Category Archives: Public Health & Caring Center

5 Things to Know About the Global Coffee Pods Market

Thanks ; 
Published ; May 8th, 2017

Euromointor International discusses five key trends that are shaping global coffee pods, including the growing power of Nestlé and JAB Holdings and the importance of addressing sustainability concerns.

5 Things to Know About the Global Coffee Pods Market

 

 

 

*a coffee pod is a single serving of coffee packed in its own filter (much like a tea bag).

Event Preview: InnoPack F&B Confex 2017

Thanks;
PUBLISHED; March 18th, 2017

Water-Bottles

The Packaging industry continues to post strong growth in India. Packaging for Foods is the largest industry in the overall industry. India has continued to be the third largest market globally for Food Packaging in terms of Retail/off-trade Unit Volume. The region also is the eight largest in beverage packaging in terms of total volume.

Given the opportunities it presents we have partnered with UBM India for the 2017 edition of InnoPack F&B Confex organised by UBM India. This is scheduled on the 11th – 12th April, 2017 in Gurgaon, India. This event strives to present a platform for F&B professionals to network, exchange ideas and knowledge, form future alliances and forecast new opportunities for the F&B packaging industry, in the dynamic economic environment.

CONSUMER’S EVOLVING PURCHASING PATTERNS

In addition to demographic changes, the packaging industry in India is also having to respond to changes in the way consumers shop. Strategies have to be adapted to suit urban and rural areas, and also vary across regions in India. Many lower-income demographics are paid on a daily basis and can only afford to shop daily preferring local convenience stores as opposed to shopping on a weekly basis in city centre supermarkets.

Several more consumer specific trends will be addressed by the industry with discussions on – Understanding the F&B packaging based on consumer purchase decisions and Recent updates on the regulations in food and beverage packaging.

GREEN AND SUSTAINABILITY

As the world consumes more resources than it can produce, there is an impetus to push away from a linear economy based on a make/use/dispose model and towards a circular economy based on a reduce/reuse/recycle model that focuses on minimizing waste and recycling or reusing all end products.

A focused conversation – Evaluating different ways to implement sustainable packaging and sustainable printing for food and beverage Industry will also be part of the two day event.

HEALTH TREND, SNACKING AND PACKAGING

The health and wellness trend also encouraged the use of packaging innovation by brand owners in flavoured milk drinks, cheese, processed meat, and fruit and vegetables in developing a snacking product. Strengthening of the snacking trend, led to biscuits, snack bars, confectionery and baked goods overall providing the biggest incremental growth for packaging in foods. Flexible plastic, as a widely used snack pack solution for products such as toffees, caramels, nougat and sweet biscuits, will benefit the most to 2020.

Some of the conversations which would deliberate further on trends include – Exploring the new ways of packaging designs used for food and beverage packaging to attract the customers and Maximizing brand image through packaging.

CHINESE HOSPITAL INFECTS FIVE PEOPLE WITH HIV BY REUSING EQUIPMENT

Thanks;ELEANOR ROSS 

Publised; 2/9/17 AT 7:24 PM

http://europe.newsweek.com/chinese-hospital-infects-five-people-hiv-554708


World Aids Day 2016: HIV in numbers

A Chinese hospital released a statement Thursday announcing that five people had been infected with HIV after a staff member reused medical equipment that should have been thrown away.

The infection was spread after a tube was used on others that had been used to treat an HIV positive patient, the BBC reports. A statement released by the hospital (in Chinese) declared that five members of staff had been fired as a result of the infection. The incident occurred at Huangzhou’s Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine.
“One abandoned tube during operating procedures was reused in another operation which caused cross-contamination, resulting in the treatment of HIV infection. This resulted in five cases being diagnosed,” the statement said, acknowledging it as a case of “major medical malpractice.”
The statement doesn’t mention whether anyone else has been affected, or what patients were being treated for, but it does mention that the infected patients will receive compensation.
China suffered an AIDS epidemic in 2001 after hospitals conducted faulty blood transfusions in Henan, central China. It’s estimated that 30,000-40,000 people were infected, with many people suffering after receiving blood given by illegal donors and then pooled together. The plasma was removed, and then the blood was reinjected into people so they could keep donating.
“A provincial-level hospital doesn’t follow protocols, who can we trust as average citizens?!”, wrote one person on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, according to the BBC.

