New Ecotourism Experiences in Sri Lanka as Demand Returns

New Ecotourism Experiences in Sri Lanka as Demand Returns

Colombo, Sri Lanka, October 13, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Fully vaccinated tourists can enter Sri Lanka with no need to quarantine on arrival. The only major requirement is a PCR test taken within 72 hours of embarkation for Colombo.

Sri Lankan Airlines, Air Canada, Qatar Airways and others currently fly to Sri Lanka from major hubs such as London, Frankfurt, Paris, Doha, Singapore and Toronto.

Mahiru Fernando Tour operators in Sri Lanka have already seen a strong uptick in bookings. “There has been a noticeable increase since September,” said Mahiru Fernando (pictured right), Acting General Manager of Khiri Travel Sri Lanka. “But since the 7 October announcement enquiries and bookings have picked up at an even faster rate.”

In anticipation of the easing of restrictions, Khiri Travel Sri Lanka has created four ecotourism tours in Sri Lanka for visitors interested in respecting nature, going local and giving back.

>From Mirissa on the southern tip of Sri Lanka, guests can sail in a catamaran with a marine biologist to spot blue whales and dolphins. The trip includes swimming, stand-up paddling (SUP) and a seafood lunch on board.

In the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, the Trails of Matale trip lets guests talk to villagers and hike through pepper, cinnamon and coffee plantations followed by a delicious banana leaf lunch.

In the Kandy hill country, Khiri has created an educational tour of herb gardens in the forest to show how spices such as cinnamon are cultivated. The trip includes a mug of locally grown “wild coffee”, a forest curry lunch and a donation to a reafforestation foundation.

Guests can also help with a seagrass restoration project in the Puttalam/Kalpitiya area in the north west of the country. The experience involves getting muddy and wet in a lagoon planting seagrass, which is an important breeding ground for sealife. As is often the case, a delicious Sri Lankan lunch follows.

Since January 2021, Khiri has been offsetting guests’ holiday carbon emissions by charging US$1.50 per person per day. The process is being carried out in cooperation with ClimateCare which helps companies such as Khiri Travel with the technical fulfillment of carbon offsetting.

Willem Niemeijer“Khiri Travel is very pleased that Sri Lanka is taking a lead role in Southeast Asia tourism destinations by responsibly easing Covid-related travel restrictions,” said Willem Niemeijer (pictured left), CEO of Khiri Travel.

“Sri Lanka has thousands of tour guides, drivers and people dependent on tourism. They will all welcome the economic boost that the lighter regulations bring,” he said.

Full details of the health protocols for Sri Lanka tourism that became effective on 7 October 2021

About Khiri Travel
Since 1993, Khiri Travel has won awards and earned a reputation as a destination management company dedicated to working with select tour operators to provide quality leisure travel experiences across Asia. With 17 offices in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Khiri Travel’s entrepreneurial associates craft innovative itineraries that reflect their passion for authentic, local and sustainable experiences.

UNWTO and NEOM Launch Tourism Experiences of the Future Challenge

UNWTO and NEOM Launch Tourism Experiences of the Future Challenge

Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, October 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / UNWTO and NEOM have partnered for a new initiative focused on the future of tourism in Saudi Arabia. The ‘Tourism Experiences of the Future’ challenge will source innovative ideas and disruptive business models related to the tourism needs of the future, in line with growing demand for new experiences.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Saudi Arabia, visit

All proposals must be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and should include the introduction or adaptation of digital and technological elements, as well as being focused at least one of the following areas:

– Optimizing and maximizing the potential of experiential tourism
– Harnessing the positive impact of new technology
– Alternative business models
– Innovative experiences

The competition is the first national initiative dedicated to identifying new companies that will lead the tourism sector’s transformation in Saudi Arabia. As well as established businesses, the competition also welcomes applications from Saudi Arabian start-ups and innovators with ideas capable of revolutionizing and inspiring tourists by presenting new ways and reasons to travel.

