Tag: Asia

Taiwan Top Choice in Asia for Post-Pandemic Travel

TAIPEI, Nov. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Asia Super Team competition, organized by Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economic Affairs and executed by Taiwan External Trade Development Council, promotes incentive travel in Taiwan by revealing Taiwan’s numerous attractions through a variety of different themes and contests since 2013. At the 2020 championship press conference on November 26, results of the event’s Asia Incentive Tourism Destination in the Post-Pandemic Era Survey were announced, in addition to the champion team — JTB Global Marketing & Travel from Japan, winning an incentive travel package valued at US$50,000.

Asia Incentive Tourism Destination in the Post-Pandemic Era Survey Results

Asia Incentive Tourism Destination in the Post-Pandemic Era Survey Results

The impact of COVID-19’s grounding of cross-border travel in 2020 has caused many companies across the world to cancel their incentive travel plans. MEET TAIWAN surveyed Asian corporate business travelers to gauge their interest for incentive travel in light of the global pandemic. The results of 3,939 valid questionnaire responses showed that once the dust settles after the epidemic, 90% of corporate employees in eight Asian countries look forward to company incentive travel plans, indicating that after the end of the lockdown business traveler demand for incentive travel is stronger than ever before.

Of particular note, more than 80% of Asian business travelers will prioritize the integrity of local disease prevention measures when they participate in future incentive travel, and public security will be a second priority; this shows that the pandemic has prompted companies to focus on safety factors when choosing their next incentive travel destination. Statistically, Taiwan is rated as the top destination for incentive travel among Asian companies and countries due to its rich tourism resources and spectacular disease prevention success. Up to 99% of business travelers expressed confidence in Taiwan’s disease prevention and safety, which will be a boon to the country’s tourism after the epidemic.

With regard to incentive travel itineraries, most survey respondents expressed their preferences for cuisine and local cultural experiences, followed by sights of historical significance. The survey answers will assist Taiwan with future preparation and marketing after the epidemic, in addition to serving as reference for other interested international destination providers. The Asia Super Team competition continues to achieve breakthroughs and innovations. It has attracted multiple target markets through diverse, creative, and integrated marketing. The continued implementation of creative marketing contributes to making Taiwan a prime destination for exhibitions and incentive travel in Asia.

Japanese Team Wins Reach for the Stars Championship

This year saw Asia Super Team held as an exclusively online competition for the first time. Elite corporations from Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam participated in the event, completing the online Reach for the Stars challenge in a week-long contest. The onslaught of COVID-19 was overcome by developing a brand-new format of innovative competition that overturned past approaches, using novel technological elements and digital tools to promote and generate buzz

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Media Alert: Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok launches the first in Asia tactile hotel reviews

SINGAPORE, Nov. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — IHG’s luxury boutique brand, Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, celebrates the opening of its first property in South East Asia, with a multi-faceted campaign titled “Meet The Human Difference“. Driven by the brand’s passion for forging heartfelt human connections through thoughtfully curated and artfully delivered details, the campaign centres around two Thai creators’ unique experience of staying at Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok. “Reminiscence” by multidisciplinary artist, Torlarp Larpjaroensook, and “Blooming Wings” by jewellery designer, Supatchana Limwongse, encapsulate the personal and unscripted interactions with the Kimpton team. At the same time, the hotel’s bold and playful design and world-class dining offer an inspiring setting for these immersive hotel reviews.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click: https://www.prnasia.com/mnr/IHG_202011.shtml

Reminiscence by Torlarp Larpjaroensook (PRNewsfoto/IHG Hotels & Resorts)


Blooming Wings by Supatchana Limwongse (PRNewsfoto/IHG Hotels & Resorts)



Torlarp Larpjaroensook (PRNewsfoto/IHG Hotels & Resorts)

Meet Torlarp Larpjaroensook, Multidisciplinary Artist

“As an artist, my vision is to craft art using everyday objects around us and to portray seemingly ordinary objects in a different light, giving them new found value.

During my stay at Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok, I met Chef Nui and chatted with him about my passion for art and upcycling. He surprised me the next day with a special dish that used every part of a coconut, a nod to our conversation. It may seem like a small detail, but it touched me and eventually inspired my piece.

Bringing together ordinary ingredients to create art — I linked the idea of using everyday cooking or serving objects such as pans, containers, or bowls to create something extraordinary.