How ‘guerilla’ start-ups can make the world a better place

Thanks;  & Word Economic Forum

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REUTERS/Thomas Peter

At the Stockholm Tech Fest this year, Swedish entrepreneur Niklas Zennström issued a rare and refreshing call to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their next startup idea. As founder of Skype, he knows a thing or two about opportunity-spotting.

The UN goals involve complex problems, but when it comes to clever startups, a lot can happen between now and 2030. After all, some of the most exciting ideas in recent decades have come from the “guerilla” startups rather than from the “gorilla” corporations; use of the guerilla’s creativity could help to find solutions to sustainable development problems.

However, it is important to ask: Is Zennström’s call to action just fluff, or is there are a deep enough bench of entrepreneurs with robust ideas? Are there resources to support such startups through different phases of growth?

Historically, keeping the growing body of “social” entrepreneurs nourished has largely fallen to impact investors, foundations, NGOs and a few progressive government agencies. so far, the track record of guerillas has not been stellar; far too often it is the same handful of examples that make the rounds. This is a field that, while not starved for people or ideas, is in need of fresh sources of nourishment. Getting big “gorilla” corporations to work with the “guerilla” startups could provide this nourishment.

Findings from our Inclusion, Inc. research initiative suggest that large corporations are well-placed to unblock startups’ path to wider impact.

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How do we find ideas?

There is a growing pool of budding social entrepreneurs; the Skoll World Forumevent alone offers an encouraging and uplifting glimpse of the many guerillas in our midst. We are experiencing a surge in interest and ideas on university campuses. At UC Berkeley, the Blum Center has highlighted examples of businesses and people already helping to fulfil the goals.

Closer to home, The Fletcher School’s collaboration with the One Acre Fund’s D-Prize draws numerous contestants with ideas for social enterprises that take on “poverty solutions”; in recent years, we have funded a startup that used bus networks to distribute solar lamps to far-flung communities in Burkina Faso; a venture finding sponsors for girls’ high school education; and a ground transportation brokerage to serve as “the connective tissue” between smallholder farmers and transporters.

A second piece of good news is that capital is ready to be mobilised. A 2014 study by J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) identified $46bn in impact investments under management, with annual funding commitments estimated to increase by 19% in 2014. Sir Ronald Cohen, chair of the Global Social Impact Investment Taskforce, believes the impact investing market can grow to match the “$3tn of venture capital and private equity.”

According to Judith Rodin and Margot Brandenburg of the Rockefeller Foundation: “Aspirational estimates suggest that impact investments could one day represent 1% of professionally managed global assets, channeling up to hundreds of billions of dollars towards solutions that can address some of our biggest problems, from poor health to climate change.”

What are the bottlenecks?

So, why does all this good news not translate into more meaningful outcomes? Two bottlenecks are worth highlighting. The first is what a Monitor and Acumen study calls the “pioneer gap”. Their 2012 study, From Blueprint to Scale, observes that pioneer firms are starved of capital and support at very early stages in their development.

The second choke point occurs in the phase of actually getting to scale. A second report, Beyond the Pioneer, identifies a chain of barriers to scale, ranging from those within the firm and the industry to those in the domain of public goods and the government.

These bottlenecks represent different forms of market failures. An approach to the first of them involves “de-risking” early stage social ventures. However, a key source of risk is the chain of barriers to scale in later stages. If we can make meaningful advances on lowering the barriers, it helps in de-risking and also supports early-stage startup development.

Given the breadth of the barriers to scale, impact investors, NGOs and foundations would find it challenging to facilitate end-to-end solutions. Apart from funding and convening, such organisations have few other levers. Large corporations, on the other hand, can tackle business model and managerial issues within the firm and help boost negotiating power within the value chain or the public sector.

The biggest questions, of course, have to do with whether the gorilla corporations can ever be organisationally and culturally compatible with the startups. Given the potential for value creation these gaps are worth taking on.