Applications are open until 24 October, with great interest expected, and participants must be Saudi citizens with legal capacity to enter into a contract. Successful projects will be selected based on various criteria, such as the degree of innovation, their viability and sustainability.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Saudi Arabia, visit

An Affiliate Member of UNWTO since 2019, NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a new future might look like. Located in northwest Saudi Arabia along the Red Sea, NEOM is ideally situated at the crossroads of the world, comprising a total area of 26,500 km². A special authority has been established to oversee NEOM, chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Six More Airlines Implement IATA Travel Pass

Six More Airlines Implement IATA Travel Pass

Boston, Massachusetts, United States, October 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Etihad Airways, Jazeera Airways, Jetstar, Qantas, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian, will implement IATA Travel Pass in a phased rollout across the airlines’ networks. These five airlines join Emirates Airline as IATA Travel Pass implementation pioneers.

The announcement, made on the sidelines of the 77th IATA Annual General Meeting being held in Boston, follows eleven months of extensive testing by 76 airlines.

“After months of testing, IATA Travel Pass is now entering the operational phase. The app has proven itself to be an effective tool to manage the complex mess of travel health credentials that governments require. And it’s a great vote of confidence that some of the world’s best known airline brands will be making it available to their customers over the coming months,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The app offers a safe and secure way for travelers to check the requirements for their journey, receive test results and scan their vaccine certificates, verify that these meet the destination and transit requirements and share these effortlessly with health officials and airlines prior to departure. This will avoid queuing and congestion for document checks—to the benefit of travelers, airlines, airports and governments.

IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that can receive and verify a range of COVID-19 test results and digital vaccines certificates. Currently vaccine certificates from 52 countries (representing the source of 56% of global air travel) can be managed using the app. This will increase to 74 countries, representing 85% of global traffic, by the end of November.

IATA Travel Pass is expected to play a key role in the aviation industry’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19. A digitalized solution to manage the paperwork of COVID-19 travel health credentials will support a return to travel when borders reopen. With many governments relying on airlines for COVID-19 document checking this will be critical in avoiding queues and congestion at check-in as travel ramps up.

Catch the Ultimate Break and Discover Bali’s Hottest Surfing Spots

Catch the Ultimate Break and Discover Bali’s Hottest Surfing Spots

Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / You know a surfing spot is hot when eleven-time world championship surfer Kelly Slater makes a trek mid-pandemic in search of the perfect wave. In December 2020 he did just that at Uluwatu on the southwestern tip of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula. The beaches around Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort boast some of the greatest waves in the world and the resort is offering the Ultimate Surf Break Package for surfer’s keen to get back riding Bali’s famous barrels.

The package for two people includes accommodation and breakfast, a private yoga session, a one-hour signature Anantara massage, a three-course dinner and a half day surfing session including transfers and insurance at one of the areas famous beaches. If unsure about which beach to choose, the resort has come up with six of the best:

Impossible Beach
Perched atop the dramatic cliff, Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort’s contemporary luxury reveals sensational ocean views of the world-renowned Impossible Beach right in front of the resort. This beach is one of the most famous surf points in Bali where surfers can descend through the resort’s beach elevator to the beautiful rocky beach. From there, it’s only 300 metres to paddle out from the aptly named beach to the break that is suitable for surfing pro’s all year round.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Bali, It’s Happening in Bali, go to

Padang Padang Beach
If the name Padang Padang Beach doesn’t sound familiar just think of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, as the beach is based-on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir and is the setting for the 2010 movie of the same name starring Julia Roberts. This beach is a stunning stretch of sand that is only accessible by a staircase through a hollow cave entrance. Padang Padang is a bucket listed notch on the belt for all experienced surfers looking for one of the best lefts in the world.

Bingin Beach
One of the island’s hidden gems for wave riding, Bingin Beach is a paradise for surfers. Swells of up to 2.5 metres break over the submerged reef giving strong left-handers to surfers. While getting to the beach is a difficult walk over rocks, it’s well worth the effort with the stunning beachscape and challenging barrels.

Nusa Dua Beach
Famous for Bali’s big wave surf break, the ocean reef at Nusa Dua stretches around the coastline for over two kilometres. It has the most consistent right-hand reef breaks on the island. Depending on the conditions and tides, the breaks tend to vary but on the right day surfers can enjoy the ultimate surfing experience.

