Cebu Pacific Greater China Traffic Up 23% in Q1

The Philippines’ largest national flag carrier Cebu Pacific (PSE:CEB) flew 258,368 passengers between the Philippines and Greater China in the first quarter (Q1) of 2011 – up 23% over the same period in 2010.
 
Passenger growth in mainland China (Manila – Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou) was up 36%, with Hong Kong (Manila, Cebu and Clark) up 23% and Macau (Manila and Clark) up 12%.
 
CEB operates a total of 73 flights weekly to Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau.
 
The airline flew 209,583 passengers on those routes from January to March last year.
 
“We attribute this first quarter growth to CEB’s trademark low fares and an extensive route network from Greater China to key tourist destinations in the Philippines,” said CEB VP for Marketing and Distribution Candice Iyog.
 
“Destinations such as Cebu, Boracay (Caticlan) and Palawan (Puerto Princesa) become more accessible with our brand new aircraft fleet.”
 
CEB’s 15th Airbus A320 was delivered just last January, increasing the fleet size to 33 aircraft,
 
Aside from Greater China, CEB flies to 11 other international destinations namely Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Seoul, Busan, Osaka, Ho Chi Minh, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Brunei.
 
The low-cost carrier operating to most Philippine and ASEAN destinations flew a total of over 2.8 million domestic and international passengers in Q1 2011, posting an overall 12% increase compared to the same period in 2010 – with overall international traffic up 32%.
 
From Manila, CEB operates connecting flights to 32 other domestic destinations such as Boracay (Caticlan), Palawan (Puerto Princesa) and Cebu, offering the fastest connections to Asia’s top beach destinations and scuba diving sites.
 
For bookings and inquiries, visit www.cebupacificair.com or call CEB ticketing offices at (86) 21-515-03966, (86) 21-517-80659 or (86) 21-624-90877. Inquiries on group
bookings can also be made to groupbookings@cebupacificair.com. Fun Tour packages inclusive of 3-days, 2-nights hotel accommodation are at http://funtours.cebupacificair.com.
 
CEB operates the most routes and flights in the Philippines, aboard the youngest aircraft fleet in the country comprising 10 Airbus A319s, 15 Airbus A320s and 8 ATR-72 500s.
 
By the end of 2011, CEB will be operating a fleet of 37 aircraft – with an average age of 3.5 years – one of the most modern fleets in the world. Between 2012 and 2014, Cebu Pacific will take delivery of an additional 16 Airbus A320 aircraft.

More than 1,000 New Orleanians March in National Travel Week Mardi Gras Style Parade


More than 1,000 members of the New Orleans hospitality community hold signs, second-line and dance through the city’s historic streets today in a Mardi Gras style parade to reinforce the importance of tourism to the city’s economy, resident’s livelihood and cultural heritage. Supporting U.S. Travel Association's National Travel and Tourism Week rally, elected officials and members of the hospitality community gather to promote tourism, which generates $5 billion annually and employs 70,000 people, and celebrate recent milestones including welcoming 8.3 million visitors in 2010, the first time to reach 8 million since Katrina. *Photo by Jeff Anding

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Presents Exciting Special Offers At New Hotels In Asia Pacific

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific presents exciting offers from their recent openings.  These can be found at starwoodhotels.com/newhoteloffers, a site exclusively dedicated to opening deals from the new hotel openings. Guests can find unique offers for leisure, business and meetings from the new Starwood hotels around the world.

Westin Nanjing

Travelers and locals alike can find rejuvenation and an urban escape with the opening special from US$ 130 approx. per night (RMB999), which includes 1 or 2 breakfasts, depending on room occupancy, room upgrade subject to availability, free internet and 30% discount on food and beverage at hotel restaurants during the stay. The package is valid through May 31, 2011, is subject to availability and excludes service charge and tax. 

