Garuda Indonesia gives back to the less fortunate

Posted by - June 15, 2018

INDONESIA’S national flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, has launched a program dedicated to helping disadvantaged people.
The airline’s umrah program allows GarudaMiles members to contribute toward a fund for those who want to go the umrah trip, but are unable to afford it.
#AIRLINES
Would you fly on a windowless plane? The umrah is a religious Muslim pilgrimage made every year to Mecca (also known as Makkah) in Saudi Arabia.
While umrah is less expensive and time-consuming than haj, which is the major Islamic pilgrimage, it still comes at a price.
With flights, visas, accommodation, and spending money to consider, the trip can easily cost in excess of US$2,000.
But with Garuda Indonesia’s new “Sedekah Umrah” (Umrah Donations) program up and running, more people should be able to embark on this life-altering journey.
A post shared by ummatourrussia (@ummatourrussia) on Jun 14, 2018 at 1:37am PDT
The program has the support of the Religious Affairs Ministry and the Haj and Umrah Providers Association who were responsible for setting up the inclusive travel package.
The airline’s domestic commerce director Nina Sulistyowati and the Religious Affairs Ministry’s secretary-general Nur Syam in Jakarta signed the agreement last Friday.
Sulistyowati said the idea for the program was presented back in April at the Indonesia Travel Fair.
#ENVIRONMENT
Malaysia plans to develop Sabah for tourism, but is it ready? The launch of the program coincides with the Ramadhan festival in the Islamic calendar.
The holy Ramadhan month is one of the five pillars of Islam and is a time when more fortunate people give to those who are disadvantaged.
With this in mind, Garuda Indonesia and the Religious Affairs Ministry hope flyers with bundles of air miles will donate in the thousands.
For every 80,000 collected, one person will be afforded the opportunity to embark on umrah.
A post shared by 1Creek |Travel |Life Hacks | (@1creeknation) on Jun 13, 2018 at 8:35pm PDT
According to Sulistyowati, the equivalent of one umrah package has already been donated but Garuda Indonesia is hoping for 99 more.
The post Garuda Indonesia gives back to the less fortunate appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Here’s your guide to Asia’s best in-flight meals

