Time to explore. Within and Without.

Time to explore. Within and Without.

Phuket, Thailand, June 15, 2021 – Most of the people these days, keep on saying how much they want to travel after having being lockdown with stringent policies of travel restrictions.  It seems to me, our mind and soul almost physically screaming the need to be free and explore all the places that we only have been able to watch on YouTube and on Travel Shows. This digital travel lifestyle is getting past 16 months mark for many of us.

Should you be lucky and call a tropical island of Phuket your home, like my family and myself, you will enjoy the luxury of being able to head to a beach or a waterfall and immediately immerse into a vacation mood.  Sadly, lots of people have been feeling boxed in, restricted and limited, desperately hoping to regain vacation privileges.

Let’s stop here for a second and examine the situation. What if this desperation and need to travel is not simply traveling to a destination? What if this is a journey within to explore the more authentic part of yourself?

I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hi, my name is Able and I am a Holistic Communications Coach based in Phuket, Thailand.  I have worked as a News Anchor, TV Show Host and International Presenter on stages all over Asia as well as on TEDx.  To top it off, I’m a wife to an amazing husband and a mother to two wonderful boys.  Today, I want to share with you what most of my clients comes to me for.  They want to be HEARD.

After being in lockdown state for over 1,5 years (it seems longer…), people feel like they are about to be released from prison!  They want to explore who they are within themselves and out in the world. While this is natural and exciting, many people are in need of guidance in communicating their emotions, intentions and desires more than ever.

A few scenarios that are very common, you have lost your job and now trying your hand at becoming an entrepreneur. This creates the need to present yourself properly over on-line meeting or in-person. Or, you are having relationship issues with people close to you and in need of a new perspective.

I am here to help.  You could also be a leader or mentor who wish to review and improve communications skills of your team, so they can truly present your values and themselves and grow your business. I am here to help them find their voice.

Having found my own voice through a long journey of understanding who I am alongside my mass communications background, I am the right person to help you!

Do visit my website below and see how my programs can help your team, business or yourself.  And if you’re not sure, no worries!  Email me and set up a 30-minute no-strings-attached meeting to see how we can journey together.

About Able:
Able Wanamakok is a professional communicator and the founder of “Find Your Voice Asia”. Her goal is to guide individuals of any age to communicate honestly, openly and from their hearts. With her own experiences and her clients’s success stories, she leads through the formative process of going beyond one’s ego to find true authentic self. To use one’s natural strengths and talents to nurture relationship with oneself and others.

Open and honest, Able herself has a lively personality, successfully balancing a family life with the glamorous world of celebrity.  Able is an award winning coach and she has been named an “Asia Women Leader 2019”.  With over 15 years experience as a News Anchor, TV show host, Stage Emcee (MC) and Voice-Over Artist, Able has worked all over the world taking on many stages including TEDx and motivational speaker engagements.

To put it into Able’s own words, in all her work her aim is, “To spread happiness and bring joy to others through my work and gift in communications”.

Be Heard. Be Able.

Able Wanamakok
Holistic Communications Coach
IG: www.instagram.com/findyourvoiceasia
Twitter: www.twitter.com/findvoiceasia
Support Group:

Abandon Failed Traffic Light System to Save UK Tourism Sector

Abandon Failed Traffic Light System to Save UK Tourism Sector

London, United Kingdom, June 15, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The UK government must abandon the ‘failed and damaging’ traffic light system now if it is to save the stricken Travel & Tourism sector from total collapse, says the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

The controversial system, which has wreaked havoc among consumers and Travel & Tourism businesses, needs to be scrapped if there is any hope of saving hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the UK.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, says if this doesn’t happen urgently the more businesses will collapse, and more jobs will be lost.

The global tourism body also warned that the UK will lose out on crucial funding, investment, and spending, and that conference investment in the UK is already being pulled and moved to neighbouring European countries.

Furthermore, it says the UK will squander its competitive advantage generated by the successful vaccine rollout.

WTTC advocates enabling fully vaccinated holidaymakers and travellers, and those with proof of a negative test to travel once more to countries with similar, or higher vaccination levels to the UK, and to destinations with proven low-infection rates.

The move to a more transparent and easier to understand approach would restore consumer confidence and provide a much-needed boost to Travel & Tourism businesses which have suffered severe setbacks due to the traffic light system.

