Confluences selected to become exclusive agent in Cambodia for Doppelmayr Group, global leader in ropeway mobility

Confluences, the leading business growth catalyst in Cambodia and ASEAN is particularly delighted to announce the signing of a representation agreement in Cambodia with the leading international ropeways manufacturer, Doppelmayr Group.

‍The agreement was signed by Alexander Klimmer, Executive Director Sales @ Doppelmayr and Soreasmey Ke Bin, Confluences CEO on January, 2023 in Austria, Doppelmayr Headquarter, with the presence of Peter Vogelmann, Director International Sales @ Doppelmayr and Martin Ladner Area Manager @ Doppelmayr.

According to the agreement, Confluences will become, effective as of January, Doppelmayr Group’s exclusive agent in Cambodia with the objective of exploring and identify business opportunities in the Kingdom and bringing them to fruition.

The partnership will focus on developing mobility solutions in the Kingdom of Cambodia, where the country offers tremendous possibilities in tourism and urban transportation.

Click here for the full release:

Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia Earns Green Destinations’ Top 100 Global Accolade for 2021

Cardamom Tented Camp ecolodge in Cambodia has been announced by Green Destinations as one of the 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories in the world.

The announcement was made 5 October in the online annual conference of Green Destinations, a non-profit organisation for sustainable tourism, based in The Netherlands. The annual programme has been in existence since 2014.

Cardamom Tented Camp was chosen by the judges among 28 tourism experiences around the world in the Nature and Ecotourism category. The other 72 winners were in the categories of Localisation and Decarbonising the Local Supply Chain; Communities and Culture; Environment and Climate; and Tourism Reset and Recovery.

“Since Cardamom Tented Camp opened in 2017 we’ve helped protect 18,000 hectares of forest by channelling income from the camp to support 12 forest rangers who have done a terrific job of reducing illegal logging, wildlife hunting and sandbank dredging,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures, the camp operator.

“Right from day one our slogan has been, ‘Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing’. The Green Destination judges saw those details of our work. They recognised that our sustainability story as a world-class and inspirational conservation tourism project could be emulated in other places,” he said.

In an earlier Q&A session for the online conference on 5 October, Niemeijer told Green Destination online conference attendees that Cardamom Tented Camp was based on three principles: a belief in visitor dispersion to off-the-beaten-track places away from over-touristed hubs; a commitment to work with experts, such as NGO Wildlife Alliance; and a full-hearted belief in the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, which had to be unwavering if the project was going to be truly sustainable, said Niemeijer.

In an official statement announcing the Top 100, Green Destinations said: “With the tourism sector facing very challenging times in the past year or so, the resilience and hard work of these destinations to become more responsible should be celebrated. The 2021 selection was determined by the quality, transferability, and, more than ever, by the level of innovation of the stories.”

Albert Salman, the President of Green Destinations told the audience that the objective of the top 100 sustainability stories programme was to “inspire responsible tourism leadership around the world”.

The full Green Destinations’ list of Top 100 Sustainability Stories for 2021 can be viewed here.

Further information on Cardamom Tented Camp, including its back story, its other awards and guest experiences, is available here.

Centara backs startup competition

Centara Hotels & Resorts and True Digital Park, Southeast Asia’s largest startup and tech entrepreneur campus, join hands to deliver a competition and incubator programme. 

The ‘Centrara Startup Sandbox’ competition and a three-month incubator programme support startups and entrepreneurs with co-working space, facilities, mentorship and funding.

The Startup Sandbox project, held in collaboration with True Digital Park, will see teams compete for a chance to join the three-month programme, during which executives from Centara will provide regular consultation sessions and be the judge for the teams’ final pitch.

“The world of hospitality is always evolving, and we are proud to be a part of this competition to encourage fresh ideas which will drive innovation in our industry. We are delighted to partner with True Digital Park to support promising startup businesses in Thailand and to mentor the next generation of innovative thinkers,” said Centara Hotels & Resorts chief executive officer Thirayuth Chirathivat.

“True Digital Park continue to build a complete ecosystem for startup and tech entrepreneurs to support the digital transformation and is proud to partner with Centara Hotels and Resorts. This startup sandbox program will strengthen our commitment to nurture tech talents and further accelerate innovative solutions,”  commented True Digital Park general manager Dr Tarit Nimmanwudipong.

Competing teams for the ‘Centara Startup Sandbox’ have to deal with a challenge: “How might we help clients experience their preferred destination or any hospitality offering while still providing them with more exclusive and memorable services”.

The winning team will receive THB100,000 and free use of co-working space at True Digital Park for six months. The first and second runners-up will each receive free use of co-working space at True Digital Park for three months.

Winning teams will also receive hotel vouchers from Centara.

