Tag: Destination

Philippines is World’s Leading Dive Destination, according to World Travel Awards 2020

Philippines’ dive sites is the World’s Leading Dive Destination according to the 2020 World Travel Awards. 

According to a statement from the Department of Tourism Philippines statement, this is the Philippines’ second time to win the World’s Leading Dive Destination, after it was first recognized in 2019.

The Philippines, home to world-renowned dive sites such as the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan, Apo Reef Natural Park in Mindoro, and Apo Island in Dumaguete sites bested eight other dive destinations including Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Maldives, and Mexico.

DOT recognized the country’s dive tourism as ” one of the key areas for positive industry growth, including increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue.”

Earlier this month, the Philippines was also hailed as Asia’s leading beach and leading dive destination at the World Travel Awards 2020.

And as though that’s not enough, Intramuros was also recognized as the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction. 

A first for Manila’s famed Walled City, it won against 15 other tourist spots including  Acropolis of Greece, Burj Khalifa of Dubai, the Grand Canyon National Park of USA, Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, and Taj Mahal of India, among others.

Meanwhile, the Intramuros Administration restored the walled city with “extensive renovations such as bright capiz lamps installed in monuments and trees, colorful murals, and new sites, such as the dungeon and cleaned-up and fortified military structures, as a tribute to the country’s historic Hispanic period.”

The World Travel Awards was founded in 1993 and it has been recognizing brands and organizations worldwide from the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries through its annual Grand Tour, a series of six regional gala ceremonies held in each continent. Each year is capped off with a Grand Final Gala. 

Congratulations to us! — Jannielyn Ann Bigtas/LA, GMA News

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From quarantine facility to holiday destination: Will hotel reputations suffer from Covid-19 association?

New Zealand hotels used as managed isolation and quarantine facilities may run the risk of their brand being associated with Covid-19, says a marketing expert.

All people entering the country are required to spend 14 days in managed isolation or quarantine at a designated facility across the country.

The Government has contracted hotels to provide the service, with 32 of these facilities currently set up in New Zealand: 18 in Auckland, three in Hamilton, three in Rotorua, two in Wellington and six in Christchurch.

Auckland hotel M Social, one of the 32 Covid-19 managed isolation hotels for arrivals into the country.

Supplied/ M Social

Auckland hotel M Social, one of the 32 Covid-19 managed isolation hotels for arrivals into the country.

“Two ways hotels have tried to increase revenue is by targeting domestic tourists and serving as quarantine hotels,” said crisis management expert Daniel Laufer, associate professor of marketing at Victoria University of Wellington.

* Covid-19: Air New Zealand crew isolating after testing positive in China
* Managed isolation, quarantine costing $2.4m a day, figures show
* Coronavirus: Time to look at our Covid-19 quarantine hotel contingency plan

“Serving as a quarantine hotel is beneficial for a hotel in the short run, however there is also a risk to the brand after Covid-19.”

Tourists might be wary of staying at a hotel that served as a quarantine facility, Laufer said.

“This may be particularly problematic for hotels housing people with Covid-19, such as the Jet Park Hotel,” Laufer said.

Jet Park Hotel in Auckland and Hamilton were being used solely by the Ministry of Health and were closed until December 31, 2021. However, Jet Park Hotel Rotorua remained open, and was not hosting returning travellers.

Jet Park was contacted for comment, but directed Stuff to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

At one end of the spectrum, some hotels might not end up hosting anyone with coronavirus, so there would be minimal publicity and not a lot of risk to the brand, he said.

The risk was higher for hotels where the association was specific and repeated.

Auckland’s Jet Park Hotel, which is being used as a quarantine hotel, and will be closed to the public until December 2021.

Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Auckland’s Jet Park Hotel, which is being used as a quarantine hotel, and will be closed to the public until December 2021.

“Whenever a new case of Covid-19 arises, health officials such as Dr Ashley Bloomfield highlight during press conferences the transfer of new Covid-19 cases to the Jet Park Hotel.

“The Government is 100 per cent right in disclosing to the public, but at the same time when there’s a constantly repeated brand, that has an impact.”

A more famous brand that suffered the fallout of being associated in people’s minds with coronavirus was Corona beer.

However, Corona, which derived its name from the Sun’s corona, had held up and was recently named the world’s most valuable beer brand by Brand Finance. It was one of the most popular alcoholic drinks bought in New Zealand during the level 4 lockdown.

Usually such association was beyond the control of brands, but if the publicity was negative enough a company might consider changing its name.

