Sunday, 31 May 2020

What's Open: How to Enjoy a Safer Los Angeles

Industry Hills Golf Club
The City and County of Los Angeles are in Stage II and have begun the process of slow and gradual adjustments to the “Safer at Home” order.

Face coverings/masks are required when going outside for any tasks. Face coverings must be worn when:
• Visiting any retail business, including those that are open only for curbside or doorside pickup
• Exercising in neighborhoods or while on a trail, golf course or beach (where face covering must be worn when out of the water and people are nearby)
• While riding on L.A. Department of Transportation transit buses, Metro buses or trains, or traveling through Los Angeles International Airport

Run, walk, swim and surf. LA County beaches have opened for limited solo activities. Face coverings are mandatory for anyone on the sand but not for people in the water. Practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others. Piers and boardwalks remain closed. Beach activities like gathering, sitting, sunbathing, picnicking, and group sports like volleyball are prohibited.

From the Batcave to beach views, explore a new trail based on your level of hiking experience.

Learn about 23 of the best 18-hole public golf courses in L.A. County, with signature holes listed in most cases.

Echo Park Lake at sunset | Instagram by @soundsandcolors
Outdoor Tours
Outdoor tour companies are beginning to reopen in compliance with public health guidelines, such as Bike & Hikes LA and Battleship IOWA. Beginning May 30th, Battleship IOWA will be offering “special limited capacity” outdoor fresh-air tours that comply with public health guidelines.

Whether you're casually strolling through an urban oasis, playing tennis or getting some exercise on a scenic hike, gorgeous weather and beautiful natural surroundings will be your constant companion. Make sure to check the Department of Recreation and Parks website for regular updates before visiting.

Restaurants have begun the process to reopen for dine-in guests provided they can meet the county’s guidelines and safety protocols. County public health officials are expected to announce restrictions on operations, including a 60% capacity limit for restaurants. Customers choosing to order via takeaway or delivery are still encouraged to do so. Our dineL.A. To Go program features more than 800 restaurants.

The Strand at Redondo Beach Pier | Photo: Visit Redondo, Facebook
Running Trails
There are always excellent running trails nearby, from the heart of L.A. to the spectacular coastal views of the beach cities, here are some of the best running paths in Los Angeles.

All retail, including those located in indoor and outdoor retail shopping centers may now open for business at 50% capacity. Flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters may also resume operations.

Anyone traveling through LAX must wear a mask or face covering. Additional LAX traveler details can be found on LAX’s website. For information on Metro bus and rail service, click here.

Barbershops and hair salons have begun the process to reopen provided they can meet the county’s guidelines and safety protocols.

*Words by Discover Los Angeles


Foreign tourists at a beach in Nha Trang Town in central
Vietnam, February 2020.

Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc.
Vietnam’s tourism industry is preparing different plans to welcome foreign visitors from countries and territories that have contained the coronavirus pandemic.

Nguyen Trung Khanh, director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said the industry is preparing plans to welcome visitors from countries and territories that have responded effectively to the pandemic.

Tourism officials will submit to the government a schedule for gradually easing visa restrictions and resuming some international flight routes, Khanh told VnExpress.

Though Vietnam’s Covid-19 situation remains under control as the country has gone 36 days without any coronavirus cases caused by community transmission, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc late last week ordered to continue with tough measures to prevent infections from abroad.

Phuc, however, asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and submit to the government a reopening plan for international tourists.

More than a month after the government relaxed social distancing restrictions, Vietnam remains closed to foreign arrivals, with rare exceptions.

Reopening scenarios
Khanh said in case the pandemic is contained by September in some key source markets, VNAT will propose relaxing restrictions and the re-launching of promotions to attract visitors from these markets. “If this happens, Southeast and Northeast Asia will be the first markets to be targeted by VNAT’s promotion programs in the fourth quarter.”

He said this would require a mechanism for mutual validation of medical control standards with other countries.

If the pandemic lasts until the end of the year, VNAT will consider other options, he added, without elaborating.

The tourism administration stated that it was preparing plans to welcome foreign tourists in anticipation of recovery and disease control in key markets like South Korea, mainland China, Japan, Taiwan and several ASEAN members.

Ken Atkinson, vice chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board, said the first countries to target could be Australia and New Zealand, which are responding well to the Covid-19 crisis.

“However, as China and Korea are our two biggest inbound source markets it is important to have plans in place to reopen travel from those markets as soon as it is safe,” he said.

Atkinson told at a tourism meeting Thursday that Vietnam can consult Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand on opening separate resorts for foreign tourists to ensure their safety.

William Haandrikman, general manager of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, said Asian markets were likely to be the first to recover.

In the meantime, “we have had to re-invent ourselves to focus directly on the local domestic market as well as regional Asian markets,” he noted.

Partial resumption of flights
At Thursday’s tourism meeting, local carriers Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Bamboo Airways expressed their hopes of resuming international flights. The international tourist market accounts for around 50 percent of their revenues.

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) had proposed a partial lifting of the suspension on international flights starting June 1, with limited frequency, giving priority to foreign experts and investors, while ensuring strict maintenance of anti-pandemic measures.

With an international flight ban in place, Vietnam saw a 38 percent year-on-year drop in the number of January-April foreign visitors to 3.7 million, accompanied by corresponding 45 percent drop in tourism revenues to VND7.9 trillion ($337 million).