The Monitor and Acumen study lists potential barriers: “firm level” barriers, which include weak business models, propositions to customers/producers, leadership and managerial and technical talent and a lack of capital.

Eye Mitra, launched in 2013, had trained over 1,000 young entrepreneurs and reached 150,000 people by the end of 2015. The business helps individuals to set up eye care provider businesses in rural communities using low-cost products.

According to a study by Dalberg Global Development Advisors [pdf], the programme added $4m a year in impact across the six districts surveyed; with Essilor’s scaling resources, Eye Mitra could represent the potential to unlock economic impact of $487m a year across India.

“Value chain barriers”

There are also value chain barriers which include lack of suitable labour inputs and financing for bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) producers and customers, weak sourcing channels and weak distribution channels involving BoP producers and customers, and weak linkages and support service providers.

Corporations with experience have become adept at finding creative ways around barriers in the value chain. Consider Unilever’s Project Shakti, which enables rural women to become entrepreneurs by distributing goods to hard-to-access rural communities.

Over 70,000 Shakti Entrepreneurs distribute Unilever’s products in more than 165,000 villages, reaching over 4m rural households. At the other end of the value chain, Coca-Cola’s Source Africa initiative facilitates sustainable and financially viable supply chains for key Coca-Cola agricultural ingredients, e.g. mango production in Kenya and Malawi and citrus and pineapple production in Nigeria.

In another sector, when Saint-Gobain builds a plant in a new country, it trains the local workforce in collaboration with YouthBuild. The latter trains disadvantaged youths in professional skills, while Saint-Gobain adds training in construction science.

“Public goods barriers”

Then, there are the public goods barriers: Lack of hard infrastructure; lack of awareness of market-based solutions; lack of information, industry knowhow and standards.

Olam offers a good illustration of a company’s deep involvement in a nation’s hard infrastructure. Olam jointly owns Owendo, a port in Gabon and is a key partner in the country’s special economic zone. On the “soft” public goods front, Janssen, a unit of J&J, works with multiple stakeholders to increase access to medicines and has formed the Janssen Neglected Disease Task Force to advocate for legislation to support new research into treatments for neglected diseases. It also coordinates a consortium to support HIV patients and their caretakers in managing the disease.

Fourth and finally, there are the government barriers: inhibitory laws, regulations and procedures; inhibitory taxes and subsidies; adverse interventions by politicians or officials.

MasterCard and its growing collaboration with the Association for Financial Inclusion to educate public officials about issues relevant to financial inclusion. This includes technical capacity building, developing national-level public-private engagement strategies, research and best practices to inform policymaking and exposing officials to innovative products, business models and approaches.

Combining global reach with entrepreneurial creativity

Perhaps the best mechanism for bringing gorilla and guerilla together is through a corporate venture or impact investing fund. Consider Unilever Ventures as an example. It has invested in a range of enterprises, including ones that focus on water management as part of its “sustainable living” portfolio, e.g. Recyclebank, a social platform that creates incentives for people to take environmentally responsible actions, WaterSmart, that develops tools for water utilities to help customers save water and money or Aquasana, Voltea and Rayne Water that develop water purification, desalination and filtration technologies.

Gorillas have the global reach and scale but they need the proximity to the problem, local knowledge and the entrepreneurial creativity of the guerillas. Zennström’s call-to-action requires guerillas and gorillas to dance. It is, no doubt, an awkward coupling; but it can – and must – happen for guerilla entrepreneurs to have gorilla impact on the world’s hardest problems.

Doctors Agree—Stay Away From These Popular Health Supplements

Thanks; Kelsey Clark 


PHOTO: Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

September 12, 2016 NEWS
The supplements we often turn to as beauty or dietary aids may be doing more harm than good, according to new findings from Consumer Reports. Despite populating the shelves at pharmacies and health-food stores across the country, these over-the-counter aids can be contaminated with “dangerous bacteria” and often falsely advertise in terms of their benefits. All signs point to a lack of formalized government regulation surrounding these supplements, which can inadvertently lead to organ damage, cardiac arrest, or even cancer. These are the top five supplement ingredients to stay away from, as reported by Health:
Caffeine powder: Used for weight loss, increased energy, and athletic performance.

