Vanuatu Information Center Officially Launch in Thailand

Vanuatu Information Center Officially Launch in Thailand

Bangkok (Thailand) – October 12, 2017 (travelindex.com) – The Republic of Vanuatu this month is sending a Government delegation to Bangkok to conduct a series of briefings covering Trade, Tourism and Citizenship by Investment in this South Pacific island nation. A former British and French Colony, Vanuatu (previously The New Hebrides) gained independence in 1980 and remains a member of the British Commonwealth. Stretching a distance of some 1,300km in a north to south string of 83 islands (65 populated), Vanuatu’s population of 285,000 enjoys the accolade of being a top five “happiest places on earth” according to the 2016 “Happy Planet Index”. Relatively unspoiled by mass tourism, Vanuatu possesses a wide range of attractions from scuba diving in crystal-clear waters, to ash-surfing on the slopes of an active volcano. A safe, peaceful country, Vanuatu has no formal Armed Forces and relies for its security on neighboring Australia.

The Vanuatu Delegation, appointed for this mission by Vanuatu’s Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will visit Thailand during the 25th-29th September. A focal point of the visit is to support the launch of the global network of Government approved offices under the “Vanuatu Information Centre” (VIC) brand.

VIC headquarters is in Port Vila, Vanuatu, however Bangkok has been selected as the centre for VIC’s global operations, given its location, and convenience as an international air-travel hub. From Bangkok, Vanuatu’s Capital Port Vila is easily reachable via Brisbane, Sydney or Auckland, but plans are being made to operate direct flights from Bangkok to Vanuatu, in order to develop trade and tourism links in the Asia Pacific area.

A key service of the VIC network is to act as a marketing channel for Vanuatu’s “Citizenship by Investment” Program (CIP). The Program offers individuals the opportunity to obtain an Honorary Second Citizenship in a Tax Free, British Commonwealth member state, in exchange for a contribution to Vanuatu Government Development Funds.

Termed the Vanuatu “Development Support Program” (DSP), this Citizenship Program is a vital source of development funds for the Country. Vanuatu passport-holders enjoy significant benefits – such as visa-free travel to 125 countries – including the UK, Schengen Europe and Russia – with more countries added each year.

So-called “CIPs” are widespread in the Caribbean Nations and have exploded in popularity in the past ten years, however, Vanuatu’s DSP is unique as the first, and only CIP of its type in the Asia Pacific Hemisphere – with a clear geographical advantage for the APAC market.

CIPs are rapidly gaining in popularity – particularly amongst High Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI) seeking the advantages offered by having a second passport, both for ease of international travel and personal security – as well as Citizenship in a safe, “tax haven” environment. Thailand has not traditionally been a market leader in terms of individuals seeking second citizenship, but Thai Nationals and Foreign Residents alike are increasingly turning to CIPs as a highly valuable element of their personal asset portfolio.

Commenting on the forthcoming delegation visit, Chairman of the VIC and Hon Consul for Vanuatu to Vietnam, (Lord) Geoffrey Bond said, “The Development Support Program offers a global freedom of travel, but equally importantly, it provides a passport to a true paradise that offers incredible opportunities for tourism, living and investment. We invited this delegation in order to provide an opportunity for interested parties to meet and speak directly with Vanuatu Government representatives, to understand better the exceptional opportunities that the DSP and Vanuatu itself offers”.

In addition to promoting trade and tourism, the Vanuatu delegation will be seeking to open discussions about potential visa-free access for Vanuatu passport-holders to Thailand, as Thai Nationals already enjoy 30-day visa-free access to Vanuatu. Such a move would significantly enhance the attractiveness of Thailand as both a transit point for travelers to and from Vanuatu, but also promote faster development of trade and tourism between the two countries.

The delegation is led by Hon Andrew Solomon Napuat MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, with a portfolio of Passport & Immigration Services. Hon Andrew Napuat explained, “I am delighted to be making this first visit to the Kingdom of Thailand. On behalf of our Prime Minister, Hon Charlot Salwai, I will be leading a group of Government representatives, each of whom offers a relevant specialism, to enable full briefings covering all aspects of trade and tourism opportunities, plus Vanuatu’s newly launched second citizenship program, the Development Support Program. I look forward greatly to enhancing our relationship with Thailand for our mutual benefit.

