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News from around the Asia Pacific region, Aug 1.
Friday, 1st August 2014
Source : HVS
Hotel industry and travel news from around the Asia Pacific region; this week: Philippines want to tap LGBT market, Sri Lanka eye gaming, 6 new airlines aiming for lift off within India and more...

End of 2014 – 6 New Airlines for India

Lining up for entry approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation are 6 new airlines aiming for lift off within India. The 6 include: the New Delhi-based Zexus Air and Air One Aviation, Premier Air, to operate out of Bengaluru; Hyderabad-based Turbo Megha that now operates charter flights; Air Carnival from the south; and Zav Airways that will offer services from regions of the north-east. It is reported that many smaller cities have airports that are unutilised or grossly underused. Business travel is growing exponentially and these sectors have sufficient demand to fill planeloads.

Samadhi Retreats Signs the Blue Mansion in Penang

Cheong Fatt Tze’s legacy, The Blue Mansion has been signed for a long-term management by Samadhi Retreats. The boutique hotel is one of three heritage buildings in Penang to have won awards from UNESCO. Each of the 18 rooms has been restored to reflect the tycoon’s opulent lifestyle though individual themes and furnishings of precious heirlooms. The Blue Mansion will be the group’s third property in Malaysia after 13-chalent Japamala Resort Tioman Island (opened 2004) and 21-room Villa Samadhi in Kuala Lumpur (opened 2011). Samadhi Retreats is poised to open a 22-room colonial escape in Singapore's Labrador Park, at the end of 2014 as its first property outside of Malaysia.

Jetstar Pacific Starts Flights HCMC – Singapore

Coming 27 October, Jetstar Pacific will commence its flight services between Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. This flight service will be the fourth daily connection as sister airline Jetstar Asia currently operates three daily flights. The LCC is also introducing a new domestic route from Ho Chi Minh City to Thanh Hoa in the north. According to Alistar Hartley, Jetstar Pacific’s new services will allow it to capitalise on opportunities in the Vietnamese markets with double-digit domestic travel growth and very low levels of LCCs operating on international routes to and from Vietnam allowing the airline to unlock the full potential of air travel in the country.

Long Haul Market Interest Growing for Thailand

TripAdvisor announced that several long haul markets have displayed more interest in visiting Thailand over the last one year despite the political challenges. Brazil has shown the most interest in booking accommodation with Thai properties, growing 22 per cent year-on-year. Following after is the US with 17 per cent, followed by Egypt with 10 per cent, Ukraine and Canada with seven per cent. This confirms Thailand’s appeal as a much-loved and desired destination for international travellers. Within Thailand, Phuket was the most searched destination

Pink Market Targeted in Philippines

The LGBT market is an untapped market for the Philippines, which itself is a young market. Approaching markets such as Amsterdam and Las Vegas, the consortium consisting of Rajah Travel Corp, Afro Asian Travel and Tours, and Travel Warehouse to offer products where such travellers will feel safe and welcome, and not discriminated against. Some of which includes packages that explores from spas and ‘pink’ beaches to private cruise events and couple-oriented runs. Destinations like Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Singapore are also intended to be covered.

Gaming Prospects for Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government has plans to introduce high-end casinos into the country through three integrated resort (IR) projects in the capital, Colombo. Despite much refute and protests to the building of the new casinos, many industry partners commented the casinos can be used to attract the very rich niche gambling segment. Casinos have branded and developed themselves as comprehensive MICE locations which add value to the city as a destination. They would also play a part in improving Colombo’s night attractions and entertainment options, which is needed to cater to the steady growth of Indian, Chinese and South Korean visitors. Sri Lanka strives to also learn from its neighbouring examples such as Singapore.

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