Green tea extract powder: Used for weight loss.

Kava: Used for anxiety and insomnia.

Aconite: Used for inflammation, joint pain, and gout.

Chaparral: Used for weight loss, inflammation, colds, rashes, and infections.

“These products don’t always contain what they claim to,” explains Ellen Kunes, the health content team leader at Consumer Reports. “That could mean you’re just wasting your money on something harmless—but the reality is, a lot of it is not harmless. … Many times, the FDA only gets involved after they get a report that there’s a problem.”

Kunes contends that eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, exercising on a regular basis, getting the recommended six to eight hours of sleep every night, and monitoring your stress levels are more than enough to make you feel happy and healthy. “We recommend getting your health from food and healthy habits, rather than popping a pill.”

Check out the full list of supplements to avoid over at Health.com, and try monitoring your health using the C25K app.

Engines of the Future: How Tiny Bacteria Could Power Your Smartphone

A team of scientists has discovered that bacteria could power micromachines such as smartphones by harnessing energy from its movement. (Photo : Flickr/Creative Commons/NIAID)

Thanks;Monica Antonio 

Jul 12, 2016 07:15 AM EDT

Can you imagine your phone being solely powered by microscopic bacteria?A team of scientists from Oxford University has devised a way to harness energy from the natural movement of bacteria, which, they say, could power man-made micromachines.

According to the study published in the journal Science, these bacteria powerplants have a big potential to power various micromachines.

To test their theory, the team created computer simulations that showed how the movement of dense active matter, like swarms of bacteria, could be arranged in a cylindrical form to produce energy. The researchers noted that it is important that these bacteria are dense enough in order for them to be organised for power extraction, Science Daily reports.

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Dr. Tyler Shendruk, co-author of the study, said harvesting power from biological systems has a lot of great potential. It does not need any pre-designing in order to function, as the swarm of bacteria could assemble itself into a form of a windfarm without any human help.

The swarm of bacteria not only self-assemble, but can also spin in the opposite direction, just like what a windfarm does.

“When we did the simulation with a single rotor in the bacterial turbulence, it just got kicked around randomly. But when we put an array of rotors in the living fluid, they suddenly formed a regular pattern, with neighbouring rotors spinning in opposite directions,” Shendruk said.

TechRadar notes that even though the amount of power produced by bacteria is limited, it still opens the doors for more study of its use in sensors and microscopic robots.

Also, the new discovery is a costless and effortless way to harness energy–there’s no need for mechanical work as the bacteria reassemble themselves to continually generate power.

“Nature is brilliant at creating tiny engines, and there is enormous potential if we can understand how to exploit similar designs,” said Julia Yeomans, senior author of the study.

http://youtu.be/sY4JQBMZ6gQ

Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals

THANKS;https://twitter.com/EU_Commission

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN
PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
Published;Brussels, 7.6.2016 /COM(2016) 377 final

Biodegradable Plastic Won’t Help Ocean Pollution

Thanks; Sarah T 

Published ;May 25, 2016 01:17 AM EDT

Even the biodegradable plastics are not the best solutions for plastic litters in the ocean. 

(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Biodegradable plastic does not mean a perfect solution to ocean waste problems, according to an environmental scientist.

A United Nations environmental scientist warned the public that biodegradable plastics, shopping bags, and bottles are a false solution to the current problem of litter in the ocean.

According to a UN report published on Monday, plastics are extremely durable, and the series of throwing plastics in any bodies of water like a river and canal, will lead into large plastic debris and spreading of “microplastics” via currents of ocean from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

Greener plastics were introduced to the public as a sustainable alternative that could reduce a huge amount of plastic litter that usually ends up to the sea after being dumped. However, Jacqueline McGlade, chief scientist at the UN Environment Program said this alternative is not the solution to reduce plastic waste problems.