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Hyatt (H) Expands in Florida With New Destination Hotel

In a bid to strengthen its portfolio in Florida, Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s H affiliate recently entered into a franchise agreement with Banyan Cay Development to develop Banyan Cay Resort & Golf. Processed under Hyatt’s Destination Hotels brand, the company expects to open the property by late 2021.

Located near the West Palm Beach International Airport, the hotel comprises 150 guestrooms and 22 private resort villas. The private villa comes with bell service, daily housekeeping, room service, private kitchens along with living and dining areas.

Meanwhile, David Tarr, senior vice president, development, Americas, Hyatt, stated, “At Hyatt, we prioritize thoughtful growth in locations that matter most to our guests, World of Hyatt members and customers, and we are excited to introduce Hyatt’s high-quality and distinct experiences to West Palm Beach.”

Increased Focus on Expansion

Hyatt has been witnessing a rise in demand for some of its drive-to resorts and leisure destinations, such as Lake Tahoe, NV; Lost Pines outside of Austin, TX; and Huntington Beach, CA. Also, it has been consistently trying to expand its presence worldwide in order to gain market share in the hospitality industry.

During the third quarter of 2020, the company announced the opening of 18 Hyatt Place or Hyatt House hotels. Meanwhile, the company re-entered the New Zealand market with the opening of Park Hyatt Auckland. Also, it unveiled Andaz Xiamen, marking the second Andaz hotel in China. In October, the company opened Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia, Grand Hyatt Nashville and Hyatt Regency West Hanoi.

Notably, the company opened more than 4,300 rooms during the third quarter, reflecting an increase of 10% year over year. Furthermore, it remains optimistic about full-service growth opportunities, comprising both newbuilds and conversions globally.

So far this year, shares of the company have plummeted 21.8% compared with the industry’s decline of 11.9%.

Hyatt — which shares space with Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. HLT, Choice Hotels International, Inc. CHH and Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation VAC in the Zacks Hotels and Motels industry — has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), at present.

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Downtown Mpls. getting a new rooftop dining destination

When the Rand Tower Hotel opens in the landmark downtown Minneapolis building of the same name on Dec. 2, the project will feature a pair of dining destinations.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the hotel’s food-and-drink properties will open in stages. First up: Whiskey & Soda, a speakeasy-inspired bar. The street-level spot, which anchors the building’s 6th-and-Marquette corner, will temporarily serve double duty by also acting as the hotel’s restaurant until April. That’s when the Rand Tower Club, the hotel’s fifth-floor restaurant, is scheduled to debut.

Both projects will be overseen by chef Andy Vyskocil, a 12-year veteran of Graves Hospitality who most recently launched the InterContinental Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Hotel.

“I’ve been a part of many openings, but now I’m in the driver’s seat,” he said. “It’s a big step, and it’s what I’ve been training for my whole career.”

Whiskey & Soda will seat 60 (reduced to 30 during COVID-19 restrictions) and its focus is, obviously, whiskey. In the center of the bar is a tower that will showcase dozens of varieties of whiskey.

Vyskocil was on the opening staff of Bradstreet Craftshouse, an early and influential player in the local craft cocktail movement. Located in the former Graves 601 Hotel, the bar took a culinary approach to mixology, and Vyskocil plans to carry that mind-set to the cocktails and alcohol-free libations at Whiskey & Soda.

“I want to be as hands-on with the bar program as I can, and make it a collaborative effort with the kitchen, the mixologists and the sommeliers,” he said. “I want my kitchen staff to be an inspiration for the cocktails, and I want the bartenders and mixologists to be inspired by the kitchen.”

The opening menu will be an all-day, something-for-everyone format that will also be available as takeout. In spring, when Whiskey & Soda segues into its prescribed role as the hotel’s lounge, the menu will evolve into a small-plates framework.

The 120-seat Rand Tower Club will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner in its fifth-floor dining room. An adjacent patio, accessed through large glass doors, will be protected by a dramatic, glass-covered retractable roof, similar to the one at Union Rooftop at 8th and Hennepin.

“You can look straight up and see the building’s architecture,” said Vyskocil. “It’s really exciting.”

The plan is to focus on locally sourced ingredients, prepared through a French perspective.

“This is my hometown, and I was French-trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Mendota Heights,” said Vyskocil. “I like working in the seasons. I don’t want it to be too fussy, I want it to be approachable. That’s what I enjoy cooking right now.”

A historic presence

The 26-story art deco tower dates to 1929 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s the work of Holabird & Root, the Chicago architecture firm that also designed the St. Paul City Hall-Ramsey County Courthouse and the Chicago Board of Trade.

