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Hotel investment group launches world’s first “green” hotel fund

22/11/2020

Destination Capital, a hotel investment group in Bangkok, has announced that it will launch the world’s first ever “green” hotel fund. The fund will acquire hotels and implement sustainability systems and procedures to promote long term environmental and financial sustainability in investments using the EDGE certification programme. EDGE, an online platform, is an innovation of the International Finance Corporation, which helps property developers to build and brand “green” establishments in a fast and affordable way. EDGE is used by more than 170 countries and reportedly has kept almost 230,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from entering the atmosphere.

DC’s fund, titled Descap I, is part of its efforts to acquire freehold, 4 star hotels in prime destinations all over Thailand. James Kaplan, the CEO of DC, says he sees opportunities to renovate hotels to accommodate “green” technology and systems due to the current Covid pandemic that has ravaged the tourism sector in the kingdom.

“Destination Capital’s adoption of the EDGE certification program will provide the Descap I with the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by differentiating our products and improving carbon emissions of the hotels.”

“If there is one thing we have learned during Covid-19 it is that the environment and nature recover quickly from poor resource management practices. Our participation in EDGE will serve to encourage the hospitality industry to adopt best practices with respect to better managing our scarce resources, raise broader consciousness about global warming and stem the tide of environmental degradation. We will implement operational elements to reduce water consumption, reduce waste emissions, reduce electricity use, and to the best of our ability eliminate plastic usage.”

Descap I, is a Thai Private Equity Trust. The company partners with Private Equity and Institutional Funds to source hotel acquisition opportunities and manage assets in the Asia Pacific region, turning its main focus to Thailand.

Courtesy: Published at The Thiager on November 22, 2020 by Pattaya Mail

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Agility key to business survival, warns expert

26/10/2020

PHUKET: The pandemic and economic crisis have pushed businesses to the absolute limit of their endurance. For a great number of companies, survival has meant severe cost-cutting and on-the-fly adjustments to stay relevant in a heavily disrupted market, reports Chris Cracknell, Chairman of international accounting and business consultants Grant Thornton.

Mr Cracknell delivered his observation, and vital advice, to business leaders at the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) BCCT Multi-Chamber Phuket Briefing & Networking event at the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort last Wednesday night (Oct 21).

At the event, organised in cooperation with AustCham, BeluThai, Cancham, EABC, Franco, GTCC and NTCC, Mr Cracknell delivered his presentation on “The Covid and Post-Covid Global Economy”.

Mr Cracknell offered some superb pearls of wisdom about what businesses should be focusing on in the current and forthcoming economic climate.

Of note, is Grant Thornton the seventh largest accounting network in the world by combined fee income, and Grant Thornton LLP is the sixth largest US accounting and advisory organization.

In a special missive to The Phuket News, Mr Cracknell explained, “2021 may bring good news in the form of a vaccine, but no one can provide a timeline with any certainty. Even a post-COVID world would be a very different one indeed, marked by unpredictability: Will people travel and spend again freely, having been desperate for so long to put the virus behind them? Or will a spirit of caution continue to guide economic activity, as economic insecurity plagues markets for years to come?”

This kind of uncertainty extends to the habits and priorities of consumers in every sector, both before and after a vaccine is distributed, Mr Cracknell noted.

“In a shifting landscape, businesses need to pay close attention to the needs and habits of their customers – continually updating their approach to meet every opportunity. At present, however, most organisations are simply not structured to pivot at a moment’s notice. Only the most agile of businesses can analyse data in real-time, continuously revise their strategy, innovate and implement new concepts, and keep themselves ahead of the curve,” he wrote.

“Most other companies should make it their top priority to embody this kind of agility. Doing so means focusing entirely on their core business model, and outsourcing the rest. Specialists can handle administrative and non-core tasks more quickly and efficiently than an in-house team, at a fraction of the cost of employing an entire department for the purpose,” he added.

To further streamline operations, companies should train and empower their teams to act autonomously according to a shared mission. If all decisions have to be individually issued or vetted by the person at the top, momentum is lost and employees have little reason to take initiative. But if a culture emerges where sensible experimentation is rewarded, and teams can act on new opportunities without delay, the potential for innovation radically increases, he explained.

“The time has come for old business strategies, and old organisational structures, to disappear,” Mr Cracknell forewarned.