Dreamland and Balangan Beaches
Dreamland and Balangan Beaches are only a kilometre apart and separated by a small headland. Both are a mix of soft white sand and rockpools. For pros, the best time to surf is between May and September when south-westerly winds create swells ranging from 1 metre to over 3 metres, which can roll on for a good 500 metres. Both beaches are also great for beginners and intermediate surfers.

Green Bowl Beach
Green Bowl is one of Bali’s untouched beaches often overlooked in favor of other more famous surfing spots. It’s a steep descent down hundreds of steps attracting surfers who favour uncrowded waves and punchy right-handers. Most surfers recommend early morning sessions as the wind picks up throughout the day.

For a comprehensive travel guide on Bali, It’s Happening in Bali, go to

About Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas
Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences.

From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travellers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise. The portfolio currently boasts over 40 stunning properties located in Thailand, the Maldives, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zambia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia, Portugal and Spain, with a pipeline of future properties across Europe, Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and Africa.

Sabre and Emirates Sign New Distribution Agreement

Sabre and Emirates Sign New Distribution Agreement

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, October 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Sabre Corporation, the leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, and Emirates, one of the world’s largest international airlines, have signed a new multi-year, worldwide distribution agreement.

The new agreement will provide Sabre-connected travel buyers and agencies with access to Emirates’ content, through Sabre’s global distribution system (GDS), with immediate effect. Further to this, Emirates will create and distribute NDC offers through the Sabre GDS.

“We are delighted to reestablish our long-standing partnership with Emirates,” said Roshan Mendis, Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. “The agreement demonstrates our commitment to creating a sustainable distribution model that benefits all constituents across the travel value chain. Resulting from thoughtful discussions between both parties, our new agreement will provide both Emirates and travel buyers with immense value, removing complexity in the buying process, which is crucial to the recovery of the industry.”

The new contract will connect Emirates to a global network of travelers, while supporting its global vision to provide travel buyers and travelers with personalized offers.

“We are pleased to have reached this distribution agreement with Sabre,” said Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer at Emirates. “The new contract will support us to meet the needs of our agency partners. Providing agencies with flexibility, choice and efficiency will help them to thrive in the current climate and will help us drive revenue and growth.”

In addition to the new agreement, Sabre will continue to partner with Emirates on advanced retailing, data and analytics capabilities through a number of its industry-leading solutions in areas such as network planning, revenue optimization and market intelligence.

About Sabre Corporation
Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre’s technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world.

About Emirates
Emirates is the award-winning airline renowned for its industry-leading services in the air and on the ground. It is the world’s largest operator of the popular Boeing 777 and iconic Airbus A380 aircraft, both modern and efficient widebody aircraft types which offer the latest onboard comforts. Emirates’ global network connects over 120 cities on six continents to, and through, its hub in Dubai. The airline also contributes to vibrant communities as a prominent sponsor of sports and cultural events around the world.

Focus on Domestic Tourism as Leaders Meet in Maldives

Focus on Domestic Tourism as Leaders Meet in Maldives

Male, Maldives, October 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The annual UNWTO Executive Training Programme returned to focus on harnessing the power of domestic tourism to drive recovery and growth in destinations across Asia and the Pacific.

Now in its 15th year, the Training Programme once again served as the leading platform for the region’s tourism leaders to network and develop strategies for guiding the sector forward. The event brought together representatives of 25 countries, with six (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Sri Lanka, Mongolia and Nepal) joining hosts the Maldives to attend the training sessions in person.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

High-level political welcome

The sector needs leaders who can recognize ideas that will make a difference, who will innovate and back entrepreneurs and start-ups

The Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, officially opened the Training Session, welcoming delegates taking part in person and online. Further highlighting the host country’s high-level political support for tourism, the UNWTO leadership also met with the Minister and his colleagues to learn more of plans to diversify its sector and make it more gender equal.