Posted by - June 14, 2018

THE late, great travel legend and culinary master Anthony Bourdain once told Bon Appetit, “No one has ever felt better after eating plane food. I think people only eat it because they’re bored. I don’t eat on planes. I like to arrive hungry.”
This sentiment was echoed by the infamous 2008 e-mail sent to Virgin Atlantic boss Richard Branson by a passenger describing his experience as a culinary “journey from hell.”
The passenger, Oliver Beal, then went on to describe his in-flight meal as a “crime against bloody cooking.”
#TRAVEL HACKS
8 savvy weight-saving secrets of packing We get it.
In-flight meals have had a bad rep since time immemorial. They are often packed with sodium for flavoring and contains every shade of beige. For passengers flying economy, this is a dinnertime fate they will have swallow.
But in business and first class, the story gets a whole lot more colorful. And a new partnership between Mandarin Oriental, Taipei hotel and Thai Airways perfectly illustrates this.
Chefs from the five-star hotel will be preparing Michelin-starred meals for business class passengers between June 1 and Aug 31, 2018, on the Taipei to Bangkok route.
The dishes will use fresh ingredients, inspired by French, Italian, Southeast Asian and progressive American fare.
A post shared by Thai Airways (@thaiairways) on Mar 5, 2018 at 3:47am PST
We wouldn’t be surprised if a few sneaky economy class opportunists “accidentally” wander towards the front of the plane around supper time.
The new collaboration only earns Thai Airways another star on its already glowing onboard meal report.
“The food on Thai Airways flights tend to be very good, especially if it’s Asian food, which I think works great for an airline,” chef and television presenter Ken Hom told Telegraph Travel.
And Thai Airways isn’t alone. Airlines across the globe have drafted in celebrity chefs to advise them on in-flight menus, and true to style, they have delivered.
Here are five of Asia’s best business and first class airlines based on the in-flight meals:
Singapore Airlines A post shared by Lewis (@lewisl40) on Apr 21, 2018 at 10:00am PDT
Singapore Airlines’ culinary panel includes Alfred Portal, Carlo Cracco, Mathew Moran, and Suzanna Goin – all award-winning chefs.
The airline is renowned for its “Book the Cook” service which lets those in business and first class chose from a premium selection of dishes created by the culinary panel at least 24 hours before take off.
Qatar Airways A post shared by J A M E S L I U (@cateringnotassured) on Sep 30, 2017 at 1:11am PDT
“The new age of airline dining revolves around you,” Qatar Airways announced on its website.
The airliner roped in four of the world’s best chefs – Nobu Matsuhisa, Tom Aikens, Ramzi Choueiri, and Vineet Bhatia – who spent months designing the tantalizing menu.
With delights such as pumpkin and ricotta ravioli, spicy seafood soup and chicken shawarma bites, a flavor from every corner of the world has been included in the menu.
Cathay Pacific A post shared by Apple Wong (@imapplewong) on Mar 4, 2018 at 2:39am PST
Hong Kong’s flag carrier airline, Cathay Pacific, was the first commercial airliner to have rice cookers, skillets, and toasters on board.
This enables the cabin crew to prepare fresh rice and cook eggs to a flyer’s liking. But this was merely the beginning of Cathay Pacific’s culinary journey.
With the help of a talented culinary team, the airline put together a Western and Asian-inspired menu including dishes such as Angus beef steak, Peking duck, lamb chops, wok fried prawns and a fine selection of cheeses.
Check out the sample menu here.
#AIRLINES
Do you know which pharmaceuticals are banned in Asia? Air New Zealand A post shared by Andrew Aleman (@amaralandrew) on May 27, 2017 at 1:23pm PDT
The business premium menu was created by two of New Zealand’s most celebrated chefs, Michael Meridith and Peter Gordon.
It features regional delights such as kiwi fruits, honey, lamb, sweet potato and of course seafood.
One of the most notable mains has to be the salmon dusted with New Zealand lemon kelp and sesame, shiitake, and spring onion rice with steamed baby bok choy.
Emirates A post shared by Sascha Marx (@sascha63456) on Sep 29, 2017 at 12:30pm PDT
Those in first class can order room service to their enclosed suites on some Emirates flights.
Each course in first class has been specifically picked for your flight and is served on Royal Doulton fine china.
Along with the wines on board, the meals reflect your destination and always showcase incredible flavors.
Whether it’s caviar, prime beef or lamb noisettes, Emirates promises to rival some of the world’s top restaurants with its onboard menu.
Flyers can see what’s on offer before departure via Emirates’ website.
The post Here’s your guide to Asia’s best in-flight meals appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Philippines expect high tourism numbers despite Boracay closure

Posted by - June 11, 2018

SOUTH KOREAN Ambassador to the Philippines, Han Dong-man, remains optimistic for high tourism numbers to the archipelagic nation, despite the closure of its holiday island Boracay.
In late April, armed forces were brought into to shuttle remaining tourists off the once pristine shores of Boracay.
Rapid development and over-tourism on the island were not matched with investment in tourism infrastructure, and authorities have taken drastic action.
#WILDLIFE
Why it’s a bad idea to swim with whale sharks in Cebu Now, just over a month into the restoration project, Han has vowed to work to attract more than two million visitors to the nation with a major infrastructure boost.
“I promised him to bring two million tourists to the Philippines every year and increase tourist receipts from US$15 billion to US$20 billion,” Han said at the groundbreaking of Samar Pacific Coastal Road.
Boracay was a popular destination among South Koreans. In 2017, they were the second most frequent nation to visit the island after Chinese tourists.
In total South Koreans accounted for 1.6 million of the 6.6 million tourists the Philippines received last year.
A post shared by Jetsetters Guide To Travel (@jetsettersguidetotravel) on Jun 10, 2018 at 1:55am PDT
Han is not alone in his aim for increased tourism to the nation.
The Department of Tourism (DOT), headed by Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is aiming to welcome 7.4 million arrivals in 2018.
According to Travel Weekly Asia, Romulo-Puyat is focusing the department’s efforts of promoting other beautiful islands such as Cebu, Bohol, and Siargao.
Last month Romulo-Puyat also told the Commission on Appointments she will “prioritize improving policies on access, connectivity, and security as well as enhance programs on tourism infrastructure.”
#DESTINATIONS
The Philippines is getting Muslim-friendly Currently, some governments, including the UK and US, have issued warnings on travel to the Phillippines.
They urge foreign visitors to exercise increased caution due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and a recent measles outbreak.
However, these warnings haven’t deterred Han’s optimistic spirit. “Every time I meet Korean businessmen I always tell them to invest, invest, invest in the Philippines to support President Duterte’s Build! Build! Build! Program,” he added.
The post Philippines expect high tourism numbers despite Boracay closure appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

