TAT & Locanation launch ‘ASQ Paradise’ hotel bookings platform

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thailand-based Locanation Company Limited today jointly launch the newly-developed asq.locanation.com website under the ‘ASQ Paradise’ project to provide arriving foreign visitors with world-class information regarding standards for quarantine and control at Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) hotels located around Thailand.

TAT Deputy Governor for Tourism Products and Business, Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, said, “TAT’s collaboration for the ‘ASQ Paradise’ project emphasises the strength of Thailand’s tourism infrastructure even as the country is in the grip of the global pandemic crisis. TAT sees an opportunity during this crisis to show other aspects of our tourism potential to the world. Not only do we retain our outstanding hospitality and travel services, but also the highest possible standards for pandemic control and quarantine.”

The asq.locanation.com website, available in English and Chinese languages, provides a 360-degree pre-entry quarantine service platform that offers services ranging from room reservations to information related to individual travel to Thailand and other services.

Currently, the website features 107 participating ASQ hotels in Thailand, offering quarantine packages ranging from 27,000 Baht to 220,000 Baht for the two-week period at hotels in the three to five-star range. All hotels join the platform are required to pass rigid standards set by the Ministry of Public Health.

Mr. Pepe Arunanondchai, Founder of Locanation Company Limited, said, “Both domestic and international tourists can use the asq.locanation.com website to fully meet their needs. This will pave the way for the launch of the Locanation’s official online travel agent business.”

Locanation is one of the companies that received a TAT Travel Tech Startup Season 2 Award under the Innovative Tourism Promotion category. It was recognised for using innovation to create platforms that addressed quarantine ‘Pain Points’ in terms of access to information for tourists who want to visit Thailand.

Locanation is also working with The Central Group of Companies, The Mall Group, King Power International Group and Total Access Communication Public Company Limited (DTAC) to provide online shopping services to asq.locanation.com website’s users. In addition, through collaboration with Dhipaya Insurance Public Company Limited, the company is looking to add a wide variety of insurance and health insurance packages to suit the needs of individual travellers.

The asq.locanation.com website will be promoted by TAT via its 29 overseas offices, as well as through a partnership with the ASQ Club Thailand. The Club has been initiated to provide information on alternative state quarantine facilities.

Mr. Prin Pathanatham, ASQ Club Thailand’s President, said, “Previously, tourist information about quarantine facilities in Thailand was very scattered. With the launch of the asq.locanation.com website, the ASQ Club Thailand believes that it will definitely prove to be an asset for overseas tourists, local entrepreneurs, or foreigners working in Thailand who want to research everything themselves and book directly with participating ASQ hotels.”

TAT is also creating activities to support the ASQ Paradise Project by offering special online shopping opportunities for quarantined tourists. The tourists will also receive an exclusive ‘Happy DIY Set’ with premium products from five Thai tourism communities around the country with delivery co-ordinated by the ASQ Club Thailand.

TAT will also launch an official LINE account in Chinese and English languages to provide information and reply to questions to quarantined tourists.

For more information on the ASQ Paradise Project and ASQ hotels located around Thailand, visit https://asq.locanation.com/.

Source: https://www.tatnews.org/2020/12/tat-locanation-launch-asq-paradise-hotel-bookings-platform/

TAT offers ‘Happy DIY Set’ to quarantined tourists

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), together with the ASQ Thailand Club, is offering a ‘Happy DIY Set’ to foreign visitors who book and stay in Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) accommodation during the mandatory 14-day period after arriving in Thailand.

Ms. Thapanee Kiatpaiboon, TAT Deputy Governor of Tourism Products and Business, said, “The ‘Happy DIY Set’ showcases Thai handicrafts from local communities around the kingdom. This is meant as a token of appreciation for visiting Thailand and to stimulate creativity during the 14-night stay at ASQ accommodation, which is required for all Thai nationals and foreigners visiting Thailand.”

