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DOT Launches Digital Travel Magazine “7641”
In a bid to further promote the various destinations in the country and fast track tourism recovery, the Department of Tourism (DOT) launches “7641 Islands of the Philippines”, a digital magazine that will provide readers travel inspiration and information. The tourism circuits that the different regional offices of the DOT have developed, as part of the tourism recovery program, take center stage in the digital magazine. Among the featured circuits are the Bike Trails of Bicol and Central Visayas, Camiguin and Misamis Oriental’s Green Adventure Loop, Davao’s Dive Tourism, Boracay Food Crawl, SOCCSKSARGEN’s Farm Tours, and the Interregional Cuisine and Culture of Ilocos, Central Luzon, and Cordillera. 7641, which is part of DOT’s philippines.travel website, supplies travel information through feature articles that provide detailed itineraries, suggested activities with accompanying reminders for a safe adventure, and interesting stories for each place. “In 7641, we go in-depth into the stories of a destination, a cultural tradition, a dish, a personal affiliation to a place, while also providing the basic information you need as a traveler,” said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat. This will also feature more of those destinations that are lesser known but are equally stunning as the country’s popular tourist sites, like Marinduque’s white sand beaches, the healing island of Siquijor, the caves and paragliding sites of Nueva Vizcaya, the pink sand beaches of Zamboanga City, among others. Paragliding adventure in Nueva Vizcaya “We want to promote all tourist destinations in the archipelago that have already reopened to visitors. Each month, we will highlight different places so that the public can discover the marvelous sites that our 7,641 islands can offer,” said Puyat. The DOT invited feature and non-fiction writers, some of whom traveled to the destinations themselves, for more immersive writing. The DOT also collaborated with regional creatives, including SinoPinas and Playground Films of Zamboanga City, to document the sites and motivate people to travel through images and videos. Also featured are collaborations with writers like multi-awarded poet and novelist Edgar Calabia Samar, author of Janus Silang; Palanca awardee Joyce Roque; and MJ Tumamac, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino’s 2019 Poet of the Year. - 7641 Islands of the Philippines The microsite’s name was inspired by the number of islands in the Philippines. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), has an ongoing islands inventory. Based on the preliminary results of the inventory conducted by NAMRIA in 2013, the latest islands count that was announced is 7,641. Everyone is invited to discover the country’s islands and be updated on your next travel inspirations and bucket lists. Visit 7641islands.ph
ARTOTELGroup Officially Appointed as Batuangus 369 Tourist Site in Bitung City, North Sulawesi
ARTOTEL Group has been officially appointed by PT Taka Anugrah Perkasa as the operator of Batuangus 369 tourist site, a resort complex located in Batu Angus Nature Tourist Park, Bitung City, North Sulawesi. The area is most known for its scenic black pebble beaches. Batuangus 369 tourist site prides itself on being a model of ecological tourism destinations in the area. Built inside a 13.18-hectare complex, the resort will consist of two main areas named Colosseum and Resort. Batuangus 369 is the name given to the resort, which is a combination of numbers 360 and 9. It means the resort boasts a 360-degree view of the beautiful mountains, forests, oceans and hills, as well as reflects the identity of nine sub-ethnic groups recognized among the Minahasa through the architectural concept of its hotels, villas and cultural arts displayed in the Colosseum complex. The Colosseum complex will have a hotel, villas, restaurants, a ballroom and amphitheater which can accommodate up to 2,000 people. The Resort complex will have villas, cabins, camping ground, restaurants and four meeting rooms for 300 people. Minahasa’s rich and vibrant culture will be on display at Batuangus 369 tourist site. The charm Minahasa stilt house concept will be seen through the architecture of the hotel, villas, meeting rooms and wedding venues in the Colosseum complex. In addition, the history and culture of Minahasa will also be presented through heritage exhibitions and contemporary performing arts, which will be regularly held at the amphitheater. The aim is to give young people the opportunity to learn about the local culture. In collaboration with MSMEs and the locals, a special food hall will also be available inside the complex, offering a wide variety of local cuisines. Eduard R. Pangkerego, Chief Operating Officer of ARTOTEL Group said, “We are proud to say that ARTOTEL Group and PT Taka Anugrah Perkasa, as the company that owns the Batuangus 369 tourist site, share the similar vision in supporting Indonesian Government’s program to develop new tourist destinations in Indonesia and promote its potential at home and abroad. We, at ARTOTEL Group, are ready to manage and develop the Batuangus 369 by implementing our four integrated pillars: Stay, Dine, Play and Shop. The resort complex will have a modern architectural style combined with local cultural charm, a fundamental thing that we have been doing with other properties managed by ARTOTEL Group. Our Play Division team will ensure to regularly create interesting cultural events with a modern approach to attract young people, who are our main target market, and to give them an opportunity to learn about the Minahasa culture. We support local players and collaborate with them through exhibitions, performances and workshops. In line with ARTOTEL Group’s vision of integrating the local community, the Batuangus 369 will engage the local people in Bitung City. For hotel and villas’ operations, the majority of the resort’s staff will be hired from the local labor pool.” Batuangus 369’s project has officially started construction with a sod-turning ceremony attended by Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, on 16 February 2022. The resort is expected to start opening its doors in early 2023.