Read the full article at VN Express:

#reopening, #Tourism, #Vietnam

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853


MIST 2019 Group Photo at Travel Startup Asia
Forum in Bangkok, October 9th, 2019.
Photo: The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
4th annual MIST program aims to expedite tourism industry growth, create an ecosystem that inspires innovation, and promote sustainability in tourism

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) ( as the secretariat of the Tourism Working Group of the six national tourism organizations of the Greater Mekong Subregion, and Destination Mekong (, the public-private collaboration framework of the Lancang-Mekong Region, formally opens the call for application of the 2020 Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) program ( Travel startups in the two categories, travel technology ventures and social impact ventures from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. For the first time, MIST also welcomes startups headquartered in the Yunnan Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in PR China. Its 2020 cohort will close to applications on July 15, 2020.

“The Greater Mekong Subregion’s government, tourism, and hospitality leaders have embraced MIST as a force for innovation, sustainability, and growth in the region,” said Jens Thraenhart, executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office. “Through this program, we have created the ideal mechanism for tourism innovators and travel startups to get paired with investors and industry mentors who can equip them to scale and thrive.”

Now in its 4th year, the MIST program has been one of the first tourism board globally pioneering its own travel startup program, integrating innovation and entrepreneurship with the travel and tourism ecosystem. Destination Mekong and the Mekong Business Initiative – with the backing of the Government of Australia, the Asian Development Bank, and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office – launched MIST in 2016 to propel innovation in the rapidly growing tourism markets of the Greater Mekong Subregion. MIST aims to expedite tourism industry growth, create an ecosystem that inspires innovation, and promote sustainability in tourism. The MIST program is guided by an international advisory board made up of travel executives and investors in the travel and tourism industry.

In 2017 and 2018, the final pitching competitions were integrated into the Mekong Tourism Forums in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR and Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, respectively. In 2019, Destination Mekong partnered with the Travel Startups Asia Forum in Bangkok, to host the final MIST pitching competition, and inspired delegates with panels and keynotes including from former Minister of Sports and Tourism if Thailand, HE Mr Weerasak Kowsurat and Nok Air Founder Mr. Patee Sarasin. The successful MIST Mentorships Bootcamp was hosted at the offices of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in Bangkok, conducting workshops by investors, travel executives, and MIST alumni for MIST 2019 finalists. Winners of the travel technology category were invited to present at the MIST Forum at ITB Asia in Singapore, and winners of the social impact category will present at the next Mekong Tourism Forum.

The MIST Advisory Group recently met virtually to discuss that MIST 2020 will have a focus on resilience amid the current COVID-19 pandemic. One interesting innovation coming out of the Virtual MIST Advisory Board Meeting are virtual online MIST mentorship sessions for final startups with investors and MIST alumni. The final MIST pitching competition may also be held virtually, if a physical event is not possible end of 2020.

MIST 2020 nomination in the two categories, Travel Technology Ventures and Social Impact Ventures, are open, and can be submitted at no cost at: until July 15, 2020. More information about program eligibility is available at:

About the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office:
The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), located in Bangkok, was set up with funding from the governments of the six Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The MTCO, which operates on annual financial contributions from each GMS country, acts as the secretariat for the GMS Tourism Working Group, comprising of senior officials of the six GMS countries’ National Tourism Organizations, to coordinate and facilitate sustainable tourism development of the GMS, and promotion of the Mekong region as a single travel and tourism destination, in collaboration with the public and private sectors. The MTCO manages its award-winning digital platform as a one-stop platform to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the region, as well as the annual Mekong Tourism Forum, whose hosting is rotated among GMS countries.

Please visit for more information.

About Destination Mekong:
Destination Mekong was created in 2017 to promote the Mekong region, comprising of Cambodia, PR China (Provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam as a single tourism destination to stimulate responsible and sustainable development and investment, and drive inclusive growth. Endorsed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and aligned with the mandate of the regional collaborative tourism framework of the six-member governments of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, Destination Mekong executes targeted projects and initiatives, including Mekong Moments, Mekong Mini Movie Festival, Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST), Experience Mekong Collection, Mekong Heroes, and Mekong Trends, with feedback from the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) and via public-private partnership investment structure, led by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies.

Please visit for more information.

About Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST):
The Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) is a program launched by the Asian Development Bank and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, operated by Destination Mekong. It is the Greater Mekong Subregion’s first travel startup program. Initiated in 2016 and launched in 2017, it was set up to help integrate GMS travel startups into the global travel and tourism ecosystem, promote innovation, and support local firms thrive in the globally competitive tourism industry.

With two tracks, Travel Social Enterprises and Travel Technology Ventures, its alumni have been recognized among the top startups in tourism in the Lancang-Mekong region, and some have attracted investment and partnerships through the program.

Please visit for more information.

#MIST2020, #MTCO

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853

IT&CM China and CTW China 2020 Virtual Event Highlights

Meet MICE and Corporate suppliers from across China and the world. Learn about their profiles, download sales resources, view product presentations, swap e-business cards, leave messages, schedule an appointment or even hop onto a walk-in meeting.

Each exhibitor or buyer receives up to 24 x 20-min pre-scheduled appointment slots over 2 days. Slots can be filled in 2 ways: by Perfect Match and/or by Buyer / Seller Request.

Supplement your PSAs with free-and-easy meets during designated timeslots. The buyer / seller can directly request for a “walk-in” meet anytime without a prior appointment.

Tune in first-hand to the latest highlights and developments by participating destination and corporate brands, during 20-min presentations.