What does Japan’s new vacation rental law mean for travelers?

Posted by - June 11, 2018

AS Japan clamps down on private lodging services across the country, accommodation vendors such as Airbnb are acting quickly to avoid costly penalties.
From June 15, Japan will enforce a new law for minpaku (private lodging services). The law aims to provide the vacation rental industry with a clear legal framework.
#HOTELS
Take a look inside the Trump-Kim Summit hotel If rental companies do not adhere to the new rules, they could pay more than US$9,000 (JPY1 million) in fines.
The minpaku law will apply to every rental opportunity from single bedrooms to entier houses, most of which currently straddle a grey area of undefined rental law.
But the minpuka law is about to make this clear for all.
What does the new law state? A post shared by Edward Hsieh (@edamameedward) on May 23, 2018 at 9:23pm PDT
By June 16, all rental properties must be registered with the local government. In light of this looming regulation, one of the major players in the rental market, Airbnb recently unlisted 48,200 of its unregistered properties.
Additionally, landlords can only rent properties for a maximum 180 days per year, and local governments can enforce further restrictions, such as stipulating days or weeks of the year when owners can’t rent properties.
Also, every rental must display its registration number on the outside of the property and take measures to prevent noise, garbage, and fire problems.
Landlords must also make an effort to provide overseas tourists with information about facility access and emergency escape plans in foreign languages.
Lastly, the new law has done away with the minimum two-night stay rule but states a management company must be employed to look after the property if owners do not live onsite.
A post shared by arbol (@arbol_architect) on Jun 8, 2018 at 3:02am PDT
Earlier this month, Airbnb issued a warning to its Japanese property owners, stating it would not list rentals until they could prove their registration.
Minpuka law aims to protect neighborhoods and ensure guests are safe.
But until property owners are officially registered and adhere to all the aspects of the regulation, travelers might find themselves with limited options.
#HOTELS
Marriott has big plans for Sheraton brand However, as Japan sees a tourism boom ahead of the 2020 Olympics, the government is investing in accommodation infrastructure to cater for increased tourist numbers.
Earlier this year The Japan Times reported the Organization for Promoting Urban Development would be revising its financing rules to loan hotel developers up to 50 percent of hotel construction costs.
With brand new hotels and registered rentals on the horizon, travelers won’t have to wait long for secure and legal stays. But in the meantime, here are two accommodation booking platforms for those off to explore the Land of the Rising Sun.
Japan Experience A post shared by @japan_experience on Jan 24, 2016 at 2:51am PST
Japan Experience is a tour operator providing accommodation, tours, transport, and real information about the country from those who know it well.
It has traditional and contemporary properties in Kyoto, Tokyo, Kanazawa, and Takayama and offers “Tour Angels” to assist you when you arrive in a new city.
Whether it’s one night or a month-long stay, Japan Experience offer hard-to-beat rates in excellent locations.
Beyond resting your head, Japan Experience gives travelers in-depth tours, either self-guided or expert-led.
Just a glance at the website will reveal how well it knows the country and provide a wealth of information for traveling families, couples, friends and solos.
Rakuten Travel A post shared by 楽天トラベル (@rakutentravel) on Feb 15, 2018 at 12:45am PST
Booking with Rakuten Travel makes you part of something bigger than the accommodation industry.
Rakuten is an innovative e-commerce platform that knows a thing or two about offering competitive hotel rates.
It has 31,000 hotels and ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) on its books and constantly offers exciting deals.
The post What does Japan’s new vacation rental law mean for travelers? appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Marriott has big plans for Sheraton brand