Dr Mausoom thanked UNWTO for the opportunity to host the training sessions, highlighting the Maldives’ commitment to growing tourism back sustainably, with a focus on promoting the islands’ rich culture, heritage and biodiversity. Opening the event, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that, as tourism restarts in many parts of the world, “the sector needs leaders who can recognize ideas that will make a difference, who will innovate and back entrepreneurs and start-ups”.

Innovation and private sector partnerships

Reflecting the restart of domestic tourism ahead of international tourism, both across Asia and the Pacific and globally, the Executive Training Programme focused on enabling destinations of all sizes to capitalize on this trend. The opening sessions focused on destination management and was led by UNWTO experts alongside key partners including Google, and featured case studies from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. This was followed by sessions focusing on the role of innovation and private sector partnerships in growing domestic tourism, with case studies presented by representatives of Bhutan, Macao, China, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Samoa, India and China.

Read all the latest UNWTO News and Updates here.

Building on UNWTO Support for the Maldives

Since the Maldives re-opened its borders to international tourism in July 2020, arrivals have been steadily increasing. In February 2021, UNWTO signed an agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the implementation of a project on tourism recovery for the Maldives, working closely with the government and private sector stakeholders to accelerate the safe and sustainable restart of the sector.

The 34th Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the UNWTO Commission for South Asia (34th CAP-CSA) will also be hosted by the Maldives next year. It will be held within the framework of Maldives’ celebration of its Golden Jubilee to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its tourism development and its globally recognized status as a world-class tourism destination.

WTTC Research Reveals Tourism Slow Recovery Hitting Jobs and Growth Worldwide

WTTC Research Reveals Tourism Slow Recovery Hitting Jobs and Growth Worldwide

London, United Kingdom, October 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The Travel & Tourism sector’s continued sluggish recovery will see its year-on-year contribution to global GDP rise by less than one third in 2021, according to new research from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

In a slower than expected recovery GDP contribution will only increase by less than one third. Nearly 19 million Travel and Tourism jobs in the balance in 2021. With the right measures, governments could see jobs surpass 2019 levels by 2022.

WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, says the recovery of the sector has been hampered by the lack of international coordination, severe travel restrictions and slower vaccination rates in some parts of the world which still hamper many regions of the world.

In 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector generated nearly USD 9.2 trillion to the global economy, however in 2020, the pandemic brought Travel & Tourism to an almost complete standstill which resulted in a 49.1% drop, representing a punishing loss of nearly USD$ 4.5 trillion.

While the global economy is set to receive a modest 30.7% year on year increase from Travel & Tourism in 2021, this will only represent USD 1.4 trillion and is mainly driven by domestic spending.

The economic modelling was conducted by Oxford Economics on behalf of WTTC and calculated a baseline scenario based on the current global vaccination rollout, consumer confidence and relaxed travel restrictions in some in regions around the world.

The research reveals that at the current rate of recovery, Travel & Tourism’s contribution to the global economy could see a similar moderate year on year rise of 31.7% in 2022.

Last year, WTTC revealed the loss of a staggering 62 million Travel & Tourism jobs around the world and with the current pace of recovery, jobs are set to rise by only 0.7% this year.

Similarly, research shows a more hopeful potential year-on-year jobs rise across the sector next year, by a positive 18%.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO said: “Our research clearly shows that while the global Travel & Tourism sector is beginning to recover from the ravages of COVID-19 there are still too many restrictions in place, an uneven vaccine rollout, resulting in a slower than expected recovery of just under a third this year.

“Last year, 62 million Travel & Tourism jobs were lost globally, and our data shows a rise of a meagre 0.7% this year. While next year is looking more positive in terms of the global economy and jobs, the current rate of recovery is simply not fast enough and is in the most part driven by domestic travel, which will not achieve a full economic recovery.

“If governments can start looking internationally and support Travel & Tourism with simplified rules to enable the safe return of travel, there is the opportunity to save jobs and boost economic wealth”.