A new event segment featuring MICE, Association and Corporate buyers as they share their procurement requirements with relevant and interested destination and supplier leads. Each showcase is 20-min in duration.

Daily opportunities to engage in the year’s hot topics with our prolific panel of industry thought leaders and experts. Stay tuned for more details.

After a full day of business, stretch your social muscles even further over virtual conversations, ice-breakers and interactive games.

Join us, participate wholeheartedly and be rewarded! Buyers stand to earn points and incentives by completing event missions. The more you participate, the bigger the reward.

View Event Programme


Holidaymakers can start planning trips to the state’s ski fields with the NSW Government announcing the alpine region will be open from 22 June.

Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said work is underway to ensure appropriate COVIDsafe measures are in place at Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and Perisher.

“One of the highlights of the winter tourism season is a trip to our alpine regions. However, while many people are eager to return to the slopes, it is important that visitors can enjoy themselves safely and responsibly,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The NSW Government, through NSW Health and NSW Police, is working closely with ski field operators, associated businesses, suppliers and industry associations to ensure COVIDsafe measures are in place when the season commences.

“These measures will mean that fewer people will be able to visit and stay at resorts this season, so it is essential that people book and confirm their travel arrangements and accommodation before they travel.”

Some of the measures in place include maintaining physical distancing at resorts, limits to the number of people on ski areas, controlled access to ski lifts, increased cleaning of all facilities and no snowplay.

To give ski resorts enough time to implement health and safety measures they will not open before Monday 22 June, which means skiers and holidaymakers will not be able to visit ski resorts for the 6-8 June long weekend.

The Mt Selwyn resort will remain closed during the season due to bushfire damage.

A number of COVIDsafe measures will be in place on the ski fields as well as accommodation, dining and other recreational facilities, with details to be listed on ski resort websites soon.

Chinese airlines operate more passenger jet flights than their US counterparts for the first time in May

Coronavirus: Monitoring passenger jet activity through the hibernation phase

Hibernation phase fleet & utilization update – 29/05/20

May 2020 is set to be the first ever month in which Chinese airlines operate more passenger jet flights than their US counterparts.

Cirium tracking data shows that from Friday 1st May up to and including Wednesday 27th May, Chinese operators had completed nearly 200,000 flights with passenger-configured widebodies, narrowbodies and regional jets, compared with fewer than 170,000 for carriers based in the USA.

China has achieved this milestone because its airlines have recovered to an activity level approximately 35% below last year, whereas US operators remain 74% down as a result of the collapse in passenger demand due to the coronavirus crisis.

Meanwhile the global stored passenger jet fleet has declined slightly to just over 15,000, taking the overall proportion of inactive aircraft down a further percentage point to 57%.



Central NSW Wants to Welcome You Back

Central NSW wants to welcome back visiting friends and relatives, that is the message from local tourism heroes starring in a new campaign ‘We want you back’ set to promote travel to the region now restrictions will be lifted.

The campaign will feature 27 local tourism personalities sharing their stories on what they love about their region with tips on things to see, do and taste. It targets the VFR (visiting friends and relatives) market which makes up 35-40% of travellers within and across the region.

The $30k tourism campaign is a partnership between 10 lgas (local government areas), Orange360 and Central NSW Joint Organisation. It features Orange, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Bathurst, Oberon, Forbes, Lachlan, Weddin and Parkes.

“The aim of the ‘We want you back’ campaign is to create a personal connection between the locals and travellers we want to welcome back to help stimulate the economy. Friends and family will be some of the first to visit as they seek to spend time with loved ones and travel to a safe, familiar place.” said Jenny Bennett, Executive Officer, Central NSW Joint Organisation.

“We need to make sure our region is at the top of everybody’s must-visit list once they can travel to regional NSW again.” Jenny added.

At the heart of the campaign is the commissioning of storytelling by tourism heroes including a series of video interviews (vox-pops), stills and beautiful imagery. The digital content will be rolled out from 1 June 2020 across social media and digital channels and supported by a public relations and social media campaign. It has been expedited in response to the Premier’s announcement to allow travel from 1 June 2020.

The local heroes have been selected based on their unique tourism stories and contribution to the community. They include Jeremy Norris of Byng Street Café in Orange; Fiona Schofield of Fiona Schofield Millinery and Fresh Fodder in Cabonne; Tom Ward of Swinging Bridge Wines in Canowindra; Chris Morgan from Abercrombie House in Bathurst; Belinda Satterthwaite from Tomolly store in Carcoar; Wendy Muffet from Girra Girra retreat in Forbes; Tiffany Steel from the Parkes Elvis Festival; Kim Jones from the Railway Hotel Motel in Condobolin; Florist Skye Muddle from SM Style Design Create in Cowra; and Meg Low from Oberon Farmers Markets.

“Central NSW is ideal to visit in the cooler months with its fresh country air, log fires, furry rugs, red wines and clear starry nights. The tourism heroes will promote local food and wine experiences, boutique shops, major attractions, art and culture, nature and historic villages.” said Jenny Bennett.

The 10 lgas being featured in the campaign include Orange, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Bathurst, Oberon, Forbes, Lachlan, Weddin and Parkes. An important part of the campaign is the Mayors of each region encouraging people to spend with local businesses. Travellers are reminded to maintain social distancing, good hygiene, and book ahead for all travel to Central NSW.