Posted by - June 8, 2018

MARRIOT INTERNATIONAL will be giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘home away from home’ for vacationers staying at one of its largest hotel brands: Sheraton Hotels and Resorts.
At the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference earlier this week, the hospitality giant said its US owners and investors would be pumping US$500 million into a plan to transform all 515 Sheraton hotels around the world.
The focus, said a release on the announcement, will be on guest experience, hotel operations, and design philosophy.
#REWARDS
Rewards galore: Asia’s best SME hotel programs “From the moment we closed the Starwood merger in late 2016, the revitalization of Sheraton has been a top priority for our company,” Marriott International president and CEO Arne Sorenson said in the release.
Marriott hasn’t wasted any time getting to work on revamping the struggling 81-year-old Sheraton brand, with renovations already ongoing at 25 percent of Sheraton hotels worldwide.
What’s the new look? Marriott International is centering the renovations on combining Sheraton’s rich legacy with a focus on being at the heart of the community.
New designs will establish the hotel beyond a luxury brand and enable socialization, productivity, and personalization for all guests.
For example, the hotel lobbies will resemble a town square feel: plenty going on but with a friendly neighborhood vibe.
The seating and desks will be communal with integrated lockable drawers for when nature calls or a coffee break beckons.
Smaller meeting rooms called “collaboration suites” can also be hired via Marriott’s app.
An original sketch for the future lobbies in Sheraton hotels. Source: Marriott International
Guestrooms are being given a contemporary makeover with height-adjustable desks, USB points, and insulated walls to reduce sound transmission.
“We kept most of the furniture simple, elegant and especially comfortable,” Lionel Sussman, vice president of global design strategies for Marriott told KiiiTV.com.
The new bathrooms will be larger with a six-foot shower and vanity mirror with adjustable LED lighting.
A post shared by Sheraton Hotels & Resorts (@sheratonhotels) on Jun 3, 2018 at 3:23pm PDT
A new dining concept is also being introduced to the Sheraton brand with the convenient and chic “Coffee bar bar” for those who want tasty food without the fuss.
The eatery doubles up as a coffee shop and an alcoholic beverage bar, hence “bar bar.”
#BUSINESS
Clock in to the coolest co-working spaces in Singapore “With our Sheraton transformation plan, we’ve put together all of the pieces of the equation to work cooperatively with our owners to set this iconic brand on a new, disciplined and successful path,” Sorenson added.
The post Marriott has big plans for Sheraton brand appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Take a look inside the Trump-Kim Summit hotel