Virginia Messina, World Travel & Tourism Council Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, said: “It’s time the government abandoned the hugely damaging traffic lights system. 

“Consumers, airlines and the wider travel sector were promised a watchlist and three weeks’ notice of any changes from green to amber, and not just four days. It has been incredibly disruptive and costly for both Travel & Tourism businesses and consumers. It simply hasn’t worked.

“What’s needed now is a watertight government policy enabling those who’ve been fully jabbed to travel freely, and not have to self-isolate on their return.

“Those who are not fully vaccinated should be able to travel with proof of a negative test, like what we are seeing in the EU. The travel sector needs this now if it is to survive this summer as domestic travel alone will not save the day.”

The restoration of free mobility is essential to help drive the economic recovery from the pandemic, with a further 218,000 jobs at serious risk, if international travel continues to be off limits for most of the summer. This is in addition to the 307,000 jobs which were lost in the UK sector last year.

Read all the latest WTTC News and Updates here.

However, WTTC recognises the paramount importance of protecting public health and the need to avoid travelling to countries or destinations with a demonstrably higher COVID-19 rate.

The global tourism body has long advocated that a combination of vaccines, testing, digital health passes and health and safety protocols, can safely unlock international travel.

SHA Plus Certificate Awarded to 300 Tourism Businesses in Phuket

SHA Plus Certificate Awarded to 300 Tourism Businesses in Phuket

Phuket, Thailand, June 14, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently presented the Amazing Thailand Safety and Health Administration (SHA) Plus Certificate to more than 300 tourism businesses in Phuket, as the island is preparing to welcome back fully vaccinated visitors under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ model from 1 July, 2021.

The presentation of the SHA Plus logo by Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaiboon, TAT Deputy Governor of Tourism Products and Business, was held on 12 June, 2021, in the presence of Phuket Governor Mr. Narong Woonchiew and other local dignitaries.

Ms. Thapanee said “The ‘SHA Plus’ standard symbolises Phuket’s readiness to reopen the island, which local stakeholders have worked together to create as part of the pilot scheme.”

The ‘SHA’ logo certifies that venues and businesses have public health measures in place for COVID-19, while the ‘Plus’ sign confirms that more than 70% of employees in the organisation are fully vaccinated under the ‘Phuket Must Win’ vaccination programme.

Under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ model, foreign visitors who arrive from 1 July, 2021, onwards will be required to book hotels, which are ‘SHA Plus’ certified for their first 14 days before being able to leave the province to other destinations in Thailand.

Currently, there are 1,389 venues and businesses across Phuket that have received the Amazing Thailand SHA certificate, and of these, more than 300 are SHA Plus-certified. The number is continuing to rise as all SHA-certified businesses in Phuket, where at least 70% of staff are inoculated, are encouraged to register for the ‘SHA Plus’ Certificate.

Meanwhile, TAT together with the Phuket Tourist Association, Thai Hotels Association – Southern Chapter, and the Southern Digital Economy Promotion Agency – Northern Southern Region are currently developing a ‘SHA Plus Booking Authentication System’ (SHABA) to be used as a confirmation mechanism for visitors joining the ‘Phuket Sandbox’, who have booked ‘SHA Plus’ hotels.

Under the ‘Phuket Sandbox’ conditions, visitors will be able to book their accommodation via OTA’s, travel agencies or directly to the ‘SHA Plus’ hotels under the conditions of the ‘Phuket Sandbox’. Hotel Reservation teams will be required to enter their guests’ bookings into the ‘SHABA’ platform, which will generate an official confirmation number and QR code.

Dusit Expands Food Business with Flagship KAUAI Branch at Asoke Towers

Dusit Expands Food Business with Flagship KAUAI Branch at Asoke Towers

Bangkok, Thailand, June 15, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Dusit International, one of Thailand’s leading hotel and property development companies, has expanded its food business in Bangkok with the soft opening of its new flagship KAUAI dining outlet at Asoke Towers in the heart of the city’s busy Sukhumvit district. It is the fifth KAUAI branch in Bangkok, and the first store in the capital to operate outside of a Virgin Active Fitness Centre.

Discover Bangkok’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

Kauai was first brought to Thailand in 2019 under a joint venture agreement between Dusit International and Real Foods Group (the parent company of South Africa’s KAUAI healthy food restaurant brand). Globally, KAUAI has built a reputation for healthy food innovation and a slick, fast casual restaurant experience over its 25 years of operating. The brand was first launched in Cape Town, South Africa in 1996, and today serves smoothies, salads, wraps, warm bowls, breakfasts and organic coffee in more than 160 stores across Africa, Europe and Asia.