“It’s well-intentioned but wrong. A lot of plastics labelled biodegradable, like shopping bags, will only break down in temperatures of 50C and that is not the ocean. They are also not buoyant, so they’re going to sink, so they’re not going to be exposed to UV and break down,” McGlade told The Guardian.

Meanwhile, UN Environment assembly has been officially open in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday, Aljazeera reports. Expected attendees are environment ministers and representatives from 173 countries, campaigners, scientists, and industry executives.

“We are holding this assembly against a backdrop of great strides in greening our economies. A global conversation will take place this week to discuss policies and practices that advance environmental sustainability,” Steiner said in a report by English CRI.

The aim of this gathering is to tackle the major issue about the environment including air pollution and illegal trading of wildlife, and talk about immediate action to improve human being environment and human health.

UNEA-2 session will continue through May 27.

http://youtu.be/xosQuqDgZ7U

It’s time to switch from managing disasters to reducing risk

THANKS;Christos Stylianides, ECHO

BRflood

A flooded amusement park is seen in the city of Franco da Rocha, in the north of Sao Paulo state, Brazil, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

By Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management

I am proud to celebrate the first anniversary of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction which was adopted on March 18, 2015 at a major U.N. conference in Japan.

The Sendai Framework was the first milestone agreement of the 2030 Development Agenda and paved the way for agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals and the adoption of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Sendai agreement offers a new approach to disaster risk management policy and operations. The EU and its Member States played a central and assertive role in the adoption of this new global framework.

The EU strongly supports the Sendai Framework’s extension of the traditional focus on natural hazards to include man-made hazards and associated environmental, technological and biological hazards, which brings it in line with progress made at European level in recent years.

The Union Civil Protection Mechanism – the main EU instrument for disaster risk management – addresses prevention, preparedness for, and response to, natural and man-made hazards as equal priorities. In our activities as a main humanitarian donor, resilience-building and disaster risk reduction have also become central components of our decision-making and funding allocations.

The EU has supported a shift from a traditional approach to disaster management to a new and more comprehensive focus on disaster risk management. At the heart of this new framework is the aim to prevent the creation of new risk and to reduce existing levels of disaster risk.

I want to see disaster risk management at the core of global sustainable development and climate change efforts. The escalation of economic losses from earthquakes and weather-related disasters is a serious setback for many developing countries, impacting negatively on their future development and taking money away from areas such as health and education.

The Sendai Framework sets clear targets to achieve substantial reductions in mortality, numbers of people affected, economic losses and damage to critical infrastructure such as health facilities, schools, roads and public utilities. A key target calls for increased access to multi-hazard early warning systems, information and assessments.

In order to achieve these targets, it sets goals for ensuring there are more national and local strategies in place for disaster risk reduction which must be interwoven with national plans developed under the Paris Agreement to adapt to climate change.

It also calls for enhanced international cooperation for disaster risk reduction in developing countries, something which the EU has long endorsed and supported in its programming.

Equally, resilience building is key to reducing humanitarian aid worldwide, as is reflected by the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 remains in this regard the basis for a risk-informed and resilient sustainable development agenda. This is a priority for the EU.

EU ACTION PLAN

In fact, many of the Sendai recommendations are based on, and have wider implications for a number of existing EU policies – from climate change adaptation to resilient infrastructure and ecosystem-based solutions. The framework also introduces new elements and focus areas, which need to be linked to existing EU policies, and on which we will have to do more.

In particular, we will need to explore how best to link disaster risk reduction to the health and education sectors and the important question of cultural heritage. From an external perspective, it will be important to ensure that all financial assistance is risk-informed.

It is now important to identify how each policy can contribute to the Sendai objectives. We will soon come up with an EU Action Plan on the implementation of the Sendai Framework, building on what is already being undertaken at European level and explore what more should be done across the priorities for action of the Sendai Framework, in close cooperation with the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.

These priorities for action have been developed based on the 10 year experience of implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action which preceded the Sendai Framework. These priorities are key to enabling disaster management agencies to move beyond improved disaster management to address the underlying disaster risks.

Those priorities provide a universal formula for resilience: understanding disaster risk; strengthening governance to manage disaster risk; investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience; and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and building back better.