The lobby’s memorable details remain intact, including a curved staircase that seems

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Is a “Love Hotel” the Ideal Pandemic Destination?

Amidst renewed calls to take precautions against COVID-19, figuring out the optimal way to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus can be a logistical challenge. A new article by Charlotte English at Atlas Obscura offers on of the most creative solutions to questions of social distancing you’re likely to see this year. What has English proposed? That Japanese “love hotels” might have another useful function: keeping the spread of COVID-19 down.

First, some context. A 2018 article in Savvy Tokyo describes love hotels, formally known as rabuho, as “the not-so-hidden pay-by-the-hour (or night) pleasure accommodations for couples, secret lovers, and other forms of a one-time celebration of love.”

What does any of this have to do with the pandemic? As English explains, the same qualities that make love hotels discreet and private places also make them ideal for social distancing. Part of the privacy aspects of the hotels means not interacting with staff members face-to-face and doing most communication via intercoms or touchscreens. Features designed to preserve anonymity in one context can help stop the potential spread of a disease in another.

As English notes, the fortunes of love hotels have shifted somewhat over the last few years: after a period of decline, some pivoted to pursuing a tourist clientele; now, with tourism down, the spaces have seen a resurgence in domestic bookings.

One traveler reminisced about getting “airlock room service” during his stay at a love hotel. While that may have seemed overly ornate a few years ago, that feature now seems to have found its moment — an unlikely choice, but also a safer one.

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Lakeside Chautauqua wants to be year-round destination, with extended hotel operation, new restaurant

LAKESIDE, Ohio — Lakeside Chautauqua, the Victorian-era summer resort community on Lake Erie, is making a pitch for winter visitors.

The Fountain Inn, one of two hotels on the Lakeside grounds, will be open year-round this year.

Also new this off-season: The Slack House, a new Lakeside restaurant, which is open year-round, offering specialty burgers, fries and milkshakes.

Lakeside, about 90 minutes west of Cleveland, is a hub of summertime activity, with cultural, educational, religious and recreational programming offered during a three-month summer season. But the Ottawa County community quiets down considerably in the off-season.

Daniel Rogers, Lakeside’s new president and CEO, said the coronavirus pandemic is altering visitation habits. Lakeside homeowners are staying longer into the off-season, he said. And long-time visitors are expressing a desire to come back throughout the year.

“We really believe this is the right moment for us to experiment,” he said. “My goal and objective is to have Lakeside function year-round. It may take us a few years to get there.”

The 47-room Fountain Inn, built in 1977, is the newer of Lakeside’s two hotels. The other, the lakefront Hotel Lakeside, built in 1875, remains closed for the season.

The Fountain Inn, located in Lakeside’s small downtown, is attached to the new Slack House Historical Cafe, which occupies the site of a former doctor’s office and guesthouse. Historic photographs of Lakeside, founded in 1873 by the Methodist Church, adorn the walls.

Lakeside off-season

Lakeside’s Fountain Inn will be open year-round this year.

Lakeside off-season

The new Slack House cafe in Lakeside.

On the menu: burgers, perch, salads, soups, shakes and more. Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, it’s one of a handful of retailers open year-round in Lakeside. A portion of the restaurant’s proceeds will support environmental causes.

Rogers said he’s hoping to bring more people to town with a series of special events, including a Christmas festival on December 5 and possibly an ice-sculpting event in January.

Unlike during the summer, there is no fee to get into Lakeside in the off-season. For information: lakesideohio.com.

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Recreation destination coming to Cameron Parish

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – A new recreation destination is coming to Cameron Parish, right on the edge of the gulf.

Recreation Destination coming to Cameron Parish

© Provided by Lake Charles KPLC
Recreation Destination coming to Cameron Parish

Cameron Parish has partnered with Venture Global LNG to create a unique destination spot called Lighthouse Bend along the ship channel in downtown Cameron.

“Lighthouse Bend is a project that began a few years ago, actually, in cooperation between Cameron Parish and Venture Global, who is building an LNG facility nearby,” said Robert Kidder, with the Lighthouse Bend project.

Lighthouse Bend will have several amenities, including a marina, market, RV resort, boardwalk, and a 100-seat restaurant.

Venture Global gave Cameron parish a 58 acre plot just north of the LNG plant to use for a recreation spot.

Kidder says it is being built with both residents and visitors in mind.

“It is a visitor destination but built with the residents and workers down there and certainly people in Lake Charles and beyond to come down there.”

A new development, like Lighthouse Bend, could bring extra revenue to Cameron Parish.

