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OTTAWA, Ontario–()–Canada’s airports look for government relief to ease liquidity crisis caused by COVID-19 travel bans
Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett says the initial $250 million of the $1 billion committed to long-awaited Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme by the Government has been paid over to the newly selected-fund manager, Sagicor Jamaica Limited.
“The long awaited Tourism Workers Pension Scheme has reached another milestone. We can now announce that we have an Investment Manger which is Sagicor and the Fund Administer is Guardian General. Additionally J$250 million of the J$1 billion from the Ministry’s injection has been disbursed to seed the fund to ensure these workers have a pension,” said Minister Bartlett.
He noted that he is currently awaiting the House’s approval of the regulations, which will pave the way for the Scheme’s implementation, once industry workers return to their jobs.
“The well-being of our workers in the industry remains a priority for us at the Ministry of Tourism. We are forging ahead with this scheme because we want to ensure that after the coronavirus (COVID-19) has passed, the pension program will be in place,” said the Minister.
The pension scheme is a defined contributory plan supported by legislation and will require mandatory contributions by workers and employers.
The tourism workers’ pension scheme is designed to cover all workers ages 18-59 years in the tourism sector, whether permanent, contract or self-employed, the ministry said. It further noted that this includes hotel workers as well as persons employed in other tourism sub-sectors such as craft vendors, tour operators, red cap porters, contract carriage operators and workers at attractions.
Benefits will be payable at age 65 years or older.
The Ministry of Tourism is providing $1 billion to seed the fund, so that immediate benefits can accrue to qualified pensioners, who have met the vested period of five years.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, Corporate Communications, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5, Tel: 920-4926-30, Fax: 920-4944
Jamaica Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that Miss World finalists from Nigeria and India have accepted the Government’s invitation to visit Jamaica, following their enthusiastic display of support for the crowning of Jamaica’s Toni-Ann Singh, as Miss World 2019.
The Minister made the announcement during a lunch, hosted for Singh and her family on Saturday, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in Kingston.
“I am very pleased to share that Miss Nigeria, Nyekachi Douglas and Miss India, Suman Rao, will come to Jamaica….the time we are looking at is the first week of March, 2020. We are very excited to welcome them to the island and show them our warm Jamaican hospitality,” said the Minister.
The Minister first announced that the Government of Jamaica would be extending invitations to the contestants during his remarks at the second annual Golden Tourism Day Awards, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on December 15, 2019.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister noted that the Government would make the necessary arrangements to host the beauty contestants, and will ensure that they “have the best vacation that they could hope for, in the best destination that they could ever think of, and to also make sure that Jamaica remains top of mind.”
The Golden Tourism Day Awards was organized by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the Ministry of Tourism. The gala event recognizes Tourism workers who have given 50 years or more of service to the industry.
Some 34 awardees who have served the industry as raft captains, craft traders, ground transportation operators, hoteliers, in-bond store operators, tour operators and Red Cap Porters were lauded for their remarkable contribution.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jamaica Ministry of Tourism, Corporate Communications, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5, Tel: 920-4926-30, Fax: 920-4944
Centra by Centara Government Complex Hotel & Convention Centre Chaeng Watthana, a Centara Hotels & Resorts property located near Don Mueang International Airport, is the only hotel and convention center within Thailand’s largest Government Complex. Centara has just completed a comprehensive renovation worth more than 100 million baht, spanning guestrooms and suites, the hotel’s restaurant, and lobby and public areas. The renovation reflects a modern, elegant and stylish design perfectly attuned to the local art and culture of the Mons community residing in Koh Kred, Thailand, offering guests a unique visual look and a brand new hospitality experience.
The makeover reveals newly-designed guestrooms, which increase to 212 total rooms divided into four room types — Superior Room, Deluxe Room, Junior Suite, and CENTRA Plus Suite. Every guestroom features a contemporary design and light décor presenting the charm of Siamese Fighting Fish, which has endured since ancient times and was recently declared the National Aquatic Animal of Thailand, on a wall in each guestroom. Guestrooms also offer all the amenities needed to make your stay enjoyable and relaxing, including complimentary hi-speed Wi-Fi. Junior Suites and CENTRA Plus Suites also feature a private living room for your comfort.