This sculpture not only reflects my art philosophy, but also aims to connect people with a shared passion for creative reuse of material or ingredients to avoid waste and finding beauty in simple things.”


Supatchana Limwongse (PRNewsfoto/IHG Hotels & Resorts)

Meet Supatchana Limwongse, Jewellery Designer, andFounder and Design Director of Jewellery Brand La Orr

“As a jewellery designer, I try to reinterpret Thai traditional culture into everyday pieces. For me, accessories can not only be eye-catching, but also tell a story when you look at it.

Kinnaree was a Thai fairy tale that my parents told me as a bedtime story when I was young. It was the story that bartender Lolo and I bonded over during our chat at Ms.Jigger. To me, Kinnaree represents happiness, and it echoed how I felt when Lolo gave the book to me as a gift.

The piece I created is an interpretation of the fairy tale inspired by the tale’s four key element— bird, woman, forest, and flower. The creation weaves in all these aspects — from texture, form and colour, to the feelings put forth by my imagination. The main material is Thai silk, styled in an airy, feather-like texture, and then combined with a dynamic metal shape, similar to flying wings.

My vision was to mimic how Kinnaree lived in a peaceful and abundant forest, much like how my jewellery will stay at Kimpton Maa-Lai Bangkok.”

Meet The Human Difference at Kimpton Maa-Lai

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Asia is leading the way in travel recovery: Booking Holdings’ Agoda

SINGAPORE – Travel is recovering more quickly in Asia than in the West — but its the domestic market that’s driving that recovery, an online travel agency told CNBC this week.

“Asia is generally leading the way,” said John Brown, chief executive of Agoda, a subsidiary of American online travel firm Booking Holdings. “We’ve seen again in markets like Taiwan, certainly places like Thailand, where they really have the best control over Covid — those are the markets where we see the domestic bookings doing the best.”

The best pockets of recovery are domestic travel in Taiwan, Thailand and increasingly, Vietnam, he said.

Taiwan has reported 617 confirmed cases so far and has been free of domestic transmissions for more than 200 days. Thailand and Vietnam have also been successful in containing the pandemic, with 3,920 and 1,307 confirmed cases respectively, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“Those domestic markets are even better off than they were last year, for domestic [travel] only,” Brown told “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.

This photo taken on October 20, 2020 shows tourists posing for photos next to anti-landing spikes placed along the coast of Taiwan’s Kinmen islands, which lie just 3.2 km from the mainland China coast in the Taiwan Strait.

Sam Yeh | AFP | Getty Images

The travel industry has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic that saw countries closing their borders to tourists earlier this year. Some markets have since reopened, but demand has been weak.

“Generally, it’s been a domestic story, we’re still waiting for the international [demand] to come back,” he said.

In Europe and the U.S., there are pockets where domestic travel also looks “relatively good” despite coronavirus cases surging, Brown noted.

“But really, all eyes globally are looking at Asia to see how we manage this both domestically, and again with regard to the travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong, and the many others that we hope … will open up pretty soon,” he said.

The two cities were set to begin quarantine-free leisure travel on Sunday, but authorities announced on Saturday that the Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble arrangement would be deferred for two weeks after Hong Kong reported a rise in cases.

Brown said he thinks it will still come online “soon enough” and that other markets will follow suit.

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Rimowa CEO Alexandre Arnault Speaks On Redesigning Everyday Travel and Expansion In Asia

The dormant travel industry saw less of Instagram ‘flex’ pics of jetsetters with their monogrammed suitcases – so much so that even Away, the notorious direct-to-consumer luggage brand, slashed its prices in its first-ever sale to offload stock after sales plummeted more than 90% over the pandemic period.

United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation saw international travels plunge during peak months – 81% in July and 79% in August – translating into a loss of $730 billion in export revenues, eight times the loss experienced from the 2009 global economic crisis.

Rimowa, the luxury luggage brand under Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy’s (LVMH) group is not any different as sales nearly halved in 2020, despite other brands seeing a mild recovery in luxury purchases. 95% of the brand’s sales are reliant on its core line of suitcases – notably, its infamous grooved polycarbonate suitcases which have long been associated as a luxury status symbol.

Redesigned for the New Generation

Still, its heritage image remained at that, but the growing Gen Z group needed another push that differed from the traditional social image of elite travelers, as this consumer segment favoured individuality and unique experiences.