“It’s going to be a great thing and a great economic developer for the parish.”

The developers are looking for bids for someone to establish a restaurant, which will be the centerpiece of the destination.

“We certainly are interested in having people who are interested in beginning a business down in Cameron to look at Lighthouse Bend. If someone is interested, for example, in operating the restaurant or the convenience store that’s going to be there, or the RV resort, they’re invited to tune in to our website and download the request for proposals that we’ve put there.”

Kidder says the hope for the project is to showcase the natural beauty of sportsman’s paradise.

“It gives us an opportunity to attract some visitors. We can show them what there is to enjoy in Southwest Louisiana.”

Kidder says they hope to have everything built and move-in ready by this time next year. For more information, visit their website.

Copyright 2020 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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France, favourite vacation destination for so many, looks inwards to save summer

LA BAULE-ESCOUBLAC, France, (Reuters) – The sweeping Atlantic bay in La Baule-Escoublac should be filling up with holidaymakers taking advantage of a series of long weekends in May. Instead the only activity is a bulldozer and excavator reshaping the shoreline.

Construction machineries are seen in action on the deserted beach of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

With France under lockdown, tables and chairs lie stacked on the outdoor terraces of beachfront restaurants in the western resort town as their owners plan how to reconfigure seating to respect coronavirus social distancing rules once the government says they can re-open.

La Baule-Escoublac is a ghost town. It offers a snapshot of the financial uncertainty facing the tourism industry in France even as it and other European nations start winding down their restrictions on public life.

Nearly 90 million foreign tourists visited France in 2018, making it the most visited country in the world, according to government data. Tourism accounts for about 7% of France’s 2.3 trillion euro ($2.48 trillion) economy.

“We’re not used to seeing the beach like this. The quicker things pick up the better,” said Pierre Guillou, who manages the waterfront restaurant Les Fils a Maman.

Guillot’s problems extend beyond when the beach will open. He wants to know who will be able to visit the resort’s cafes, restaurants and shops.

Across Europe, countries are grappling with just how much freedom of movement to restore, both across borders and internally.

France begins easing its lockdown from Monday but will initially impose a 100-km (60-mile) travel restriction on people inside “red zone” COVID-19 hotspots, including the greater Paris region, unless it is for an urgent family or work-related reason.

There will also be a compulsory two-week quarantine for travellers – whether French or foreigners – arriving in the country from outside the European Union’s Schengen open-border area and the United Kingdom.

President Emmanuel Macron has told the French they should holiday in France.

“We’re going to limit big international trips, even during the summer holidays. We will stay amongst Europeans, but perhaps we will have to restrict that further still,” the president said this week.


EU policy on reopening borders remains disjointed. For example in neighbouring Italy, the outbreak’s early epicentre in Europe, anyone arriving from abroad currently faces a fortnight in quarantine unless on a short business trip.

It all leaves Parisians in the dark over whether they will be able to decamp to the Riviera, the Dutch uncertain if they can drive their motorhomes to Spain and British unsure if they can hop the Channel and spread around France this summer.

France’s Dordogne area, a favourite with Britons, is not banking on anybody coming from very far away. So far this year, the region has already lost an estimated 93 million euros in tourism revenues, according to the Dordogne tourist board.

“We’re going to lose our foreign clientele this year,”

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The Broadmoor Destination Resort in Colorado Springs

Due to the reality of COVID-19 and the need to self-separate our guests, employees and community from what’s commonly called the “coronavirus”, The Broadmoor will temporarily cease all operations on Saturday, March 21 at noon. At this time we anticipate to reopen for the Memorial Day weekend.

The Broadmoor’s leadership felt it was important to cease all operations out of an abundance of caution for the safety of everyone. The resort has had no cases or confirmation of any guests or employees testing positive for COVID-19. We all regret this unfortunate situation and thank you for understanding.

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Service

MagicalKenya The Official Kenya Destination Website

We have designed this website to let you explore Kenya and discover the untold wealth of destinations and experiences available to the visitor. If you planning a trip to Kenya or just interested in learning more about the country, you’ll find everything you are looking for here.

From hand feeding Giraffes, to adopting orphaned elephants to taking breathtaking balloon safaris at dawn. There is a lot to do in Kenya.

What To Do

The big 5, a beautiful diversity of landscapes, animals, bird and plant life and fascinating cultures. Kenya is endowed with all these and more.

What To See

White Sandy beaches on the East African coast, more than 45 National parks and reserves not to mention bustling metropolitan cities and towns.

Places To Visit

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