All-day dining restaurant Bistro4 has been redesigned with a show kitchen and new decoration, offering to seat for 350 guests and suitable for socializing with friends and colleagues. The Bistro4 menu features delectable international cuisines, including Thai, Japanese and Western fare, creatively crafted by experienced chefs.
Additional upgrades include renovations to its lobby, with a new concept offering a non-hotel lobby-like comfortable feel. MIX Social Space has also been designed as a co-working space, making it an ideal place for semi-private meetings and social gatherings, where guests can settle into a comfortable chair and relax in a cozy atmosphere with complimentary hi-speed Wi-Fi. The Grab & Go corner has also been created within the MIX Social Space area for guests to purchase snacks, drinks and personal care products 24/7.
In addition, the hotel offers retail space and brings products crafted by people with disabilities and the elderly to sell at the Community Shop located near the lobby, reflecting Centara’s commitment to supporting those in need while building a strong community and inclusive society. In addition, the hotel features a Thai massage service located at the Refresh Zone near the lobby for guests to relieve stress and tension, courtesy of elderly Thai massage specialists from Thailand’s Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.
The hotel offers up to 26 meeting rooms divided between two buildings – Square and Circle – plus the Convention Centre, which spans more than 29,000 square meters. The Square building provides flexible meeting spaces with 24 meeting rooms, including the Vayupak Grand Ballroom, a gigantic 1,710-square-metre pillar-less venue with a ceiling height of 9.3 meters, for meetings catering up to 2,000 guests. The Circle building offers an auditorium and ample reception space, with a glass wall giving a panoramic view of the complex. Every meeting room features the latest technology including hi-speed Wi-Fi. Events of every scope and scale, be it a seminar, product launch, press conference, staff party, wedding or concert, will be skillfully handled by the hotel’s professional team.
The hotel is connected to Government Complex Building B, giving meeting participants convenient access to banks, shops, clinics, and other facilities. Currently, the hotel is one of the main venues organizing government agencies’ events with strong demand from private companies.
MEDIA CONTACT: Pornchanok Thongrungrot (Pao), Corporate Public Relations Manager – International, Centara Hotels & Resorts, Tel. +66 (0)2769 1234 Ext. 6733, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is demanding modifications of a new airport security system because it poses “privacy risks” to passengers by showing too much of them on display, a newly published document has revealed.
Following a demonstration, the Transportation Security Administration has requested changes to the contract because the scanner they received “has privacy risks associated with the Graphical User Interface,” says the document dated March 26 and made public by Quartz on Monday.
While the document provides no further details on the exact nature of the privacy risks, the TSA required the scanner’s manufacturer to add additional security features before it would consider using the device in a “live environment.”
Using another government database, Quartz identified the contractor – whose name is redacted in the document – as Virginia security firm ThruVision. The document refers to ThruVision’s TAC scanner, which the company describes as a “proven people-screening camera that sees any type of item.”
The device is supposed to be part of TSA’s “Future Lane Experience” (FLEx), an effort to speed up security checks that have become a major headache for passengers in many airports.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority partnered with the TSA last year to deploy ThruVision’s portable TS4 scanner, which the TSA claims to have vetted “extensively” prior to using it on LA commuters. It is unclear whether the TSA had similar concerns about the TS4 before the device was used in the field.
Revelations about the TSA concerns over the new scanner come after last week’s report by ProPublica that accused the agency’s current hardware of “discriminating” against African-Americans by misreading their hair, requiring a disproportionate number of pat-downs.
The ACLU slammed the TSA in 2009 for using scanning technology to conduct “virtual strip searches” that provided TSA employees with photos of passengers’ genitals, breasts and buttocks. More was revealed in 2010, when the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) published TSA documents which further detail the scanners’ invasiveness.
African Tourism Board Safety and Security expert Dr. Peter Tarlow reminded all ATB members, security incidents around the world once again underline the need for African nations to promote and provide the best tourism security possible.