Central to the visit will be an event at which the delegation will hand across the official letter of appointment of Harvey Law Group (www.harveylawcorporation.com) as the first global representative of the Vanuatu Development Support Program.

Mr James Harris, Managing Director of the VIC network remarked “the official appointment of Harvey Law Group as a global representative means a significant elevation in the profile of the Development Support Program, in line with our ambition to secure a position as one of the world’s leading Citizenship by Investment Programs. Harvey Law Group, with their particular strength and depth in the Asia Pacific perfectly reflect our own current regional footprint. We look forward greatly to supporting Harvey Law Group in this new initiative”.

With five offices already up and running in Asia and a rapidly evolving network of agents, VIC is targeting to be in China and the UK within the next six months, and to expand into additional geographies during 2018.

The VIC Network currently spans Port Vila, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Hong Kong.

For more information: info@vic.vu

Fulfill Your Saturday with Authentic Indian Lunch at Rang Mahal

Fulfill Your Saturday with Authentic Indian Lunch at Rang Mahal

Bangkok (Thailand) – October 12, 2017 (travelindex.com) – Rang Mahal, an award winning Indian restaurant for 23 years, now opens ‘Saturday Lunch , extend hours of joyful for Indian food lover. After receiving overwhelming response from fans, ‘Rang Mahal’ has extended its service hours at noon every Saturday from 11.00 am to 2.30 pm. The Saturday Lunch will bring food lovers to experience with authentic Indian cuisine which created by 5-star chefs, Rajan Misra, master chef of Rang Mahal is an elaborate of main dishes with variety of accompaniments such as Tandoori Prawns, a great Indian-style grilled prawn with Indian spices and grilled prawns (THB 860), Raan-E-Khyber, lamb marinated with special spices and chef’s special rum (THB 950), Roganjosh Kashmiri, grilled goat curry with onion and Indian Spices (THB 550), Palak Aap Ki Pasand, spinach specially prepared with choice of Indian chees, mashed potato, green bean, and mushroom (THB 400), and Tandoori Murgh, chicken marinated with yogurt and spices – grilled on Tandoor is popular Indian menu (THB 425).

Join us for ‘Saturday Lunch’ with live music, traditional beverage and scenic views of Bangkok at Rang Mahal, the best an Indian restaurant in Bangkok, located on 26 floors, The Rembrandt Hotel, Sukhumvit 18, Bangkok. Open daily from 6.00 – 11.00 pm and Saturday 11.00 am – 2.30 pm. For reservation or more information please contact 02 261 7100 or click www.rembrandtbkk.com/restaurants/

The Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok
The Rembrandt Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Bangkok off Sukhumvit Road. Guests may access our hotel either from Sukhumvit Soi 18 or Sukhumvit Soi 20 as our property extends the length of the block. We offer luxury, outstanding services, and facilities for all travelers to Bangkok, Thailand. The property is conveniently located near the central business district as well as shopping attractions, city landmarks and vibrant nightlife. Our guests also have the benefit of all major public transportation stations in Bangkok as both skytrain (BTS Asoke Station) and metro (MRT Sukhumvit Station) are just a short 5-minute walk from the hotel or guests may ride on a complimentary 24-hour ‘tuk tuk’ shuttle service to the main road. This quality hotel is a great location for both tourists and business travelers, who will find easy access to Sukhumvit and the Bangkok CBD.

For reservations, please contact 02-261-7100 or book via facebook.com/rembrandtbkk or please visit www.rembrandtbkk.com

Contact:
Paemika Mungclasiri (Ms.)
Marketing Communications Manager
E-mail: pr@rembrandtbkk.com
Phone +66 (0) 2261 7100 Ext. 7443
Sirorat Jaroontham (Ms.)
Marketing Communications Executive
E-mail: pr@rembrandtbkk.com
Phone +66 (0) 2261 7100 Ext. 7444

La Perla to Host Destination Fashion Show in Macao

La Perla to Host Destination Fashion Show in Macao

Macao, Macau SAR (China) – October 12, 2017 (travelindex.com) – La Perla is thrilled to announce the location of its Spring/Summer 2018 ready-to-wear fashion show: Macao, SAR, China. In partnership with The Venetian Macao as part of Sands Macao Fashion week, La Perla will present a full-scale runway presentation, featuring 70 looks comprised of the brand’s ready-to-wear and haute couture collections. Top runway talent will join La Perla in Macao during a gala dinner in the Grand Colonnade in The Venetian Macao, to create a truly transporting experience.