ARTOTEL Sanur - Bali presents Asia's First ever "Gamer Asylum" Concept Rooms
Known for promoting local art and creative hospitality, ARTOTEL Group launches today an exciting new service offering, Gamer Asylum, that targets a new market segment – Gamers. Bali, one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations, has been struggling to attract international tourists because of the pandemic. According to data published by CNN and confirmation by the Central Statistics Bureau of Bali, only 45 international tourists visited Bali in 2021 despite the island’s reopening. With the new concept, ARTOTEL Sanur Bali hopes to be able to bring back more international tourists to the island. ARTOTEL Sanur Bali is the first in Asia to introduce the Gamer Asylum concept rooms featuring the latest gaming gear and 24/7 complimentary high-speed Wifi for guests to play without limitations. The concept rooms can be personalized to the guests’ liking and include a fully-equipped gaming computer, gaming chair, headset, and trendy preloaded games, such as DOTA2, CSGO, Valorant, PUBG, and Genshin Impact. The new concept was inspired by the latest gaming ban in China, which limits young gamers playing online video games to three hours a week. The restrictions apply to any device, including phones, and the new rules swiftly became one of the most discussed topics on Weibo. With the Gamer Asylum rooms, ARTOTEL Group hopes that ARTOTEL Sanur Bali can be an asylum for all gamers who wish to enjoy their hobby without restrictions. Erastus Radjimin, Founder & CEO of ARTOTELGROUP, said: ‘We are a homegrown creative lifestyle and community at our core, and we are always looking for ways to provide unique experiences for our customers. By providing a different and enjoyable hotel experience specifically for gamers, we are hoping to reach a new customer base and boost business.’ The Gamer Asylum room includes: Complimentary high-speed internet A fully equipped gaming computer Daily breakfast for 2 Complimentary late check-out until 2 pm 15% discount for laundry services. The Gamer Asylum rooms are available for booking at the following prices: IDR 4million for 3D2N IDR 7million for 8D7N Visit https://artotelgroup.com/asb_happening/the-gamer-asylum/ for reservations and more information on Gamer Asylum. Terms and conditions apply.
Customer Experience Revenue in the Travel & Hospitality Industry Declined by 33% Between 2019 and 2021, According to Dash Research
While all industry sectors have needed to pivot and flex to address the global pandemic, few other industries have had to reinvent their processes and solutions the way the travel & hospitality market has needed to. Constantly changing restrictions and regulations have made any sort of market recovery in this sector lumpy, at best. The travel & hospitality sector has always needed to walk the line between internal operational and cost efficiencies and personal attention to the guest or traveler. According to a recent report from Dash Research, the global COVID-19 pandemic caused many travel & hospitality companies to reassess their priorities and current technology status, focusing on those that will result in even greater efficiencies as they navigate the upcoming recovery, and provide a smooth, friction-free, and positive customer experience for those traveling. Dash Research estimates that the global market for customer experience (CX)/customer engagement (CE) software and services totaled $3.5 billion in 2021, a 32.7% decline from 2019 when revenue for the sector was $5.2 billion. The market intelligence firm does not anticipate revenue returning to 2019 levels within the duration of its forecast period (2019 to 2026). Worldwide CX/CE revenue is forecast to rise moderately over the next several years, reaching $4.3 billion in 2026. “The customer journey of a traveler can be complicated and leverages many disparate technologies,” says senior analyst Sherril Hanson. “The process of researching a trip via the wide variety of channels and third-party providers, booking, paying, moving through a transportation hub, and arriving at a destination of choice has a lot of opportunities to rise to the occasion to provide outstanding CX or fall short of expectations.” Hanson adds that each touchpoint in that journey is an opportunity to build brand loyalty, trust, and positive emotions. Dash Research concludes that this is both a challenge and an opportunity for implementing CX technologies and services. While the industry will take some time to fully rebound, an exploration of CX in this sector demonstrates that it is a market primed to reap the benefits of implementing CX technologies. Dash Research analysis indicates that the key market drivers spurring the purchase of CX software platforms, applications, and ancillary services in the travel & hospitality market include the following: 1) Demand for omnichannel interactions and self-service along the various touchpoints 2) Changes in the nature of the travel experience and a desire for personalization 3) Acceleration of contactless and convenience technologies 4) Increased communication needs However, a multi-year global pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge for the travel & hospitality industry, and several key related market barriers that are tempering the growth of CX software and services include the following: 1) Market uncertainty and budget constraints 2) Fragmented and sometimes outdated technology stacks 3) Labor shortages and employee burnout 4) Consumer concern over health and safety issues Opportunities abound for the growth of CX solutions in travel & hospitality, but amidst all the current challenges, these solutions must be implemented with a keen eye toward evolving consumer behavior and attitudes, greater efficiency and convenience for travelers, timely and personalized communications, and a strong and sustained focus on employee experience (EX) in an environment of scarce labor resources. Dash Research’s report, “CX in the Travel & Hospitality Industry”, focuses on the software platforms, applications, and services that are offered to travel & hospitality companies to help them achieve excellent CX that leaves travelers feeling safe, satisfied, and eager for a return trip via all the companies that eased their journey. The report examines the current and future market issues, market drivers and barriers, and case studies within the travel & hospitality CX/CE industry. Market sizing and forecasts include segmentations by geography, functional area, product offering, and visibility to the customer. Discussion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the industry is responding, is also included. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