African Tourism Board President Alain St. Ange mentioned that after recent security challenges in Kenya, it remains the duty of Africa to stand with Kenya’s Minister Najib Balala, the CS for Tourism and with the Government of Kenya after the recent kidnapping of Doctors and Bomb Threats.
“Tourism is a success story in Kenya and they need, more than ever, their fellow friends and neighbors to spread this successes story,” the ATB president added.
Dr. Tarlow explained: “The best way for the African tourism industry to aid countries not only Sudan and Kenya as they face new tourism security challenge is by helping each nation in Africa to create a well funded and organized tourism security unit.
Each tourism security unit of TOPPs (tourism-oriented policing and protection services) will be experts not only in security but also safety and seek to protect a nation’s visitors along with its reputation and economies.
These units, be they composed of public or private security agents or private-private partnership, will help to assure tourists from around the world that travel to Africa is safe and secure.
They will be major players in promoting African tourism and when security mishaps occur they will aid their local tourism industry in a demonstration to the world that these are the exceptions and not the norm.
It is important to remember where that security is an essential element in tourism. It is our moral duty and good business to work with both local governments and international organizations to assure travelers that Africa will receive them with open arms and a loving heart.
“Today, the African Tourism Board confirms that they stand with Africa ans specially now with Minister Balala the Kenyan Government and People of Kenya and will work with them as and when called upon”, concluded St.Ange.
The Seychelles Ministry for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine have recently launched 2 expression of interests for carrying capacity studies to be undertaken on La Digue as well as Mahe and Praslin. The aim of the studies is to determine the current status of the islands and the acceptable amount of tourism development that can occur while still remaining sustainable, and assist the government in taking informed decisions on all future tourism development projects.
The Carrying-Capacity Study for La Digue dates back to 2013 and the results have led to the policy directive of setting a moratorium on the development of tourism accommodation establishments to 5 rooms per developer. This moratorium is supposed to be valid for a period of five years and the time has come to commission a new Carrying-Capacity Study.
Moreover, in 2018 the President announced that La Digue would be a model of sustainability as part of the National Vision 2033. An eco-tourism strategy specific to the island for the next 15 years has been developed and the Carrying-Capacity Study on La Digue will aim to align with the established vision and provide recommendations to policy makers pertaining to future development on the island in view of assuring its sustainable development.
As for Mahe and Praslin, the Carrying-Capacity Study was commissioned in 2016 and set to be reviewed in 2020. The results of the Carrying-Capacity Study has led to a number of policy directives and a set moratorium on the number of rooms that can be developed per promoter which is 20 rooms for Northern Mahe and 24 rooms per promoter for the rest of Mahe and Praslin.
The carrying-capacity analysis will determine the ability of the ecosystem of La Digue, Mahe and Praslin and the various segments thereof to withstand all impacts of additional tourism development activities. The studies will apply the perspectives of Physical carrying capacity, Ecological carrying capacity, Social carrying capacity and Economic carrying capacity in order to develop a balanced overall assessment.
Consultants interested to undertake the study have to submit their expression of interest to the Department of Tourism by Friday, April 26, 2019 by 1500 hours. Results of the two carrying capacity studies will determine whether or not to maintain the moratorium currently in place on La Digue, Mahe and Praslin.
He went on to say, “Nevertheless, the FCA expects the Thai government to leverage the competitiveness of Thai MICE business in order to serve global competition. For example, facilitation of customs and immigration procedures; development of infrastructure and transportation; construction of convention centres; development of MICE personnel that meets international standards, and establishment of One-Stop-Service MICE centres. All of which will open a new door to the holding of MICE events in Thailand by efficiently offering enhanced convenience for MICE entrepreneurs and organisers,“ he declared.
“TCEB expects that the collaboration will not only leverage the competitiveness of Thai MICE in long haul markets in Oceania, Europe and the USA, but will also help to attract international events into several regions in Thailand, especially those considered main markets in MICE City project, which are Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen. Definitely, we believe the rapport will encourage transfers of technology and knowledge of each industry among one another, and thus will promote advancement in all regions and stimulate income distribution to communities nationwide,” concluded Mr. Chiruit.