According to the research, the sector’s contribution to global GDP and the rise in jobs could be more positive this year and next, if the following measures are met:

  1. Allow fully vaccinated travellers to move freely, irrespective of their origin or eventual destination, removing complex tiered systems.
  2. The implementation of digital solutions which enable all travellers to easily prove their COVID status, so in turn speeding up the process at borders around the world.
  3. Recognition of all vaccines authorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and/or any of the Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRA).
  4. Agreement from all relevant authorities that international travel is safe with enhanced health and safety protocols.

The future could be brighter
The research shows that if these four vital rules are followed before the end of 2021, the impact on the global economy and jobs could be significant.

According to the data, the sector’s contribution to the global economy could jump by 37.5% – reaching USD 6.4 trillion this year (compared to USD 4.7 trillion in 2020).

However, there is still hope if restrictions continue being lifted and with more international cooperation, governments could bring back nearly 19 million jobs before the year ends (up 6.8%).

The trend continues into next year when the sector’s contribution to the global economy could see a year on year rise of 34%, reaching USD 8.6 trillion, close to 2019, a record year for Travel & Tourism. Similarly, jobs could surpass 2019 levels – up 20.1% year on year, to more than 349 million.

Belmond Hotels Names Karl Bieberach as Head of Global Development

Belmond Hotels Names Karl Bieberach as Head of Global Development

London, United Kingdom, October 11, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Belmond today announced the appointment of Karl Bieberach as Senior Vice President of Global Development. Set to begin his new role on 22nd March, 2021, he will be responsible for the global expansion of Belmond’s portfolio which spans hotels, trains, river barges and safaris. Prior to joining Belmond, he served as Chief Development Officer at Rosewood Hotel Group.

Mr. Bieberach brings 25 years of experience to Belmond following a successful career in a variety of senior roles at well-renowned hospitality brands including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Marriott International and HVS International. Having worked extensively in almost all corners of the world, he has evaluated or transacted nearly 500 deals globally.

Roeland Vos, President & Chief Executive Officer of Belmond said of the appointment: “Already at the forefront of luxury, Belmond has a renewed and ambitious strategy that will position us as the leading provider of incomparable genuine travel experiences. Part of this strategy is our commitment to finding unique assets in remarkable locations that will further expand our collection of one-of-a-kind offerings to today’s discerning travellers.

Karl has an excellent track record and proven ability to grow well-respected hospitality brands. With his wealth of industry knowledge and expertise, he will play an instrumental role in strategically growing the company’s footprint through property acquisitions and new management agreements.”

Mr. Bieberach’s background includes hotel and residential development, acquisitions, feasibility and investment analysis. He speaks English, Spanish and French fluently and is passionate about food, art and travel.

Mr. Bieberach said: “It is a great pleasure to join Belmond, a pioneer in the world of luxury travel. As a brand that sees its role as a custodian of timeless heritage, I will continue to be guided by this philosophy, selectively expanding the footprint where not only can we offer authentic experiences but also play a role in celebrating the legendary art of travel. I am excited about the opportunities that await especially in this momentous time in the history of travel.”

Belmond, now part of the world’s leading luxury group LVMH, steps proudly forward into its next phase of evolution. Alongside its strategic expansion, the company also continues to invest in its sensitive restoration plans including the introduction of new Grand Suites aboard the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and the renovation of Splendido Mare, A Belmond Hotel, Portofino which will reopen its doors in April 2021.

About Belmond
Belmond has been a pioneer of luxury travel for over 45 years, building a passion for authentic escapes into a portfolio of one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the world’s most inspiring destinations.

Since the acquisition of the iconic Hotel Cipriani in Venice in 1976, Belmond has continued to perpetuate the legendary art of travel, taking discerning global travellers on breathtaking journeys. Its portfolio extends across 24 countries with 46 remarkable properties that include the illustrious Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train, remote beach retreats like Cap Juluca in Anguilla, Italian hideaways such as Splendido in Portofino, or unrivalled gateways to world natural wonders such as Hotel das Cataratas inside Brazil’s Iguazu National Park. From trains to river barges, safari lodges to hotels, each unique property offers an incomparable experience with its own story to tell. The essence of the Belmond brand is built upon its heritage, craftsmanship and genuine, authentic service. Belmond sees its role as custodians of timeless heritage, dedicated to preserving its assets through sensitive ongoing restoration plans. Belmond is part of the world’s leading luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Kew Green Hotels Expands its Global Presence