1st Prize: Centara Reserve Samui, two nights in Deluxe Ocean room with breakfast for two persons, value THB23,775 per prize times three prizes per team

2nd Prize: Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket, two nights in Deluxe room with breakfast for two persons, value  THB12,947 per prize times three prizes per team

3rd Prize: COSI Pattaya Wong Amat Beach, two nights in COSI Plus room with daily credit for two persons value THB3,295 per prize times three prizes per team

Teams with at least three members of any nationality 18 years old and above who have a business idea for the hotel and hospitality industry can apply now until 6 September 2021 at

For more information, visit

Source: TTR Weekly

New world, new roles of engagement

With every crisis comes change, and many predict that the reboot of sorts for the world and the travel industry would swing the pendulum towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable form of tourism.

Hoping for a real mindset and behaviour change in the travel industry is Hamish Keith, CEO at Exo Travel.

“We hope that one of the silver linings of this very dark storm that is still raging around us is that people will think more carefully about how they travel and who they travel with. We know that there is an inevitability to people traveling more responsibly and more carefully and we also know it takes time before habits change,” said Keith.

Anthony Lim, president at Asia at The Travel Corporation (TTC), which operates a family of brands including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, believes demand for sustainable travel experiences will grow.

“As the world begins to recover and travel was on pause for the past year, clients are now more mindful in travelling responsibly and will be inspired in making a positive impact in the destinations and local communities they visit,” he remarked.

“Also, they will be choosing more consciously a preferred travel company which has established sustainable travel guidelines and initiatives.”

Like most businesses, TTC has used the downtime as take stock of its environmental footprint and establish road maps for a greener future, reinforcing the company’s stand to stay the course with the development of its new five-year sustainability strategy, How We Tread Right, covering issues such as climate change, food waste, diversity and inclusion, and animal welfare.

“If there was a silver lining, the global pandemic has enabled us to very much focus on the implementation of our strategy,” said Lim.

It’s a similar story for another sustainability-focused company, Abercrombie & Kent, with regional managing director, Southeast Asia, Belinda Shillcock, saying: “During this period, we have focused on product development and how we can provide the most sustainable and memorable travel experiences.

“When the world is ready to reopen safely once again, Abercrombie & Kent Southeast Asia is ready to offer our guests sustainable, slow travel experiences throughout the region — staying longer, travelling deeper and ensuring lasting and more meaningful engagements with the people and places that we visit.”

But true sustainability in tourism goes beyond environmental protection, these industry veterans pointed out.

It’s also about “fair income distribution, protecting the sense of place and operating responsibly whilst giving back to the communities we visit”, said Shillcock.

As well, the pandemic has inevitably popularised the use of single-use plastics again, an area these tour companies are keen to reduce when travel reopens.

Exo, for example, will continue to promote reusable water bottles, provide reusable masks and support local projects to provide sanitisers made with sustainable materials.

“While Covid has massively impacted our business, disrupted our industry and will no doubt change the way people travel, we see sustainability as a long-term mission that transcends this crisis,” concluded Keith.

Read the full article at Travel Weekly Asia:

Catalysing Cambodia’s new tourism future

The pandemic has brought Cambodia’s tourism players together and highlighted the value of a single voice via the Cambodia Tourism Federation (CTF), allowing them to work better with the authorities towards travel and tourism recovery as well future developments, reveals Luu Meng, CTF president, master chef and Almond Group CEO.

Tourism is a key economic driver for Cambodia but Covid has devastated tourism. How are CTF members affected?
Last year, we saw more than 50 per cent of businesses disappear when the pandemic started, as all international arrivals stopped in April. But Phnom Penh, the coast, Kampot and Siem Reap were able to do some business as locals could travel domestically. That continued into January and February.

Then the February 20 Community Event happened (when Covid spread across the country) and most domestic tourism disappeared (due to ongoing restrictions). When you break that down, almost every tour agent had nothing to do. Some have closed for good, some have been spending their savings and extending loans. Those unable to get more loans have been unable to continue.

For hotels, apart from quality hotels, there is almost nothing happening as well, although Kep and Kampot still have a bit of business. Official reports have also shown the restaurant sector has decreased by more than 30 per cent. The restaurant business was already competitive before Covid so it became even more difficult.

Did Covid present any positive opportunities for your members?
Before Covid, Cambodia was always linked to our neighbouring countries. Travellers would visit those countries, and then stay a few nights in Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat only.

The pandemic has given Cambodia the best opportunity to become a destination on its own. We have the beaches, culture, countryside, incredible cuisine, and the charm and hospitality of our locals. Cambodia is full of experiences, and has more than enough to provide travellers who are keen to stay longer.

The private sector is working closely with the government to newly brand and market Cambodia (as a mono destination) and encourage tourists to spent 10 days or two weeks here (as opposed to being a destination in a multi-destination itinerary).

How has the pandemic impacted the strength of CTF’s voice?
Before the pandemic, every association worked on their own and each had difficulty getting members to join. This was because traditionally, many people in the hospitality and tourism industry in Cambodia operate solo and don’t believe in belonging to a group. They didn’t understand the concept of belonging to an association which offered one unified voice, and that their issues and concerns will be represented and taken to the top level.

With the pandemic, people started to realise they needed help from the government and be able to raise issues with them. This is when we realised more people are interested in joining. Rather than Cambodian operators being very independent as they were previously, they are now more united.