Located on the ground floor of Asoke Towers, a busy office and residential building just 10 minutes by foot from Sukhumvit MRT (Underground) and Asok BTS (Skytrain) stations, and five minutes by foot from Phetchaburi MRT station, the new Bangkok branch occupies 130 sq m of space and is easily accessible from the main Asoke Road.

Like other flagship KAUAI branches worldwide, the brand offers customisable menu items that appeal to a broad range of tastes, from vegans and vegetarians to paleo and keto eaters, at affordable prices. Kauai’s focus on high-quality ingredients and sustainable sourcing ensures that these healthy meals strike a good balance between optimal nutrition and value for money.

Despite highly challenging market conditions in Bangkok, Dusit International wants to capitalise on the major shift globally to healthier, more natural food that is affordable and convenient. In fact, healthy food is seeing higher growth than traditional fast food. By opening the store now, the company also hopes to positively serve the community by providing easy access to wholesome meals and drinks that can support and boost immune health to help people stay healthy.

Serving as a centralised delivery hub for the highly populated districts of Asoke, Sukhumvit, Ratchada and Phetchaburi, the store will also expand KAUAI’s reach into Thailand’s booming online food delivery market.

“Opening a new restaurant in the current environment may seem counterproductive, but KAUAI’s distinctive offerings ensure it is well placed to succeed now, and in the future, by leveraging a gap in the market for healthy, sustainable and natural healthy food in Bangkok,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International. “Globally, we have seen how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to surging demand for clean, healthy and sustainable food as consumers have become more aware of the relationship between nutrition and health. We have also seen how consumers are willing to pay a little more for something they recognize as healthy, which, in turn, has led to the continued growth of nutrition-forward chains worldwide. While demand for healthy fast food exists in Thailand, this market is relatively unserved here. The new flagship KAUAI branch directly addresses this in Bangkok by offering convenient access to wholesome foods that can be enjoyed on-site, at home, or on the move in the heart of the city.”

Bright, airy, and comfortable-yet-minimal, the new flagship store’s stylish interior features a monochrome design that accentuates the vibrant colours of KAUAI’s natural food. Diners can eat inside in air-conditioned comfort, enjoy home delivery via apps such as LINE, Food Panda, Grab Food or RobinHood, or choose from a selection of grab-and-go options made fresh to order.

Among the highly nutritious options are internationally inspired meals such as the Butta Chicken warm rice bowl (THB 270) and Spicy Burrito wrap (THB 220). Exclusive to Thailand, there are also dishes designed to cater to local tastes. These include, amongst others, Red Chicken Curry and Quinoa Bowl (THB 200) and Wrap (Mai) Mun Gai (THB 210). The latter is a healthy take on boiled chicken with glutinous rice – a traditional Thai street food favourite – which comes without the rice, or the oil, in a healthy wholewheat wrap. A rich and earthy sauce, developed specially by KAUAI’s culinary team, adds authenticity to every bite. These localised dishes have proved especially popular at KAUAI’s existing outlets in Bangkok.

Customers can also select from a range of raw juices, immunity boosting shots, and nutrient-dense smoothies which blend whole, functional ingredients to make for a healthy snack or drinkable meal on the go. Prices range from THB 50 to THB 200.

“The rising global demand for wholesome, natural food is not a trend, but a movement, and we are delighted to cater directly for this movement here in Bangkok,” said Ms Manisa Mitpaibul, Managing Director, Dusit Real Foods Company Limited. “Dusit’s mission for its food business includes investing in proven and profitable businesses, expanding into high growth spaces, and responding to consumer trends while positively serving our community. Couple this with KAUAI’s strong commitment to bringing naturally delicious foods to consumers, and we are confident the new KAUAI flagship branch will only go from strength to strength, enhancing local brand awareness to bring long-term value to our stakeholders while supporting the health and well-being of our customers.”

The new Asoke Towers store, opening on 14 June 2021, will operate daily from 6:30 am – 9:00 pm. Various special promotions will be available in store.

