVG is a Swiss-based venture capital company focused on venture capital investment in startups from the luxury industry. Initiated in 2019, the LVG aims to establish itself as a world leader in venture capital investment for startups from the luxury and related industries. With the carefully selected and most promising startups from the industry, LVG uses the full power of its unique ecosystem to support its portfolio companies in their journey towards success. LVG’s network helps these startups grow and make them investment-ready for Series A and beyond, and provides them with new investors / co-investors and the fund-raising phases.

Emirates with Milestone Flight Powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Emirates with Milestone Flight Powered by 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel - TRAVELINDEX - AIRLINEHUB.com - TOURISMDUBAI.orgDubai, United Arab Emirates, February 2, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Emirates has operated its first milestone demonstration flight on a Boeing 777-300ER, powering one of its engines with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The flight took off from Dubai International Airport (DXB), and was commanded by Captain Fali Vajifdar and Captain Khalid Nasser Akram, flying for more than one hour over the Dubai coastline.

The demonstration flight powered by SAF holds particular significance as the UAE declares 2023 the ‘Year of Sustainability’. The year will showcase the UAE’s commitment to seek innovative solutions to challenges such as energy, climate change and other issues related to sustainability. The flight supports collective industry efforts to enable a future of 100% SAF flying and help advance the UAE’s sustainability objectives.

Emirates’ demonstration flight, the first in the Middle East and North Africa to be powered by 100% SAF, supports broader efforts to reduce lifecycle CO2 emissions as the industry looks to scale up its use of SAF. The flights will also help to refine the playbook for future SAF demonstrations, and will also support future certification where 100% drop-in SAF fuel is approved for aircraft. Currently, SAF is approved for use in all aircraft, but only in blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel.

Emirates worked alongside partners GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, Neste and Virent to procure and develop a blend of SAF that closely replicates the properties of conventional jet fuel. At each blend ratio, a host of chemical and physical fuel property measurements were carried out. After multiple lab tests and rigorous trials, they arrived at a blending ratio that mirrored the qualities of jet fuel. Eighteen tonnes of SAF were blended, comprised of HEFA-SPK provided by Neste (hydro processed esters and fatty acids and synthetic paraffinic kerosene) and HDO-SAK from Virent (hydro deoxygenated synthetic aromatic kerosene). The 100% SAF supplied one GE90 engine, with conventional jet fuel supplying the other engine.

The test flight further demonstrates the compatibility of the specially blended SAF as a safe and reliable fuel source. The promising outcome of this initiative also adds to the body of industry data and research around SAF blends in higher proportions, paving the way for standardization and future approval of 100% drop-in SAF as a replacement for jet fuel, well above the current 50% blend limit.

Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Airline said: “This flight is a milestone moment for Emirates and a positive step for our industry as we work collectively to address one of our biggest challenges – reducing our carbon footprint. It has been a long journey to finally see this demonstration 100% SAF flight take off. Emirates is the first passenger airline in the world to operate a Boeing 777 powering a GE engine with 100% SAF. Such initiatives are critical contributors to industry knowledge on SAF, and provide data to demonstrate the use of higher blends of SAF for future regulatory approvals. We hope that landmark demonstrations flights like this one, will help open the door to scale up the SAF supply chain and make it more available and accessible across geographies, and most importantly, affordable for broader industry adoption in the future.”

“My congratulations go to Emirates on this achievement. SAF is critical to helping the aviation industry reach its goal to be net zero by 2050 and collaborations like this to test 100% SAF globally will help bring us closer to this target,” said Aziz Koleilat, vice president of global sales and marketing in the Middle East for GE Aerospace.

“Boeing congratulates Emirates on its successful flight tests using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF),” said Omar Arekat, Vice President, Commercial Sales and Marketing, Middle East, The Boeing Company. “SAF will play a critical role in the aviation industry’s commitment to be net zero by 2050, requiring strong industry collaboration. We were proud to partner with Emirates on these tests and look forward to further working with our partners to enable the widespread use of SAF across the globe.”