Domestic VFR visitation accounts for 37% of NSW domestic overnight visitors and spent over $3.3 billion. Accommodation may be hosted but they spend more in cafes, restaurants, attractions, shops, gifts and on local produce. VFR visitor expenditure in NSW has grown 23.9%, about twice holiday expenditure (12.5%). With international travel not an option for the foreseeable future the domestic VFR market is likely to be much higher.

Central NSW begins two-hours’ drive West from Sydney. Unearth your Central NSW experience at Support us at #unearthcentralnsw #LoveNSW #wewantyouback.


AirAsia aircraft are seen parked on the tarmac at the Kuala
Lumpur International Airport 2 in Sepang on April 29, 2020.

(AFP photo)
Governments, airlines and airports around the world are putting in place new measures to help protect travellers and allow for a return to the air during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The aviation regulator requires airlines to leave at least one seat empty between passengers, who are required to wear surgical masks onboard. No food and beverages will be served during flights and passengers are not allowed to eat or drink. In an event of emergency, the cabin crew may provide water.

The government is requiring airlines carry a maximum of half the usual number of passengers on board, with some exceptions on flights between peninsular Malaysia and states in Borneo. At the airport, passengers must remain 1 metre apart from each other for social distancing, including markers in queues. Malaysia Airlines requires passengers to wear masks on board.

Airlines can only carry half the usual number of passengers as part of government requirements to leave 1 metre between them. Air crew are required to take the temperature of passengers 30 minutes before landing. Passengers must wear masks and fill in a health awareness card.

The government requires passengers to wear masks upon entering the airport, mandatory temperature checks and for social distancing measures to be observed at queuing points. Security screenings should be done with minimal contact. Passengers need to fill out an electronic health declaration form.

United States
There are no government-imposed measures in the United States, though all major US airlines require face coverings and several are capping the number of seats sold or leaving middle seats empty. Many airports are also requiring face coverings. Major US airlines have also endorsed temperature checks at airports by the US Transportation Security Administration, which so far has implemented safety measures such as increased spacing in security checkpoint queues.

European Union and United Kingdom
The European Commission last week proposed airlines and airports require passengers to wear masks, and reorganise check-ins, dropoffs and luggage pickups to avoid crowds. Travellers should keep luggage and movement in the cabin to a minimum. The guidelines are not binding, but they may help form a framework in the bloc as restrictions are lifted. The United Kingdom is observing EU trade and travel regulations until the end of 2020.

The aviation regulator is requiring extra ventilation and sterilisation of airplanes and airports. Passengers are required to fill out an electronic health declaration before boarding and are asked to sit apart from each other onboard if possible. Temperature checks are required for every passenger and workers like cabin crew and security officers are offered protective gear. Passengers need to wear a mask throughout the flight.

The government has directed airlines to make in-flight announcements about health measures and to distribute health information cards and questionnaires. It has also asked airport staff to wear masks, but they are not mandatory for passengers. There is no requirement to keep the middle seat empty.

South Korea
The aviation regulator is requiring travellers’ temperatures be checked in the airport. Airport authorities ask travellers to stand at least 1 metre apart in line, and are furnished with hand sanitiser. Korean Air Lines Co Ltd is seating passengers as far apart as possible, conducting additional temperature checks on international travellers and requiring all domestic passengers to wear masks, with a few exceptions such as children under 2 years.

Read the full article at Bangkok Post:

#Airlines, #newnormal, #regulations

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853

Take a Weekend Family Road Trip from Brisbane Through the Scenic Rim

Known for its breathtaking scenery, soaring peaks, local produce, vibrant arts and crafts plus expansive bushwalking and rainforest tracks, the Scenic Rim is only 90 minutes from Brisbane and all of it falls within 150km of Brisbane's city centre.

With plenty of family-friendly destinations and opportunities to experience some of Australia's most gorgeous views, it's an ideal spot to escape to with the kids.

Use this Google Map we've created to help guide you.

Before you put the pedal to the metal, stock up your road trip bag with sweet and savoury treats from Jocelyn's Provisions, or grab a weekend picnic hamper from Wild Canary to devour on your journey.

Day 1 First stop - Brunch with a fluffy friend at Mountview Alpaca Farm

A road trip where you get to have lunch with alpacas? Alpaca my bag! Conveniently located within the grounds of O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards, Mountview Alpaca Farm lets you feed alpacas and walk them around the vineyard grounds. While you share time with your new fluffy friends, indulge with a fine bottle of wine, a stone-baked pizza or a picnic basket while enjoying the relaxed country setting next to the scenic Canungra Creek.

Noon - Pick up sweet treats from Lemon Lovers Gelato

Time to head up to Tamborine Mountain and treat the kids (and yourselves) to a little sweetness from Lemon Lovers Gelato. Keep an eye out as you drive around town. Park the car and wander down Long Road to explore the art, craft, gift and knick-knack stores along Gallery Walk.

Afternoon - Look at the stars … inside a cave

Take a tour through the rainforest and into the caves with Glowworms Cave Tours, which will resume on 13th June. The presentation cave features realistic stalagmites and stalactites, designed to mimic the natural environment of these rare glow worms. Learn about their fascinating biology as the kids delve into a dark and mysterious experience, lit up by thousands of tiny creatures glowing on the tunnel walls like a starlit night sky.

Evening - Watch a glorious sunset

Before you finish up the day, this stunning view is essential. Take a blanket, camera, anything you need and set the family up at Hang Gliders Lookout or Rotary Lookout on Tamborine Mountain for a breathtaking sunset. Watch the hang gliders launch off the side of the mountain and see them floating above you as the sky burns from orange to black.