From Julia Haart, La Perla’s Creative Director:

“I am excited to bring the Spring/Summer 2018 collection to this beautiful and exotic destination. As we continue to build “the World of La Perla,” through the introduction of ready-to-wear, haute couture, shoes, and accessories, I am honored to bring La Perla to this global destination for fashion and luxury. We are a fashion house with many homes, and no borders.”

Who: La Perla
What: Spring Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Destination: Macao, SAR, China
When: October 19th, 2017
Where: The Venetian Macao, Macao, SAR, China
Why: Celebrating Asia’s rapid ascension in the world of fashion, the La Perla Spring/Summer
2018 Fashion Show will travel to Macao, for an awe-inspiring debut event featuring the
brand’s ready-to-wear and haute couture collections. The brand is honored to partner with
The Venetian Macao to create an unparalleled international experience in this alluring
destination.

Contact:
La Perla North America
Lauren Picciano
Lauren.Picciano@laperla.com
Phone: 646.571.1898
Sands China Ltd
Donna Campbell
Donna.Campbell@sands.com.mo
Phone: +853.8118.2041

SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sukhumvit 2 Welcomes First Guests

SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sukhumvit 2 Welcomes First Guests

Bangkok (Thailand) – October 11, 2017 (travelindex) – SureStay Hotel Group has made its debut in Asia, marking the start of a new era of quality, affordable accommodation in the region. SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sukhumvit 2 welcomed its first guests this month, in the heart of downtown Bangkok. This new-build premium economy hotel will provide guests with the international standards and services one would expect from a Best Western -branded hotel, at a reasonable price point.

The new hotel’s 85 rooms are designed in a contemporary style and will feature sleep-inducing beds and complimentary in-room Wi-Fi. There is also a “business corner” area providing corporate travelers with a range of professional services.

“We are delighted to unveil SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sukhumvit 2, an exciting new hotel that will redefine the premium economy hotel sector,” said Olivier Berrivin, Best Western’s Managing Director of International Operations – Asia. “Located in a prime position in downtown Bangkok’s Sukhumvit district, this brand new hotel provides everything guests need for convenient, fuss-free stays in the heart of the city.”

“Bangkok has a long and strong history of providing affordable accommodation. By combining the ease and affordability of economy hotels with the international standards of a global chain, SureStay Hotel Group is sure to appeal to business and leisure travelers alike.”

“We are seeing rising demand for branded economy and lower-midscale accommodation in key cities across Asia Pacific. SureStay Hotel Group is perfectly positioned to fill this gap in the market and we look forward to introducing this exciting new concept to more cities across the region in the coming months and years,” Olivier added.

SureStay Hotel Group was first introduced in late 2016, opening up new opportunities for Best Western Hotels & Resorts in the large yet relatively untapped economy and lower-midscale sectors. It also provides hotel owners with the opportunity to harness Best Western’s vast global network, in terms of sales, distribution, technology and support.

There are three brand tiers to choose from: the classic economy SureStay Hotel, premium economy SureStay Plus Hotel (which includes SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Sukhumvit 2), and lower-midscale SureStay Collection. These three brands deliver gradually increasing levels of quality and facilities, which will be consistent in all locations around the world.

To ensure that high standards and guest satisfaction are maintained, all SureStay Hotels must achieve a TripAdvisor score of 3.5 and above.

SureStay Hotel Group has expanded rapidly since it was first launched in September 2016, with many hotels having opened in North America. By the end of 2017, the group expects to have built a global portfolio of 100 hotels either operating or under development, making it one of the fastest-growing brands in the industry.

For Best Western Hotels & Resorts, the launch of SureStay Hotel Group marks its continued expansion in Bangkok. Currently, the company operates four properties in the Thai capital under two of its brands: Best Western Plus® and Best Western Premier®. But it has a strong pipeline of new hotels in Bangkok, including new classic Best Western hotels, more upscale Best Western Premier properties and Thailand’s first ever Vīb hotel.

