TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR COVID-19
It’s not always easy to maximise your productivity while working remotely. For some, remote work can be more challenging to get right than a typical desk job. But with a little planning, you can figure out how it can work best for you. Whether you’re new to working remotely or just need a refresher, here are five tips to help you do great work no matter where you are.
If you designate a specific area to get work done, it is easier to stay mentally focused. Find an area with good natural lighting if at all possible and locate it as far away as possible from common sources of noise. Your environment should make you feel motivated and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
Communication is more important when working remotely since you are not in an office where people can see you. Trust is crucial for remote teams to work well effectively, and without proper communication that trust can break down easily. Make sure to set a regular time to check in with your boss or colleagues throughout the day or week.
When working remotely, you may not be able to stick to your old office routine exactly, but you should still create a structure to your day. It can be very helpful to create a ritual to mark the beginning and end of your workday. Make a to-do list so you can identify what you need to accomplish and focus on that day.
If you’re feeling exhausted, tired, anxious or overloaded with work, rest and take some time to relax to help you reduce stress and feel less crazed. Try to get outside for some fresh air when you can. Make sure to create blocks in your schedule to eat healthy, nutritious meals and if possible commit to a fitness routine.
If you find yourself in a position to work from anywhere, why not upgrade your work space and view by working remotely from a DISCOVERY hotel or resort. The change of scenery can inspire you, plus you can receive benefits that will improve your workday. At a resort or hotel, you’re not limited to your room to work. You may find yourself more comfortable on a balcony, in the lobby bar, or even under a poolside cabana. Want to find the perfect DISCOVERY hotel or resort near you for remote working? Explore here.
Despite challenges of the pandemic, many travellers are seeing innovative solutions and opportunities—from reimagining vacations to rethinking ways to explore. Several insights and lessons about travel have emerged which we will all be wise to consider once international tourism eventually resumes.
Exploring your own country can be just as rewarding as going abroad. Not only will you get to reconnect with the history, culture and nature of your local destinations, but you will also be able to support local businesses and help revive local economies. The experience and knowledge you get from travelling at home can also be useful for your adventures abroad.
Explore local destinations
Flexibility when it comes to your travel itinerary is very important against a backdrop of a global pandemic, and it goes hand in hand with having a backup plan. Wherever possible, make sure that your travel arrangements, flights and accommodation are cancellable without a penalty. To have the most flexibility, it’s a good idea to book your accommodation on the road.
Be flexible with your travel itinerary
It’s important that you stay in touch with both local and international news for sudden or developing crises. Never rely on social media alone as your source as it can be inaccurate. Instead, get your news updates from trusted sources such as BBC, CNN, and The New York Times. It can be very tempting but make sure that you don’t switch off from world events overseas during your holiday.
Stay updated on current events
Not only has the pandemic altered the logistics of travel, but it may have also changed the meaning of leaving home. As travellers slowly head back out into different destinations, there is a renewed intentionality and purpose about how to spend holidays. People are starting to see booking flights as a privilege, not a right. Travel experiences seem to be more about immersive stays, wide-open spaces and with plenty of room to roam.
Seek more meaningful getaways
Programs that promise a cleaner travel experience have been implemented by airlines, car rental companies and hotel. Sanitization and safety programs from DISCOVERY hotels such as Pan Pacific Cares, Outrigger’s Clean Commitment, and Kempinski White Glove Services are standouts. These kinds of programs redefine the stay experience of guests and will most certainly survive the pandemic.
Sanitization and safety programs for travellers
In recent weeks, previously closed countries like Australia, Singapore, the UAE and Japan have implemented COVID-safe travel corridors now commonly referred to as ‘travel bubbles’. By creating a travel bubble between one or several nations, citizens of each country can travel freely without having to undergo quarantine upon arrival.
Without a doubt, travel bubbles across the globe will play an important role in resuming safe but practical international travel. Here’s a look at some of the countries that have formed travel bubbles around the globe.
As of October 22, the EU Council advises the Member States to gradually lift the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Uruguay and China (subject to confirmation of reciprocity).
At the same time, the Council also advises the Member States to lift the current entry ban for the residents of the special administrative regions of China Hong Kong and Macao, once the latter reopen their borders for EU citizens. To learn more, visit this page.