Posted by - June 6, 2018

A TWITTER announcement this morning ended weeks of speculation over the chosen venue for the Trump-Kim summit.
The winner, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, is: Capella Hotel, Sentosa Island, Singapore.
UPDATE: The venue for the Singapore summit between @POTUS and Leader Kim Jong Un will be the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island. We thank our great Singaporean hosts for their hospitality.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 5, 2018
#THINGS TO DO
Can you guess where the world’s tallest statues are? Capella Hotel, on Singapore’s premier island getaway Sentosa Island, is synonymous with indulgence – a fitting venue for the historic handshake between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.
If you don’t already know, this will be the first-ever meeting between a sitting US president and North Korean leader. Top on the agenda will be the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula – Trump wants to persuade the leader of the world’s most reclusive regime to shut down a nuclear missile programme that threatens US lives.
Capella Hotel is an ultra-luxurious property, boasting two presidential suites which are standalone, two-story manors and over 100 extravagantly furnished suites and guest rooms.
A post shared by Capella Singapore (@capellasin) on May 21, 2017 at 2:02am PDT
Lying adjacent to the hotel is The Club at Capella Singapore, an ultra-luxe serviced residence featuring 81 apartments, penthouses, and manors.
Capella Hotel is a perfect blend of new and old; think 19th-century colonial architecture, antique Asian artifacts and a rich interior that oozes comfort and modernity.
Besides the three outdoor pools, multi-award winning Auriga Spa, roaming peacocks and rainforest setting, the hotel offers maximum security because of its detached location.
A post shared by Kai Böcking (@kaireist) on Sep 18, 2017 at 11:06pm PDT
Sentosa Island is a human-made island off the southern tip of Singapore. It can be accessed via road, boat, or cable car, but can be better guarded than an innercity location.
A post shared by Capella Singapore (@capellasin) on Apr 15, 2018 at 8:21pm PDT
Measures are already in place to keep public spectators away. The Singapore government has issued a public order designating Sentosa and the linkway to the island as a special event area for the summit.
Drones are also banned in the area between June 10 and June 14.
A post shared by Capella Singapore (@capellasin) on Mar 19, 2018 at 2:45am PDT
However, the arrangement wasn’t an overnight decision. Kim Chang Son, director of North Korea’s state affairs commission secretariat, and White House deputy chief of staff Joe Hagin met at the hotel late last month to arrange security and logistics, Bloomberg reports.
The arrangements for the Trump-Kim summit have been a diplomatic rollercoaster from the outset.
Unless you’re a social media-skeptic, you’ll know Trump has fired off some offensive tweets about Kim Jong Un in the past:
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
But North Korea’s relations with the rest of the world began changing when North and South Korean athletes teamed up for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.
When March rolled around, Trump had accepted Kim Jong Un’s invitation to meet and discuss nuclear disarmament.
Following the agreement, South Korea President Moon Jae-in held a landmark summit with Kim Jong Un. By late April, North Korea had confirmed suspension of nuclear and long-range missile testing.
Trump was chuffed:
North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018
In early May, the Trump-Kim summit was confirmed, but by May 24 it had been canceled, in true Trump style:
A letter from the President to Chairman Kim Jong Un: “It is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.” pic.twitter.com/3dDIp55xu1
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 24, 2018
Yet just a few days later, the meeting was confirmed again after a North Korean dignitary, Kim Yong-chol, convinced Trump the meeting should proceed.
Speaking after the convincing chat, Trump said: “We are going to deal, and we are really going to start a process. Remember what I say, we will see what we will see.”
The proof will be in the pudding, and on that note, it’s worth pointing out The Knolls restaurant at Capella Hotel has a fantastic selection of divine desserts.
The hotel is booked up for the duration of the historic summit, but you can stay at Capella Hotel another time for a cool US$465 average price per night.
The post Take a look inside the Trump-Kim Summit hotel appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Qantas wants to operate the world’s longest direct flight