We all need to support the switch to Sendai (#switch2sendai).

 

 

Thailand hospitality sector has best year for two decades | Bangkok is Asia’s most popular destination‏

THANKS;Bangkok Business Briefing/Centaur Management Co., Ltd. (Head Office)/Nicola Jones-Crossley
THAILAND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY HAS BEST YEAR IN TWO DECADES
Thailand’s hospitality industry reached new highs in 2015, enjoying its best year in over two decades, according to research revealed exclusively by leading research institute STR Global.
Thailand closed the year with an overall occupancy of 73.4%, an increase of 13.6% over 2014, as arrivals soared to near the 30 million mark, driven by the demand from the mainland China market. December was a particularly strong month as occupancy levels reached 77.4%, the highest levels since 1995.
Organised by C9 Hotelworks, in cooperation with Thailand’s American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) and supported by the InterContinental Hotel Group, Thailand Tourism Forum, now in its fifth year, has emerged as an important platform for tourism news and discussion, attracting over 500 registered delegates this year.

Key announcements included global hotel chain InterContinental Hotel Group unveiling expansion plans of its Hotel Indigo brand in Phuket, following its Bangkok launch last year, and Southeast Asia.

“We are delighted to be expanding our boutique hotel brand, Hotel Indigo, after its successful debut in Bangkok with Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road in 2015. In Thailand, we are slated to open the 180-room Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong in 2018 with our partners Kebsup Group Company Limited,” said Clarence Tan, Senior Vice President, Development, IHG Asia, Middle East & Africa.

The hotel investment community was out in force, led by keynote speaker Kenneth Gaw, President and Managing Principal of Gaw Capital Partners, whose company handles over USD10 billion in hospitality and real estate AUM (Assets Under Management) across the world.

“As a destination for hotel investment, Thailand remains one of our preferred choices because it is one of the most attractive travel destinations in the region,” Gaw said.

“Operating costs are relatively low and there is an abundance of opportunities. Thailand will remain the preferred travel destination for ASEAN and all Asian markets for years and we wish to continue to grow and be part of that. But there is the opportunity for even higher potential if it can achieve long-term political stability and relax foreign ownership restrictions.”

Thailand’s unique position in ASEAN, its upcoming 30 million annual arrivals milestone, the China market and its economic woes and what is termed the “new normal” – a period of almost continual disruption and challenge in the destination – were all addressed – along with the future of the hospitality industry in Thailand.
… AND BANGKOK IS THE REGION’S MOST POPULAR CITY

Bangkok has increased its lead over the pack as the region’s most popular destination, with international overnight visitors breaking the 20 million mark for the first time, according to the results of the inaugural MasterCard Asia Pacific Destinations Index released. Second place was a close fight between Singapore and Tokyo.

The inaugural index provides a ranking of 167 destinations across Asia Pacific. Thailand dominated the top ten destinations, taking three of the top ten rankings, with Phuket securing fifth place (9.3 million) and the coastal city of Pattaya coming in at eighth place (8.1 million).

Half of the top 10 destinations saw 10 percent growth or more in international overnight visitor numbers between 2014 and 2015 – Osaka (54.0 percent), Tokyo (53.2 percent), Bangkok (28.6 percent), Phuket (15.5 percent) and Pattaya (10.0 percent).
The top 20 destinations of Asia Pacific represent around half of all international overnight arrivals to the 167 Asia Pacific destinations covered by the Index.
The top ten Asia Pacific destinations ranked by international overnight visitor numbers:
1.       Bangkok 21.9 million
2.       Singapore 11.8 million
3.       Tokyo  11.8 million
4.       Kuala Lumpur 11.3 million
5.       Phuket 9.3 million
6.       Seoul 9.2 million
7.       Hong Kong 8.3 million
8.       Pattaya 8.1 million
9.       Bali 7.2 million
10.     Osaka 6.5 million
Bangkok also ranked number one in total expenditure at US$15.2 billion, with Seoul (US$14.4 billion) coming in second place, followed by Singapore (US$14.1 billion), Tokyo (US$11.9 billion) and Kuala Lumpur (US$10.5 billion).Asia Pacific’s tourism industry is the largest in the world by total contribution to GDP, having overtaken Europe in 2014. Tourism contributed US$2.27 trillion to Asia Pacific economies and 153.7 million jobs in 2015
Matthew Driver, Group Executive, Global Products & Solutions, Asia Pacific, MasterCard, commented, “The tourism industry in Asia Pacific is continuing to show robust growth with an increasing number of destinations receiving well over five million visitors a year, driven by increased consumer wealth, particularly from China. Our Asia Pacific Destinations Index (APDI) 2015 reveals the continued resilience of the Thailand market for tourism led by a resurgent Bangkok, as well as the return to popularity of Japan for visitors as demonstrated by the more than 50 percent growth year on year in its top four destinations.”
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IMPACT SPENDS 500M BAHT ON EXPANSION

IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center has set aside a budget of 500 million baht to build a Sky Bridge connecting IMPACT Challenger 1 and the outdoor area at the side of IMPACT Arena and a 5-storey retail building with approximately 8,000 square meters of floor space that will feature retail stores, restaurants, food court, and outlet stores. The company has come up with this investment in response to exhibitors and organizers needs of expanding exhibition space to support the growing popularity of their events.

“Although IMPACT Challenger is the world’s largest column free hall with a combined space of 60,000 square meters and has always been chosen as a preferred venue for large-scale trade fairs and exhibitions at both national and international levels, some events need more space to support an increase in exhibitors, visitors and sales volume as they have become more successful,” said Paul Kanjanapas, Managing Director of IMPACT Exhibition Management.

For example, ThaiFEX and Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair have expanded their floor space to 70,000 square meters and 80,000 square meters respectively by including IMPACT Forum. Meanwhile, OTOP City has spread over IMPACT Exhibition Hall 1-4. And more recently, the Automotive Aftermarket International Trade Fair (AAITF), a part of Thailand International Motor Expo which was held at IMPACT Challenger, took place at IMPACT Forum.

Construction of the Sky Bridge is expected to be fully completed during the next ThaiFEX in May 2016. Meanwhile, the 5-storey retail building is scheduled to open in late 2016.

 

AIS, TRUE IN NATIONAL 4G WAR

 

AIS and True Move both announced intentions to deploy nationwide LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service over recently bought 4G spectrum.

AIS says it has already deployed in 42 provinces and is investing THB34 billionto take the service nationwide (72 provinces) by March, the Bangkok Post reported. It says it will deploy 7,000 new base stations in the next two months alone using 1.8GHz spectrum.

True plans to invest THB56 billion on 13,500 base stations in n the 1.8GHz band and up to 4,000 base stations on the 900MHz frequency.

AIS will spend THB20 billion to expand its 3G network on the 2.1GHz band and increase its 3G base station total to 27,000. AIS has 38 million mobile connections, giving it a 46 per cent market share.

But while Bangkok hotels might be booming, exports fell more than expected last month.

Exports account for over half the GDP but fell 8.73% in December from a year earlier with the export value of US$17.1 billion, the Commerce Ministry said. The biggest fall was the China market, down 9.5%,

The fall exceeded analyst expectations.

The Bangkok Post said the fall was the highest since the 2011 floods.

THAILAND’S BIGGEST DATA CENTRE BEGINS CONSTRUCTION

Construction has begun on the new THB11 billion SUPERNAP Thailand, located in Hemmaraj Industrial Estate in Thailand’s eastern province Chonburi. SUPERNAP Thailand will be the first Uptime Institute rated Tier IV Gold data center in Asia, as well as the largest data center in the Kingdom.  The facility, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017, will have capacity for more than 6,000 data server racks.

“The SUPERNAP Thailand data center is a mirror of Switch SUPERNAP U.S. facilities, which are the first Tier IV Gold carrier-neutral colocation data centers on the planet. This cutting-edge data center will meet the global demand for innovation in Asia Pacific,” said CEO of SUPERNAP International Khaled Bichara. “With the emergence of the AEC and with Thailand’s focus on digital growth, this data center will set a new precedent for quality, security and innovation in Asia Pacific. We look forward to working with Thailand to attract more investment and more growth to the Thai digital economy.”