The Happy DIY Sets include an iconic Krajood woven bag from the Thale Noi Community in Phatthalung province; a set of cloth mask with neck strap (either a batik cloth mask from the Sao Thong Tong Community in Nakhon Si Thammarat and a pearl neck strap from Phuket, or an indigo-dyed cloth mask that comes with a neck strap made from an indigo-dyed bobbin from the Nakham Community in Sakon Nakhon); a pair of woven water hyacinth slippers from the Ban Non Champa Community in Buri Ram, and a set of Benjarong ceramic from Ban Don Kai Di Community in Samut Sakhon.

TAT has prepared a total of 4,000 sets; each with information about the individual community, unique arts and crafts and key attractions. In addition, there is a QR code that will go direct to a VDO demonstration on how to create these unique items.

Through collaboration with TAT, the ASQ Thailand Club will take charge in delivering one  ‘Happy DIY Set’ per traveller who book and stay in ASQ from 24 December, 2020, onwards.

In addition, TAT is promoting other recreational activities during quarantine, including an Amazing of Nang Yai shadow puppet show and online games.

Last but not least, TAT has launched a mini-site: www.tourismthailand.org/happyquarantine to provide tourist information on planning the trip, quarantine and taking trips post-quarantine, in addition to assistance and information constantly provided by the TAT’s 29 overseas offices. A TAT Official LINE Account: @happyquarantine and WeChat: HappyQuarantine has been set up to provide information and reply to questions to quarantined tourists in the Chinese and English languages.

Source: https://www.tatnews.org/2020/12/tat-offers-happy-diy-set-to-quarantined-tourists/

ADB Hackathon Seeks Pitches for Digital Solutions to Spur Travel

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is seeking pitches for a hackathon on the best digital solutions that can kick-start travel in Southeast Asia in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Southeast Asia’s tourism sector was hit hard by the pandemic, along with the small and medium-sized enterprises that depend on tourists for their income. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates Asia and the Pacific’s tourism sector can lose up to $1.1 trillion in income and 69.3 million jobs in 2020 due to the pandemic. 

The hackathon, Re-establishing Tourism Confidence through Innovative Digital Solutions: Fast-tracking Tourism Recovery in Southeast Asia, promises a $10,000 prize for the winner who can come up with a digital solution that can entice people to travel again.

“Digital solutions allow for seamless integration of information flow,” said Marc Lepage, Principal IT Specialist at ADB, on the potential of technology to help revive travel in the region.

As a member of the ADB digital innovation team that set up the online challenge, Lepage says an app can be a useful tool for a traveler, who wants information at the palm of his hand. “I can look up what specific tourism operators are doing about COVID-19 that would make me feel safe to use their service, while looking, in the same app, at the process I need to go through—from immigration, airport, and official instructions. These all vary depending of where I’m coming from and where I’m going and the passport I’m holding—a digital solution that brings it all together and provides specific advice given my context would make travel easier in the COVID-19 context.”

As a traveler himself, he would also want information on the safety measures hotels offer to make him feel safer about traveling.

The hackathon named the following areas of interests for the challenge: 

  • Real-time updates on COVID-19 health and safety protocols implemented by public and private tourism service providers and information about evolving visa, air and ground transport, accommodation, tours, food and beverage services, and other tourism business operations
  • Integrated end-to-end travel planning tools (air and ground transport, accommodations, food and beverages, health, and wellness, etc.) that integrate COVID-19 safety and prevention measures
  • Creative digital marketing campaigns that maintain destination visibility and engender consumer confidence to travel again.

The deadline for application is on 17 January 2021.

More information: https://challenges.adb.org/en/challenges/new-normal-tourism-confidence-through-innovative-digital-solutions?lang=en&fbclid=IwAR1qfWLXCGel0yuSciABVAe3cnQiYC0YHad9VzBs6bntMGz4J4IVam2gp9E

TAT promotes “Single Journey’ routes encouraging single Thais to travel domestically

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) together with Thai Smile Airways, leading online travel and lifestyle platform Drive Digital, and application Tinder have launched a collection of new ‘Single Journey’ tours around Thailand specifically designed for the single traveller.