“They were designed to fit a world of stability and incremental growth – a world we no longer live in. Success in a time of disruption requires a fresh approach to business, implemented by bold and courageous leaders. It requires a solid foundation of technology, to facilitate digital operations for seamless communications and a well designed customer experience. But most of all, it requires businesses to accept that the way forward is to build as much flexibility as possible into their operations,” he wrote.

“Businesses in 2021 will discover that the demands of growth and recovery can be as challenging as the economic crisis itself. Yet there is a difference: This time, we know the kind of world we are entering, and can prepare ourselves by making the business community far more agile than it was at the start of 2020,” Mr Cracknell concluded.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on October 26, 2020

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Air Asia diversifies from an airline brand to e-commerce powerhouse

10/10/2020

Airasia.com has revealed its greatly extended new online brand identity online as “ASEAN’s super app”, completing what it calls a “transformation from digital airline to comprehensive lifestyle platform”.

The airasia.com ASEAN super app combines a host of related online experiences in a “faster and more convenient user experience” with over 15 types of products and services under 3 main headings – travel, e-commerce and fintech (financial technology).

On the announcement of the new App’s launch, airasia.com is having its first-ever airasia.com Super Sale that supersedes the past successful AirAsia free seat promotions.

“The biggest sales in the region will take place from October 12 (1000, GMT +8) to October 18, 2020 with storewide discounts of up to 90% across all product offerings on airasia.com super app and the airasia.com site.”

AirAsia Group CEO and founder Tony Fernandes says the airline group has not wasted the crisis.

“Now with airasia.com, we are enabling everyone to fly, to stay, to shop, to eat, all at the convenience of one super app. We’ve been using the lockdown period to fine tune our platform, unify the user experience and simplify our payment to a one-click checkout.”

Some of the deals under the new super app include a 90% off SNAP flight+hotel combo, 90% off on AirAsia shop; 50% off on AirAsia food and “AirAsia fresh”, formerly known as OURSHOP. 50% off all Malaysian domestic flights and 10% off flights of any other partner airlines to over 3,000 destinations worldwide.

Courtesy: Published at The Thaiger on October 10, 2020 by ttrweekly.com

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Phuket to host Travel Blog Exchange 2021

08/10/2020

PHUKET: Phuket has been selected to be the host destination for the world’s top blogger event Travel Blog Exchange 2021 (TBEX Asia 2021), from Oct 20-22 next year.

Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew together with Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) President Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya and Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations Executive Director Nithee Seeprae presided over the press announcement today (Oct 8) held at the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery.

Also present were Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana, Phuket Tourist Association President Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, Thailand Hotels Association Southern chapter President Kongsak Khongphongsakorn, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana, among others.

“Phuket has all the infrastructure to accommodate tourists flying directly from overseas. There are world-class hotels and medical service providers in the province. We are more than confident that we can be a good host for all tourists and events,” said Governor Narong.

Phuket is going ahead with all preparations for ‘New Normal’ tourism noted a release by the TAT, with business operators making the necessary changes to comply with the requirements laid down by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Ministry of Public Health.

A multi screening process is conducted at checkpoints in collaboration with the provincial public health officials, while safety and security measures for water, air and land transport have been heightened to assure everyone that Phuket is a safe destination, said the release.

“We are going to show the world that Thailand is ready to come back, after COVID-19 has passed, to host international events and Phuket is ready to serve as a festival city,” Mr Chiruit said.

The TBEX Asia 2021 will underline arts, cultural diversity, event venues, food, and ways of life of people not only in Phuket, but also throughout the whole Southern Thailand region.

“The TBEX Asia 2021 participants will discover the charm and diversity of Phuket that can’t be found anywhere else. Since this big event will be held during challenging times, the honour of hosting this event is really an encouraging sign of confidence and potential of Thailand,” Mr Nithee said.

To boost the confidence of media and international bloggers coming to the TBEX Asia 2021 in Thailand, the TCEB, TAT and Phuket provincial government has organised a ‘Media and Blogger Inspection Trip’ to Phuket on Oct 6-8. The three-day programme highlights Phuket’s wide variety of attractions and activities, ranging from beautiful sea and beaches, delicious local food, street art, adventure and charming communities.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on October 8, 2020

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The Nai Harn Phuket rated No. 2 in Thailand in Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Award

07/10/2020

PHUKET: Condé Nast Traveler has announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards with The Nai Harn Phuket recognised as the #2 Resort in Thailand.