Night - Clandulla Cottages and Farmstay

Nestled in some of the Scenic Rim Region's most beautiful countryside, these beautiful self-containing cottages provide the ultimate farm stay experience. Get involved in farm activities, hand feed and cuddle friendly animals and toast marshmallows around the campfire at the end of the day. Relax, listen to the bird calls, and enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings (accommodation can be booked from 12 June).

Day 2 Rise and shine – Venture into Thunderbird Park

Rejoice parents, the beloved Thunderbird Park is set to open on 13 June. Here, kids can fossick in the world's largest thunderegg mine and unearth these amazing structures left over from 200-million-year-old lava flows. Dig deep with the kids and see how many you can find – whatever you discover is yours to keep as long as it fits in your bucket. This one's fun for parents as well. Unleash your inner child as you slice open that thunderegg to see what treasure may await inside.

Scared of heights? How does relying on just a harness across more than 100 challenges in the Treetop Challenge sound? Hang from trees, climb the ladders, balance on bridges, navigate through suspended tunnels. The challenge is open to kids over the age of 7, so if you have a little adrenaline junkie at home, it's time to get their hearts racing.

Lunch – The Overflow Estate

Time to put an end to a whole morning's worth of adventure and find a lunch place. The scenery alone from Beaudesert to Boonah is breathtaking enough, and the Overflow Estate's divine drops are well worth the drive (just for mum and dad, of course). Set on a peninsula on the edge of Lake Wyaralong, enjoy the expansive view while grazing from the simple menu (Towri sheep cheese and Summer Land Camel ice cream included) and ponder why you don't own a winery in the Scenic Rim.

Afternoon - Pick up baked goodies from Arthur Clive's Family Bakehouse

Owners the Pennell family have been baking in the Scenic Rim and surrounds since the 1930s, with current baker Aidan Pennell's grandfather starting the original business in Boonah. Grab some of these delicious old-styled baked goods with a modern twist. We recommend the wild fermented sourdoughs of Instagram fame for mum and dad, and the kids might want to try the Cherry Ripe Slice.

Final stop - A picnic at Lake Moogerah

Before you head back to the city, a picnic at Lake Moogerah with picture-postcard views from the lookout is essential. It's a popular spot for boating, bushwalking and fishing enthusiasts (licence required). Lay down the picnic blanket, cover it with your recently purchased baked goodies, and take some time to chill before hitting the road. If you're early enough, maybe the kids can take a dip in the swimming area.

An hour or so later, you'll be back in the Brisbane CBD after traveling along the M1. Time to end the adventure and get back to reality, refreshed and ready for another week.



Thai health officials take the temperatures of foreign tourists to
prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in February,
before flights were grounded. 
Photo: EPA
Few people are as aware of the devastation the novel coronavirus has inflicted on international travel as Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, a deputy governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Tourism accounts for 12 per cent of his country’s GDP (up to 20 per cent when ancillary services are included) and provides jobs for almost one in 10 Thais, according to the International Labour Organisation.

But with borders closed and planes grounded across the world, this pillar of the Thai economy faces an uncertain future. The TAT’s best-case scenario is that 14-16 million people will visit this year, more than the 8.5 million projected by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, but far fewer than last year’s record of 39.8 million, a figure that made it far and away Southeast Asia’s most popular tourism destination.

Amid such unsettling figures, Kunjara Na Ayudhya knows one thing for sure: that “China will remain Thailand ’s and Asia’s biggest outbound tourist market”.

Chinese accounted for more than one in four of the tourists who visited Thailand last year and their importance has only been magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic. Given that long-haul travel is not expected to rebound quickly, Thailand’s tourism strategy is now focused squarely on the short-haul travellers who are most likely to return first: visitors from China.

Refloating this market will be crucial not only to resurrecting Thailand’s economy but also those of neighbouring Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. The ability of these countries to revive their own tourism industries depends in part on Thailand’s successful reopening, as the airports of Bangkok serve as a hub for the region.

Doing so will be no easy task as Thailand will face increased competition from regional competitors like Vietnam and the Philippines, both of which had been in the middle of their own tourism booms before the virus struck, attracting 8.5 million and 8.26 million foreign arrivals respectively last year.

Both will be hoping to take out a chunk of the visitors who would traditionally pick Thailand. It will also face competition from China itself, with the pandemic having boosted interest in travel within the country. “We cannot leave it too late to prepare for Chinese arrivals,” Kunjara Na Ayudhya said. “International competition for this market is bound to be intense.”

Read the full article at South China Morning Post:

* Proudly contributed by Vincent Vichit-Vadakan
#Chinesetravellers, #inboundmarket, #postCOVID19, #Thailand, #Tourism

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853


From Monday 1 June, a range of restrictions will be eased in NSW allowing for increased activity across the state.

Health advice regarding physical distancing, personal hygiene and public gatherings remains in force.

For businesses that can open, business owners must comply with Public Health Orders and consider individual circumstances. For many, developing a COVID-safe plan will assist with preparations to return to work.

The Australian and NSW governments continue to update advice - please check the relevant website for latest information:
NSW Government
Australian Government

Destination NSW has also compiled links to COVID-safe planning resources and information developed by industry bodies across hospitality, accommodation, tours and attractions, tourism export and general business. Please note these resources have been prepared by the organisations independently.

See Destination NSW’s Tourism Recovery information, including the COVID-safe business planning resources.


Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram Temple or Grand Palace,
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide the latest update that the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) in Bangkok will be reopened Thursday, 4 June, 2020.

The update was posted on the Royal Office website (

TAT understands that the reopening will be under strict health and safety measures to control and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, when visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, TAT would like to remind all to stay safe through this difficult time and follow the health and safety recommendations by keeping social distancing, wearing a mask or cloth mask, and frequently washing hands.


#GrandPalace, #reopening, #TAT, #Thailand, #touristattraction

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Plan Ahead, Travel Later Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas Launches Digital eGift Offer

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas announces the launch of an unmissable eGift offer providing guests time to dream of their next escape, anywhere in the world. The launch of the eGift offer enables guests to transform their wanderlust into tangible travel plans with an exclusive 30% extra value.

Around the world, Anantara Hotels & Resorts are preparing to open their doors wide and welcome back guests, so it’s the perfect time to plan that long awaited dream getaway. From beachfront favourites such as Anantara Hua Hin Resort, drivable for Bangkok’s city dwellers seeking seaside respite, or desert dreaming at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort in the Liwa Desert outside Abu Dhabi. For a limited time only, Anantara offers guests 30% extra value on any eGift.

The eGift offer is applicable for all Anantara stays, including dining, spas and of course Signature Anantara Experiences at participating hotels & resorts around the world. From underwater dining at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Resort’s breathtaking SEA Restaurant, to the spectacular opportunity to get up close and personal with elephants and spend a night in the unique Jungle Bubbles at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in Northern Thailand. Anantara is committed to providing guests flexible and convenient experiences at its hotels and resorts situated in some of the most stunning locations around the world.

This offer will be available for 30 days ending on 28th June 2020, eGifts booked during this period will be valid for 12 months.

As the world looks to reopen and many are planning their next long-awaited trip, purchasing an eGift offer is the perfect way to honour a loved one or to celebrate an upcoming special occasion.

To find out more about the launch of the eGift offer by Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas visit to purchase and review the full terms & conditions.

For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, please visit .

Follow us on Facebook:

Twitter and Instagram: @anantara_hotels


Local tourists embarking on a boat for a ride in the waters of
Ha Long Bay 
Photo: AFP
Vietnamese flocked to scenic spots and beaches on Sunday morning (May 17), leaping at the chance to travel as the government eases restrictions on domestic movement to revive a tourism sector devastated by the Covid-19 (coronavirus) over the last few months.

Hundreds waited to get on tourist boats to visit the famed karsts of the UNESCO heritage site of Ha Long Bay with few following social distancing norms.

Most removed face masks as they climbed on board and posed for selfies.

“This is my first time to Ha Long after Covid-19. I came here because there is so much beautiful scenery… and the pandemic is gone so I feel safe,” said Duong Quang Hieu, 21, from the mountainous northern province of Tuyen Quang.

“I’m planning to travel to Danang and other places too.”

Vietnam has won plaudits for its fast and aggressive response to the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far kept infections down to 318 with zero deaths despite its long, porous border with China.

But the swift closure of the country came at a cost. The tourism take plummeted to US$340 million in the first four months of the year, according to government statistics, down 45% year-on-year.

Doors remain closed to foreign travellers, but authorities are turning to the domestic market of millions wearied by long weeks of self-isolation and travel bans to get the tourist economy moving again.

“It’s nice to travel at this time. We have a wide range of hotels to choose from,” said tourist Phan Van Kien from Hanoi.

Kien said his family would travel domestically for the rest of the year with many international flights cancelled and fears still strong over the spread of the virus.

Read the full article at The Star:

#domestictravel, #Vietnam

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853


Photo: Global Travel Media
Billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman of Charoen Pokphand, is urging the government to relax lockdown measures and welcome foreign travellers as soon as possible, and turn the country into a “safe haven” for wealthy visitors.

Mr Dhanin, who is the chairman of the kingdom’s largest food and agriculture conglomerate Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, said the move would help revive the tourism sector.

“Thailand’s economic losses from the lockdown are estimated to be at 16 billion baht per day or almost 500 billion per month, a longer lockdown will cost us more and more,” he said.

Thailand has been under lockdown since 09 March – 14 May 2020 (65days) after the government acted to stem an increase in confirmed Covid-19 cases. The government said the coronavirus infection rate is now about 1 per cent.

The economic impact of the lockdown is apparent as millions of workers applied for unemployment benefits. The tourism sector is also hit hard after the kingdom stopped taking in foreign visitor

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) did not report any new infections on Wednesday, the first time in 65 days since the lockdown began. The kingdom has recorded 3,017 cases.

“We can’t wait until a vaccine is developed and produced in sufficient quantity to roll out to the entire population,” Mr Dhanin said according to a recent interview in the Bangkok Post. Adding, “The economy won’t survive that long.”

He said the tourism sector accounted for 16-17% percent of GDP and should be revived due to improvements in the virus situation.

Mr Dhanin proposed the government attract high-spending tourists from across the world by highlighting Thailand’s success in containing the spread of Covid-19.

“The number of infection and death cases in Thailand is very low compared with other countries, even though our lockdown began later,” he said. “There were also a large number of Chinese tourists in the country.”

This reflects the fact that our doctors and hospitals are the best and we need to tell the world about it.

Mr Dhanin topped Forbes magazine’s “Thailand’s 50 Richest” this year. He is among 20 moguls in the kingdom whom Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asked to develop relief projects to help people affected by the outbreak.