Christmas Terminal @Harbour City
The annual outdoor Christmas lighting display of Harbour City shopping mall located next to Victoria Harbour is Hong Kong’s must-visit festive attraction, creating lots of lovely memories and pleasant surprises to local and overseas visitors. From 19 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, the entire Harbour City shopping mall transforms into a “Christmas Terminal” to greet everyone to embark on a Christmas journey. A group of cookies-shaped animals gather at the “Christmas Cookies Departure Hall” at Ocean Terminal Forecourt and prepare to set off with excitement. Professional photo taking service is offered for all travelers to check-in at the giant suitcase. Everyone can also buy the cookies-shaped souvenir at “Christmas Gift Shop” after passing through “Baggage Conveyor Belt” Lighting Tunnel and celebrate the festive season. In addition, Harbour City has launched “Christmas Cookies” Game at the “Harbour Cityzen” mobile App. Everyone can get an instant prize after hunting and collecting the designated “Cookies Ornaments”. Upon spending and redeeming REWARDING EVERY DAY coupons during the promotion period, customers can also receive “Christmas Boarding Pass” lucky draw ticket and enjoy shopping privileges in 50 designated “Duty-Free Shops”. This year, Harbour City has reinstalled large-scale Christmas outdoor decorations at Ocean Terminal Forecourt with stunning Victoria Harbour view. We have also resumed a livestreamed Lighting Ceremony on 18 November 2021 and invite public to attend the ceremony by donation for the first time. The ceremony is kicked off by A cappella Christmas singing performance. Special pyrotechnic effects and Confetti have been arranged at the scene to hope everyone can celebrate the festive season under the new normal and spread joy around the world. 1. Begin your Journey at “Christmas Cookies Departure Hall” & Take Photo at Giant Suitcase Upon entering the “Christmas Cookies Departure Hall” at Ocean Terminal Forecourt from Star Ferry Pier, two cookies bear staffs are ready to serve all travelers. While various cookie-shaped animals are ready for departure at “Candy Cane” gates, cookie penguin sister is pushing a luggage trolley to meet up with her brother. Unfortunately, her brother’s “Giant Suitcase” has accidentally opened, dropping sweet cookies everywhere including clothes, camera and Christmas gifts, etc. He needs a helping hand from other visitors! After packing the suitcase, cookies bears lead us to “Baggage Conveyor Belt” Lighting Tunnel at the Ocean Terminal staircase, delivering all baggage and excitement to the world for Christmas celebration. Moreover, a lot of “cookies mold” Christmas trees with colorful lightings and cutie cookies ornaments are also placed at Departure Hall and Lighting Tunnel, everyone should check-in before set off! Harbour City collaborates with online booking platform Klook, where each person can step on the Giant Suitcase “Charity Photo Zone” to take photos upon donation of HK$10 to Hong Kong Blood Cancer Foundation. Fotomax also provides different charity photo packages to capture the unforgettable moments. Proceeds of charity photo packages after cost deduction will be donated to Hong Kong Blood Cancer Foundation. 2. “Christmas Gift Shop” - Souvenir Charity Sales and Gift-Wrapping Service Buying souvenirs is a must for every trip! Harbour City opens the first “Christmas Gift Shop” at the Ocean Terminal Lobby offering numerous of creative and practical limited edition “cookies” souvenirs such as cushions, multipurpose ornaments, passport holders, luggage tags and other travel gadgets. Besides, travelers can enjoy Charity Gift-Wrapping Service with special designed packaging, including penguin gift bags adding with various beanie stickers and Christmas cookie pattern wrapping papers along with different colours of ribbons and stickers carrying various blessings. Proceeds of gift shop and gift-wrapping after cost deduction will be donated to Hong Kong Blood Cancer Foundation. Online booking platform Klook introduces various “Holiday Itinerary” for this Christmas and launch “Christmas Boarding Gate” challenge with everyone! Participants can experience different travel journeys, including Japan, Korea or Taiwan. Winners will have a chance to win special prizes from Japan National Tourism Organization, Korea Tourism Organization (Hong Kong), Taiwan Visitors Association (Hong Kong Office). They can also enjoy Klook Christmas card with exclusive discount if can’t succeed in the challenge. 3. “Christmas Cookies” Game and “Boarding Pass” Instant Lucky Draw x Shopping Privileges The Christmas Cookies of cookie penguin brother are scattered around the Christmas Terminal! Let’s download the mobile app “Harbour Cityzen” to hunt and scan the over 50 cookies QR codes around the Terminal now, and get an instant prize valued at HK$200 or above upon collection of designated Christmas Cookies. On the other hand, from 26 November 2021 to 2 January 2022, upon spending and redeeming REWARDING EVERY DAY coupons during Christmas Season, customers can also receive one “Boarding Pass” lucky draw ticket at the redemption counter to join Christmas Grand Lucky Draw and get a chance to win 25 grand prizes (each valued at HK$5,000 or above)! Upon presentation of the “Boarding Pass”, customers can also enjoy 10% off at Christmas Gift Shop, and various shopping privileges in 50 designated “Duty Free Shops” of the “Christmas Terminal”. Details will be announced in website of Harbour City soon.
MARITIM Resort Marina Bay Open Now
MARITIM family keeps expanding. Maritim Resort Marina Bay has opened its door in May welcoming travelers to this unparalleled property located in Vlora, Albania. The hotel has nearly 100 guestrooms and suites. Equipped with 4 swimming pools and a spa center, 7 food and beverage outlets as well as extensive sports facilities, Maritim Resort Marina Bay provides full services for guests to relax and enjoy their stay with us. Southern Albania enjoys 300 days if sunshine on average per year. The historical and ethnographic museums and the Petro Marko Theatre form the cultural center of Vlora which has been one of the favorite cities for European travelers. It takes 2-hour drive from the hotel to the airport in Tirana. Or you take ferry to the city of Brindisi in Italy keep exploring the Caribbean interests. MARITIM family offers you another option, Maritim Hotel Plaza Tirana. Located in the capital of Albania, the hotel has 190 comfortable guestrooms and suites offering a home away from home environment for travelers.