The UK has established travel corridors with the following countries and territories:
Australia, Cuba, Dominica, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, New Zealand, Norway, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, St Lucia, Thailand, Vietnam. Find the complete list of countries and territories here.
Update: Recently the UK government announced a new national lockdown from 5 November until 2 December which restricts non-essential travel into and out of the UK.
As of 27 October 2020, Germany allows unrestricted entry for residents of the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Uruguay.
In addition, the list is to be expanded to include the following countries as soon as the possibility of mutual entry is confirmed: Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Macao SARs of the People’s Republic of China. To learn more, visit this page.
You can travel to Spain if you are travelling from the European Union, from a country in the Schengen area, or from another country which has a reciprocal agreement with Spain for accepting travellers. This last group comprises Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay. To learn more, visit this page.
Starting from 16 October 2020, New Zealanders can travel to NSW and the Northern Territory. However, it’s not so much a bubble as it is a one-way quarantine-free trip. While New Zealanders may visit Australia’s New South Wales or the Northern Territory, Australians will not be able to travel to New Zealand just yet. To learn more, visit this page.
China and South Korea have implemented their own corona bridge since May 2020. The tightly controlled travel bubble applies only to selected cities in both countries which includes Seoul to Shanghai.
India has established numerous bilateral travel bubbles with the following countries: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Maldives, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America. Learn more here.
The Japanese government has established resident and business track arrangements with countries looking to enter the country under the current framework. Below are the countries that are part of this agreement. To learn more, visit this page.
Residence Track: Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and Brunei.
Business Track: Singapore.
Singapore has established Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Air Travel Pass (ATP) arrangements with the following countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Mainland China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, Vietnam. To learn more, visit this page.
Both US and UK were in talks as recently as early-December to establish stronger travel channels between the two countries as soon as the holidays, with steps such as shortening traveller quarantine periods. With the recent national lockdown announced by the UK, restricting travel for UK residents, this certainly puts a damper on these hopes.
The month of July is an exciting time for us because it marks the birth of DISCOVERY. This year we’re turning 10, and as we move into a new decade of adventures, we can’t wait to bring you even more destinations and extraordinary experiences.
As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of DISCOVERY, let’s reflect on these 10 remarkable milestones that we have achieved together in the last decade.
DISCOVERY was launched on 29 June 2010 as the first-of-its-kind experience-based rewards program, a pioneer in regards to offering experiences as the leading award element .
Celebrating the launch of DISCOVERY in 2010 with Boney M
The first-ever DISCOVERY member was enrolled on 29 June 2010 at The Leela Goa in India. The guest and his wife stayed for four nights at the world-class luxury beachside hotel, enjoying five-star experiences, while surrounded by lush landscapes and beautiful lagoons.
We’ve become a rapidly-growing community of global travellers. Every 12 seconds, a new member enrols in DISCOVERY, and to date, our community is made up of 17 million members living in 200 countries across the world.
A global programme for 17+ million members
DISCOVERY is shared by an amazing array of independent hotel brands in the last decade and has grown to include more than 35 hotel brands, each with their own unique character. Today the programme offers recognition across more than 570 hotels and resorts in 85 countries.
DISCOVERY is proud to bring together some of the globe’s most exclusive, award-winning brands. Recently, Travel + Leisure named Capella Ubud, Bali as its No. 1 hotel for 2020, while The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts was hailed as the No. 1 hotel brand in the world. Learn more about the most awarded DISCOVERY hotels here.
We have a growing portfolio of awards—76 to be exact—from Best Loyalty Programme to Best Customer Engagement and Website Experience. These accolades and recognition inspire us to always deliver the best travel experience to our members across the globe. See our awards here.
DISCOVERY was the first programme of its kind dedicated to experiential rewards. We pioneered unique Local Experiences as a core benefit for our most loyal customers. Today many big brands offer the same, but none can rival the uniqueness and individuality of our local brands. And in 2021 we’re planning some more pioneering improvements to DISCOVERY!
How’s this for a statistic? 5% of the total population of both Australia and Norway are DISCOVERY members! And not surprisingly these countries were two of our highest trending destinations in 2019.