“We are excited to apply our technology to such a milestone demonstration. The 331-500 auxiliary power unit or APU is an integral part of the Boeing 777 aircraft system. The APU provides main engine starting, environmental control and emergency back-up systems for the aircraft on the ground and in-flight. It uses the same fuel as the main propulsion engines. Currently the APU is certified to run on only 50% SAF, so this demonstration is a big first step in showing full APU functionality and capability when running on 100% SAF,” said Mosab Alkubaisy, Director of Airlines, Honeywell Aerospace Middle East.

Jonathan Wood, Vice President EMEA, Renewable Aviation at Neste, said: “Neste is working closely together with partners to accelerate the availability and use of SAF, which plays a crucial role in reducing the emissions of air travel. To fully leverage its decarbonization potential we need to enable 100% SAF use and test flights like this Emirates flight are an important step towards 100% SAF certification. It also shows the importance of cooperation to achieve the emission reduction goals and Neste is committed to play our part in ensuring Dubai and the UAE continue to be a leader on sustainability and emission reductions in the aviation sector, as we increase our SAF production capacity to 1.5 million tons per annum by the end of this year. We look forward to growing the supply of SAF to Dubai.”

“Virent’s technology converts widely available, plant-based sugars into the compounds that make 100% sustainable aviation fuel possible, without the need to blend with traditional jet fuel,” said Dave Kettner, president and general counsel of Virent, Inc. “Along with our parent company Marathon Petroleum Corporation, we are committed to meeting today’s energy needs while investing in an energy diverse future, and today’s flight is a great example of this commitment. We’re excited about this opportunity to work with our forward-thinking colleagues at Emirates, GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell and Neste as we demonstrate that we can power sustainable aviation without modifying today’s modern airline engines or the infrastructure that serves the airline industry.”

His Excellency Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO at ENOC praised the achievement as it coincides with 2023 as the ‘Year of Sustainability’, which was announced by the UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. It also represents a major step towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions and achieving climate neutrality.

His Excellency added: “At ENOC, we prioritise working closely with our strategic partners to implement a national roadmap for sustainable aviation fuel. This not only aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the aviation sector, but also contributes to achieving the UAE’s goals in climate neutrality, enhances the efficiency and conservation of fuel, as well as positions the UAE as a regional hub for sustainable aviation fuel. Playing an active role in supplying Dubai Airports with aviation fuel, ENOC Group is participating in this achievement by securing and blending sustainable aviation fuel, which will help to secure this type of fuel in the UAE in the future.”

Emirates is committed to supporting initiatives that help minimise its CO2 emissions, and the airline has already made great strides in fuel efficiency and conservation as well as operational advancements across its operations. The airline also supports IATA’s collective industry commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050, and is exploring opportunities to augment operational fuel efficiency, SAF, low carbon aviation fuels (LCAF) and renewable energy.

The airline already runs a comprehensive fuel efficiency programme that actively investigates and implements ways to reduce unnecessary fuel burn and emissions, wherever it is operationally feasible. Some of the programme’s most significant initiatives include the operation of “flex tracks”, or flexible routings – partnering with air navigation service providers to create the most efficient flight plan for each flight. These efforts have been ongoing since 2003, and Emirates has been working with IATA to extend this routing system across the world as a standard operating procedure where possible.

Emirates’ first flight powered by SAF blended with jet fuel was in 2017, operating from Chicago O’Hare airport on a Boeing 777. It received its first SAF-powered A380 delivery in 2020, and also uplifted 32 tonnes of SAF for its flights from Stockholm that same year.

About Emirates
The Emirates story started in 1985 when we launched operations with just two aircraft. Today, we fly the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, offering our customers the comforts of the latest and most efficient wide-body aircraft in the skies. We inspire travelers around the world with our growing network of worldwide destinations, industry leading inflight entertainment, regionally inspired cuisine, and world-class service. The largest airline for international passengers, Emirates has flown to and from the UK since 1987. Emirates serves the UK with 119 weekly flights including: six times daily to London Heathrow; three times daily A380 service to Gatwick; daily service to Stansted; three times daily A380 service to Manchester; double daily service to Birmingham; daily service to Newcastle; and a daily service to Glasgow.