Ttobagi Farm Family Has Come to INJE County! Where Clean Water, Air, and Mother Nature Breathe
Inje County (Inje-gun, hereinafter Inje), Gangwon Province, is a place to arrive in about 2-3 hours by car from Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone) is located to the north and Seoraksan National Park to the east. Thus, nature is well preserved compared to Seoul and the metropolitan area. Moreover, since Inje has the lowest population density of South Korean counties, it is famous for its clear air and water. The natural environment is the best preserved, so it is known among Koreans as the place to see the best autumn and winter scenery. The food also well expresses the traditional culture and taste of Korea, making it an attractive place for Koreans to visit during the holiday season. To this Inje, Ttobagi Farm Family, a group of foreigners in Korea interested in domestic rural tourism and travel and active in SNS activities, visited. Those who gathered to promote Korean rural tourism abroad experienced the most typical farm villages on an overnight trip itinerary. The name ‘Ttobagi Farm Family’ is a combination of the pure Korean word “Ttobagi(또바기),” meaning “Always,” the word “Farm” and the Chinese character “Family(族).” It contains the meaning of “a family always with the farm village.” As the name implies, people who gathered to study the Korean language and culture from various countries experienced the traditional Korean farm villages’ traditional culture that cannot be encountered in cities. ■ Storehouses of cultural knowledge: Inje Mountain Village Folk Museum & Park In-hwan Memorial House The Inje Mountain Village Folk Museum opened on October 8, 2003, to examine the history and tradition of Inje at a glance. The museum systematically preserves and exhibits the disappearing folk culture of Inje. It has two themes: “Life & Faith” and “Joys and Sorrows & Relaxation”. It is available from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm and closed on public holidays and every Monday. Admission is free. Park In-hwan Memorial House is located right next to the Inje Mountain Village Folk Museum. This space is for admiring the spirit of Park In-hwan, a poet who was born in Inje. You can feel the nostalgia of the past through the exhibition room that recreates the space of the days when the poet Park In-hwan was writing poems. The main works of Park In-hwan, the representative poet of modernist poetry, include “If Times Flow” and “A Rocking Horse and a Lady.” Address: 50, Inje-ro 156beon-gil, Inje-eup, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do Phone: +82-33-462-2086 Website: http://mvfm.kr ■ Seeing the beautiful scenery of autumn in Korea at one stage: Hachu Natural Recreation Forest Hachu Natural Recreation Forest, managed by Inje Forestry Cooperative, consists of 11 condo-type buildings, including the Forest House and Forest Culture Rest Hall, conference rooms, restaurants, camping facilities, etc. Also, there are a 6km hiking trail and a 4km wellbeing tracking course. The tracking course leads to a field of wildflowers filled with about 30,000 flowers of 50 different species, such as daylily, spike speedwell, yellow iris, and fuji blue. Besides hiking trails where you can enjoy forest bathing, you can experience adventure leisure sports such as rafting, river bugging, and kayaking at Naerincheon, depending on the season and weather. Meanwhile, only a limited number of people can enter and use it through the online reservation, so it is essential to make the reservation in advance. Address: 686, Hachu-ro, Inje-eup, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do Phone: +82-33-461-0056 Website: https://bit.ly/3jBJJOr If you walk along the tracking course of Hachu Natural Recreation Forest, you can see the most Korean country road. Inje, in particular, is famous for producing vegetables in Korea, and since autumn is the season when the harvest is in full swing, you could see the farmers working. In Korea, Inje is famous for the small number of COVID-19 confirmed cases. Although there was a confirmed case entering the country through Incheon International Airport, a mass infection in Inje was previously blocked by quarantine measures. To this day, there has been no mass infection in Inje, and it is still on a good defense. ■ Meet the life of farmers and local food at Hachuri Mountain Village Located in Inje, Hachuri Mountain Village is a green village between Seoraksan and Naerincheon. It is at a high altitude of 250 to 600m above sea level and a mountain village centered in agriculture that mainly produces various highland vegetables, wild herbs, medicinal plants, and mushrooms like pine, oyster, and shiitake. Hachu Nature Experience School can be said to be the core building of the village. Through the remodeling into a living space, restaurant, and the space for experience programs, Hachu Nature Experience School has been able to offer not only experience programs but also accommodation. Experience programs include rafting, making natural soap and pain relief patches using wild grass, and making pottery. In case of accommodation facilities, in the past, they temporarily opened only in the summer. However, they are now available through reservation regardless of the season due to the reconstruction took place this fall. The complementary facilities, such as cafes and specialty stores, are also available at all times. Address: 187, Hachu-ro, Inje-eup, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do Phone: 070-4404-4481 Website: https://bit.ly/3kF1rlG ■ The center of motor sports hidden in the mountains: Inje Speedium In Inje, there is not only nature and tradition. Inje Speedium, Korea's first automobile theme park, is located deep in a mountain valley. Inje Speedium is the fourth official circuit following Yongin AMG Everland Speedway (1994), Taebaek Speedway (2003), and Yeongam Korea International Circuit (2010). Inje Speedium is the FIA Grade 2 circuit with a total area of 1.399,000㎡. As it is operated by BlueOne, a subsidiary of Taeyoung E&C, besides the circuit, hotels, condominiums, and various amenities are fully organized. The hotel has 134 rooms (seven floors and a basement), and the condo has 118 rooms (eight floors and a basement). You can see the circuit from almost all rooms, so it is possible to watch the races at your room. What’s more, there are various experiential viewing facilities such as a classic car museum, an ATV electric cart, a special exhibition hall for North Korea's cheer squad, a time gallery, an indoor playground, and a leisure cart. So Inje Speedium is loved by mainly family tourists. When there is no race, experience programs such as circuit cart, circuit safari, and circuit taxi are available. Address: 130, Sanghadap-ro, Girin-myeon, Inje-gun, Gangwon-do Phone: +82-1644-3366 Website: https://www.speedium.co.kr
Uljin Seongryu Cave in Gyeongsangbuk-do, The First Korean Peninsula Cave to Be Found and Recorded in History
‘Uljin Seongryu Cave’, famous for the first Korean peninsula cave to be found and recorded in history, was opened on May 7, 1963, when it was designated as Korea's Natural Monument No. 155. The first history book that appeared here is ‘Samguk Yusa(The Heritage of the Three States)’, written by the Buddhist monk Il-yeon at Ingak Temple in the seventh year of King Chungnyeol (1281). In Samguk Yusa, Seongryu Cave, which appeared as Jangcheon Cave, was revealed in history as a place where the Silla Bocheon Prince was able to settle the public sentiment. At the end of Goryeo(918-1392), it was recorded as a nearby attraction, referring to the Buddhist temple of Seongryu Temple in ‘Gwandongyugi’, which was written by the great scholar Lee Gok. It is also a place with a sad legend. There is a record that, at the time of Japanese Invasion of Korea, the soldiers blocked the entrance and massacred about 500 refugees. Seongryu Cave is a limestone cave in a straight form. The total length is about 870 meters, of which 270 meters are open to visitors. Large stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones can be seen, and the viewing points by the lakes in the caves are impressive. There are photo zones named in a similar fashion everywhere, attracting visitors. Since 1976, Gyeongsangbuk-do Uljin-gun has been managing Seongryu Cave. Tickets can be purchased by individuals or groups, and it is necessary to wear a safety helmet. And while having a look around, visitors are recommended to read the main signs and instructions, such as safety notices, which are placed inside the caves. ▲ Panoramic view of passageway leading to Seongryu Cave ▲ The entrance of Seongryu Cave. Visitors must wear a safety helmet. ▲ Passing through the narrow entrance, you will encounter a huge space. ▲ There are several places where lighting is ideal for taking commemorative photos. ▲ Information signs are placed at the notable sites to watch. ▲ There are facilities such as staircases and safety facilities, but visitors should always be careful of the safety while touring.