Discover Bangkok’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

Alongside the new flagship branch, Dusit International also operates a KAUAI dining outlet at Virgin Active Fitness Club 101 (Sukhumvit 101), and three ‘grab and go’ outlets at Virgin Active Fitness Clubs in Siam Discovery, Empire Tower, and EmQuartier.

Customised healthy catering services and on-demand nutrition workshops are available for special events and business gatherings, with specialist speakers on hand to share tips for how to eat well.

Dusit International owns territory rights for KAUAI in Southeast Asia and Australia and is currently exploring further opportunities for the brand in these markets.

About Real Foods Group and KAUAI
Real Foods (Pty) Ltd is a multi-brand food group with unmatched dedication to natural food, innovation, social responsibility and integrity. It is at the forefront of the global trend towards health and wellness, and aims to be the leader in natural food. It builds strong, natural food brands that are leaders in their categories.

The group was founded by Dean Kowarski in 2013 in partnership with Antony Ball, the ex-founder of Brait and Kleoss Capital. The company lists KAUAI, NÜ Health Café, Schoon Bakery & Bread Cafés, and Highveld Honey in its portfolio.

The KAUAI brand was first launched in Cape Town, South Africa in 1996, and today serves smoothies, salads, wraps, warm bowls, breakfasts and organic coffee in more than 160 stores across Africa, Europe and Asia.

The KAUAI menu boasts over 100 responsibly sourced superfoods that include free range chicken and eggs, whey protein, vegan protein powder and trending collagen. The brand’s success has largely been driven by its accessible approach to health – the menu, pricing and fast casual format are all designed to make healthy eating appetizing, easy, affordable and convenient.

Phuket TAT Workshop Prepares for 1 July 2021 Reopening

Phuket TAT Workshop Prepares for 1 July 2021 Reopening

Phuket, Thailand, June 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in collaboration with Phuket Province today hosted a ‘Phuket Sandbox Workshop’ to prepare Thailand’s most popular beach destination to safely reopen to local and international visitors from 1 July, 2021.

The comprehensive workshop brought together key decision-makers from TAT and Phuket Province, including TAT Governor Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn and three of Phuket’s Vice Governors – Mr. Piyapong Chuwong, Mr. Pichet Panapong and Mr.Vikrom Jakthee – as well as TAT Deputy Governors.

Discover Phuket’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

Also presenting at the workshop were President of the Phuket Tourist Association Mr. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, along with representatives and figures from Phuket’s tourism-related public and private sectors.

The Phuket Sandbox Workshop is a vital opportunity for government officials, business operators, and community leaders to address in detail on all points concerning the reopening of Phuket as a pilot destination to welcome fully vaccinated foreign visitors from 1 July, 2021, onwards.

The workshop consisted of four key discussions: marketing strategy and communications plan to promote Phuket in Q3/2021; standard operating procedures and specified routes for vaccinated foreign visitors during their stay in Phuket; COVID-19 restrictions, entry/exit measures and contract tracing guidelines on traveller’s journey, and the importance of the SHA Plus certification.

Discover Phuket’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants at Top25Restaurants.com

While the final official details of the Phuket Sandbox model are currently under review by the Royal Thai Government, the initial information is available here.

WTTC Calls on Boris Johnson and G7 Leaders to Recover Jobs in Tourism

WTTC Calls on Boris Johnson and G7 Leaders to Recover Jobs in Tourism

London, United Kingdom, June 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Travel & Tourism Council has called on Boris Johnson and the G7 Heads of State, to lead a coordinated response to restart international travel safely, which it says will be critical to the global economic and social recovery.

WTTC, which represents the global private sector, made the plea in an open letter to UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, Chair of the G7 group of nations in 2021, just days before leaders are due to meet at Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

The letter laid out the critical role the G7 must play to drive real change and save the global Travel & Tourism sector by safely restoring international travel and mobility through three key measures.

The first is to put Travel & Tourism at the heart of all governmental decision making globally, recognising its economic and social importance and committing to stronger global public-private collaboration.

Secondly, to commit to implementing a consistent framework to safely reopen international travel, through the use of testing, health & hygiene protocols, and digital health travel passes to ensure the safe and seamless flow of people.

Finally, to reopen international borders between countries with similar successful vaccination rollouts and low levels of infection, such as the US and the UK. This move would unlock both inbound and outbound travel and provide a significant boost to both economies, based on clear, consistent metrics and following a data-driven approach.

Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President and Acting CEO, said:  “With the global Travel & Tourism sector hanging by a thread, Boris Johnson is in a unique position to lead the G7 response to restart international travel and save the millions of jobs and livelihoods that depend on a thriving sector.

“The situation is critical, so we must put Travel & Tourism at the heart of all governmental decision making globally and agree a consistent framework to reopen international borders. 

“The risks of not doing so are enormous. In the G7 countries alone, the sector accounts for 5.11% of the total economy and almost one in 10 of all jobs globally (9.07%). If we don’t save international travel, we simply won’t achieve global socio-economic recovery.

“However, we can and should harness the opportunity presented by the hugely successful vaccination rollout, to remove travel restrictions and build bridges not walls, which will allow the safe and free movement of people who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative test.

“We urge Boris Johnson‘s government which led the world by administering the very first COVID-19 vaccination dose, and the other Leaders of the G7 to take this courageous step and save a sector which will be crucial in saving their economies.”

In the letter to Boris Johnson, WTTC said the Travel & Tourism sector will play a key role in achieving the G7 policy priorities set by his Presidency.

The global tourism body said we will not achieve global recovery unless international mobility resumes and helps bring back millions of jobs into the economy; enabling free & fair trade to flourish once again. Travel & Tourism will also play a key role in enhancing our preparedness and resilience against future pandemics, as well as tackling climate change.

According to WTTC’s latest Economic Impact Report (EIR), in 2019, Travel & Tourism contributed to 10.4% of global GDP and created more than 330 million jobs, that’s one in ten jobs across the world.

However, following a year of global lockdowns and closed borders, some 62 million jobs in Travel & Tourism have been lost around the world, with many more at risk, and the sector’s contribution to global GDP has slumped by US$4.5 trillion (-49.1%).

New Dates Announced for World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

New Dates Announced for World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

Bruges, Belgium, June 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The World Tourism Organization, Basque Culinary Center, VisitFlanders and the city of Bruges have announced new dates for the 6th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.

Held under the theme ‘Gastronomy Tourism: Promoting Rural Tourism and Regional Development’, the Forum will take place 31 October – 2 November 2021 in Bruges, Belgium.

The event will focus on the contribution of gastronomy tourism to social and economic integration. It will also highlight its untapped potential for job creation, regional cohesion and sustainable growth. Building on UNWTO’s work on advancing innovation across the tourism sector, the Forum also represents a unique opportunity for experts from across the growing field of gastronomy tourism to share new ideas and best practices and place the two sectors at the center of plans for recovery.

Gastronomy continues to prove its ability to help destinations diversify and to stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world

In order to welcome and connect participants from around the world, the Forum will be held in a hybrid format. This way, delegates meeting in the Concertgebouw of Bruges will be joined virtually by participants from every global region via a special online platform.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili says: “There is no better time than now to re-shape the future for food and tourism. Gastronomy continues to prove its ability to help destinations diversify and to stimulate economic development in destinations all around the world. This is especially true for rural communities where it can help preserve the identity and authenticity of local traditions.”

Joxe Mari Aizega, Director of the Basque Culinary Center, remarked that “We are currently in a particularly challenging and unique time, and rural communities, innovation and creativity will be key to transition successfully towards a new scenario. That is the reason why it is necessary to increase the contribution of the entire value chain of gastronomy for the future, generating a suitable institutional framework through specific policies. This kind of forums are essential to encourage projects that generate and develop sustainable gastronomic initiatives that transform and have a positive impact on the sector”.

Flemish Minister of Tourism, Zuhal Demir says: “We are very much looking forward to welcome participants, both live and online, to explore culinary Bruges during the Forum in November. This is a great opportunity for destinations to exchange experiences facing challenging times and putting gastronomy and tourism at the centre of recovery plans. Flanders, as one of Europe’s gastronomic hubs, is ready to lead the way for a sustainable future of gastronomy tourism.”

The Forum has been co-organized by UNWTO and the BCC since 2015 with the aim of promoting the exchange of experiences between experts in tourism and gastronomy, identify good practices and promote gastronomy tourism as a driver of sustainable development.

About BCC

Basque Culinary Center represents a unique ecosystem where training, innovation, research and entrepreneurship coexist with the aim of developing and propelling gastronomy, which is understood as reasoned knowledge about what and how we eat.