Great Wall Motor Reopens Booking of ORA Good Cat

Great Wall Motor Reopens Booking of ORA Good Cat - TRAVELINDEX - VISITTHAILAND.netBangkok, Thailand, February 3, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Great Wall Motor continues to create excitement for the automotive industry as Thailand’s electric vehicle leader (xEV Leader) with the reopening of reservations for the ORA Good Cat. The tremendous interest from consumers reflects solid confidence in the GWM brand as well as its commitment to continually offer electric vehicles that are packed with cutting-edge innovations to support the concrete and sustainable strengthening of Thailand’s electric vehicle ecosystem.

For those interested in booking the funky ORA Good Cat, please stay tuned for more information at the GWM 2nd Brand Anniversary Press Conference through livestreaming via Facebook, YouTube and TikTok : GWM Thailand on February 9, 2023, during 19:00 – 20.00 hrs.

Mr. Narong Sritalayon, Managing Director of Great Wall Motor (Thailand), said, “Since the official launch of this phenomenal electric car in October 2021, the ORA Good Cat has achieved a total of more than 4,788 deliveries – which is another significant contribution by Great Wall Motor towards the growth of Thailand’s EV society. The overwhelming response to the ORA Good Cat reflects the rapidly growing popularity of all-electric vehicles among Thai people, and we aim to respond to this high level of interest by reopening for orders in this round.

To ensure that we will meet Thailand’s growing demand for all-electric cars, we have engaged our head office in China to ensure an adequate supply of vehicles for delivery. Once again, we are reiterating our promise to continue creating new experiences alongside quality products and services that will not only impress customers and Thai fans but will also help shape a complete driving experience that truly meets the modern consumers’ lifestyle.”

In April last year, Great Wall Motor suspended new orders for the ORA Good Cat due to a significant number of accumulated bookings. Since then, GWM has accelerated customer deliveries through to the end of last year and is now ready for the next batch of deliveries. The details of booking will be announced to the fans through livestreaming via GWM Thailand’s Facebook, YouTube and TikTok on February 9, 2023, from 19:00 – 20.00 hrs.

The ORA Good Cat, an all-electric car, has set a new standard and ignited the popularity of pure electric vehicles. It has become famed for advanced functions and a beautiful design under the Retro Futuristic concept, which lends the car a unique character on the road. The vehicle is packed full of high-performance technology – led by a Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor that offers up to 105 kW or 143 HP of power and 210 Nm of torque. The ORA Good Cat 400 PRO comes in 3 classic colors – including Hamilton White, Hamilton White and Coral Blue.

The ORA Good Cat 500 ULTRA, meanwhile, comes in 6 special color options – Verdant Green with Hamilton White Roof and green-gray interior; Hazel Wood Beige with Wisdom Brown Roof and beige interior; Hamilton White with Black Roof, Hamilton White and Coral Blue with a classic black interior; and the new Pistachio Green, which is perfectly matched with a standout stylish green-beige interior design and enhance the unique brilliance of this electric funky cat to another level.

About Great Wall Motor
Great Wall Motor (GWM) is a Global Intelligent Technology Company. The company made its initial public offerings on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in 2003 and the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2011. With more than 80 subsidiaries and affiliates, GWM employs more than 70,000 people. Its automobile sales have exceeded one million units per annum for six years running. In addition to China, GWM sells its high-quality automobiles in more than 60 markets through an overseas network that covers more than 700 locations worldwide.