W Taipei

W Taipei’s “Spectacular” opening offer includes: accommodation in a Spectacular Room or Fantastic Suite; al fresco breakfast at The Kitchen Table; signature welcome cocktail at Yen Bar; an in-room welcome amenity designed by celebrity chef Jereme Leung; VIP insider access to the Xinyi district’s nightclubs; and a complimentary W Zodiac Animal – a whimsical touch to every W guestroom.  The “Spectacular” package is available till August 31, 2011, and starts from US$250 per night (TWD $7,800) for a Spectacular Room and US$445 per night (TWD $13,800) for a Fantastic Suite.  Package is subject to availability and does not include a 10% service charge and 5% tax.  

W Bali

Premiere to Bali opening package includes:  complimentary breakfast at Fire restaurant, US$150 in-retreat credit (food only), free upgrade to the next retreat category (upon availability) and a surprise W gift.  The Premiere to Bali package is available till 30th June 2011 and starts at US$388 per night for a Wonderful garden view retreat, US$538 per night for a Spectacular ocean facing retreat and US$788 per night for a Fantastic one-bedroom villa retreat.  The package is subject to availability and excludes a 21% service charge and tax. 

St Regis Bangkok

Experience timeless elegance and refined living at the St Regis Bangkok with the exclusive opening offer featuring luxurious accommodation with a complimentary upgrade to the next category, either breakfast or a two-course dinner each day for up to two guests at Viu, a voucher of US$ 33 (THB 1,000) per person for use at the Elemis Spa, double Starpoints as well as high speed internet access. The offer starts at US$ 244++ (THB 7300++) on a weekend and US$ 267++ (THB 8000) on a weekday and is valid till 30 June 2011.

These and more great offers can be found at starwoodhotels.com/newhoteloffers.

 

A feast for the eyes – The Great Chefs of Hong Kong and Heep Hong Society

12 children from Heep Hong Society and 31 Chefs “bake off”
 
The Great Chefs of Hong Kong and Heep Hong Society’s beneficiaries (local children with special needs) took part in a cake decorating competition today, at the Grand Hyatt, to mark the culinary extravaganza and fundraising effort’s 20th year!
 
Having already raised over 28 million HKD, for the locally based charity in the past 19 years, Hong Kong’s star chefs are reuniting for this great milestone – epicurean supporters can expect the ‘Plus factor’ from this year’s event as a total of 40 incredible chefs from 51 of the city’s top food and beverage establishments will host patrons at the Grand Hyatt on 2 June 2011.
 
Big-hearted foodies can choose between three dining options at the Grand Hyatt: a Great Chef’s ticket ($800 HKD) which includes fine champagne and signature dishes of over 30 different outlets; a Great Chef’s Plus ticket ($1,380 HKD) gives access to the latter plus a seat at one of the Grand Rooms’ exclusive tables, where patrons will be hosted by six chefs and select wine companies; The Star Chefs Plus experience ($1800 HKD) is the first of its kind. Hosted in The Tiffin Lounge by eight Chefs, including Michelin-starred Chefs Ken Yu of Cuisine Cuisine and Alexis Waltrin of Hullett House Hotel, guests will enjoy the sensation of premium wine, fine food and good conversation.
 
Today’s press conference showed the long-standing support from the food and beverage community for this worthy cause, participating chefs turned out in force to interact and cook with the children.  Smiles were on the menu as the children whose social development is supported by Heep Hong Society, took home their cakes and memories of today’s “bake off”.
 
Nancy Tsang, Director of Heep Hong Society, said, “The Chefs’ have such a big heart; because of theirs and our F&B partners’ generosity we are able to ensure that about 95% of the events’ takings go directly to the children and the parents in need. This is an event, and an on-going achievement, that we are all proud to be a part of.”
 
Gordon Fuller, Area Vice President and General Manager of Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, said, “This is the one night of the year when the best chefs and industry players come together as friends to do good – every year it affects me more and more.”
 