Skywalk, Suspension Bridge, and Even Gatbawi Rock! All-In-One Tourist Attraction ‘Mount Deunggi Skywalk’
As you travel all over Korea, you can see the sights that reveal Korea’s “hurry, hurry” culture. In Korea, the “All-In-One” style, which means that everything is done in one place, is popular. If you visit Gyeongsangbuk-do, we recommend the ‘Mount Deunggi Skywalk’ located near Hupo Port, Uljin-gun. Skywalk, built in the park of the mount Deunggi, is nationally famous with its 135-meter walking path on the East Sea. In particular, the 57-meter section is built with glass, so you can actually feel like you're walking on water. The most important part is the operation time, as its closing time varies depending on the season from 9 am. It closes at 5:30 pm in March-May and September-October, at 6:30 pm in June-August, and at 5:00 pm in November-February. There is ‘Hupo Gatbawi Rock’ right under the Skywalk. It's so popular that there is a stairway going down from the Skywalk, and there is a folktale that Gatbawi Rock grants one wish in a life among local residents. Therefore, it is a place where laughter blooms with various wish origins from getting a child to winning the lottery. On the way from the Skywalk to the park of the Mount Deunggi, there is a Suspension Bridge. It’s so short that people might think it won’t shake much, but if you go up, its shaking is considerable. For this reason, the screams of people who are afraid to shake are sometimes heard. Still, the railing is high, so if there is no excessive joke, there is no problem. ▲ Mount Deunggi Skywalk is good for taking a walk after using the Hupo Port passenger terminal or nearby restaurants. ▲ Because it is built on the glass floor based on the height of which people could be afraid, the excitement is considerable even in the short section. ▲ You can enjoy it for free during the operation time, so it is full of visitors on a sunny day. ▲ If you look at the bottom of the glass, you can see the bottom of the blue sea of the East Sea. ▲ At the end of the Skywalk, you will find sculptures that are mermaids, which is a photo zone. ▲ Hupo Gatbawi Rock is a famous spot for people who come to make a wish. It leads directly to the stairs from Skywalk. ▲ Suspension Bridge is located on the way from Skywalk to the park of the Mount Deunggi. Even if it looks short, the shaking is considerable. ▲ There are sculptures where visitors can take commemorative photos throughout the park of the Mount Deunggi.
Suggesting Model of Korean Winter Festival, ‘Santa Village at Buncheon Station’, Opens Until February 16
Gyeongsangbuk-do (Governor Lee Cheol-woo) held the opening ceremony of Santa Village at Buncheon Station in Socheon-myeon, Bonghwa-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do on December 21, 2019, and announced the opening of Santa Village by February 16. The Santa Village, which is operated by Gyeongsangbuk-do and Bonghwa-gun, KORAIL's Gyeongbuk headquarters and local residents, is a festival to showcase the Korean winter festival. Every year, content and events are held in order to establish itself as a representative tourist destination in the winter season, and visitors are growing year after year. The Santa Village, which is now in its sixth time, is one of the best examples of the future revitalization strategy for the tourism industry in Gyeongsangbuk-do, and has become the ideal type of revitalization of the local economy that attracts more than 100,000 tourists each time through public-private partnership. The success know-how here has a positive effect on the tourism policy of Gyeongsangbuk-do, and a variety of visitors-oriented services and events are being realized. The opening ceremony was held in conjunction with the ‘Buncheon Santa Village Trekking Tournament', which was selected as the 2019 Walking Tour Festival by the Korea Tourism Organization. Consisting of the first course (22km) and the second course (12km), the competition attracted a lot of attention as participants could enjoy Santa Post Office, Santa train, Santa Rail bike as well as Samgut-grilling (cooking cones, potatoes, etc. in the pit with heat) in Santa Village. On the day of the opening ceremony, a wide variety of programs such as nail art, face painting, Santa roulette, orchestra march, and 15 second video experience were held. ▲ Santa Village, which makes Buncheon Station a festival venue, also came this year. ▲ Buncheon Station, where the Santa Village was held, is known as a base for mountain inland travel in Korea. ▲ In line with the opening of Santa Village, tourists from all over the country gathered. ▲ Prize events were very popular with crowds. ▲ With one of the oldest anthropological recipes, ‘Samgut-grilling’, eggs, potatoes, and sweet potatoes were provided free of charge according to the schedule. ▲ The opening ceremony of the Santa Village began with the Marching Parade, which was attended by a nearby school band. ▲ Buncheon Station, which is inland, couldn’t keep snow for a long time due to global warming, so it was possible to see the snow scene only around major sculptures. Buncheon Station, where the Santa Village was opened, is a gathering place for inland train travelers, including the V-train. On the use of these characteristics, major experience programs such as Santa sledding, feeding alpaca, making Santa strawberry finger food, Samgut-grilling, traditional folk games, and Santa Post Office are carried out throughout the operation period of Santa Village. The Bonghwa-gun is planning a Santa character sculpture, Christmas street maintenance, photo zone, user-generated content (UCC) and photo essay contest for consistent branding. In addition, it is striving for the success of the Santa Village by arranging snow plows in response to global warming and creating a white snowy field when conditions, such as temperature, permit. Through