What support have you provided members since the start of the pandemic?
We usually have at least one meeting a month, which has so far been held online. We have also invited people from different ministries to attend so we can all stay engaged. We have a Telegram group to make sure everyone stays informed and to give members a place to raise any issues and concerns.

Advocacy has been the main element and it works both ways. If you provide the right channel to raise concerns, it’s also much easier for the government to work with the private sector. Collectively, we have been able to come up with suggestions and options for the government, as choosing between health and safety or the economy is a huge challenge.

The pandemic has brought up many issues within the sector. We have issues spanning compliance, human resource and labour, social and business and marketing. This means we have to work with many different ministries. In good times, there was no chance to take a look at these things but during the last 18 months, we have been working with the government to develop a strategy to have an idea where the tourism and hospitality in Cambodia is going to be in the next five, 10, and 20 years.

Cambodia has excelled in the roll-out of the vaccination programme compared to other countries in South-east Asia. What role does this play in reopening to tourists?
Our CTF members and partners recognise and appreciate our prime minister has done a very good job since the government decided to start vaccinations.

In South-east Asia, Cambodia is second in terms of the percentage of vaccinations given – after Singapore – and we are comparing two countries with populations of six million versus 16 million. More than 90 per cent of adults in Phnom Penh are vaccinated, and this is not something that many cities in the world have yet achieved, so this is a great step for us.

We have been in discussions with the Ministry of Tourism about allowing vaccinated travellers in with minimal or no quarantine. We hope that will become a reality, and on our end, we hope to complete the country’s vaccinations by 4Q2021 so vaccinated tourists can also safely visit.

Cambodia’s tourism industry has lost a lot of skilled people. What needs to be done to build back the sector’s manpower resources?
We need to start preparing now. The Ministry of Tourism is currently unable to conduct any in-person training because of Covid restrictions, but has been holding online programmes on certain issues to retrain the people.

We are also requesting that the government creates a fund as soon as possible that will go towards retraining and refreshing the skills of previous tourism employees who have left the sector. Most of them wanted to remain in the hospitality sector, but have been away for more than a year now working in the agriculture and construction sectors as there is still work to be found there.

What has Cambodia capitalised on this downtime and what differences can visitors expect when they return?
The 38 Roads project has started in Siem Reap. The project comprises huge infrastructure improvements that are being carried out while no tourists are there. There is also a lot of effort being put into developing eco-tourism and new experiences related to that.

Meanwhile, the capital is changing quickly in a positive way, the coastline is developing and we have new airports planned. But the charm of the people has not changed, and that’s what makes Cambodia so attractive; it’s in our DNA.


Avani Hotels In Thailand Unveil New Hybrid Meetings Solutions

With remote and hybrid work becoming the new normal at the workplace, Avani Hotels & Resorts in Thailand are introducing a host of technology-based MICE products to make the transition to a more digital environment as seamless as possible.

With demand for ZOOM, Microsoft Teams and other video calling apps on the rise, Avani has expanded into digital services to offer event planners such solutions as online attendee management, interactive polling, rental of live streaming equipment and services of a dedicated on-site technical team.

Available packages range from “Mini Meet” with up to 10 on-site attendees and 100 online participants to “Conference Pro” with 50 on-site and 500 online participants, six guest speakers and multiple 4K cameras. Creative production services such as digital backdrop design and waiting room visuals are also available, allowing event organisers to plan their inter-connected events efficiently. Allow Avani’s meeting professionals to handle all the technical aspects of the hybrid meeting. On-site participants will enjoy traditional hospitality in the form of theme coffee breaks and meeting spaces designed to inspire.


Yindii introduces eco-friendly food app

Yindii, a Thai anti-food waste startup, has launched a mobile application designed to match Bangkok residents with environmentally conscious restaurants, grocery stores and cafes to combat food waste.

The app is designed to be a direct-to-consumer platform for restaurants and cafes that can create exclusive and immediate “Happy Hour Deals” offers regularly, with discounts of up to 50-70% on food that would otherwise go to waste.

Once a Yindii box offer is published, users can purchase it before heading to the restaurant to collect, or get the box delivered. They will not know the contents of the box until after the purchase.

“A full 33% of all food produced globally is wasted or lost every year. That is close to a billion-and-a-half tonnes that is never consumed, accounting for 8% of the greenhouse gas emissions around the globe, four times more pollution than the airline industry. All this is an ecological disaster,” said Yindii founder Louis-Alban Batard-Dupre. “The growing problem of food waste is challenging to solve for endless reasons including logistics, the complexities of short-lived items and the lack of a set market, which is what we are working to help solve. We hope our simple system connects users and restaurants.”

Rosewood Bangkok launches new drive through concept

Rosewood Bangkok has unveiled ‘Rosewood Bangkok On The Move Drive-Through’, a luxury drive-through concept offering quality produce, butchery, artisanal sauces, freshly baked bread, delectable pastries and healthy meals, all with easy order, secure pick-up and value for money. With one hour’s advance order online, freshly prepared, healthy meals can be picked up at the hotel’s doors daily.

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