BWH Hotel Group Aiden Begins 2023 by Doubling Size of Global Portfolio

Best Western Hotels - BWH Hotel Group Aiden Begins 2023 by Doubling Size of Global Portfolio - TRAVELINDEX - TOP25HOTELS.comBangkok, Thailand, February 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / BWH Hotel Group is expanding its upscale, chic boutique brand, Aiden, as the brand is set to grow by over 200% in the years ahead with the portfolio doubling in 2023 alone. Highlights of the brand growth include the upcoming launch of Aiden in India and the launch of Aiden in Scandinavia, where 30 new hotels have been added to the portfolio, each of which offers groundbreaking hologram concierge service.

Aiden offers guests access to the pinnacle of boutique, resort and upscale lodging, and an experience as unique as the destination of each hotel. The brand currently boasts 19 hotels in key travel destinations around the world, such as Australia, France, Italy, South Korea and across the U.S in cities like Scottsdale, Arizona; Austin, Texas; and Berkley, California.

“There’s no denying that travelers today are seeking distinctive experiences that embody the character of their hotel’s destination, and that’s what Aiden is all about,” said Larry Cuculic, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This brand delivers on the evolving interests of today’s travelers, giving them a boutique experience from a trusted global hotel company. Developers are recognizing the traveler interest in Aiden as well – the brand is quickly becoming the boutique hotel of choice for the next generation of developers.”

“Each Aiden hotel is a personality specially crafted to provide travelers with a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Brad LeBlanc, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “Through modern amenities and bold touches, Aiden reflects the flair and vibrancy of the world around us to deliver a reimagined travel experience. The brand has been a true success story for BWH Hotel Group, and we see a long runway ahead for Aiden.”

The projected growth includes the opening of 30 hotels in Scandinavia in partnership with CIC Hospitality, welcoming the Aiden brand to the region. Each of these 30 hotels will offer digital hologram concierge for check-in, check-out, and guest services. This groundbreaking technology marries innovation and superior guest service to bring a truly unique and modern experience.

The Scandinavian portfolio of Aiden hotels will be built in strategic locations, such as near universities, larger companies and event venues. Sustainability will be central to the Scandinavian Aiden portfolio with solar roofing and modular design driving environmental efficiencies at many of these hotels. The first hotel, Aiden by Best Western Herning, will open in February in the Danish city of Herning. This will be Denmark’s first modular built hotel and will offer 204 rooms, a gym with a sauna, conference rooms and inviting areas for socializing or working.

“We are excited about the remarkable growth we’re seeing in our global Aiden portfolio,” said Ron Pohl, President of International Operations. “There are many markets around the world that are ready for a hotel product like Aiden, and we are capitalizing on demand in key markets such as Scandinavia, India, Thailand and Australia. We look forward to continuing to bring this exceptional product to life in destinations across the globe.”

About BWH Hotel Group
BWH Hotel Group is a leading, global hospitality network comprised of three hotel companies, including WorldHotels™ Collection, Best Western® Hotels & Resorts and SureStay Hotel Group®. The global network boasts approximately 4,500 hotels in over 100 countries and territories worldwide*. With 19 brands across every chain scale segment, from economy to luxury, BWH Hotel Group suits the needs of developers and guests in every market.

*Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.

China’s Outbound Tourism Is Beckoning. What’s Next?

China’s Outbound Tourism Is Beckoning. What’s Next - TRAVELINDEXBrussels, Belgium, February 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Is China back in the international market? How soon and to what degree? What does the new era look like? How should we prepare for it? Where does the sustainability piece fit in the puzzle?

The recent “China Tourists 2023 Webinar” addressed these questions and more. Presented by TourismWebinar, the event attracted high-level speakers and attendees worldwide, including former UNWTO Secretary-General, Dr. Taleb Rifai and first WTTC President, Geoffrey Lipman.

Dr. Reza Soltani organized the event. Previously engaged in international conference business, Soltani founded Tourism Webinars based in Belgium during the pandemic and has since produced over 50 webinars and symposiums with a broad range of topics.

Industry expert, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt kicked off the webinar. He is the Founder and CEO of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) based in Germany. Deeply involved in the Chinese tourism circle over a 45-year span, Arlt has seen China’s outbound tourism development from its infancy to its pinnacle and rock bottom.