About Best Western Hotels & Resorts:
Best Western Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,100* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers 10 hotel brands to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market: Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Vīb®, GLō®, Executive Residency by Best Western®, and BW Premier Collection®; as well as its recently launched franchise offerings: SureStay®, SureStay Plus® and SureStay Signature Collection®. Now celebrating more than 70 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and award-winning online and mobile booking capabilities. Best Western continues to set industry records regarding awards and accolades, including 64 percent of the brand’s North American hotels earning a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award in 2017, Business Travel News® ranking Best Western Plus and Best Western in the top three upper-mid-price and mid-price hotel brands for three years in a row, and Best Western receiving seven consecutive Dynatrace® Best of the Web awards for its leading hotel website. Best Western has also won eight consecutive AAA®/CAA® Lodging Partner of the Year awards, recognizing the brand’s commitment to providing exceptional service and great value to AAA’s 56 million members in the U.S. and Canada. Over 30 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. Best Western’s partnerships with AAA/CAA and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Through its partnership with Google® Street View, Best Western is the first major company of its size and scale to launch a virtual reality experience for customers, setting a new industry standard and reinventing how guests view hotels. Each Best Western® branded hotel is independently owned and operated.

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

Contacts:
Marketing Communications Department
Best Western Hotels and Resorts – Asia
Tel: +66 2 656 1260
Sirimanas Maungrod
Email: sirimanas.maungrod@bestwestern.com
Orapan Sornnuwat
Email: orapan.sornnuwat@bestwestern.com

Six Days of Fabulous Fashion Events at First Sands Macao Fashion Week

Six Days of Fabulous Fashion Events at First Sands Macao Fashion Week

Macao, Macau SAR (China) – October 12, 2017 (travelindex.com) – Sands Resorts Macao will launch its first Sands Macao Fashion Week from Oct. 19–24, 2017. Designed to showcase the many leading luxury and lifestyle fashion brands across Shoppes at Four Seasons, Shoppes at Venetian, Shoppes at Parisian and Shoppes at Cotai Central, the event will offer fashion parades and other special events open for the public to enjoy.

A highlight of the week will be an exclusive VIP gala dinner and fashion show attended by celebrities and fashion elite from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Korea, held at The Venetian Macao’s opulent main lobby on Thursday, Oct. 19. The gala evening kicks off six days of fashion events and promotions that will include runway and boutique shows at Shoppes at Venetian and Shoppes at Parisian and exhibitions at Shoppes at Four Seasons highlighting current collections, alongside other exciting events.

The key events of Sands Macao Fashion Week 2017 will be held on Oct. 20 and 21, when Shoppes at Venetian presents the Walk on Water fashion shows, a series of runway events that actually take place on The Venetian Macao’s Grand Canal itself, while The Parisian Macao’s Avenue des Champs Elysees will also be brought to life with live runway shows showcasing the latest looks for the coming season.

The week’s prestigious programme will also see exhibitions taking place at Shoppes at Four Seasons on Oct. 20 to 24, revealing the absolute crème de la crème of fashion from the world’s premium fashion houses.

“Sands Shoppes Cotai Strip Macao is proud to present Sands Macao Fashion Week, which is set to become an exciting fixture on the fashion calendar,” said David Sylvester, Executive Vice President of Global Retail, Las Vegas Sands Corp.

“Macao has become a fashion capital, bursting with the latest global and local designs. As the largest indoor mall in Macao, with 850 duty free stores spanning top designer labels at Shoppes at Four Seasons, world-renowned brands and boutiques at Shoppes at Venetian, creative luxury at Shoppes at Parisian, and a wide range of family fun activities and boutiques at Shoppes at Cotai Central, Sands Shoppes Cotai Strip Macao offers a celebration of fashion like no other. Open to anyone interested in fashion, Sands Macao Fashion Week will showcase a wide range of exciting events, and we invite fashionistas and style enthusiasts of all kinds to join us.”

Promising a celebration of style, Sands Macao Fashion Week 2017 is for anyone interested in the latest haute couture, streetwear and everything in-between for the autumn/winter seasons.