In steps Alexandre Arnault at age 24 (now 28), son of Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH, with a fresh pair of eyes and mindset to turn the legacy brand around – and not just by changing the logo to a sans serif typeface.

Understanding the notion of personalization especially in all lifestyle aspects, the brand has leapt out of its usual frame but expanded into several successful sold-out collaborations and a new product extension that fits today’s global citizen.

In its recent collaboration with Dior under Kim Jones direction, Rimowa debuted ‘Personal’, a minuscule version encompassing the design of its original suitcase with an aluminium body and a leather cross-body strap in trend of the tiny bags seen today. Soft bags under its ‘Never Still’ collection has also made a debut this week (to arrive in-stores mid-Jan 2021), alongside smaller accessories such as iPhone cases and Rimowa packing cube cases – items that are small, but easy cross-sell items. 

Starting at €600, the day-to-day luggage tote and backpacks are designed for the everyday traveler – from the office to Equinox, or dashing off to the airport gate. “The reasons for and accessibility to travel has undoubtedly redefined its purpose. For much of our clientele, the boundaries between business and leisure may be blurred, and as such, our products and brand must always be ready to serve the needs of both at once.” says Arnault.

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Asia Today: Hong Kong, Singapore OK quarantine-free travel

HONG KONG — Hong Kong and Singapore will start an air travel bubble at the end of November, allowing travelers from each city to visit the other without entering quarantine in a first step to stimulate tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Nov. 22, visitors from either city must have a negative virus test result before they leave, when they arrive and before they return. Flights designated to carry passengers in the bubble will carry a maximum of 200 travelers each. It will start with one flight a day to each city and increase to two designated flights Dec. 7.

The bubble will be suspended for two weeks if either Hong Kong or Singapore reports a seven-day moving average of more than five untraceable coronavirus infections, according to the Hong Kong government.

“Hong Kong and Singapore are similar in terms of epidemic control. Both are regional aviation hubs and international cities, enjoying strong trade, investment, finance, tourism and people-to-people ties,” said Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development Edward Yau. “The revival of cross-border air travel between the two places is of utmost importance.”

He said that he hopes the aviation, tourism, hotel and retail businesses will benefit from the bubble, and that it would gradually help Hong Kong’s economy to recover.

Separately, government officials also announced that Hong Kong residents returning to the city from Guangdong province or Macau will be exempted from quarantine from Nov. 23, as long as they register in advance and test negative for the coronavirus.

However, the exemption from quarantine is only one-way, and Hong Kong residents travelling to the mainland must still serve 14 days of quarantine on arrival.

A temporary daily quota of visitors is in place. This is to ensure it can be handled smoothly and without overcrowding, according to Tommy Yuen, director of special duties at the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— Vanuatu has recorded its first case of the coronavirus after a citizen who had been repatriated from the United States tested positive while in quarantine. The Pacific nation had been among the last few countries to have avoided the virus altogether. Health authorities say the 23-year-old man was asymptomatic when he returned on Nov. 4 and his infection was confirmed Tuesday after routine day 5 testing. Authorities say they plan to keep everyone from the same flight in quarantine and to trace the man’s close contacts but don’t need to impose any broader measures in the nation of 300,000 people.

— India’s capital has recorded a new peak of 7,830 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours as festivals and weddings attended by large crowds fuel a resurgence. Authorities targeted testing in shopping areas, workplaces and religious places with New Delhi’s tally continuing to be more than 7,000 daily this week after dropping to nearly 1,000 in September. India’s infections overall have held steady recently with 44,281 new cases reported Wednesday. The Health Ministry also reported 512 deaths,

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Asia Today: Philippines allows foreign travel to resume

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – The Philippines on Wednesday lifted a ban on non-essential foreign trips by Filipinos, but the immigration bureau said the move did not immediately spark large numbers of departures for tourism and leisure.

The government has gradually eased travel restrictions to bolster the economy, which slipped into recession in the second quarter following months of lockdown and quarantine to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Travelers to other countries are required to show confirmed roundtrip tickets, travel and health insurance, a declaration acknowledging the risks of travel and trip delays, and a medical test within 24 hours of departure that clears them of COVID-19.