Arlt gave a recount of China’s travel industry practices during the three-year pandemic. COTRI forecasts about 110 million outbound border crossings in 2023, and about 228 million in 2030; About 50% of the trips would be visiting Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan. Arlt laid out the changes and new trends in the industry and shared available resources/tools produced by COTRI.

Arlt and Gary Bowerman recently co-authored and published the book, China Outbound Tourism Handbook 2023: 88 Practical Ways to Prepare for the New Wave of Chinese Visitors. Bowerman is an Asia Travel Analyst for Phocuswright, Director of Check-in Asia, and Co-host for the South East Asia Travel Show podcast. He discussed more details of the book.

The 104-page book introduces the developmental drivers of the first 25 years of Chinese outbound tourism since 1997 and assesses the outlook up to 2030. It mainly focuses on 88 key themes that will influence the new wave of Chinese outbound travel, for example, Adventure Tourism, e-Payments, KOLs & KOCs, Metaverse and Mixed Reality, New Frugality, Patriotism and Winter Tourism. It includes citations from 48 countries/territories and 25 Chinese cities/provinces. With 264 practical tips, the book serves as “a practical handbook for applying insights into practice”. The book is now available on Amazon.

Other speakers at the Chinese Tourists 2023 Webinar included regional experts from Laos, Bhutan, Malaysia, etc. Shradha Shrestha with Nepal Tourism Board introduced the “Nepal Ready for China” initiative, which is an integrated G2G, B2B, B2C and C2C promotional approach.

Cathy Germier-Hamel, CEO of Destination Mekong, based in Cambodia, spoke on behalf of the seven countries/regions organization. She emphasized that destinations need to focus on value over volume, and quality over quantity. She shared that the Mekong region has been working on better offerings in adventure travel/ecotourism, cultural heritage tourism, community-based tourism, etc. to Chinese visitors.

China’s outbound tourism accounted for nearly 20% of global tourism spending in 2019, cited by Professor Haiyan Song of SHTM, HK Polytechnic University. He presented the analysis of China’s outbound travel to Asian countries/regions along with retail expenditures, and he brought attention to a joint research project with WTTC on global retail tourism to be released in several months.

Former Executive Director of IATA and current President of SUNx Malta Geoffrey Lipman, spoke strongly about sustainability while driving economic terms. As an Envoy for Sustainable Tourism Global Center and lead for the new Tourism Panel on Climate Change (TPCC), Lipman urged the travel industry to ensure that predicted growth is sustainable in the sense of fitting into the SDGs and supporting the Paris 1.5 degrees maximum warming scenario.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China recently announced the opening of pilot outbound group tours for Chinese nationals to 20 countries, starting Feb. 6. While savvy travelers and young wanderlusts would opt for FIT and semi-customized travel, group tours will continue to hold a healthy market share with niche markets, such as youth groups and senior groups (55 and plus, with 280 million in China.)

In addition, the Ministry released the week-long Spring Festival holidays (Jan. 21-27) travel data: Domestic travelers totaled 308 million, an increase of 23.1% from 2022 and at 88.6% of the 2019 level; Tourism spending totaled RMB 375.84 billion, 30% increase from 2022 and at 73.1% of 2019 level. In a way, these data partially reflect China’s outbound tourism dynamics.

(To view the full Chinese Tourists Webinar: https://tourismwebinar.com/china)


Haybina Hao reporting for Travelindex on travel, agritourism, adventure travel, destinations, travel industry issues, etc.

Haybina is an international travel industry journalist and reports in both Chinese and English. Linkedin

Alain St.Ange Boards The World to Lecture as it Sails to Seychelles

Alain St.Ange Boards The World to Lecture as it Sails to Seychelles - TRAVELINDEXMale, Maldives, February 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles former Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who now heads his own ‘Saint Ange Tourism Consultancy’ this morning boarded the luxury Cruise Ship ‘THE WORLD’ at Patina Maldives and will be sailing on the ship back to Seychelles arriving in the afternoon of Sunday the 5th February.