Sands Macao Fashion Week 2017 – Oct. 19–24, 2017

Oct. 19, 6:30 p.m. – Gala Night at The Venetian Macao
Exclusive invitation-only dinner to be held in the main lobby of The Venetian Macao

Oct. 20–21 – Walk on Water Runway Shows at Shoppes at Venetian
Ready-to-wear runway shows held at Shoppes at Venetian. Guests will be able to see the latest collections from a wide range of stores at Shoppes at Venetian on a catwalk set on the Grand Canal.

Oct. 20–21 – Boutique Shows at Shoppes at Parisian
Guests are invited to the runway shows in Champs Elysees, set against the backdrop of the iconic Eiffel Tower. The latest fashion looks and trends for the season from a selection of stores at Shoppes at Parisian will be showcased.

Oct. 20–24 – Exhibitions at Shoppes at Four Seasons
Selection of latest season outfits from luxury brands will be displayed throughout Shoppes at Four Seasons

About Sands Shoppes Cotai Strip Macao
Sands Shoppes Cotai Strip Macao is the largest duty-free luxury shopping experience in Macao, with over 850 retailers featuring the world’s best duty free brands, all under one roof. Consisting of the interconnected Shoppes at Four Seasons, Shoppes at Venetian and Shoppes at Cotai Central, it now adds the 300,000-square-foot Shoppes at Parisian, offering the latest in fashion and couture in a setting reminiscent of the streets of Paris.

The luxury shopping experience is part of Sands China’s integrated resort city on the Cotai Strip, featuring seven hotel properties: The Venetian® Macao; The Parisian Macao; The Plaza™ Macao (including Four Seasons Hotel Macao); and Sands® Cotai Central (comprising The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Central; Conrad Macao, Cotai Central; Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central; and Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central). Sands Shoppes features some of Macao’s first-to-market luxury brands, and with its unique design themes, is an unmissable experience for visitors. Sands Shoppes also delivers a wide array of delectable international cuisine, from high-end gourmet to expansive food court options.

For more information, please visit

Contacts:
Public Relations, Venetian Macau Limited
Donna Campbell
Tel: +853 8118 2041
Email:
donna.campbell@sands.com.mo
Vannia Chio
Tel: +853 8118 2033
Email: vannia.chio@sands.com.mo

Mario Hardy’s Contract Extended as PATA CEO

Mario Hardy’s Contract Extended as PATA CEO

Bangkok (Thailand) – October 11, 2017 (travelindex.com) – The Executive Board of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has extended the contract of Chief Executive Officer Dr. Mario Hardy for a period of three years commencing January 1, 2018.

PATA Chairperson Sarah Mathews said, “I am delighted that Mario has agreed to continue as our Chief Executive Officer. Under his outstanding leadership, the Association has made considerable progress and I am confident he will continue to lead PATA and support the needs of our members. PATA remains an association dedicated to all its members and will continue to assist them in the ever-evolving landscape of tourism and travel. Mario and his team are best placed to help drive a continued period of growth.”

Dr Hardy said, “I am delighted to have an opportunity to work with our outstanding management team in building upon the PATA successes of the past three years. We still face many challenges as a membership organisation but our determination to add value to the many benefits of PATA membership is being recognised in the public and private sectors. We shall continue with our primary mission of promoting sustainable and responsibly tourism development throughout the world as we encourage travel to, from and within the Asia Pacific region.”

Mario Hardy joined PATA in 2012 as Chief Operating Officer and was appointed Chief Executive Officer on November 1, 2014. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PATA Foundation, a non-profit organisation with a focus on the protection of the environment, the conservation of culture and heritage, and support for education.

He worked for 26 years in specialised aviation businesses with a focus upon data analytics and technology, occupying leadership roles in Montreal, Vancouver, London, Beijing and Singapore.

In 2016, he received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Capilano University for his philanthropic work in Cambodia where he helped develop a school for underprivileged children and for his support in the development of a Community Based Tourism (CBT) project in Vietnam.

In January 2017 Mario Hardy graduated from the Singularity University, Executive Program on the subject of Exponential Technologies.

About PATA
Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit membership association that acts a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 25 international airlines and airports, 108 hospitality organisations, 72 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 36 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership in Uniting Travel, a coalition of the world’s major Travel & Tourism organisations dedicated to ensuring that the sector speaks with one voice and acts in unison on the major issues and includes ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, WEF, UNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney and London.

