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By day 6 year olds Connor, Amaya and Greg go to school like everyone else. But when something goes awry in the city, these special kids, filled with curiosity and a sense of justice get ready for their mission – but they have to wait until…..(read more)
Yas Island has been awarded the coveted a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council, marking the first destination in the emirate to receive the accreditation.
The global safety and hygiene stamp has been awarded to major holiday destinations around the world to enable travellers to identify destinations and businesses that have adopted its health and hygiene global standardised protocols.
These protocols include providing consistency and guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing in the ‘new normal’ of Covid-19 world.
So far, the stamp has been awarded to key tourist destinations such as Turkey, Mauritius, Portugal, Vienna, and Saudi Arabia, and is seen as a key catalyst in the speedy recovery of the tourism sector.
Yas Island has received the recognition for the implementation of its comprehensive wellness program, which, in addition to enhanced hygiene and social distancing measures, has included the launch of the #TogetheratYas technology platform and the appointment of Yas Wellness Ambassadors.
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The Covid-19 pandemic in the UK was accelerated by critical errors in the approach to border measures take by the government.
That is the view od a new report from the Home Affairs committee, which has been examining how prepared the country was the outbreak.
Poor decision making in the early months led to many more people contracting Covid-19, the authors argue.
The cross-party report says the government is right to include Spain in the current quarantine arrangements but criticises handling and calls for improvements in way travel corridor decisions are made.
The inquiry considered all of the government’s decisions on border measures – from the early quarantine of 273 people largely from Wuhan, through the voluntary self-isolation measures applied to travellers from specific countries (including China, Iran and Italy) in February and early March.
This was followed by the lifting of all border measures on March 13th, to the introduction of mandatory quarantine in June, followed by travel corridors and the most recent decision to reintroduce quarantine for Spain.
Drawing on evidence that thousands of people with Covid-19 arrived in or returned to the UK in February and March, the committee concludes the UK experience of Covid-19 has been “far worse” as a result of the decision not to require quarantine during March
This would have reduced the number of imported infections, the committee argues.
Publishing the report, chair of the committee, Yvette Cooper, said: “Covid-19 is a global pandemic, so all countries need to be able to use border measures at different times to prevent it spreading and to save lives – the consequences of failing to do so are very serious for both public health and the economy.
“The government’s failure to have proper quarantine measures in place in March as the infection was spreading fast was a grave error and meant Covid-19 spread faster and reached more people.
“The UK was almost unique in having no border checks or quarantine arrangements at that time.
“That alone should have rung loud alarm bells for ministers and made them think again.”
The committee is particularly critical of the decision on March 13th to remove all self-isolation guidance for travellers arriving in the UK at a time when other comparable countries were strengthening their border measures.
At this time, hundreds of new Covid-19 cases were arriving every day – particularly from Spain, Italy and France, including many British residents returning home.
The committee was unable to find any scientific evidence to justify this “inexplicable” decision and says that the failure to have any special border measures in place in mid-March was a “serious error”.
It also found that the decision not to include Spain in the earlier country specific measures in late February was a mistake as doing so could have slowed the virus spread.
Cooper added: “Many times ministers told us they were following the science, but we cannot find any science at all behind their completely inexplicable decision to lift all the self-isolation guidance for travellers on March 13th a full ten days before lockdown, just at a time when other countries were introducing stronger border measures.
“We were told that thousands more people with Covid-19 came back to the UK after that guidance was lifted.
“So in the middle of March, at a time when the number of people with Covid-19 coming back into the UK was at its peak, they were going back to work or onto public transport or seeing family without any quarantine in place.”
See the full report here.
Image: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment
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Newest video updates about Coronavirus. Check out this “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings” video below:
In director John Badham’s congenial comedy, baseballers Bingo Long (Billy Dee Williams) and Leon Carter (James Earl Jones) lead a group of fellow black players defecting from the Negro League in 1939 thanks to their unethical, tightfisted team owners. The duo soon strikes out on their own, forming a barnstorming squad that squares off against their white counterparts in pickup games. Richard…..(read more)
Valor Hospitality Partners Africa has signed a management agreement with Fancourt in South Africa.
The asset management company will be taking over the reins from outgoing chief executive, Georgie Davidson.
Fancourt, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World, consists of the Fancourt hotel and the award-winning Manor House, which together offer 133 rooms and suites.
The resort offers an extensive recreational leisure facility including indoor and outdoor pools, a state-of-the-art leisure centre, tennis courts, outdoor activities as well as a fully equipped spa, hair salon and boutique.