Aside from tedious pre-departure requirements, many countries still restrict the entry of travelers from nations with high number of coronavirus infections, including the Philippines. The Department of Health has reported more than 360,000 confirmed cases, the second-highest in Southeast Asia, with at least 6,690 deaths.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

– Prime Minister Narendra Modi says laxity could lead to a new surge in infections, as India reported 54,044 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the overall tally past 7.6 million. The Health Ministry on Wednesday also reported 717 additional deaths for a total of 115,914. Deaths and new cases per day have been declining in India since last month, but Modi is urging people to continue wearing masks and observing social distancing until a vaccine is available. Health officials have warned about the potential for the virus to spread during the ongoing religious festival season that includes huge gatherings in temples and shopping districts.

– Australian authorities say they’re treating a COVID-19 case in the city of Melbourne as a rare reinfection. The only coronavirus case reported in the former hot spot of Victoria state on Tuesday had also tested positive in July. Victoria Premier Dan Andrews said Wednesday an expert panel’s decision to classify the case as a reinfection reflected “an abundance of caution” rather than conclusive evidence. Melbourne has been in lockdown since early July, but restrictions in Australia’s second-largest city are easing this week as daily infection tallies remain low. Victoria reported three new cases on Wednesday. The state’s second wave peaked at 725 new infections in a day in early August.

– Eighteen fishing crewmen who last week flew to New Zealand from Moscow have tested positive for the coronavirus, underscoring the difficulty New Zealand faces in trying to import needed workers while remaining virtually virus free. A total of 235 crew from Russia and Ukraine were on the flight chartered by three fishing companies. Before leaving Moscow, they were supposed to have self-isolated for two weeks and tested negative for the virus. All remain in quarantine at a Christchurch hotel.

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Asia Today: Philippines allowing foreign travel to resume | World

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines on Wednesday lifted a ban on non-essential foreign trips by Filipinos, but the immigration bureau said the move did not immediately spark large numbers of departures for tourism and leisure.

The government has gradually eased travel restrictions to bolster the economy, which slipped into recession in the second quarter following months of lockdown and quarantine to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Travelers to other countries are required to show confirmed roundtrip tickets, travel and health insurance, a declaration acknowledging the risks of travel and trip delays, and a medical test within 24 hours of departure that clears them of COVID-19.

Aside from tedious pre-departure requirements, many countries still

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The independent travel guide for Southeast Asia. Travelfish.org

The independent travel guide for Southeast Asia. Travelfish.org

Photo: On the job in Hue.

Welcome to Travelfish, the independent travel guide for Southeast Asia

We’ve got pre-trip planning information, weather information, country backgrounders and itineraries, plus we check out hotels, restaurants and things to do and see in the region, and provide transport information to get you moving. We never accept discounts or freebies.

You can browse the site for free. To post on our forum, where you can ask and answer questions on travel to the region, you need to become a Travelfish member. Members can also download more than 200 PDF guides, are eligible for discounts from Travelfish partners and a 50% discount off our travel planning services.

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Latest Southeast Asia book reviews

Looking for something to read on the train, at the beach or in the bus? A new title every week.

Latest destinations

These are the latest destinations updated on Travelfish. May not be major rewrites!

Latest places to stay

Latest places to stay updated on Travelfish. May not be major rewrites!

Latest activities

Latest things to do updated on Travelfish. May not be major rewrites!

About Travelfish

A few quick words about the Travelfish team and what we’re trying to do.

Travelfish founders Samantha and Stuart.Travelfish founders Samantha and Stuart.

Samantha Brown and Stuart McDonald came up with Travelfish.org as they sunned themselves on an eastern Thai beach in 2004. They wanted to use the internet to better provide travel intelligence to independent travellers, to help them find more interesting destinations, to get off the beaten track and to find little-known places to stay. They also wanted to help little-known places to stay find people to host.

What began as a collection of their favourite spots in Thailand has developed over the years into one of the largest independent travel guides dedicated solely to Southeast Asia. Researched and written by a team of writers who live in the region, Travelfish.org today contains independently researched and written coverage to Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. If we’ve written about a place on Travelfish.org, we’ve been there in person. There are no exceptions to this. Not one.

Our team of writers live in the region, research in person and as far as humanly possible, work anonymously. Travelfish.org operates on a strict “no freebie” basis, so what you read on Travelfish.org is our own unvarnished opinion on all things Southeast Asian. There’s no outside influence you need to worry about.

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