TAT Governor, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, said, “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed travel behaviour and necessitates that we think ‘out-of-the-box’. The ‘Single Travel Route’ targets solo travellers who prefer to travel alone to various destinations in Thailand.”

TAT is preparing nine Single Journey tour routes at destinations around Thailand, including Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai, Lop Buri – Saraburi, Si Sa Ket – Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani – Loei, Chumphon – Surat Thani, Phuket, Ayutthaya, and Bangkok.

To help launch the new Single Journey tour product, TAT and its partners are organising three pilot tours for interested single travellers.

The first trip will take place on 20 December, 2020, and is free-of-charge to join with space available for up to 100 single Thai travellers. Organised together with Grand Pearl Cruise, this is a cruise along Bangkok’s famous Chao Phraya River taking in nine temples and hosted by renowned fortune teller and Feng Shui expert Chang-Tosaporn Sritula, who will share tips on how to pay homage to Buddha and ask for blessings. The full-day trip includes a cruise dinner.

The second trip is on 9 January, 2021, with seats for 50 single Thais at 222 Baht per person. This is being organised with Love Andaman and involves a beachside party concert at Ko Kai in Phuket.

The third trip is on 23 January, 2021, for up to 50 single Thais and priced at 555 Baht per person, and is an exclusive train tour in cooperation with the State Railway of Thailand to Pa Sak Jolasid Dam in Lop Buri with a meal at the Dam included.

Singles interested to join any of the three pilot trips can make bookings from 15 December, 2020, onwards.

For more information on Single Journey routes from TAT and partners, please go to the official LINE @singlejourney account, www.tourismthailand.org or www.sneaksdeal.com/singlejourney

Khiri Travel To Go Carbon Neutral From January 2021

Khiri introduces comprehensive offsetting program with ClimateCare and new low emissions ‘slow travel’ holiday options

Asian DMC Khiri Travel is on its way to becoming fully carbon neutral. As part of its approach to take responsibility for its impact on the environment, Khiri Travel has partnered with climate and sustainable development experts ClimateCare. The result will be the complete offsetting of carbon emissions for Khiri guests’ holidays and Khiri’s own operations, starting in January 2021. This includes CO2 emissions generated by all of Khiri’s offices in seven Asian destinations, staff commuting, and all business travel by Khiri employees.

Once travelers arrive in Southeast Asia, Khiri Travel will offset carbon emissions for guest trips by charging US$1.50 per person per day. The aim is to offset entire itineraries, including accommodation, activities and transport. Funds will go to ClimateCare’s best-in-class carbon reduction projects in the Asian region.

Herman Hoven the CEO of Khiri Travel said that Khiri had calculated the average carbon footprint of its itineraries. As a result, a carbon offset rate of US$1.50 per person per day will be automatically added to each travel proposal to partners. Hoven said that partners would have the possibility to opt out if they had their own carbon offsetting program in place. “Otherwise the US$1.50 fee will apply,” he said.

“Our overall aim is to do our best to improve environmental management and decrease any negative impacts on our destinations,” said Hoven. “We want to ensure that not only Khiri as a company, but all our operations on the ground, are carbon neutral.”

ClimateCare’s Director of Partnerships, Robert Stevens, said: “We work with forward-thinking organisations such as Khiri Travel to turn their climate responsibilities into positive outcomes, which also support sustainable development.”

To further reduce CO2 emissions, Khiri Travel has introduced a new product line: “Rediscovering The Art of Slow Travel”. In these trips there will be no regional flights. All transport will be by train, car or boat. Itineraries will typically be a minimum of 15 days. Accommodation will be vetted against Khiri’s social, cultural and environmental criteria. And excursions will benefit the host communities, mostly in less developed regions.

“By offering longer duration trips in-destination, with much less flying, Khiri’s guests will greatly reduce their carbon footprint,” said Nia Klatte, Khiri Travel’s Regional Sustainability Coordinator. “It also gives guests time to slow down and immerse themselves in the local area.”

