The 309-key Parmelia Hilton Perth (“Parmelia”) will reopen next month, after a major 10-month renovation headed by Australia-based construction firm, ADCO Construction. The AUD45 million works involve both the hotel and its surrounding public infrastructure. Upon completion, Parmelia is expected to feature 25 new rooms and suites, an Executive Lounge for guests to unwind, a newly designed lobby which reflects coastal landscapes and Perth’s cultural heritage, and new connection which allows convenient access to the adjacent Brookfield Place precinct. There have also been notable improvements in Parmelia’s technology; Hilton’s Digital Key systems have been fully fitted, allowing for contactless check-ins and room access. In addition, Hilton’s CleanStay Program and EventReady program for hygiene and cleanliness have also been fully integrated. Rooms will be sealed to show guests that they have not been accessed after cleaning. The hotel last underwent a major redevelopment in 1999 and had minor refurbishments progressively between 2012 and 2015. Hilton’s Vice-President of Australasia, Heidi Kunkel, has expressed that after the newly refurbished Parmelia Hilton Perth is now the city’s best-connected hotel and will “set a new standard for Perth hotel stays”.
According to the Vietnam Ministry of Transport, three major transportation projects have been inaugurated in January 2021. After six months of phase one upgrading, the USD86 million Tan Son Nhat International Airport’s runway 25R project and the USD87 million Noi Bai International Airport’s runway IB project are operational on 10 January. The second phase of the upgrades are slated to complete by the end of 2021 and early 2022, respectively. The upgrades are expected to alleviate overloading, better serve new-generation planes and ensure safety of flights. Meanwhile, on 11 January, the 6.2-kilometre Hai Van Road Tunnel 2, the longest road tunnel in Southeast Asia, was inaugurated. The tunnel connects the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang city, and is expected to reduce congestion for the existing Hai Van Road Tunnel 1, shorten travelling time, and improve the efficiency of transporting goods and passengers. On 12 January, the USD270.5 million Lo Te-Rach Soi highway that runs southwest from Can Tho city to Kien Giang province officially opened. The 51-kilometre expressway with four lanes will be a part of the North-South Expressway and is expected to shorten travel time from Can Tho to Kien Giang from more than 1 hour and 30 minutes to 50 minutes.
The Department of Public Works and Highways announced the completion of a newly paved 1.38-kilometre, 2-lane road in the coastal area of Aloguinsan Town, Cebu Province on 7 January 2021. The new access road within the Barangay Malolos-Barili-Kantabugon Road measures 6.10 metres in width, with a 1.5-metre paved shoulder, drainage canal, and traffic safety devices in place. It is expected to reduce the travelling time to several famous tourist destinations in Central Cebu including the Hermits Cove, Bojo River and Lunhaw Farm Resort from 40 minutes to 15 minutes. The Public Works and Highways Secretary, Mark Villar, mentioned that the new road would benefit both tourists and locals with improved mobility and investment potential, allowing for potential economic benefits in Cebu. The construction, a collaboration between the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Tourism started in February 2020 with an allocation of PHP50 million under 2020 General Appropriations Act.
On 10 January 2021, Taninthayi Region Chief Minister Myint Maung inaugurated Myanmar’s first community-based tourism (“CBT”) island. While previous CBTs solely focused on exposing visitors to the local culture and tourism, this island CBT program pilots the addition of marine tourism into its list of offerings. Located in Kyunsu Township, visitors would be able to experience the Kayin, Bamar and Salon heritage through the various tours offered, and could even spend the night in the Don Nyaung Hmaing village. This program follows the announcement of for a CMT plan to connect Nay Pyi Taw to Shan and Kayah states, which seeks to utilise the hot springs and agricultural infrastructure to boost tourism within the area. The CBT project is pioneered by Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, with the primary objective in increasing cultural tourism within the country while ensuring minimal disruptive impact on its natural and cultural heritage. In addition, Myanmar also seeks to boost domestic and international tourism, increase job creations, and support poverty elimination in the country.