“The MICE industry is growing, and will also continue to grow in importance and contribution to the overall tourism sector within Thailand, and of course the greater Thai economy. Our primary aim is to continue to increase and grow the competitiveness of Thailand as a leading destination for MICE not only within Asia, but the world, further complimenting the amazing tourism industry that we already are so fortunate to be a part of,” concluded Mr. Krieg.
The Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Minister Didier Dogley accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Anne Lafortune and the Director for Tourism Human Resource Development, Diana Quatre visited graduates of Shannon College at their current place of employment as part of a mentoring initiative, following a resolution at the last committee meeting held in December 2018.
The visit was conducted at four different hotels, namely the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles, Kempinski Seychelles Resort, AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa and the Constance Ephelia Seychelles on Monday 15th April 2019.
The purpose of the visit was to meet with graduates of Shannon College who are working in the hotels of Seychelles and establish a communication channel between the graduates and the Ministry.
The first hotel to be visited was the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles employing the largest cohort, comprising of 7 Shannon graduates. This was followed by Kempinski Seychelles Resort & Spa with two graduates, Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa with one graduate and the Constance Ephelia Seychelles with 3 Shannon graduates.
During the visit, graduates were given the opportunity to express their views, in the presence of their hotel managers. The main point of discussion was centred on the minimum salary and career progression within the hospitality industry. Overall the graduates in the four hotels were satisfied with their working condition and the opportunity offered to develop their career further.
Minister Dogley stated that “The visits of the Shannon graduates in their workplace and the meetings held with their General Managers provided an excellent opportunity for me to learn about the progress they have made as professionals in the hospitality industry. Most of them had clear career paths and personal development programs.
It was a real pleasure and an eye opener to discover that the majority of them are already working as managers in some of our top brand hotels. This in itself shows that the vision government had for more well-trained and highly skilled Seychellois to take leadership roles in our hospitality industry is becoming a reality.”
The Ministerial delegation will also be visiting graduates from the other tourism establishments in order to provide similar opportunities for interaction. These visits are in line with the goal of the Ministry to ensure that the tourism sector is equipped with qualified individuals and shall endeavour to continue to assist graduates in achieving their dreams of progression to senior positions within the hotel industry.
To date, there are 74 Shannon College graduates who have gone through this programme.
Upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council, have passed on Monday a bill allowing foreign tourists with Fan-IDs to travel to Russia without entry visas for matches of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.
Last week, the bill was passed in the third and final reading by lawmakers from the State Duma, the parliament’s lower house, and following today’s approval by the senators, it must be signed into law by the Russian president.
“Within the period, which begins 14 days prior to the first match of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup in Saint Petersburg and ends on the day of the last match [in St. Petersburg], the entrance to Russia for foreign citizens and stateless persons, who come to Russia to watch 2020 UEFA Euro Cup matches, will not require issuance of visas based on identification documents,” according to the explanatory note.
Addressing a government’s session in mid-March, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that the country planned “to employ the same mechanism we used in the past regarding the issuance and operational rules of Fan-IDs.”
Russia came up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with an innovation, which was the so-called Fan-ID and was required for all ticketholders. This innovation was successfully tested during the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia and earned high marks from the world’s governing football body of FIFA.
The Fan-ID played an important security role during the major football tournament in Russia as it granted admittance to the stadiums and also served as visa for foreign visitors to enter the country.
A Fan-ID holder was allowed to enter the country without having a Russian visa and stay for the duration of the global football tournament. Fan-IDs were obligatory, in addition to purchased tickets, in order to attend matches of the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia.
2020 UEFA Euro Cup
The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup will be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg was granted the right to host three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.
The decision to hold the 2020 Euro Cup, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary that year, in various European countries instead of in one or two hosting countries was made at the UEFA Executive Committee’s meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on December 6, 2012.
A total of 24 national football teams will be playing in the final tournament of the 2020 Euro Cup. All 55 UEFA national member teams, including 12 teams from the hosting countries, will have to play in the qualifying matches to vie for the berth in the final 24-team lineup of the quadrennial European football championship.
It is possible that some of the national teams from the hosting countries of the 2020 Euro Cup will not be playing on home soil in case they fail to clear the qualifying stage.