On climate action, Khiri’s position is to follow current advice from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which recommends cutting global carbon emissions to 55% of 2017 levels by 2030 in order to limit global warming to 1.5 o C (2.7 o F).

Khiri Travel’s climate position is explained here. Its climate emergency strategy is here. Khiri Travel is a signatory of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency.

More information: khiri.com

How Marriott International is leading the way in sustainable hospitality

Tired of all the industry lip service to sustainability, Anne Lim-Chaplain travels all the way to Bangkok to check out Marriott International’s hotels, which are truly making a difference.

“I’m so sick of it!” That line from Jo March in Greta Gerwig’s 2019 period drama Little Women is stuck in my head. I’m so sick of the heartbreaking impact of climate change on every living being on Earth. I’m so angry about the uncontrollable bushfires as a consequence of extreme weather conditions that are destroying beautiful lives, creatures and nature. I’m so tired of the damage done to our oceans. I’m so fed up with the injustice, waste and poverty in the world.

We are living through a global environmental crisis, but there is hope. People are demanding change – and businesses must help lead the way. One such organisation is Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel company, with 30 brands in 132 countries, more than 7,000 hotels and some 133 million members. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, it has more than 780 properties. Just imagine the difference this hotel chain can make by using their size and scale as a force for good, and by finding innovative ways to operate more sustainably and responsibly.


And that’s just what it’s doing. In 2017, Marriott International launched its sustainability and social-impact platform – Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction. Through Serve 360, the company is committed to serving the local communities where they do business. By 2025, it aims to decrease waste to landfills by 45 percent, cut food waste by 50 percent, and reduce water and carbon intensity by 15 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

“Travellers are increasingly concerned about the impact of tourism on the destinations they visit, so it’s important that we are transparent with our sustainability efforts and how we’re progressing,” says Craig S. Smith, Group President, Marriott International Asia Pacific. “We’ve made some great strides in advancing sustainability in Asia-Pacific over the last two years, and we will continue to positively impact the communities and environments in which we operate.”

Recently, I was able to experience the exceptional hospitality and sustainability initiatives at the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park Hotel. I loved my beautifully appointed suite and all the food-and-beverage outlets were outstanding. More than that, though, I was impressed by the team’s passion and commitment to sustainability efforts in a number of areas, including sourcing responsibly and locally, reducing food waste and serving the community. To reduce food waste,the culinary team, headed by executive chef Michael Hogan and senior executive sous chef Daniel Bucher, launched the “Second Love” concept at Goji Kitchen + Bar, which aims to make use of all those ingredients that would otherwise be sent to landfill. From the moment we arrived at the hotel in an electric Mercedes-Benz, it was a hands-on experience as we made our own Second Love welcome cocktail with pineapple peels.

Pineapple skin contains active yeasts and bacteria, so the chefs ferment it to create a delicious pineapple vinegar. Every week, the team slices 150 kilograms of pineapples, resulting in 85 kilograms of pineapple peel. After four weeks of fermentation and another four weeks of ageing, they produce 50 litres of wonderful pineapple vinegar, which is a key ingredient in the hotel’s signature pineapple and passionfruit gin cocktail.

In the evening, we picked our own herbs from the hotel’s herb garden and collected our own organic eggs. It was a joy to learn how to cook delicious, healthy zero-waste meals with Chef Daniel and Chef Michael.

On average, the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park Hotel contributes 37.5 kilograms of food per day to the Scholars of Sustenance Foundation Thailand (SOS) network, which redistributes meals to those in need in Bangkok. We had the opportunity to visit Father Joe’s Mercy Centre, one of the recipients of the Marriott’s food via SOS, to see first-hand how this relationship not only nourishes the children in this centre, but also provides for the entire family unit as the children bring the food home, too. It’s no wonder that Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park Hotel became the first urban five-star hotel in the world to receive the Pledge on Food Waste certification; it continues to work towards the company’s goal to achieve zero-waste to landfill.

Read more: https://hashtaglegend.com/culture/ready-new-view-for-the-new-year-marriott-international/