In addition to its proud legacy of sporting excellence, Fancourt offers three internationally acclaimed golf courses that were designed by a dynamic team spearheaded by Gary Player and owner, Hasso Plattner.
Speaking on the announcement, Tony Romer-Lee, managing partner, Valor Hospitality Partners Africa and Middle East, said: “We cannot wait for the resort to fully reopen and to work with the team to rebuild the business.
“With the backing of the Plattner family to continue to invest in the experiences, we are confident that Fancourt will continue to be the leading destination in the Garden Route.”
Valor Hospitality recently expanded its USA portfolio world with an additional seven internationally branded IHG, Marriott and some independently owned properties.
Fancourt has become a global landmark for business, leisure and golfing travel but its gradual expansion can be traced back to the establishment of the Manor House by its first custodian, Henry Fancourt White, in the 1880s.
Expanding on the stature of the Manor House, the estate itself was transformed into a hotel and golfing destination in 1989 under the direction of Andrea and Helene Pieterse.
Now, under the ownership of Hasso and Sabine Plattner, the Fancourt estate boasts a contemporary outlook on its early beginnings, with award-winning golf courses and unparalleled service offerings, against the backdrop of the ever-present Outeniqua mountain range.
The property is considered South Africa’s Leading Resort by voters at the World Travel Awards.
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Latest video updates related to Coronavirus. Watch this “Have Sword, Will Travel” video below:
Legendary director Cheh Chang directs Ti Lung and David Chiang in the “heroic bloodshed” classic ‘Have Sword, Will Travel’. As Hsiang Ting (Ti Lung) escorts silver to the capital, he runs into a mysterious knight, Le I (David Chiang), who becomes his saviour…(read more)
Following the reopening of Maldivian borders to international visitors on July 15th, Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation has announced that 146 of its 156 resorts in operation will reopen to guests by the end of October.
Each will be expected to follow health and safety measures set out by the ministry of tourism.
A total of 43 resorts have already opened in the Maldives to date.
In August, a further 28 resorts will open their doors to the public, including Joali Maldives, all four properties in Coco Collection and Centara’s Maldivian portfolio of resorts.
An additional 46 resorts will open in October, including Outrigger Konotta Maldives Resort, Reethi Faru Resort and Niyama Private Islands Maldives.
This will mean 94 per cent of resorts in the Maldives will be open for business ahead of the key ‘winter sun’ travel months when many UK holidaymakers traditionally escape to warmer climates.
In line with the comprehensive Covid-19 safe tourism guidelines and hygiene certification programme issued by the Maldivian ministry of tourism in June, all 156 resorts situated in the island nation will be required to take protective measures, ensuring the safety of tourists and also staff working in the industry.
Speaking about the reopening of resorts in the Maldives, Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation (MMPRC), said: “Following the issue of detailed Covid-19 safe tourism guidelines and the reopening of our international borders on July 15th, the Maldives is now fully prepared to welcome back tourists to our island nation, with safety being the destinations’ top priority.
“Over 40 resorts in the Maldives are already open to guests and a further 103 will reopen before the month of November, so we look forward to welcoming back UK holidaymakers to our beautiful islands.”
The Maldives is currently in the running for the title of Indian Ocean’s Leading Beach Destination at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
Members of the hospitality industry can vote here – until August 22nd.
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Hotel giant Accor has seen revenue fall by 52 per cent in the first six months of financial 2020.
In total the company took in £826 million over the period, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell into -£204 million.
Sébastien Bazin, chief executive of Accor, said: “The shock that our industry is experiencing is both violent and unprecedented.
“Against this backdrop, we have managed to limit the impact of the crisis: on our performance by taking immediate steps to protect our resources and, thanks to the group recent years transformation and our sound financial structure; on our employees by implementing concrete and immediate support measures.
“The peak of the crisis is undoubtedly behind us, but the recovery will be gradual.”
In response to the crisis, the biggest hotel group in Europe plans to cut 1,000 jobs as part of a £180 million per year cost saving plan.
Accor hopes to reduce costs by 17 per cent compared with 2019.
“Having taken these emergency steps, we must now finish the job from an asset-light model to a full asset-light company,” added Bazin.
“Beyond Covid-19, this is essential.
“Accor must become simpler, leaner, more agile and even closer to the field.
“These initiatives will enable us to extend our leadership, make our decision process more efficient and boost our recovery.”
Accor runs high-end chains such as Raffles and Sofitel, as well as budget brands such as Ibis.
In more positive news, the company said that 81 per cent of its hotels were now open and that it had a solid liquidity position of more than £3.6 billion at the end of June.
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