Its mission is rooted in values such as passion, innovation, excellence and social commitment. Located in San Sebastian since September 2011, Basque Culinary Center is a pioneer institution conformed by the Faculty of Gastronomic Sciences, and the Centre for Research and Innovation in the field of gastronomy.

In 2021 Basque Culinary Center celebrates its 10th anniversary. Since its origin, the institution has developed its 360º vision of Gastronomy through different initiatives and projects. This year, we celebrate our achievements and the challenges to come, always rooted in our values: passion, orientation towards excellence, innovation and social commitment.

Mastercard Foundation to Deploy $1.3B to Save Lives and Livelihoods in Africa

Mastercard Foundation to Deploy $1.3B to Save Lives and Livelihoods in Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Mastercard Foundation has announced that it will deploy $1.3 billion over the next three years in partnership with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to save the lives and livelihoods of millions of people in Africa and hasten the economic recovery of the continent.

The Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative will acquire vaccines for at least 50 million people, support the delivery of vaccinations to millions more across the continent, lay the groundwork for vaccine manufacturing in Africa through a focus on human capital development, and strengthen the Africa CDC.

“Ensuring equitable access and delivery of vaccines across Africa is urgent. This initiative is about valuing all lives and accelerating the economic recovery of the continent,” said Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation. “In the process, this initiative will catalyze work opportunities in the health sector and beyond as part of our Young Africa Works strategy,” she added.

The African Union’s goal as set out in the African COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access Strategy is to vaccinate at least 60 percent of its population – approximately 750 million people or the entire adult population of the continent – by the end of 2022. To date, less than two percent of Africans have received at least one vaccine dose.

The new partnership builds on the efforts of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility (COVAX), the COVID-19 African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), and the global community to expand access to vaccines across Africa. The number of vaccines available to Africa represents a small portion of the global supply and the financial costs to purchase, deliver, and administer vaccines remain significant. The Africa CDC is calling on governments, global funders, the private sector, and others to help meet this goal.

“Ensuring inclusivity in vaccine access, and building Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own vaccines, is not just good for the continent, it’s the only sustainable path out of the pandemic and into a health-secure future,” said Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa CDC. “This partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is a bold step towards establishing a New Public Health Order for Africa, and we welcome other actors to join this historic journey.”

In 2020, Africa faced its first economic recession in 25 years due to the pandemic. The African Development Bank has warned that COVID-19 could reverse hard-won gains in

poverty reduction over the past two decades and drive 39 million people into extreme poverty in 2021. Widespread vaccination is recognized as being critical to the economic recovery of African countries.

The initiative builds on an earlier collaboration between the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa CDC to expand access to testing kits and enhance surveillance capacity in Africa. Through the Foundation’s support, the Africa CDC’s Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) deployed nearly two million COVID-19 tests and more than 12,000 trained health care workers and rapid responders across Africa. In total, the PACT has enabled over 47 million COVID-19 tests across the continent.

About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation is a Canadian foundation and one of the largest in the world with more than $39 billion in assets. The Foundation was created in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. Since its inception, the Foundation has operated independently of the company. The Foundation’s policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by its Board.

About Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) Africa CDC is a specialized technical institution of the African Union that strengthens the capacity and capability of Africa’s public health institutions as well as partnerships to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease threats and outbreaks, based on data-driven interventions and programs.

Beachfront Twinpalms MontAzure Resort Nominated for Top 25 Hotels in the World

Beachfront Twinpalms MontAzure Resort Nominated for Top 25 Hotels in the World

Phuket, Thailand, June 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Twinpalms MontAzure has been nominated for the Top 25 Luxury Hotels awards by Top25Hotels, which honours the world’s leading hotels.

Twinpalms MontAzure is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and features beautifully appointed Suites and Penthouses, some with private pools. Offering a serene setting for a luxurious stay, the recently launched resort is located directly on Kamala Beach on the west coast of Phuket Island.

Discover all the World’s Best Luxury Hotels here.

“We are delighted to be included in the Top 25 Hotels in the World and in the World’s Best Luxury Hotels Awards,” said General Manager Olivier Gibaud upon receiving the nomination certificate. He adds, “We are grateful for the continued support and trust our professional staff, as well as our partners and guests, give us.”

The luxurious resort also boasts two large pools, a fantastic beachfront restaurant and bar and guests have full access to the plethora of Twinpalms Hotels and Resort’s beach clubs, restaurants, bars, and yachting services.