Contact:
PATA
Paul Pruangkarn
Director – Communications & Marketing
communications@PATA.org
+66 (02) 658-2000
Bangkok, Thailand

Macao Visitor Arrivals at 920,631 During Golden Week

Macao Visitor Arrivals at 920,631 During Golden Week

Macao (Macau SAR) – October 11, 2017 (travelindex.com) – More Mainland residents opted for travel during the 1st October Golden Week this year, with both the National Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival falling on this eight-day holiday (1st – 8th October). Attributed to this factor, total visitor arrivals to Macao registered an increase in comparison with the corresponding period of last year. Macao welcomed a total of 920,631 visitors during the eight-day 1st October Golden Week. Total visitor arrivals from 1st to 7th October registered a year-on-year rise of 11.6%.

According to the preliminary statistical figures (non-resident employees and students have been excluded from visitor arrivals) provided by the Public Security Police Force, Macao welcomed a total of 920,631 visitors during the eight-day 1st October Golden Week. In comparison with the corresponding seven-day period of last year, total visitor arrivals from 1st to 7th October this year reached 844,522 and marked a year-on-year increase of 11.6%, while visitor arrivals from Mainland China surged by 9.6%.

Greater China market
Macao welcomed a total of 696,636 visitors from the Mainland throughout the eight-day 1st October Golden Week, which constitutes 75.7% of total visitor arrivals to Macao. In the first seven days of the period, visitor arrivals from the Mainland hit 647,352, an increase of 9.6%, whereas visitor arrivals from Taiwan and Hong Kong surged by 20.1% and 6.4% respectively.

Hotel occupancy and room rate
Up to date, the room supply by local hotels and guest houses has reached a total of 37,678 rooms. According to figures provided by travel industry operators, local hotel establishments, especially 3-Star to 5-Star hotels, registered relatively satisfactory occupancy rates during the Golden Week. The average occupancy rate of 3-Star to 5-Star hotels was 95.9%, up 3.1 percentage points. On the other hand, the average occupancy rate of 2-Star hotels was 76.3%, down 1.9 percentage points, whereas the average occupancy rate of guest houses slightly went down by 1 percentage point to 74%.

The average room rate of hotel establishments (hotels and guest houses) in Macao was about 1,829.8 patacas during the Golden Week, a year-on-year increase of 7.0%. The average room rates of 5-Star and 4-Star hotels were around 2,120.3 patacas and 1,395.6 patacas respectively, up 4.3% and 13.1% respectively. The average room rates of 3-Star and 2-Star hotels were around 1,375.1 patacas and 1,129.1 patacas respectively, an increase of 12.6% and 50.9%. The average room rate of local guest houses was around 730.0 patacas, up 18.6%.

Before and during the past Golden Week, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) actively prepared for the arrival of the peak period by carrying out an array of tasks including operation of tourism notification system, reminders to industry operators and visitors via letter and mobile text message respectively, interdepartmental sharing of information, thorough inspections, food guide publication, provision of enquiry service at designated locations, support to local associations for organizing holiday and weekend activities, etc. With the above measures, MGTO strived to cater for the needs of residents and visitors as well as to optimize the tourism environment and service quality in Macao.

Besides the effective operation of the Tourism Notification System in tandem with the Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province during the National Day Golden Week, MGTO also coordinated with related departments and tourism reception units amidst its dedication to the work of welcoming visitors. In addition, MGTO regularly releases different categories of room rates declared by various local hotel establishments on its website for public awareness. Via WeChat, the Office advised visitors to make room reservation and prepare itineraries in advance of their trips to Macao. Via mobile text message, MGTO also advised visitors to visit major local attractions during off-peak hours, in order to divert the flow of visitors and minimize their impact on traffic conditions and neighborhoods near popular tourist sites, thus keeping the positive destination image of Macao. From 30th September to 8th October, staff members were arranged at ten tourist locations to provide visitors with tourism information and guidance while assisting in crowd management.

During the Golden Week, MGTO delegated inspectors to patrol various ports of entries and tourist spots in more scrupulous manner, with a total of 94 inspections conducted. The Office also carried out seven concerted actions with police authorities, inspected 56 premises and sealed four premises allegedly operated as illegal accommodation.