He said the government should take advantage of Thailand’s low Covid-19 figures and turn the kingdom into a “safe haven” for wealthy individuals from around the world.

“We have five-star hotels and resorts; we also have five-star hospitals and the best doctors,” Mr Dhanin said.

“If we can make rich people feel confident that staying in Thailand is safer than their own countries then they will come.”

He said now is the time for Thailand to shift its tourism image from “quantity to quality”.

“If we begin today, we can become a leader in this market,” Mr Dhanin said.

“Thailand is already well-known for its hospitality, warmth, and friendliness.”

“Impressed tourists will become repeaters,” he added. “One million wealthy tourists will equal five million normal tourists.”

Mr Dhanin said he believes the tourism industry will bounce back quickly in the aftermath of Covid-19 during the ‘new normal’.

“Many people may never go back into the office because they’ve learnt they can work [remotely] now,” he said.

“They may work from the beach, mountain or even overseas. It doesn’t matter as long as they can do their job.”

Mr Dhanin said CP has realised this new trend and will implement work-from-home policies among its employees in the aftermath of the virus.

“I think office buildings will be smaller in future,” he said. “There’s no need to build large buildings any more.”

“The large buildings we have now may be turned into condominiums or hotels instead,” Mr Dhanin added.

When asked what the government should do to help small and medium enterprises to stay afloat during the pandemic, the tycoon said it should issue 30-year bonds to raise money and offer soft loans to them.

“I think three trillion baht would be enough to prevent mass unemployment,” Mr Dhanin said.

“Many businesses are struggling to survive because they don’t have the liquidity they need to operate,” he added.

“The government needs to step in to ensure they can at least keep employing staff.” Mr Dhanin said this can be done because the country’s public debt is at 42% of GDP.

He said he has written to Gen Prayut in response to the prime minister’s request for help. CP will spend over 700 million baht to fund projects to help vulnerable people.

*Proudly contributed by Andrew J. Wood


#recovery, #Thailand, #Tourism

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853

Feel Japan, Breathe Your Japan

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a spectacular mountain passage that cuts through the dramatic Northern Japanese Alps, traversed by various means of transportation including cable cars, trolley buses, and a ropeway. While its daytime scenery is magnificent, a stunning view of the starry night sky is only accessible to those staying at either the Midagahara Hotel or Hotel Tateyama, both located deep within the mountains at elevations of over 1,900m.


Explore other out-of-the-world, gorgeous sceneries of Japan through our campaign! WIN amazing prizes just by participating in our photo contest!

Visit Japan Now


Local travellers at the check-in counter at Don Mueang airport.
Tourism officials expect domestic travel to kick-start by June. 

Photo by Pornprom Satrabhaya
The tourism sector is unfazed by the possible extension of the emergency decree, with operators saying their businesses are flexible and it will not interrupt the goal to kick-start domestic travel nationwide in June.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is planning to discuss with the prime minister permission to allow domestic tourism to start in provinces that reported zero new cases for the past 21 days, said Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

The partial kickoff will help operators run their businesses and reduce the likelihood of laying off employees. The government set a goal of recording 100 million domestic trips within this year.

Mr Phiphat said the ministry wants curfew times relaxed, which it will discuss with the Transport Ministry if the curfew is extended.

He expects state agencies to be the first mover in driving domestic tourism by booking meetings and seminar activities.

“Local travellers took 80 million trips during the second half last year, after 24.1 million in the first quarter this year, so the goal of 100 million is reasonable,” said Mr Phiphat.

Last year a stronger baht favoured outbound trips, but domestic travel during the last six months was robust.

While air traffic restrictions prevents some foreign travel, Thailand stands a good chance to boost the local market if the tourism sector succeeds in persuading the outbound market to travel domestically at least three times instead, he said.

Mr Phiphat said foreign tourists are likely to return in October at a level of 1 million tourists per month, possibly drawing 10-11 million tourists this year after welcoming 6.69 million international tourists during the first quarter.

Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), said the emergency decree should be extended to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The government should let local tourism operators resume business in June to give them a lifeline, said Mr Chairat.

“The government should seriously tackle sensitive areas, such as nightclubs or pubs, which previously were the epicentre of the coronavirus spread, instead of strictly controlling the entire system,” he said.

Mr Chairat said the private sector has more serious issues to contend with, namely their financial woes.

On Thursday tourism operators had a meeting with the Tourism and Sports Ministry as most of them are still waiting for the Government Savings Bank (GSB) to approve soft loans under an agreement GSB made with the ministry on March 27.

Read the full article at Bangkok Post:

#domestic, #Thailand, #Tourism

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853


Dear Traveler, Partner, Resident, and Friend of the Mekong Region:

Experience Mekong Collection members provide these locally authentic experiences to travelers and residents alike, which make the Mekong Region so exciting and interesting. Connecting with local culture and its people is the foundation of the Experience Mekong brand.

Now these experiences are in danger of not surviving these difficult times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses are struggling to pay their employees, and cover their expenses.

We all have a duty and a responsibility to now help these operators, for the better of sustainable and responsible tourism of the region for the short-term and the long-term. At Mekong Tourism, we believe that the Experience Mekong Collection protects and promotes inclusive tourism, and as such has been recognized as a global best practice of tourism promoting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

In order to help our Experience Mekong Collection members in these challenging, we are listing any businesses that are asking for donations. We are asking everybody to support these small responsible travel businesses, which we recognize as our shining lights of the Mekong Region. Let’s all come together to make sure that these lights will continue to shine for many years to come.