Mr St.Ange was approached by the Destination Services at Head Office of ‘THE WORLD’ in the USA inviting him to lecture on the cruise ship as it sails in Seychelles.

When contacted by the press about his lecture and his 5 day stay on ‘THE WORLD’, Mr St.Ange explained that his role was to sell Seychelles as a tourism destination and to entice the passengers on board the ship to take excursions when the ship stops at Port Victoria in Mahe, in Praslin and La Digue. “Spelling out the key USPs of Seychelles and what not to be missed will be the base of my lecture as well as talking about the history of the islands” St.Ange said.

Former Minister St.Ange said that he was thankful to the PS for Tourism for the destination promotional posters, the History of Seychelles book and the promotional clips which he received.

“My time on the ship especially in one to one with passengers should go a long way to help with the Seychelles Tourism drive” said Alain St.Ange

Deborah Rothe Takes Over as Head of ITB Berlin

Deborah Rothe Takes Over as Head of ITB Berlin - TRAVELINDEXBerlin, Germany, February 1, 2023 / TRAVELINDEX / Deborah Rothe follows in the footsteps of David Ruetz as exhibition director of ITB Berlin, the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. In December 2022, Ruetz became senior vice president of Travel + Logistics at Messe Berlin, in which role he oversees the ILA Berlin Airshow as well as the global ITB brand family, along with its strategic development.

As with immediate effect Deborah Rothe is taking over as exhibition director and project manager of ITB Berlin. The event will take place live in Berlin from 7 to 9 March 2023 as an exclusive B2B event. She replaces David Ruetz, who as head of ITB Berlin took over the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show in 2002. He was instrumental in building the global brand that is ITB and also contributed significantly to establishing ITB Asia in Singapore and ITB China in Shanghai. He also identified the potential of the Indian travel market and supported developing ITB India which, after two virtual editions, this year will for the first time be taking place as an in-person event in Mumbai and will further strengthen ITB’s position as a global marketplace for the travel industry.

Rothe has been employed at Messe Berlin since 2011 and joined ITB Berlin in 2014. From August 2019, as head of Business Development & Sales, her focus was on developing ITB Berlin and marketing exhibitor and visitor business for the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. She was also instrumental in driving the B2B networking event series TRVLX by ITB in European markets, which in future will continue to be an established part of the ITB portfolio.

“With Deborah Rothe, I am delighted to be appointing an experienced colleague for this important task at ITB Berlin. With her long years of experience at ITB Berlin, not only does she know the event extremely well, she also has in-depth industry knowledge”, said David Ruetz, senior vice president, Messe Berlin.

“As exhibitor director of the World’s Largest Tourism Trade Show, I look forward to the tasks and challenges ahead. Together with our global ITB brand family and ITB Berlin we provide an impetus for many areas of the travel and tourism industry. That is why new concepts, innovation and ongoing development are essential. I look forward to driving this effort with the team“, said Deborah Rothe, exhibition director, ITB Berlin.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2023 will take place from Tuesday, 7 March, to Thursday, 9 March, as a pure B2B event. Since 1966, ITB Berlin has been the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. The internationally renowned ITB Berlin Convention will take place parallel to the show and will be held live on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds – selected sessions will be streamed on ITBxplore. The ITB Berlin convention is the world’s largest travel industry event of its kind. In 2022 it took place as a virtual event on the brand’s website itb.com and registered 60,700 attendees from 125 countries who took part in more than 100 sessions featuring 223 speakers. In 2022, under the heading ’TRVLX by ITB’, ITB Berlin has planned a series of B2B networking events in European markets – the kick-off event took place in May in Georgia. Before the pandemic at ITB Berlin 2019, around 10,000 exhibitors from 181 countries displayed their products and services to some 160,000 visitors, including 113,500 trade visitors.