such investment and sincerity, Buncheon Station has become the home of Santa Village, Korea's representative winter festival, in the rural simple station. And has become the representative tourist attraction of Bonghwa-gun, where an average of 1700 visitors visits each day during the period. On the other hand, Son Sam-ho, head of the domestic marketing team of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, was awarded the Appreciation Plaque for his successful settlement in Santa Village and his contributions in major tourism promotion policies. At the award ceremony, he revealed that he plans to grow Santa Village as a new tourist resource in Gyeongsangbuk-do, and announced that he will make efforts to promote tourism in Gyeongsangbuk-do with his know-how. ▲ Major officials from local governments such as Lee Cheol-woo, Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do, and Eom Tae-hang, Governor of Bonghwa-gun, visited the Santa Village and prayed for the success of the festival. ▲ Son Sam-ho, head of the domestic marketing team of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, received the Appreciation Plaque for the successful settlement of Santa Village. ▲ Santa Village is showing the epitome of the local festival held by the Korean local government and beckoning to not only Koreans but also foreign tourists.
Korea Branch of Guam Visitors Bureau Held '2019 Year-End Appreciation Reception'
At Conrad Seoul Hotel on the 22nd, Korea Branch of Guam Visitors Bureau(GVB) held a Year-End Appreciation Reception for people who have worked together in 2019. About 200 people attended the event, including Governor of Guam, US Ambassador to Korea, employees of airlines and travel agencies, travel industry practitioners and media officials. Harry B. Harris Jr., US Ambassador to Korea, mentioned that Guam has passed through World War II and post-war revival since the beginning of the 20th century, and is a significant area in the United States. Also, he expected the activation of US-Korea private exchange. Lou Leon Guerreo, Governor of Guam, stated, “Of the 1.63 million tourists who visited Guam this year, more than 730,000 were Korean. We ask for your continued exchange and cooperation for the development of the Guam tourism industry.” ▲ Harry B. Harris Jr., US Ambassador to Korea ▲ Lou Leon Guerreo, Governor of Guam ▲ Jay Park, Director at Korea Branch of GVB Jay Park, Director at Korea Branch of GVB, reviewed 2019 by saying “Guam, a four-hour flight from Incheon International Airport, set a new record in the spotlight as an alternative to Japan and Hong Kong.” Guam, which has proved popular through nonstop flights from Incheon and Busan, and via transit routes from Cheongju and Daegu, will open a direct charter flight to Gwangju Airport in the winter of 2019-2020 to meet the demand of Korean tourists. In Guam, Korean tourists account for 45% of the total visitors, outpacing Japan with 41%. Since the reversal in 2017, the gap has been widening, and now it is aiming for more than half of all tourists. This is known to be a big contribution from the #instaGuam promotion, which started in 2018. This promotion was evaluated as the first place as it made the Guam trip, which was about a honeymoon trip, the paradise of colorful travel and shopping. ▲ Pilar Laguana, GVB President & CEO, offered a toast. ▲ The honored guests and attendees prayed for the development of Guam tourism through the toast. Pilar Laguana, GVB President & CEO, promised, “Korea is a very important overseas market in Guam. At the end of the year, more than 750,000 Koreans are expected to visit. In order to maintain this growth, we will strive to develop the infrastructure.” Then, she offered a toast. Meanwhile, in Guam, '2019 Shop Guam e-Festival' is holding from November 20th, 2019 to February 1st, 2020. By adding mobile marketing to the existing offline service, it has been sublimated into a festival that includes duty-free and convenience. In addition, the #instaGuam campaign, launched in 2018, will be upgraded to version 2.0. More events and shooting spots will take place throughout Guam. ▲ Traditional performance teams that played an active part in the domestic Travel Fair appeared to present the traditional culture of Guam.
ARTOTEL Group Opens the First BOBOTEL in Medan
ARTOTEL Group is proud to open Bobotel, its very first economic hotel brand in Medan. Bobotel is an economic hotel brand that focuses on comfortable sleeping with reasonable price for the millenials market. Bobotel officially open its first flagship in Medan with the name of Bobotel Gatot Subroto – Medan, located in Jalan Waringin Nomor 2, Medan, South Sumatra. Comes with 63 compact and well designed room, Bobotel Gatot Subroto – Medan has supporting facilites such as communal working space and direct access to swimming pool and gym near the neighboorhood. Every room of Bobotel Gatot Subroto – Medan is equipped with hi-speed internet access, television with international channel, and bathroom. With its strategic location in the central city, Bobotel Gatot Subroto – Medan close to these to tourist site attractions such as Masjid Agung Medan, Rumah Tjong A Fie, Kampung India, and culinary melting pot in Medan, Merdeka Walk and Jalan Sumatra. Bobotel Gatot Subroto – Medan is suitable for international or local tourists whom wants to find out more about the local cultures. Eduard Rudolf Pangkerego, COO ARTOTEL Group adds, ‘’Bobotel is ARTOTEL Group’s newest hotel brand that caters the mass market with its reasonable price and efficiency of design. But nowadays, to win such market competition, we created brand Bobotel with its modern, stylish, and current design for Millenieals. Medan as one of the big cities in Indonesia is considered rich with culture, culinary experience, and the business venture, which makes Medan is suitable to open Bobotel.’’