Travel & Tourism Must Join the Fight for Paris Climate Accord

Travel & Tourism Must Join the Fight for Paris Climate Accord

Victoria (Seychelles) – October 11, 2017 (travelindex.com) – Speaking in Victoria, Seychelles, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, co-founder of SUNx (Strong Universal Network) focused on the multi-decade growth of global geopolitical consensus on the existential threat of climate change.

“Recent devastation in the Caribbean and the spectre of a US reversal on Paris are game changing events” Lipman warned.

He said “the 2015 Paris Accord is a vital core component of the massive, sustained response needed to deal with the scale, scope, unpredictability and intensity of natural forces, if scientific analysis of climate change is right.

Lipman called on the Travel & Tourism sector to rally behind the Paris process and resist the challenges posed by the Trump Administration’s vacillation on its support of the Agreement.

Speaking under the theme “How relevant is Sustainable Tourism to Climate Change?”, Lipman described the urgent need to plan for increasing tourist numbers in a world where the effects of climate change have direct impact on destinations, especially small island economies.

He stressed that Small Island Developing States, (SIDS), like Seychelles, as the most evidently at risk, had played a key role in the processes leading up to Paris and applauded their continuing advocacy leadership.

The Seychelles has taken significant strides through the establishment of the Seychelles National Climate Change Strategy (2009), six years before the Paris climate Agreement. It had also developed its own Green Label initiative and similar environmental actions. Now it’s time to up the game. This is increasingly important as we see the effects of climate change unfold in the form of hurricanes, flooding and heatwaves on a scale that has never been seen before.

Lipman said that SUNx – Strong Universal Network – is designed to help. It is inspired by the late Maurice Strong; who led many historical sustainability initiatives, including the 1992 Rio Earth Summit and Agenda 21 implementation framework. He saw clearly the potential of travel & tourism in the long path to sustainable development, laid out in the new SDG and Paris Climate Frameworks, with measurable multi-decade timeframes.

SUNx is a global innovation / learning eXchange for climate resilient Impact-Travel (measured: green: 2050 proofed), and a cadre of committed neXt generation transformation advocates. We will launch a dedicated Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship program to encourage tomorrow’s Impact-Travel leaders.

Contact:
Professor Geoffrey Lipman
glipman@thesunprogram.com

Airbnb Newest PATA Hospitality Member

Airbnb Newest PATA Hospitality Member

San Francisco, California (United States) – October 10, 2017 (travelindex.com) – Airbnb, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality company, is the latest hospitality sector organisation to join the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy said, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Airbnb to the PATA family. With more than four million Airbnb listings worldwide it impossible to ignore the impact that the sharing economy is having upon the travel and tourism industry. It is important that we are able to add this voice to our discussions in the development of a responsible travel and tourism industry, especially when we examine the role of the sharing economy in the dispersal of tourists to lesser known and emerging destinations.”

“Over the next few months, PATA and Airbnb will be working together to bring greater insights on topics related to the sharing economy – including its economic impact and the issue of over tourism,” added Dr. Hardy.

“Home sharing has become an important economic engine for communities around the world,” said Thao Nguyen, APAC head of strategic partnerships at Airbnb. “We’re excited to join the PATA family and play our part in promoting healthy and sustainable tourism that directly benefits local communities.”

About PATA:
Founded in 1951, PATA is a not-for-profit membership association that acts a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 95 government, state and city tourism bodies, 25 international airlines and airports, 108 hospitality organisations, 72 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 36 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership in Uniting Travel, a coalition of the world’s major Travel & Tourism organisations dedicated to ensuring that the sector speaks with one voice and acts in unison on the major issues and includes ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, WEF, UNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney and London.

About Airbnb:
Founded in 2008, Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where people can belong when they travel by being connected to local cultures and having unique travel experiences. Its community marketplace provides access to millions of unique accommodations from apartments and villas to castles and treehouses in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries. With Experiences, Airbnb offers unprecedented access to local communities and interests, while Places lets people discover the hidden gems of a city as recommended by the people that live there. Airbnb is people powered and the easiest way to earn a little extra income from extra space in a home or from sharing passions, interests and cities.