About Twinpalms Hotels & Resorts
Established in 2004, with the launch of the initial resort, Twinpalms Phuket, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and located on Surin Beach. Twinpalms Hotels & Resorts include a range of lifestyle brands, Catch Beach Club, HQ Beach Lounge, Palm Seaside, BAKE and Andaman Cruises Luxury Motor Yachts. Launched in 2019 Twinpalms MontAzure Hotel, Shimmer Beachfront Restaurant, Love Noodles and in 2020, Wagyu Steakhouse. 2021 saw the opening of The Lazy Coconut.

About Top25Hotels.com – World’s Best Luxury Hotels
Top25Hotels.com is a collection of exceptional hotels, resorts, eco-lodges, retreats and private islands featuring the top 25 luxury properties in the world and each destination. Top25Hotels.com by Travelindex is the world’s only rating system based on natural language processing technology combined with human expertise. The ratings and rankings are synthesized by a proprietary, artificial intelligence algorithm and re-assessed by some of the world’s top hospitality experts, resulting in the trusted “Hotel Rating Index”. The company puts a priority on the integration of reliable data with human discernment to make trusted information accessible to all.

Discover all the World’s Best Luxury Hotels here.

Contact & Reservations for Twinpalms MontAzure:
Address: 129/86 Kamala Beach Road, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 7684 368
E: book@twinpalms-montazure.com
W: www.twinpalms-montazure.com

Indonesia Tourism Celebrates Opening of Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary

Indonesia Tourism Celebrates Opening of Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary

Maratua Island, Indonesia, June 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Governor of Kalimantan Timur, H.E. Dr. Ir. H. Isran Noor, M. Si., the Bupati (Local Premier) of Kabupaten Berau, Hj. Sri Juniarsih Mas and their tourism department delegations were joined by H.E. Nico Barito, the Seychelles Special Envoy to ASEAN and Alain St.Ange, the Secretary General of FORSEAA (Forum of Small Medium Economic Africa Asean) to mark the formal opening of the Arasatu Villas and Sanctuary on the pristine Maratua Island. Representing the owners at the ceremony were Yan Surya Kusuma Darmabasuan and Angelia Darmabasuan.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Wonderful Indonesia, go to VisitIndonesia.net

Alain St.Ange, who is the successful former Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports & Marine Minister of the Seychelles was in Indonesia to consolidate the spirit of South-South Cooperation using Indonesia as the needed bridge between Africa and the ASEAN Block. Referred to as a unique PARADISE ON EARTH development the new Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary is a pilot project of Indonesia and Seychelles in Maratua Island. Built on the eastern side of Borneo, Arasatu Villas & Sanctuary offers you a one-of-a-kind staycation experience of living above Maratua Island’s finest turquoise water.

“The cozy hammock on the terrace makes you feel immersed in the beauty of the island whilst sipping a signature beverage under the blazing sun and shining stars is surely a thing you can’t resist” said a staff member of the new hotel property. The hotel’s enchanting wooden ornaments are also mainly crafted by the locals on Maratua Island all in a bid to support the local economy and likewise, to stick to the developer’s vision of reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the country. “No trip to Maratua is complete without snorkeling.

Experience snorkeling in transparent sea water and witness these beautiful corals right under the villas. Arasatu aims to support marine ecosystems and as home to Maratua Island’s giant clams. For that reason, the Cocoral Dive Center was founded” says the Hotel’s representative.

The Arasatu’s floating villas that were inspired from East Borneo’s overwater bungalows, convey an intimate connection to the shimmering Celebes Sea. Private sun deck with suspended hammocks over turquoise waters for a relaxing time or just a few steps away to the beach for a dip, these floating villas offers endless activities and experiences to satisfy anyone’s island vacations. This villa features an extended sun deck with outdoor shower, over-the-water hammock for two, private stairs to the ocean and an extra large daybed to maximize your overwater vacation. The semi-open bathroom is equipped with a walk-in rain shower and large backlit mirror Plus, each villa boasts private see-through glass doors for ocean viewing and roof window for stargazing.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Wonderful Indonesia, go to VisitIndonesia.net

Alain St.Ange said that the proximity of Maratua Island to UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kakaban Island where the unique freshwater jellyfish lives provides a rare opportunity that is not to be missed. “This pink jellyfish does not sting and I personally swam with them” said Alain St.Ange.