Kew Green Hotels Expands its Global Presence

Bangkok, Thailand, October 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Kew Green Hotels, one of the UK’s leading hotel management companies with over 55 hotels in its portfolio, is continuing its global expansion with the signing of three properties in Bangkok to be delivered by Siamese and Kew Green Management Company Thailand: Crowne Plaza Rama 9, Cassia by Banyan Tree Rama 9 and Cassia by Banyan Tree Ram Intra. This is in addition to the signing of four hotels under the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts brand umbrella which are due to open in Bangkok from the end of 2021, bringing it to a total of seven hotels in Thailand.

As part of Kew Green Hotels’ growing global presence, they have entered into a global partnership with the award-winning Light Human Hotels, announcing the first collection of hotel openings: Light Human Hotels Vila Real Porto in Portugal will open in 2022, followed by Light Human Hotel Curitiba in Brazil from 2023. Future Light Human Hotels, exclusively managed by Kew Green Hotels, will include Paris, Porto Marina in Portugal, Miami, Corsica, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Confident in Thailand’s position as a world-class tourism destination, and as the country is preparing to open to international arrivals outside of the Sandbox in Phuket, Chris Dexter, Chief Executive Officer of Kew Green Hotels remarked “We are delighted to be continuing our expansion globally, both into South East Asia, as well as in the Americas and in Europe. This announcement reflects Kew Green Hotels’ broadening expertise in the international hotel market and reputation for operational excellence, strong commercial awareness and industry leading profit delivery.”

Siamese and Kew Green Management Company Thailand expansion

Siamese and Kew Green Management Company Thailand will launch a total of seven properties in the heart of Bangkok from late 2021: The Wyndham Queen Convention Centre, Wyndham Garden Sukhumvit 42, Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Sukhumvit 48, Ramada by Wyndham Sukhumvit 87, Cassia by Banyan Tree Group Rama 9, Crowne Plaza Bangkok Rama 9 and Cassia by Banyan Tree Group Ram Intra. Alongside the launch of these seven properties, Kew Green Hotels will also be launching a Commercial Hub for South East Asia to support the region, based in Bangkok.

Cassia by Banyan Tree Rama 9 will launch in 2023 with 300 rooms within a mixed-use development, Siamese Rama 9, which also features high-end apartments, office space and a mall. Close to the Thai capital’s new central business district, the property is conveniently located on the bustling Rama 9, offering exceptional access to world-class shopping at Central Plaza Grand and connectivity to the rest of Bangkok via a nearby MRT station.

Crowne Plaza Bangkok Rama 9, due to launch in 2023, features 285 rooms, also within the mixed-use development, Siamese Rama 9. This marks the first time IHG has completed a franchise agreement in Thailand, as they expand their relationship with long-term partner Kew Green Hotels, as part of the Joint Venture with experienced Thai real estate developer, Siamese Asset.

Cassia by Banyan Tree Ram Intra is a home away from home for leisure and business guests, located in north east Bangkok, with connectivity to the Thai capital’s central business district and leisure attractions. The hotel features 220 rooms and will launch in 2024.

Kew Green Hotels announce global partnership with Light Human Hotels

Light Human Hotels Vila Real Porto opening in the last quarter of 2022, features 124 bedrooms and suites and is nestled within a community of residences and luxury retailers just five minutes’ drive from the centre of Vila Real, an hour east of Porto’s International Airport. The resort is well-located to explore the verdant local area including the lush valleys and towering mountains of Parque Natural da Serra do Alvao and just 20 minutes to the Douro Valley, world-famous for its vineyards and breath-taking scenery.

Light Human Hotels Curitiba opening from 2023, offers 180 bedrooms and suites and is located in the luxurious Batel neighbourhood, offering easy access to the commercial and experiential centre of Curitiba, known as Brazil’s ‘green capital’ (The Guardian) and the “most innovative city in the world”. Bringing together working, moving and living leisure, Curitiba has become the gold standard in sustainable urban planning. The resort is located less than 20 kilometres from Curitba’s Afonso Pena International Airport.