Posted by - June 5, 2018

QANTAS has set its sights on transporting passengers halfway around the world on a direct Sydney to London flight.
Should this estimated 20-hour flight route become reality, the Australian flag carrier will earn the crown as the airline that operates the world’s longest non-stop flight.
Currently, Qatar Airways operates the longest non-stop flight: from Auckland, New Zealand, to Doha, Qatar, at around 17 hours and 40 minutes.
#AIRLINES
Is Garuda Indonesia’s Eco-Basic ticket right for you? Looking for a larger slice of the long-haul-flight market, Qantas is now reportedly in talks with European planemaker Airbus SE and its Chicago-based rival Boeing for an aircraft capable of plying the Sydney-London route non-stop.
And it wants the plane delivered by 2022.
Such a plane doesn’t yet exist but with interest in the long-haul-flight market on the rise, Airbus expects to see a demand for between 50 and 100 such planes from other airlines, the firm’s chief salesman Eric Schulz told Bloomberg.
A post shared by Qantas (@qantas) on May 27, 2018 at 10:13pm PDT
While Qantas already operates a non-stop air route from Perth to London, the aim is to be the first to unlock Australia’s eastern border.
If the aircraft manufacturers are successful, airlines could open direct routes from Asia to South America and Australia to South Africa, leaving business travelers, expats and vacationers rejoicing across the globe.
Qantas’ specific aviation goal, Project Sunshine, is to make most of the world reachable for anywhere else.
Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO has been quoted saying the ultra-long-haul flights are the “last frontier in global aviation.”
According to Qantas’ international chief executive, Alison Webster the aircraft configuration will transport 300 passengers in four cabins.
#TRAVEL HACKS
Debunking myths: How to book a cheap flight But Qantas has competition.
As it prepares to introduce the world’s longest flight, Singapore Airlines has announced it will be reviving it 19-hour direct flight from New York to Singapore this October.
Originally launched in 2004 and ceasing operation in 2013 due to surging oil prices, Singapore Airlines is bringing the route back in true style.
A post shared by Magnus (@steeze_aviation) on Jun 4, 2018 at 11:24pm PDT
With reworked cabin features including lighting options to combat jet-lag, leg rests and bigger entertainment screens, it’s little wonder tickets are averaging US$1,500.
Despite the long-haul competition from other Asia-Pacific airlines, Joyce claims Qantas is “getting very confident” about such long-range flights.
The post Qantas wants to operate the world’s longest direct flight appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

5 of Japan’s most bizarre beverages

Posted by - June 4, 2018

QUIRKY is certainly one word you could use to describe Japan.
Japan is the home of ancient traditions such as sumo wrestlers and samurai warriors. It also hosts some of the world’s most magnificent flora during its spring season.
#POP CULTURE
Hello Kitty fans, here’s your first look at the Hello Kitty Shinkansen Fashion is innovative, pioneering, and inspiring in Japan. The food is cheap, delicious and healthy, and the landscapes display unrivaled beauty.
Not to mention the anime and manga which has garnered a global cult following.
Through culture, history, and nature you could describe Japan in a thousand different ways.
But for now, let’s focus on another of Japan’s prides – it’s bizarre range of beverages.
Coca-Cola The 330ml canned drink will cost around US$1.40. Source: AFP
The new alcoholic beverage Coca-Cola has just released in Japan, its first alcoholic drink ever, is interesting.
Coco-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world and usually associated with a brown sweet stickiness.
However, the global leader in carbonated drinks recently introduced a Chu-Hi drink in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Chu-Hi is an abbreviation for shochu highball, a term used to categorize fruity alcoholic beverages in Japan.
While the rest of the world might remeber them as “alcopops” from the 80s and 90s, they remain popular in Japan, especially among females.
Currently, citrus flavors such as lemon and grapefruit rule the canned Chu-Hi business in Japan and Coca-Cola wants a sip of that market.
Morinaga Pancake Drink Morinaga Pancake Drink. Source: Pinterest
If you prefer licking the cake mixture off the spoon and bowl instead of actually eating the baked product, then this is for you.
The canned delight is marketed as a sippable pancake mixture and can be dispensed from plenty of vending machines around major cities.
According to those who have tried it, Morinaga has a distinct flapjack taste. Yum!
Wan Wan Sparkling Source: Japan Trend Shop
Why should the human adults have all the fun when it comes to peculiar drinks?
Wan Wan Sparking is wine for dogs and pet owners go crazy over it. The Japanese are known to be very loving toward their pets and want to make sure they feel like they’re part of the family.
Wan Wan is supposedly Chardonnay-flavored. But since dogs aren’t sommeliers, it’s hard to tell what they think of it.
Black Vinegar Source: Shutterstock
You’ll need to forget everything you know about juice bars when you visit Japan because vinegar is on the menu.
Japan has reinvented what is normally used to flavor fish and chips or used as a dip for Asian savories.
It’s drunk for its health benefits, including balancing pH levels, improving digestion and boosting energy levels.
#ADVENTURES
‘Let’s-a go’ join the Mario Kart tour, take Tokyo for a spin Kodomo no nomimono
Following the success of Tomomasu’s Kidsbeer, another Japanese company called Sangria brought out Kodomo no nomimono.
The range includes non-alcoholic champagne, cocktails, and beer, all packaged to mimic real alcohol, especially created for kids.
Oh, they grow up so fast.
The post 5 of Japan’s most bizarre beverages appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Hilton takes the last straw out of its hotels