The Residence Bintan, a Paradise Under the Sun of the Equator
When talking about the number of countries that can go without visa, a Korean passport has always been named on top. The passport index is the sum of the visited visa-free countries and countries that need arrival visa in the passport. According to the global financial adviser, Arton Capital’s 2018 announcement, the Republic of Korea, along with Singapore, set a record of 162 points and a joint first place. Like this international reputation, the Korean passport is a very good item to feel the different mood over the border. After flying for 6 hours from Incheon International Airport, you will arrive at Singapore Changi Airport. Because it is a visa-free country and the processing work is fast, it takes only about 30 minutes to get to the Arrivals Hall. When you go through the baggage area and go out to the Terminal lobby, the hot and humid air of the tropics will make you realize that you are in a foreign country. After a short breath with Singapore air, grab a Grab taxi and go 10 minutes south to Tanah Merah ferry terminal. For reference, the first ship to Bintan, Indonesia, is around 8 am. After completing a simple immigration check and baggage inspection, it takes about one hour by high-speed ferry to Bintan Island in Indonesia. In this way, it takes about 8 hours to go through Singapore and then to the land of Indonesia, and the countries you experienced are Korea, Singapore and Indonesia. Bintan Island, which has arrived here, is well known as a land developed early as a Special Tourist Zone for recuperation in Indonesia. As Singapore emerged as an economically wealthy country, many people visited Bintan, which is right adjacent, as a vacation spot. If you arrive at the Bintan Ferry Terminal, there are a lot of vehicles that carry guests to the resort. The only public transport on Bintan Island is a taxi. When you book a resort, it is a wise choice to choose traffic facilities to and from the airport. And ‘The Residence Bintan’ also has a limousine service, which will help you get there. It is approximately one and a half hours between the terminal and the resort. Given the time of a short trip from the airport or terminal, within 12 hours, it is possible to arrive at the resort from my house in Seoul. This reminds me that the earth we live is small. The main building entrance of 'The Residence Bintan', which entered in the limousine, seems to have been functionally decorated like a golf course guest house. But it’s only for the beginning. Entering the lobby through the entrance, you could see the refreshing appearance that the architecture of traditional Indonesian style facing the open sea. It was fresh enough with the natural wind, rather than the air conditioner. Only the entrance area has many walls. Besides, the surroundings were all open, so it was impressive that both nature and convenience facilities met my eye. There are two types of rooms that can be reserved one with an ocean view and one with a garden. Every ocean view room has a swimming pool, but the location of the pool is different. Some have pools right outside the back door and the others have stairs to go down before the pools. If you want to go out and fall into the pool, you should choose a ‘Beachfront’ type room, and if you want to have more party space or enjoy natural wind and light, it will be great to choose a ‘Sea View’ type room. The terrace type rooms with ‘Garden’ or ‘Vista’ modifiers have no private swimming pools. Instead of being located more inside toward the land, more space is provided. Besides, there are only two suite type villas, which will be appropriate to the group of about 4 guests. They have not only private pools but also convenience and accessibility as they are next to the main swimming pool and bar. Among many types of rooms, I have chosen the ‘Beachfront Pool Villa’. It has a structure that leads directly from the bedroom to the swimming pool and is suitable for couples or those who travel alone. Two air conditioners are in full operation, so you might feel cold when you come in. The depth of the pool was 1.2 meters, so it was safe to play with children. The main pool also has similar features. With the isolated spatial composition, the shallow depth seemed to be in a good condition to be relieved. Even if Pool Villa is a good place to fall into a private time, the resort cost includes fee for basic facilities, so it will be great to go out of the room and enjoy them. If you have children, it is good to find a kids club, and if you are alone, it is a good idea to take a look at the fitness center. The kids club, where children from many countries communicate in English and play together, might be a great place to experience global exchange early in life. The play facilities are well-furnished and well-maintained, and professional nursery teachers keep their positions during the day so parents can feel relief when leaving their children and going out for leisure or activities. If you don’t have to worry about children, you should spend some time in the fitness center. There are some places in the resort where you have to pay for - the luxurious Spa, bar, restaurant, gift shop and so on. Although the main facilities are located around the main building, these amenities and activities are far from each other. There are three ways to move. The first way is to walk. I walked from end to end, and it took about half an hour. Walking in the broad daylight makes you lose weight. The next way is to ride a bicycle. Bicycles are placed in front of individual accommodation, according to the number of guests. It is common to go around the resort with this bicycle. If you want to go more conveniently, you can prepare a dollar for a tip and get a buggy from the concierge. The easiest way is to call an electric golf cart that is operated within the resort. But it takes time when there are many users or at night, so I, who is Korean with a quick temper, just walked or rode a bicycle more. It is optional to ride a buggy inside the resort, but there are some cases that surely need it. As off-road ATVs, archery, survival games and other exciting activities are located outside the resort, you must call buggy. The water sports provided at the beach are located just below the main swimming pool, so if you get out of your room and walk along the beach, you will soon arrive. The ATV ride is the center of external activities, but the first thing to do is to take safety training and lessons here. After that, you can enjoy various activities according to the staff’s guide. It is necessary to reserve on the Internet or at the main building counter, so it is better to make it in advance. Like this, you don’t have to look for other places to enjoy activities. Since the resort provides all the excitement experiences both of the sea and land, you should enjoy them. The resort also provides static and healing activities rather than active ones. If you want to feel at ease, among the programs offered by the resort, let's take a cooking