Each of the Light Human Hotels will feature the brand’s signature amenities including gastronomy designed by Michelin Starred Chef Baptiste Danieul, spa services by L’Occitane, a state-of-the-art swimming pool, events and wedding spaces, a family play area and a kid’s bar. Creativity is at the heart of the Light Human Hotels concept with the hotel showcasing art curated by Muzéo, and architecture by the multi-award-winning Atelier Arcau.

As hotel management partners, Kew Green Hotels set themselves apart by combining years of experience with innovative ideas to deliver outstanding hotel services and by delivering exceptional returns for hotel owners and partners across the world. Combining market-leading technology with expert talent, their Commercial Hub integrates proactive and reactive sales, marketing, analytics and revenue management, to support their increasing hotel portfolio, providing a consolidated approach to deliver growth.

About Kew Green Hotels
Kew Green Hotels was founded in 2001 with a single hotel. It is now a leading UK and International hotel management company with over 55 hotels in the portfolio and over 1,400 employees. Working across the spectrum of hotel operations, from limited service through to luxury full service, Kew Green Hotels is set apart from the competition by owning and developing hotels, as well as managing assets on behalf of others. Kew Green Hotels are expanding internationally including launching seven properties in Bangkok, Thailand, delivered by a new joint-venture with Siamese Asset, to form Siamese and Kew Green Management Company, Thailand. Alongside the launch of these seven properties from the end of 2021, Kew Green Hotels will also be launching a Commercial Hub for South East Asia to support the region, based in Bangkok. Kew Green Hotels exclusively provide hotel management services for Light Human Hotels’ international portfolio.

About Siamese Asset Public Company Limited
Siamese Asset, founded in 2010 by the management group of Ritta Co.Ltd., is a multi-award-winning construction company in Thailand, bringing expertise in real estate to create quality residences and provide investment opportunities with sustainable value growth to shareholders.

About Light Human Hotels
Inspired by French founders, Julien Veyron & Jean-Pierre Bandeira, London based company Light Human Hotels is at the cutting edge of hospitality innovation. It is a new, flexible concept that will soon be home to elegant, cool and environmentally friendly hotels. Winner of the Most Innovative Boutique Hotel’s 2019 UK Enterprise Awards, Light Human Hotels, translated as “the shape of things to come,” are designed to generate human interaction, and provide meaningful experiences. A transgenerational, non-binary concept, created with a millennial mindset and welcome to all, each hotel is inspired by local soul and service innovation.

Re-Positioning Phuket as Luxury Destination – Thailand Yacht Show

Re-Positioning Phuket as Luxury Destination – Thailand Yacht Show

Phuket, Thailand, October 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / The 6th edition of the Thailand Yacht Show, postponed for the past 18 months along with most other large scale international events, is gearing up for next year’s re-awakening with the backing of all the major international yachting brands and Thai government stakeholders.

The show will eventually become the central event in a new multi-faceted “Festival of Luxury Tourism” proposed to the Thai government by Verventia and designed to help re-position Phuket as a HNW tourism destination – a policy just confirmed as adopted by the Prime Minister himself (Read more here).

Originally scheduled back in February this year, show organisers Verventia are cautiously optimistic that the pandemic will be brought under control and the population adequately protected so that TYS can be staged in the first quarter of 2022. Nevertheless, arrangements are being kept flexible in line with the industry’s wishes and the government’s advice, ensuring a timetable with which all strategic partners are comfortable given the on- going situation.

Having had to postpone no less than 5 shows over the past 2 years, Verventia CEO Andy Treadwell has refused to make any premature announcements about definitive dates for the reopening, despite pressure from newly-hatched competitors with no experience trying to hijack the show.

“With people and businesses suffering badly and the government resolutely – and completely correctly – putting safety first, we believe it would be highly insensitive, at best, to announce that the virus will have gone away and borders re-opened until it is fact. We believe this is unlikely to be the case in just 3 months from now. We will stage the show when we and all our clients, partners and stakeholders feel it is safe to do so – which we sincerely hope will be early next year.”