In the popular survey, more than 715,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe.

“The results of this year’s survey, conducted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are a testament to the lasting power of a meaningful travel experience,” said Jesse Ashlock, US Editor of Condé Nast Traveler. “The winners represent the best of the best for our audience and offer plenty of trip-planning inspiration for all the adventures we can’t wait to have next.”

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. The full list of winners can be found here.

“We are absolutely delighted,” said The Nai Harn General Manager Frank Grassmann. “It is always a great honour being on the list of the Top 20 Resorts in Thailand and to rub shoulders with the finest in the industry as we seek to set new levels of luxurious and unique experiences in Phuket.

“To be voted 2nd best resort in Thailand this year by the very cosmopolitan and travel experienced readership of Condé Nast Traveler is the accomplishment of great efforts from our entire team, and another step to promoting our iconic resort as a preferred destination in the beautiful south of Phuket.”

“Due to ongoing travel restrictions, we are currently focusing on welcoming our fellow Thailand Residents who can discover the property with exclusive promotions,” he added.

The 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website at www.cntraveler.com/rca and celebrated in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler US and UK print editions.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on October 7, 2020

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Four Points By Sheraton expands In Thailand with the opening of Four Points By Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort

03/10/2020

PHUKET: Four Points by Sheraton makes a breakthrough in Thailand, with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort. With 600 rooms, the hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Phuket’s most famous beach destination. Whether guests are visiting for work or fun, the hotel is sure to cater to the needs of today’s everyday traveler with its approachable design, stylish comfort and all of the brand’s popular extras.

“We are excited to see the opening of the Four Points by Sheraton brand in a resort destination with the opening of Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International.

“The brand’s comfortable hospitality experience and the hotel’s location in the heart of Phuket will raise the bar for hospitality in this enduringly popular destination. With 14 different brands now present in Thailand, the debut of Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort further complements Marriott International’s commitment to growth in the region and underscores the confidence we have in the travel industry.”

Nestled in a crescent-shaped bay of white sand, overlooking the azure ocean on Phuket’s highly sought-after west coast, Patong Beach is one of Thailand’s top tourism hubs. Located 45 minutes away from Phuket International Airport, travelers can discover a wealth of attractions located in close proximity to the hotel, from golden beaches, idyllic islands and lush forests, to fun-filled water parks, first-class retail outlets and championship golf courses. For culture seekers, the golden temples, local markets and classical architecture of Phuket’s Old Town are just a short distance away.

Reflecting the brand’s promise to provide for today’s modern travelers seeking work and life balance, Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort features 600 well-appointed, spacious guestrooms and suites, including Pool Access rooms with private terraces. Each room features contemporary décor, comfortable bedding, a spacious bathroom with a power shower, and state-of-the-art amenities including integrated USB ports and high-speed Wi-Fi. The Family suite features a dedicated kid’s room including boat beds and children’s amenities. In addition, the Ocean View suites offer breath-taking vistas of Patong Beach and the Andaman Sea.

Guests can immerse their senses in the design of the hotel, which welcomes them into a world of authentic local art with interiors that reflect Phuket’s classical Peranakan culture. The resort feels like a living gallery, with a collection of almost 70 original paintings and sculptures including works by Artslonga, an acclaimed local artist.

The hotel features five stylish dining venues; Chao Leh Kitchen is a bright all-day restaurant with an open-plan layout and a focus on Phuket cuisine, along with pan-Asian and Western favorites. Sears & Co. offers a casual dining experience with indoor and alfresco seating, including a garden shaded by tropical trees, while The Deck Beach Club Patong is the perfect place to kick back and relax whilst listening to DJ beats and enjoying light bites and signature cocktails, including Phuket’s Best Brews on tap, as part of Four Points’ signature local craft beer program. Alternatively, the Lobby Bar is a chic space to take a break at any time of day, while the Pool Bar – with its seven-seat swim-up counter – is an enticing place to cool off.

During the day, guests can recline at The Deck Beach Club Patong, the sea-facing chill-out zone, work out in the 24-hour gym, unwind in a cozy cabana, or take a dip in the three different swimming pools available at the hotel, including a saltwater lagoon pool. Youngsters will be entertained at the Little Sea Gypsies Kid’s Club, where activities range from cooking classes to face painting, kids’ boot camps and more.