SUPERNAP International is developing the project in partnership with a group of leading Thai organizations, including CPB Equity, Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and True IDC. Executives from Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank say the development of the SUPERNAP Thailand data center will enhance the banks’ use of technology to better serve their customers and provide a homegrown solution for Thai companies that seek to expand their IT capabilities.

“SUPERNAP Thailand aims to generate significant benefits for Thailand’s economy. This unique data center design will not only bring innovative technology to the Kingdom, but will also attract international investors. The facility will play an important role to support the country’s business development by showcasing Thailand as a regional hub for data centers,” said Siam Commercial Bank Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and SUPERNAP Thailand Chairman Deepak Sarup.

The new SUPERNAP Thailand data center will cover an area of nearly 75 rai or 12 hectares and will be strategically built outside the flood zone, 110-meters above sea level and only 27 kilometers away from the international submarine cable landing station, which links the facility to national and international telecoms and IT carriers.

ONYX USES REVCASTER

 

Leading international hospitality provider ONYX Hospitality Group has switched to Rainmaker’s competitive rate shopping tool, Revcaster, citing Revcaster’s functionality, the incremental revenue it generates, and the Rainmaker team’s responsiveness. Revcasterâ?Ts compatibility with numerous regional channels also factored into ONYXâ?Ts decision.
“Most critical for me in selecting a technology vendor is the partnership aspect,” said Stefan Wolf, senior vice-president, revenue and distribution strategy for ONYX. “From first contact, Rainmaker was prompt in responding to our needs and its product and services have proven very flexible. Of the presentations we received, we determined Rainmaker’s Revcaster best served our needs and, in fact, included some unexpected useful extras.”

Collecting market-specific hotel price information from hundreds of branded sites and online agencies, Revcaster provides deep-dive local knowledge and analysis, giving property managers the market intelligence and control to make real-time decisions that optimize rates. Easy-to-use downloadable reports are available anytime online in daily, weekly and other formats. Pricing data downloads into any revenue management tool or PMS.

Headquartered in Bangkok, ONYX Hospitality Group operates four diverse yet complementary brands Saffron, Amari, Shama and OZO each catering to the distinctive requirements of todayâ?Ts business and leisure travellers.

FABRINET HIRES NEW CTO
Fabrinet, a Bangkok based provider of advanced optical packaging and precision optical, electro-mechanical and electronic manufacturing services to original equipment manufacturers of complex products, said Dr Hong Q. Hou has joined the company as Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer. Dr. Hou brings to Fabrinet extensive technical and executive-level experience in the semiconductor and fiber-optic communication industries. In 1998 he co-founded EMCORE Corporationâ?Ts photovoltaic division and led the commercialization of high-efficiency multi-junction solar cell technology for space power applications.  Dr. Hou holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at San Diego, and he has completed executive management courses at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Early in his career he conducted research at the AT&T Bell Laboratories and the Sandia National Laboratories. He holds eight U.S. patents and has published more than 200 technical articles

GLOBAL MARKET ADVISORS HIRES NEW ASIA HEAD
Global Market Advisors, a leading consulting firm to the casino gaming, hotel, and airline industries, said Shaun McCamley has joined the company as head of its Asia regional office.  Due to the company’s growth, GMA recently moved to larger space in the central business district of Bangkok, Thailand, which is where Shaun will be based.  GMA continues to invest and expand in the Asian gaming and hospitality segment, providing clients with services such as financial feasibility reports, marketing strategies, internet/ social gaming, and government relations.
BANGKOK TO GAIN DIRECT FLIGHT FROM URUMQI
Bangkok has been chosen as the destination of the first direct flight linking northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to a Southeast Asian country, Urumqi Diwopu International Airport announced according to the China Daily.
The flight will be operated by China Southern Airlines between Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, and Bangkok, the airport said in a statement. Flights will be on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each week, with a stopover at Lanzhou, capital of northwestern China’s Gansu province.
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