All the major brands and regional dealers have already booked their berths at TYS 2022, whenever it can eventually take place, fully endorsing the Show. They also appreciate the investment its owners have made over the past 6 years in helping to grow the regional industry and promote Phuket as the main yachting hub for Asia.

Simpson Marine, the biggest and longest-standing dealer in Asia and founding partner of all three of the Asia Yacht Shows in Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, has once again confirmed the biggest number of berths in TYS 2022, and will be showing at least 5 or 6 of the latest models of their brands San Lorenzo, Lagoon, Beneteau, Fairline and Aquila.

Richard Allen, General Manager of Simpson Marine, speaks for the most of the industry when he says: “We do not need another show in Thailand- and with the Covid situation in SEA at present, [even] if there was a show taking place in January (2022), we would not attend. The Verventia team has over the last few years been very active in getting the Thai government to understand the potential economic benefits for their country by allowing superyachts to charter here. Now this has finally been approved, I am certain we will see tremendous growth in the boating industry at large. I just wish everybody would get behind [Verventia] and help them grow the Thailand Yacht Show- we don’t need opportunists trying to jump the bandwagon, destroying the momentum and causing confusion. We have already seen the same situation in Hong Kong, causing great damage to the industry there.”

Ferretti Group, another major global brand enjoying huge success in Asia at the moment and also a founding partner of TYS and all three Asia Yacht Shows, has similarly booked their usual berths on the front row of the exhibition.

Sales & Marketing Director, Asia Pacific, Fabiomassimo Discoli, commented: “We certainly don’t want two competing exhibitions in Phuket. Ferretti Group APAC has a long relationship with Verventia and we trust them in being able to create a quality boat show in the region. We have already invested in their shows and there would be no space for another one in the season 2021/2022.”

Princess Yachts is another one of the biggest leisure boating brands in the world and, having similarly supported every single edition of the 3 Asian Yacht Shows since inception, is equally aghast at the ridiculous situation of a newcomer trying to destroy TYS: “We definitely do not need another boat show. If a new organiser wants to be involved, they need to come together strategically with the existing organisers and agree how they can best represent the industry. We like the idea of a single show covering a larger territory across Asia Pacific, with the tried and tested partners with whom we have worked for the past ten years who can operate a show like the Singapore Yacht Show and deliver a truly positive and genuine experience for our customers.” says Princess Chief Marketing Officer, Kiran Haslam

The Thai government initiated the Thailand Yacht Show in 2015 in a move to stimulate Thailand’s economy through developing a high-end marine tourism industry. Verventia were chosen as the event organisers, and now intend to develop it into an international marketing platform that reaches out to the global HNW and UHNWI community.

The extended event will include separate showcases of other high-end luxury products such as private jets, classic cars and electric cars, wellness and healthcare, and Art & Culture – the combined shows providing an irresistible event to attract many thousands of lifestyle-focused consumers from all over the region.

The global campaign currently being prepared for the launch of this event will provide a year-round marketing platform to re-position Thailand as an elite UHNWI destination, as well as being a catalyst for business opportunities in the privileged universes the campaign will engage with.

Visitors will be able to experience the outstanding venues around Phuket, together with unparalleled hospitality, tropical climate, white sandy beaches and some of Asia’s best golf courses.

Vice Governor of Phuket Khun Piyaphong Choonwong, fully endorses the new event: “The Provincial Government of Phuket is delighted to support the initiative of the Thailand Yacht Show team in creating a global campaign to bring a whole raft of wealthy yachting tourists to our beautiful island. The concept of the Festival of Luxury Tourism, incorporating the Thailand Yacht Show, will surely be exceptionally appealing to exactly the kind of high net-worth holidaymakers and the agencies who spread the word to them. At a recent meeting of Phuket’s business leaders, this project received a 100% vote in favour of support. When we can finally open our borders completely once more, there will be a queue of people waiting to come and experience our luxury tourism offering.”