Posted by - June 4, 2018

HILTON plans to eradicate single-use plastic from each of its Asia Pacific hotels by the end of 2018.
Last month, Marriott and Intercontinental Hotel Group announced plans to replace miniature toiletry bottles with fixed refillable bottles. Now Hilton hotel group is joining the fight against plastic.
#BOOKINGS
In Japan, you can check-in to your Airbnb at a convenience store Hilton plans to replace plastic straws and plastic bottles in its conference and event spaces with sustainable alternatives.
The latest announcement is in keeping with the company’s commitment to decrease its environmental footprint and pioneer positive social impact around the globe by 2030.
A post shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (@hiltonhotels) on Mar 30, 2018 at 8:25am PDT
What’s the plan? Hilton is also dedicated to supporting smaller and local supplier’s and aims to double its investment in programs which benefit women and children around the world.
The initiatives form part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose strategy alongside the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Agenda.
“As a global hospitality company operating more than 5,300 hotels in over 100 countries and territories, we are committed to having a positive impact on the communities we operate our hotels in,” Hilton Executive Vice President & Regional President Asia Pacific Alan Watts said.
A post shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (@hiltonhotels) on Dec 17, 2017 at 6:19am PST
Instead of ignoring issues of using plastic on a mass scale, Hilton understands it is a problem but also identifies a solution – just stop using it.
“We believe waste is a solvable problem,” added Watts.
“By focusing first on plastic straws and plastic bottled water, we take another step forward in our journey to ensure that the destinations where travelers work, relax, learn and explore our vibrant and resilient for future generations to come.”
How else is Hilton helping the planet?
Offsetting its carbon footprint A post shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (@hiltonhotels) on Jul 6, 2017 at 7:04am PDT
Hilton has over 50 hotels in the Asia Pacific region, each of them are enrolled in the Clean Air Program.
The program aims to offset carbon emission produced by conferences and events. Since the program’s launch in 2015, Hilton has offset 14,118 tonnes of carbon, at no extra cost to guests.
Using less water A post shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (@hiltonhotels) on Jun 8, 2017 at 3:45pm PDT
There is no way to regulate the water consumption of guests in their private rooms; a water monitor might spoil the luxury experience.
However, Hilton has found other ways to reduce water waste and recorded a 15.1 percent reduction in water use intensity.
Soap recycling A post shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (@hiltonhotels) on Feb 21, 2017 at 9:22am PST
Millions of tonnes of soap go to waste each year through half used toiletries.
Hilton is working with charities to ensure the wasted soap from properties in China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vietnam, and Singapore is recycled and goes to those in need.
These are just a handful of the initiatives Hilton is already committed to, and its efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
“The World Tourism Organization commends Hilton’s focus on sustainability,” World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said.
“Hilton has been our partner in this endeavor, raising awareness among customers with examples of best practices for the hospitality industry.”
#HOTELS
4 ways hotels are kitting out to be your child’s best friend Additionally, Hilton partnered with Room to Read to improve child literacy and support girls’ education in India and Sri Lanka.
Hilton’s efforts have already impacted more than 70,000 young people since 2012.
This included the introduction of its Job Shadowing Programme to provide hundreds of girls with exposure to various career opportunities within the hospitality industry.
So, whether you’re traveling on business or for leisure, you can sleep easy knowing you’re staying with a brand that not only cares about its customers but for the planet and the less fortunate too.
The post Hilton takes the last straw out of its hotels appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