class and a spa. In the restaurant, the chef who gives a variety of menus to customers will come and show cooking the traditional Indonesian food. And you can taste the finished dish. In addition, there is nothing like a Spa to relax. The By Ila Spa has a traditional Balinese massage. Before getting a massage, they check your health condition with a questionnaire and provide intensive care for specific areas you feel bad. Ginger tea or Lemon Grass Iced Tea served before or after massage is also a pride of By Ila. If you take a refreshing drink and take a Balinese massage, you will not be able to keep up. After taking a short nap, I can meet your fully relaxed body. Comfortable accommodation and various convenient facilities. And a variety of programs to choose from when booking a resort. I scheduled focusing on the holiday, and I spent time full of memories to go back at the The Residence Bintan. Among many memories at the resort, the best one is the delicious Indonesian food. Beef Rendang, Nasi Goreng, and many other dishes highly praised from various TV programs such as EBS are well-known dishes of the resort’s restaurant. Even though the tour programs show a lot of night markets and local people's tastes, the cuisine served in the resort itself is of high quality. Without going far, Rica Rica restaurant is my most memorable place to enjoy Indonesian delicacies. Until this moment…
BART as One of the Best Rooftop Bar in Southeast Asia
ARTOTEL Group is proud to announce that BART (Bar at the Rooftop) has been awarded as the 9th out of 50 Best Rooftop Bar in Southeast Asia” from Big 7 Travel. Big 7 Travel is a city guide website for millenial travellers with over 1,5 million visitors. They always conduct independent surveys about various travel places, foods, and hotels from seven continents to create the best recommendation for adventurous travelers who looking for authentic experience, from where to eat and drink to exotic travel places. Officialy opened in October 2014, BART, located on 7th floor ARTOTEL Thamrin – Jakarta, became one of the bars in Jakarta with an open air atmosphere thats offers city view and modern lifestyle for Jakarta’s young people. It is not only known for its cozy atmosphere with best music, but also offering various choice of high quality foods and drinks. Moreover, BART is selected on numerous occasions to host private or commercial events. During five years of operation, BART has always received the best awards from its guests, including the Best Rooftop Bar from Zomato in 2018. Today, BART gained another prestigious award as the 9th Best Rooftop Bar choice in Southeast Asia after being chosen by more than 1,5 million Big 7 Travel readers. Internet reviews also contributed to this ranking as BART was judeged through existing publications and assesment from the Big 7 Travel editorial team. Dicky Pandjaitan, General Manager ARTOTEL Thamrin – Jakarta said “We are proud that BART attained recognition from Big 7 Travel. We were surprised and delighted to see the recognition of BART in the Southeast Asia region. This award will motivate us to always give the best services, foods and drinks, and music to our guests. In this occasion, we thank all loyal guests as well as BART’s partners, especially media and influencers who always give outstanding news report and publication materials for BART. Not to mention, our employees’ constant best performance in serving guests everyday, so that many loyal guest choose BART as a gathering place with family and friends, good to unwind after coming home from work or to celebrate together by weekends.”
The Most Exclusive Offer from Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong
Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong, the new luxury boutique hotel situated in the midst of Patong Beach in Phuket province is now offering the most special privileges: a package of 1-night accommodation with daily breakfast for 2 persons, starting from THB 3,650++ per room/per night. This special offer includes THB 1,000 credit for food and beverage at the hotel. Customers will also enjoy our 2 complimentary cocktails at The Cloud Rooftop Bar. Experience the most comfortable stay at the hotel where guest checkout is available until 3.00pm. This exceptional offer is only valid for customers booking before August 31, 2019 and make their stays before October 31, 2019. For more information, please call +66 76 609 999.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort unveils Toy Story & Pixar Pals Summer Splash
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) presents Toy Story & Pixar Pals Summer Splash that will bring on a cool summer of fun from June 26 to September 1, 2019. Guests are invited to dive into the fun with their Disney•Pixar friends, who are ready to splash and play. With Toy Story 4 hitting the big screen, old and new Toy Story friends cannot wait to meet and take photos with guests. This summer, there will be more new experiences unveiled in the resort. Young guests can make their dreams come true and be transformed into a real-life princess at the brand new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the castle area. An all-new children’s playroom, called Nemo’s Recreation Reef playroom, is opening at Disney Explorers Lodge. Additionally, limited-time seasonal gifts and meals will debut in the resort, while new summer recreation activities await guests in the hotels, offering a complete “Play. Shop. Dine. Stay.” summer experience for guests from around the world. HKDL also announced its new admission ticket prices with a mild adjustment and special offers for the travel trade, with effect from April 24, 2019.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort ( HKDL ) strengthens trade partnership with annual Celebration of Sales Excellence
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) hosted the annual Celebration of Sales Excellence (CSE) 2018 on April 12, 2019, to honor top-performing travel trade partners for bringing an ever-growing number of guests from around the world to enjoy the resort’s magical experiences. Rewarded with a staycation to experience first-hand the resort’s latest Marvel attraction just launched on March 31, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!, the resort’s travel trade partners were optimistic that the resort’s appeal as an ultimate Marvel hub in Asia and the year-round “Play. Shop. Dine. Stay” offers would attract more guests from around the Asia Pacific region to the resort. Hong Kong Disneyland Resort managing director Stephanie Young took the first opportunity to greet travel trade partners at the CSE 2018 Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner, after assuming office in February. She thanked the travel trade partners for their ongoing contribution to the resort’s remarkable results: “It’s always important to recognize and celebrate excellence. Your success is very much our success. On behalf of the entire Disney team, I’d like to sincerely thank you for your ongoing support and contribution.”