“Food is vital to our existence; The Great Chefs of Hong Kong event delights all of our senses and warms the hearts of all those involved, said Kim Murphy, Chairlady of the Great Chef’s Working Group. Her sentiment was reiterated by the participating chefs who collectively stated that they partook year after year to support these deserving children, ultimately hoping to bring happiness into their lives and to help them fulfil their promise.
 
The Hong Kong food community, celebrities and socialites alike, are gathering for the celebratory feast of the year – join the party at www.heephong.org/greatchefs .

Jo

The ‘magic of Robuchon’ is set to hit Singapore, as the world’s most Michelin-star decorated chef — with 26 stars, Joël Robuchon opens his highly-anticipated restaurants L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa on 28 April 2011.
 
In partnership with Singapore’s first integrated resort, Mr. Robuchon’s restaurants — his first in South East Asia — promise to be his most exciting project. This marks the first time both his famed restaurants are located at a joint, custom-built premise, giving guests the unprecedented choice of two unique Robuchon dining concepts at each visit.
 
Guests at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa can look forward to tasting the ’magic of Robuchon’ — simple dishes cooked with the best and freshest ingredients available, using precise Robuchon-developed techniques. Both restaurants will showcase French haute cuisine and some of Mr. Robuchon’s most sought-after signature dishes. Guests will also be able to try new creations which were inspired by local ingredients and culture.
 
A true legend in the industry, Mr. Robuchon has also been awarded the title of ‘Chef of the Century’ by the Guide Gault Millau in 1989. On opening in Singapore, Mr. Robuchon said: “These two restaurants mark the debut of the Joël Robuchon brand in South East Asia, which is a very exciting place to be in right now. Tourism in Singapore is booming and people are constantly on the look out for new and sophisticated lifestyle and dining concepts.”
 
“Resorts World Sentosa is a phenomenal development with an impressive variety of attractions, entertainment and F&B offerings. Opening here was a natural choice. I am excited to be working with the team to extend the Joël Robuchon experience to Singapore and guests of RWS.”
 
The two restaurants will be run by a team of chefs and managers personally selected by Chef Robuchon. Comprising the crème de la crème from Mr. Robuchon’s stable of current establishments around the world, the team based in Singapore combines over 50 years of experience working and cooking with the master chef.
 
Mr. Roger Lienhard, Senior Vice President of Hospitality & Retail, Resorts World Sentosa said, “Mr. Robuchon is regarded as the true legend in the culinary world, and it is indeed a coup for us to have brought in such a revered and highly sought-after chef to our resort. His restaurants have attracted food-lovers from all over the globe, and we are sure his restaurants in Singapore will be no different. Chef Robuchon’s restaurants add another dimension to the already strong F&B offerings at the resort.”
 
A living legend in the culinary world, Mr. Robuchon has a staggering 26 Michelin stars to his name. With 20 restaurants spanning ten cities across the globe, Mr. Robuchon, 66, is renowned for being the youngest chef ever in Michelin history to gain three Michelin stars for his first restaurant, Jamin, in Paris in 1984. As one of the world’s most decorated chefs, he received The Laurent Perrier 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award at The S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards. His relentless pursuit for perfection has made him one of the most revered French chefs of our time.
 
Reservations for L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa can be made at +65 6577 7888 or via e-mail : robuchon@rwsentosa.com
 

Tony Khoo Wins Executive Chef of the Year at Asian Gastronomic Awards of Excellence 2011


Marina Mandarin Singapore is pleased to announce that our Executive Chef Tony Khoo has received the Executive Chef of the Year award at the Asian Gastronomic Awards of Excellence 2011 at Grand Hyatt Singapore last Saturday, 16 April 2011.

Organised by Peter Knipp Holdings Pte Ltd and supported by Singapore Tourism Board and Workforce Development Agency, the annual Asian Gastronomic Awards is a prestigious accolade programme giving acknowledgements to individuals and organisations that have significantly contributed to the development of the food and beverage (F&B) industry.