And what’s more, we have five cities where more than 100,000 DISCOVERY members live! Those are Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, London & Houston, and as part of the next phase of DISCOVERY’s evolution in 2021, we’re going to make sure members living in big cities can get local benefits even when they’re not staying in the hotel, so you’ll be able to benefit from DISCOVERY even when you’re not travelling!
Our inaugural DISCOVERY Travel Trivia via Instagram Stories had just concluded and it was a huge hit! Twenty trivia questions were featured with topics ranging from geography and cuisine to history and destinations. Hundreds of our followers participated, and one lucky DISCOVERY member who got the most correct answers was chosen to win a special prize courtesy of JA Resorts & Hotels.
In case you missed it, here are some of the trivia featuring your favourite DISCOVERY hotels and resorts. Read on, quench your desire to learn more about the world around you, and stay tuned for the next DISCOVERY Travel Trivia edition.
The Divani Palace Acropolis in Greece enjoys a priceless location right by the world-famous Acropolis. With its 5-star service, this is the perfect place to savour Athens' fascinating history.
Your journey into the past begins in the hotel basement with a part of the ancient city walls, built under Themistocles, a prominent Athenian general in Ancient Greece. In the basement, guests will find a glass wall displaying a part of the Themistocles Wall which was built for protection after the Plataean battles in 479 B.C.
Originally built between 1894 and 1917 as the first European style shopping arcade in Cuba, Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana is situated in the heart of the old Havana with a direct view of the Capitol and the Great Theatre of Havana and amidst UNESCO World Heritage sites.
This five-star luxury hotel comprises 246 well-appointed rooms, including 50 suites, where guests can lounge after a stroll through the fascinating and historic city of Havana. Nearby attractions include the Gran Teatro de La Habana, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes de Cuba, and Central Park, all within walking distance from the property.
The ever opulent and chic Corinthia London is located in a meticulously restored Belle Epoque building built in 1885. The building has quite a history, serving as the home of Great Britain’s government offices in World War I, and in World War II it was an official spy agency, complete with secret tunnels that connected beneath London.
Today, the property boasts a surplus of opulent flourishes, from the Baccarat chandeliers (the spectacular ‘Full Moon’ caps the lobby) and original artwork in public spaces to the elegantly-appointed rooms. The hotel has almost 300 revamped guestrooms, with 47 suites, some with decks overlooking some of London’s most iconic landmarks.
Nestled in Abu Dhabi’s Liwa desert in the Rhub Al Khali, also known as the Empty Quarter, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is situated in the largest expanse of uninterrupted sand desert in the world. The area also provided the backdrop to a number of scenes in the movie ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.
The hotel derives its name from an Arabic phrase which means ‘the Mirage Palace’. The intricate design of the property was inspired by desert fortresses from the area. Designed on a crescent-shaped dune, each of Qasr Al Sarab’s 154 guestrooms and 52 villas all face the west, so every guest can enjoy unobstructed desert sunrise and sunset views.
A luxurious resort nestled amid the lush Sentosa Island, Capella Singapore was the perfect stage for the historic negotiations between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, held last 12 June 2018.
Originally built in the 1880s to house the British Officers of the Royal Artillery and their families, the hotel opened in 2009, and was designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster. Aside from the peacocks that roam its scenic grounds, the hotel as a massive collection of about 900 artworks, representing more than 200 artists from 15 countries.
Situated next to the iconic rocks of Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka, Greece, Divani Meteora Hotel boasts modern architecture, state-of-the-art amenities, and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
The hotel offers a stunning locale from which one can experience the natural wonders of the world, practically in front of their room window. With its ideal location at the foot of the Meteora, a majestic rock formation included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and home to one of the largest complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, Divani Meteora Hotels is a destination that is truly worth visiting.
Corinthia Budapest reflects the city’s glamourous history with 21st-century luxury and refinements. Formerly known as the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, the hotel was originally built in 1896 to commemorate the Hungarian Millenium. Today, the exterior looks much the same as it did 120 years ago.
The hotel’s central location makes it the perfect base for exploring Budapest. The famous Andrássy Avenue is only a few minutes away, and a walk further down will have you overlooking the Danube. The hotel has 440 rooms which include 26 luxury or ‘royal residences’. The mosaic floor, countless columns, and surrounding wrought ironwork add to the grandeur of this opulent and historic hotel.
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