Visit the Experience Mekong Collection Donation Webpage at

Thank you!
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
Chair, Destination Mekong

#ExperienceMekongCollection, #MTCO

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853


The next phase of Destination NSW’s Now’s The Time To Love NSW recovery campaign will be in market from next week to align with regional travel resuming, and includes television, social media, radio, and digital advertising throughout June and July.

After months of inspiring travellers to dream about that next adventure, Destination NSW will now focus on turning dreams into reality by enticing holidaymakers to hit the road as soon as possible, and plan that next getaway.

All advertising activity will direct potential visitors to for further inspiration and bookings - which means tourism businesses can get involved in the campaign just by signing up for a free Get Connected listing.

By listing a tourism product, attraction or experience on Get Connected, businesses can be featured on on region, destination and theme pages as relevant. Destination NSW will be creating itineraries and content to help travellers plan their NSW holiday and showcase the world-class experiences on offer right here in the state.

Keep an eye out for news across the weekend and Destination NSW will provide further updates next week.

Dragon Trail Interactive To Power The Events' First Virtual Platform at IT&CM China

IT&CM China and CTW China’s first 100% virtual exhibition event will fully take place on Dragon Trail Interactive (DTI)’s The Next Travel Market (TNTM) platform.

The bilingual ENG-CH interface available on PC, mobile and WeChat mini-program provides convenient single-entry access for both international and China-based delegates on their choice device. 

The comprehensive all-in-one proprietary system that supports two-way matchmaking and appointments with video chat; live conferencing; multi-media product presentations; networking; extensive data collection; and many more engaging features has made DTI the right Official Virtual Partner to deliver on the event’s business, education and networking proposition.

View in PDF

Register Your Interest Now 

TEQ welcomes Facebook as part of new 'Special Invite Series'

Following the industry update video series over the past months, TEQ has created a new ‘Special Invite Series’ that will feature some of our valued marketing partners providing insights, updates and learning opportunities for Queensland’s tourism and events businesses.

We are delighted to launch the new series with special guest Paul Nahoun, Head of Travel - Australia and New Zealand from Facebook to provide tips and tools to drive greater impact with travellers through both Facebook and Instagram. Topics will include top traveller behaviour insights and how to apply these to Facebook and Instagram, success stories and tools, and how to meet the needs of post-COVID customers.

TEQ’s social media team will also provide an update on our recent social media activity on Queensland’s channels, and our focus in coming months.

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Limited places available

Friday, 29 May 2020


The programme is expected to create an opportunity for
 tourists to newly experience all the regions of the country.
The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines and the Vietnam Tourism Association (VITA) has launched a programme to stimulate domestic tourism until the end of 2020.

The programme calls for tourism enterprises to build new and unique tourism products and services at affordable and discounted prices while ensuring the quality of services.

Permanent Vice Chairman of VITA Vu The Binh said that more than 150 enterprises representing Vietnamese tourism in all three regions of the country are determined to restore tourism activities and gradually bring Vietnam’s tourism sector back to the growth rate of the past four years.

Under the “Vietnam Tourism – Bright Destination” programme, Vietnam Airlines in coordination with the VITA and prestigious travel companies, including HanoiTourist, Saigontourist, Vietrans Tour, Vietravel, and Redtour, will build tours with discounts of up to 40% applied for groups of tourists with at least six people.

The programme will be applied to all domestic routes operated by Vietnam Airlines with departure dates from May 15 to December 31, 2020.

The programme is expected to create an opportunity for tourists to newly experience all the regions of the country and visit their famous and safe destinations.

Read the full article at Nhan Dan:

#inboundmarket, #Tourism, #vietnam

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853


People buy food at CentralFestival EastVille shopping centre
in Bangkok on Wednesday. The government will on Friday
launch a new phone app to facilitate disease control at shops. 

Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool
The government will launch a new mobile phone app to facilitate disease-control tracking of customers as shops reopen with the easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, said on Thursday that shop owners would register online for a QR code that would be placed in front of their shop.

Customers would use their mobile phone to scan the code as they enter and leave the premises.

“The ‘Thai Chana’ application will tell customers if their targeted shop, such as a barber, is still vacant enough to welcome them,” Dr Taweesilp said.

“Shopping centres will use the application when they open their rest areas, in addition to their already opened supermarkets and electrical appliance sales.”

Dr Taweesilp said the Thai Chana app would serve 70-80% of people based on the number of mobile phone users, who account for 70-80% of Thailand’s population.

“Young children and elderly people who do not use mobile phones will be able to use manual registration,” he said.

The app would facilitate the government’s attempts to quickly track people infected with Covid-19 and those in close contact with them. Its effectiveness would lead to the further reopening of businesses and activities, he said.

Dr Polawat Witoolkollachit, inspector-general of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, said the new app would be launched on Friday afternoon, along with details of how to register. All kinds of shops could use it, including street vendors.

He said customers could also use the app to tell the government if the shops they visited followed Covid-19 control measures.

He said customers’ privacy would be protected. Only the Disease Control Department would have access to customers’ information, and only for the sake of disease control.

“The system will help prevent a second wave of Covid-19. Those who come in close contact with infected people at shops will be called in for testing.

Read the full article at Bangkok Post:

#application, #COVID19, #Thailand, #TheThaiChana

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
c/o 3rd Floor, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, 154 Rama 1 Road
National Stadium, Wangmai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 2038 5071-1
Mobile: +66 8555 44234, +66 8098 95853