While Chef Tony already has a string of illustrious accolades under his belt, he also sees it as his personal mission to help younger promising chefs attain the same merits. Last year, he was the mentor chef who helped the Singapore National Culinary Team to clinch the coveted Lion Trophy at the Food & Hotel Asia 2010. At the Expogast Culinary World Cup held in Luxembourg in November 2010, Chef Tony also acted as advisor to the winning Singapore team.

Marina Mandarin’s General Manager, Mr. Kurt O. Wehinger applauds Chef Tony on his achievement, “Chef Tony’s win is a great honour for our hotel especially our culinary team, as it not only attests to his culinary excellence, but more importantly his contributions to the development of the F&B industry is recognised by all. We are confident that Chef Tony Khoo will continue to lead our culinary team and bring our culinary offerings to greater heights.”

For The Fourth Time In A Row, The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur Is Named Best Employer In Malaysia

The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur was again named “Best Employer in Malaysia 2011” and Best Employers in Malaysia 2011 in the Hospitality Industry (special commendation), making this the luxury hotel’s fourth consecutive win. The Best Employers in Malaysia 2011 study was conducted by Aon Hewitt and is the largest study of its kind in APAC involving over 900 organisations covering eleven key markets including Malaysia.

“Being named “Best Employer in Malaysia” for the fourth time validates the effectiveness of the Ritz-Carlton philosophy and the people-focus that forms the fabric of our brand’s character. The priority we place on employee engagement and satisfaction translates into the legendary service and mystique that defines the Ritz-Carlton experience,” said General Manager Stephen A. Cokkinias.

The Malaysian section spanned 60 organisations and over 30,000 employees were consulted from all industries. Solicitation began in September 2010, with data collected until January 2011, the data analysis and judging sessions took place in February 2010. No one industry dominated participation. The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur retained its top position which it also achieved in the 2003 and 2005 and 2010 Best Employers studies.

According to the study, the Best Employer excels in relentless execution of programmes, persistent empowerment of managers, has highly effective Human Resources functions, demonstrates remarkable consistency in their day-to-day business and in their response to difficult times, and has the ability to continue to reap the benefits from this course through an increase in productivity and profits over times.

‘It is an honour again for us to be named “Best Employer in Malaysia 2011”, this award truly reflects the heart and soul of our Ladies and Gentlemen and confirms that The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur is, without a doubt, the hotel to be with.’ said Director of Human Resources Lim Chui Fung.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur re-defines the luxury hotel experience in Asia. The unique hotel combines uncompromising quality and care with an unparalleled spectrum of enriching experiences for all guests. Strategically located within the vibrant heart of Kuala Lumpur, the hotel is connected to the city's most exclusive retail destination, Starhill Gallery, offering guests a wonderful range of world-class shopping, wellness, and dining opportunities all in one complex.

Creating A


MTV Asia to host Asia’s definitive pool party series at Hard Rock Hotel and Club CUBIC
 
The party gets started at City of Dreams in Macau when the SPLASH Pool Party Summer Series kicks off on Saturday May 21, 2011, featuring an adrenalin pumping, poolside extravaganza.
 
Co-organized by Hard Rock Hotel Macau and hotspot Club CUBIC at City of Dreams in conjunction with  the world’s premier youth entertainment brand MTV, the party brings together the world’s best DJs for three spectacular all-day, all-night events offering party goers a premier clubbing experience in Macau.
 

Silversea To Rename Expedition Ship


New name: Silver Explorer
 
Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises today announced plans to change the name of the Prince Albert II, its expedition ship, to Silver Explorer. The change will occur later this month while the vessel is in dry dock at the Lisnave shipyard in Setubal, Portugal, undergoing routine maintenance prior to commencing a summer program of Northern Europe and Arctic voyages.
 
"Our expansion into adventure travel has been quite successful and we have to prepare for the possibility of adding more ships," said Manfredi Lefebvre, Silversea's chairman. "To reinforce the Silversea luxury brand image for the expedition segment, we decided to change the name of our first expedition ship to Silver Explorer and anticipate any future expedition ships will bear similar names that evoke a sense of luxurious adventure."
 