Contact:
PATA
Paul Pruangkarn
Director – Communications & Marketing
communications@PATA.org
+66 (02) 658 2000
Bangkok, Thailand

Chinese Outbound Travel Grows Despite Decline in Trips to Europe

Chinese Outbound Travel Grows Despite Decline in Trips to Europe

Beijing (China) – October 10, 2017 (travelindex.com) – In 2016, China registered a 13 per cent increase in outbound trips – city trips and Sun&Beach holidays are becoming more and more important – trips to Europe declined – ITB Berlin and IPK International analyse outbound travel behaviour of the Chinese

In 2016, while international travel grew by about four per cent, China registered a growth rate of 13 percent, further consolidating its position as one of the world’s most important source markets for international travel. Thus, China exceeded the Asian/Pacific average outbound growth rate, which was at nearly nine per cent in 2016. These are the results of a special analysis by the World Travel Monitor®, conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin.

Decline in trips to Europe in 2016:
In 2016, the Chinese went on 51.2 million international trips with overnights, not including trips to Macau and Hong Kong. Compared to the previous year, that amounts to an additional six million trips and an increase of 13 per cent. China also strengthened its position as the world’s fourth-largest source market behind Germany, the USA and the UK, while further distancing fifth-placed France. Around three out of four outbound trips from China are to destinations within Asia/Pacific, with the Top-5 destinations being within the region, such as South Korea and Thailand. The USA is China’s sixth most popular destination, to which some 2.8 million trips have been made in 2016. The most preferred European destinations are Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland and Austria. However, following seven years of consecutive growth, Chinese trips to Europe declined by four per cent in 2016 compared to the previous year, resulting in a total of 16 per cent of all Chinese outbound trips going to Europe. Nevertheless, first trends for 2017 indicate a positive development again regarding Chinese trips to Europe.

City trips and Sun&Beach holidays are gaining ground:
Holidays are the reason for over 80 per cent of Chinese outbound trips. Above all, holiday trips only (without visiting friends or relatives) have a significantly higher share among Chinese travellers (72 per cent) compared to the global average of 57 per cent. For some years, the most popular type of holiday has been round trips, whereas city trips as well as Sun&Beach holidays have been catching up recently. Even though the share of business trips in 2016 was rather small (15 per cent), the number grew by 22 per cent compared to 2015, while holiday trips increased by 11 per cent. Moreover, the average length of stay abroad was nearly 6 nights, which represents a slight increase compared to the previous year, while spending per night remained at the same level.

Preference for first class hotels and above average travel agency bookings:
Around 75 per cent of Chinese outbound travellers chose to stay in hotels. Four and five star hotels were the preferred categories, accounting for 52 per cent of accommodation on all trips. Thus, also regarding the accommodation choice, the Chinese differ widely from the global average, which in respect to luxury hotels stands at only 39 per cent. For the Chinese, planes are the preferred means of transportation, making up for over 80 per cent. This figure is also significantly higher than the global average of around 60 per cent.

When it comes to information sources used prior going on an outbound trip, 88 per cent of Chinese travellers use the internet, which is only slightly higher than the worldwide average of 81 per cent. However, while worldwide, around one in three travellers seek for information through a travel agency, Chinese exhibit a much higher share of nearly 70 per cent. This also applies to travel agency bookings. Globally, around 30 per cent book their outbound trip through a travel agency, while almost 50 per cent of Chinese do so.

The World Travel Monitor® Forum is an exclusive industry gathering which discusses the latest travel trends and forecasts of tourism development, taking place on the 9th and 10th of November 2017 in Pisa, Italy.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention:
ITB Berlin 2018 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 7 to 11 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. ITB Berlin is the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. In 2017 a total of 10,000 companies and organizations from 184 countries exhibited their products and services to around 169,000 visitors, who included 109,000 trade visitors. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 7 to Saturday, 10 March 2018. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors and exhibitors.

Press contacts:
ITB Berlin / ITB Asia / ITB China:
Julia Wegener
PR Manager
T: + 49 30 3038-2269
j.wegener@messe-berlin.de
www.messe-berlin.com
IPK International:
Fenja Weberskirch
Marketing Consultant
T: +49 89 8292370
weberskirch@ipkinternational.com
www.ipkinternational.com