With 1,200 square meters of flexible function space, including two ballrooms and over 1,000 square metres of outdoor event space, Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort offers venues for all types of corporate or social gathering. The Akara Grand Ballroom, foyer and pre-function area can cater to up to 500 people for large-scale conventions and gala dinners, while the Kathu Junior Ballroom is ideal for talk-of-the-town events with up to 170 delegates. Seven other bright and well-equipped meeting rooms can be adapted for a range of function types. For couples looking to tie the knot, the hotel can also host truly wonderful weddings, either in the ballrooms or outdoors on the elegant Garden Terrace.

“The opening of Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort affirms our commitment to meeting the growing demand from travelers seeking stylish comfort at great value,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brands, Asia Pacific, Marriott International.

“Phuket is a world-class destination, and the arrival of Four Points by Sheraton on the island will allow business and leisure travelers to experience the honest and uncomplicated service the brand is known for.”

Daryn Hudson, the resort’s General Manager, said, “We are very excited to welcome guests to Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort for the first time. We look forward to creating inspiring experiences that showcase the island’s rich cultural heritage while providing travelers with everything they need to rest, relax and stay connected.”

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on October 3, 2020 by PR

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Award-winning Kvik now in Phuket

24/09/2020

Kvik Real Danish Kitchens has opened their new showroom in Phuket, located adjacent to the Hafele showroom, opposite the Big C shopping mall on the bypass road.

Kvik Danish Kitchens has more than 30 years’ experience producing classic Danish designed and manufactured kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms from their factory in the north of Denmark. Now with more than 160 showrooms worldwide, they are one of the most popular furniture brands.

Iain Flitcroft, the Managing Director of Kvik Asia said, “Here at Kvik, we pride ourselves on selling real, imported, Danish kitchens. All of our furniture comes directly from our factory with nothing being sourced or manufactured locally. With award-winning designs, great quality and a 25-year guarantee, our customers can be totally confident when buying from us.

“Here in Thailand we have an expert team of kitchen designers, with great English skills, working in our showrooms, backed up by our trained, in-house installers who achieve 95% five-star feedback from our delighted customers.

“Our state of the art factory in Denmark delivers efficiency levels that allow us to offer our product at a price that makes us the most competitive European import brand in the market. We are unique in that we have a warehouse in Bangkok where we carry most of our ranges in stock, meaning that customers don’t have to wait three to four months for their new kitchen or spare parts.

“Since the Covid epidemic began, we are living our lives differently and spending more time at home with our families or entertaining or visiting holiday homes within the country as opposed to travelling abroad. The kitchen really is the heart of the home and there has never been a better time to invest in the home than now.”

The Kvik showroom on the bypass road features most of the products in the Kvik range, from the timeless Mano (a best seller for 10 years) to the latest Ombra, a quirky design available in pastel green and white and designed in collaboration with an award-winning Danish design house. For traditionalists the new Paris range in white and whisper grey reflects a classic tone with shaker style detailing to the doors and panels. Other award-winning designs such as Prato are also on display.

Kvik works with both private retail customers and project developers, and has products to suit most budgets and styles. A full range of worktops and appliances is also available including Hafele, Caesarstone, Silestone, Bosch, Gorenje, Teka and Smeg. A feature of the Kvik range are the stunning wooden worktops in a range of wood finishes. The huge island worktop on the Mano display forms the hub of the Kvik social kitchen concept.

Iain said, “The kitchen is much more than a place to cook, it is the heart of the family hub of the home. I have worked in the kitchen industry in the UK for 30 years and have seen home design change from separate kitchen, living, dining areas to a central family space where all the family can spend time together watching TV, doing homework, cooking, eating, entertaining friends. Mainly, time is precious and a Kvik Social Kitchen provides the perfect space to enjoy quality time together.”

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on September 24, 2020 by Ad

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Phuket’s health and wellness JAND Group wins two prestigious international awards

18/09/2020

PHUKET: Phuket-based JAND Group Co Ltd, trading as JAND Events & Thailand Health, Fitness & Wellness Expo, has won two prestigious international awards.

The group, based at Royal Phuket Marina in Koh Kaew, this past week won the Business Excellence Award bestowed at the international THE BIZZ awards.

THE BIZZ awards gather and recognise leading businesses from different regions that contribute to the daily growth of their local economy and the world economy. THE BIZZ was created by the World Confederation of Businesses (WORLDCOB) to offer to the global business community a range of benefits that further their development.