Lefebvre added, "It has been an absolute privilege to have a ship in our fleet named in tribute to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II. We will continue to honor his legacy of exploration and environmental conservation through our support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, and look forward to hosting future onboard fundraising events to benefit the Foundation's projects."
 
The company is committed to raising awareness of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, which is dedicated to the protection of the global environment. Its focus is on three major challenges: climate change and developing renewable energies; the loss of biodiversity; improving universal access to clean water and fighting desertification. For more information, visit www.fpa2.com.
 
Silver Explorer offers full-scale exploring from an ultra-luxury base at sea, in true Silversea style. With the largest average size accommodations of any expedition ship, guests enjoy spacious, ocean-view accommodations (many with French balconies or large private verandas), butler service, sumptuous gourmet cuisine, warm hospitality and personalized service (with a crew-to-guest ratio of nearly one to one), and Silversea's generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, bottled water, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, 24-hour room service, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet and all gratuities.
 
The Lloyd's Register 1A ice-rated vessel explores the world from top to bottom, including Central and South America and Africa.
 

Universal Studios Singapore


Universal Studios Singapore® Grand Opening Day Set for 28 May 2011

Universal Studios Singapore will celebrate its Grand Opening on Saturday, 28 May 2011, a day when Hollywood and Asian celebrities, park guests, government officials, annual pass holders and theme park executives will come together to commemorate and officially open Southeast Asia’s No. 1 theme park.
 
The activities launch with a movie-themed Grand Opening ceremony at the signature 21-metre tall arch entrance of Universal Studios Singapore.  An action-packed stunt show will thrill the crowd and set the stage for a grand procession of the park’s biggest resident stars – Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Betty Boop, Woody Woodpecker, The Scorpion King, Shrek, Princess Fiona and the heroes from Madagascar – with many more surprises and happenings yet to be announced.
 
Universal Studios Singapore welcomed more than two million guests in its nine months of soft opening in 2010, and has already hosted hundreds of thousands more so far this year, as the rides, shows, guest experiences and daily park operations have been honed and readied for this official Grand Opening day.
 
21 rides and shows are featured within Universal Studios Singapore showcasing world-popular themes such as Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, Shrek 4-D Adventure, Revenge of the Mummy, and Battlestar Galactica. And the action and entertainment opportunities for USS guests continue to grow with the soon-to-be-announced premiere of the world’s first Madagascar-themed ride, Madagascar: A Crate Adventure.  Yet another blockbuster ride is scheduled for later this year, the much-anticipated Transformers® attraction, based on the popular box-office-hit movie series.
 
Universal Studios Singapore is located within Singapore’s first integrated resort, Resorts World Sentosa.  Lodging is only steps away, with four hotels (and two more coming soon), each with a uniquely different theme.  Also available for guest enjoyment is FestiveWalk, the perfect venue for dining and shopping while experiencing the Asian debut of some of the world’s top brands.
 
Mr Dennis Gilbert, RWS’ Senior Vice President of Attractions, said: “The Grand Opening celebrations will bring to Singapore a slice of the Hollywood glitz and action, in the same way that Universal Studios Singapore brought Universal’s famous Ride The Movies® experience here. On the Grand Opening day, the park will be exuberant with energy, setting the stage for many more exciting times to come in the future.”
 
Mr. Michael Silver, President of Global Business Development, Universal Parks & Resorts, said: “Universal Studios theme parks are known throughout the world for extraordinary movie-themed rides and shows and unique experiences that are enjoyed by the entire family.  We are proud to be a part of the official Universal Studios Singapore grand opening ceremonies and welcome Universal Studios Singapore to the growing family of Universal Studios parks and resorts worldwide.”
 
Guests can log on to www.rwsentosa.com to catch the latest updates as the Park moves closer to its Grand Opening Celebration day.