Rewards galore: Asia’s best SME hotel programs

Posted by - May 29, 2018

SMALL to medium enterprises (SME) are finally getting the break they deserve in the conference, events, and business travel sphere.
SMEs can be defined by the number of employees, annual sales, assets or a mixture of any of these.
#AIRLINES
The world’s cheapest airlines are in Asia Despite SMEs making up the majority of companies in many countries, they often to struggle to get funding and suffer through taxation.
Another part of the struggle is affording event spaces and staying in hotels which reflect the SME’s ambitions.
If you’re involved in business, or even an SME business owner yourself, you’d be fully aware of these struggles.
However, hotels around the world are offering an olive branch to SMEs in the form of targeted reward programs.
The customized programs allow SMEs to branch into growth territory by providing discounted rates for rooms and use of facilities.
Business owners can meet with prospective clients and investors in places that will undoubtedly impress.
Here are four of Asia’s best SME hotel reward programs, certain to get you excited for your next business trip.
Hyatt Leverage A post shared by Hyatt (@hyatt) on Oct 20, 2015 at 5:48am PDT
Hyatt may be new to the SME reward program scene but it’s certainly stamping its mark.
The Hyatt Leverage program provides eligible SMEs exclusive discounts of up to 15 percent off standard rates at any of the participating hotels worldwide.
In addition to this, SMEs will receive an extra five percent off selected Oasis properties.
Oasis is a quirky home rental service run by Hyatt which offer guests longer stays in more locations around the world.
Hyatt Leverage also gives guests access to the administration portal. Companies who are booking on behalf of an employee can use it to track bookings and make changes.
#BUSINESS
Clock in to the coolest co-working spaces in Singapore Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts A post shared by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts (@shangrilahotels) on May 25, 2018 at 5:41am PDT
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is known for its opulence and unrivaled luxury which filters into business travel.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ Business Travel Program aims to rewards SMEs with preferential rates at nearly 80 properties worldwide.
The program starts with an online enrollment to ensure the SME is eligible, then everything can be managed through the Shangri-La app.
Upon registration, a unique identification code will be sent to the SME and any associates of the SME can use it to make discounted bookings.
Complimentary amenities will also be offered as part of the program.
Eligibility is simple:
Generate a minimum of 50 room nights per year bookings across all participating hotels. Does not currently have a corporate rate agreement with any Shangri-La, Kerry, Hotel Jen or Traders hotels. Is not a travel agent or wholesaler. Hilton Asia Pacific Local Business Program A post shared by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (@hiltonhotels) on Apr 28, 2018 at 8:01am PDT
Hilton is getting personal with its SME rewards, and we like it.
The luxury hotel brand offers different benefits to travelers depending on which region of Asia Pacific they’re in.
Australasia: Corporate members of the Local Business Program can enjoy 12 percent discount on rooms and Hilton Honours members will receive free WiFi. Greater China and Mongolia: It’s cool enough that Hilton has properties in Mongolia, but even cooler that it offers SMEs 18 percent off room rates and breakfast. India and Southeast Asia: Participating Hilton hotels properties in India and Southeast Asia offer 20 percent off room rates and a discounted and delicious breakfast. Japan and Korea: You guessed it, a sweet 15 percent discount on rooms and breakfast, because what’s a divine stay without a delightful breakfast? Marriott for Small Business A post shared by Marriott International (@marriottintl) on Apr 20, 2017 at 8:19am PDT
Whether you’re working, meeting or relaxing, Marriot understands the importance of a good stay.
“You’re a small business, but there’s nothing small about what you do. We understand. And, with a range of brands, services, and amenities, we’ve got what you need to make things happen,” Marriott’s website wrote.
From the best rate guarantee, mobile check-in and hotel flexibility to workspaces on demand and efficiently booking small meetings – Marriot has thought of everything.
But don’t take it from us, hear it from the guests.

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