WORLDCOB was founded in 2004 in Houston, Texas, with Its primary mission to promote business development worldwide, recognising and boosting the growth of leading businesses and businesspeople in every country through the special tools and services that it offers its members. WORLDCOB has approximately 3,500 members representing over 130 countries.

JAND was selected for consistently exceeding the evaluation criteria noted in The Bizz Business Excellence Questionnaire such as Business Leadership, Quality of Products and Services, Management Systems, Innovation and Creativity, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Results Achieved, explained JAND Group CEO David Hayes.

Adding to the accolades, earlier this month JAND Events also won ‘The Best Luxury Event Agencies in Thailand’ award at the global Luxury Lifestyle Awards 2020.

The Luxury Lifestyle Awards bestows global awards by selecting, recognising, celebrating and promoting the best luxury goods and services all over the world.

“A huge thank you to our wonderful team, without them this would not have been possible. And of course without our excellent clients having the confidence and trust in us, we would not be here after three years,” noted Mr Hayes.

“We organise unique parties and manage full MICE events, we book world-class entertainment as well as deliver private corporate events and out-of-the-box team building and incentive programmes, also creating memorable weddings. Working with international and domestic clients, we pride ourselves on a professional and personalised service, where no detail is too small and no event is too large,” he added.

“My team has worked exceptionally hard over the past three and a half years to get us into a position of winning these two great awards, especially as they come at a time of real hardship in our industry due to the on-going Covid crisis,” Mr Hayes told The Phuket News yesterday (Sept 17).

“I would also like to say that of course without our wonderful clients from around the world and Thailand itself none of this would have been achievable, and I would like to thank all of them personally and on behalf of the team at JAND for putting their trust in us,” he concluded.

Courtesy: Published at The Phuket News on September 18, 2020

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First airplane food cafe, now Thai Airways opens fried dough stand

18/09/2020

Since not much is happening in the air, Thai Airways is running new business schemes on the ground. For their newest venture, the company opened a deep fried dough street food stand. They say the fried dough with taro custard is an “award winning” recipe.

Thai Airways has already opened a pop-up restaurant serving “in flight” food to customers seated in repurposed airplane seats. They also started offering package deals for a lessons on their flight stimulator, touting that it’s the most realistic stimulator in Thailand and is usually used to train pilots.

For their new fried dough stand outside of the company’s Bangkok headquarters, the new business venture has already “taken off.” Nation Thailand says a long line of people waiting for the 50 baht fried dough early Wednesday morning.

The stand is up from 6:30am to 9:30am in front of their headquarters on Silom Road.

Hopefully they’ll make a profit out of the fried dough with taro custard as they currently owe around 245 billion baht (give or take a few billion), according to Reuters. So 245 billion baht, divided by 50 baht, minus the costs of the taro and dough… they will have to sell a LOT.

Courtesy: Published at The Thaiger on September 18, 2020 by The Nation

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Foodpanda joins online grocery delivery movement

18/09/2020

Get your latest dinner or snack, or now a delivery from your supermarket. Foodpanda is the latest player to join the online grocery delivery movement as it is now operating under Pandamart. The German-based delivery app is the latest establishment to shift its focus on capitalising from “quick commerce” which sees items being delivered faster than traditional grocery stores.

However, the game is on as Pandamart enters at a time when Grabmart and HappyFresh already have penetrated the rapid delivery market by their respective Grab and Line Man apps. Thomas Buchan, the director of new verticals at Foodpanda Thailand, says customers expect deliveries faster in this new era.

“We are entering the era of quick commerce [q-commerce] where digital customers expect faster delivery within minutes or hours, unlike the 4.0 e-commerce era when users wait for same-day or next-day delivery.”

Pandamart delivers products within 20 minutes as orders are mapped to its nearest product storage facility within 10 km for faster delivery times. Such merchants partnering with the company include Gourmet Market, Lawson 108, Tesco, Beauty Buffet and the retail giant CP Freshmart.

To entice users, it also offers free delivery for orders of 50 baht or more with snacks, alcohol and beverages bringing in the most sales. Currently, Pandamart operates in 12 Asia-Pacific countries and Buchan says that number is expected to grow as shopping habits change.

Courtesy: Published at The Thaiger on September 18, 2020 by Bangkok Post

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