Although the COVID-19 pandemic put enormous pressure on the global healthcare sector, one of the promising side effects has been the rapid growth of digital health services. During the crisis, hospitals were facing the most challenging public health threat they have ever experienced. However, digital health has stepped in providing innovative and effective solutions for chronic patients or those in need of immediate healthcare. As a result, the revenues of the entire sector jumped by 30% YoY, reaching $109bn in 2020.
According to data presented by Trading Platforms, digital health revenues are expected to hit $132.2bn in 2021. The entire industry is forecast to continue growing and reach a $177.5bn value by 2023, a 34% increase in two years.
Digital Fitness Revenues to Jump by 40% in Two Years, eHealth Segment Follows with a 27% Increase
The digital health market covers many technologies, including mobile health apps, connected wearable devices, and telemedicine. By tracking physical activities or identifying early signs of developing diseases, these technologies enable millions of people worldwide to monitor and record their health conditions more efficiently and in a user-friendly manner.
The surge in the use of the internet and smartphones and the shift towards a healthier lifestyle have been driving the impressive growth of the entire sector even before the pandemic. However, the COVID-19 has undoubtedly fueled the widespread use of digital health apps and solutions.
In 2019, the entire market generated $83.3bn in revenue, revealed the Statista data. After the pandemic struck, revenues jumped by $25.6bn in a year. The widespread use of digital health solutions is expected to continue this year, with the entire sector growing by 20% YoY. By 2023, global digital health revenues are forecast to increase by another $45.3bn.
As the largest segment of the market, digital fitness is expected to generate $76.3bn in revenue in 2021. By 2023, this figure is forecast to grow by nearly 40% to $106.2bn.
E-health services are set to witness a 27% growth in this period, with revenues rising from $55.8bn to $71.3bn.
China and the United States to Generate 50% of Total Revenues
The Statista survey also revealed the following years are set to witness substantial growth in the number of people using digital fitness apps and eHealth services.
In 2021, the unified market is expected to count close to 3 billion users, almost 40% more than before the pandemic struck. By 2023, this figure will jump over 3.5 billion and continue growing to 4 billion by 2025.
The number of people using digital fitness apps is expected to jump by 27% in the next two years, rising from 980 million to over 1.2 billion. The eHealth segment is forecast to witness a 17% growth in this period, with the number of users reaching 2.2 billion by 2023.
As the world`s largest digital health market, China is forecast to generate $38.5bn in revenue in 2021, up from $30.8bn last year. In the next two years, the Chinese market is expected to hit $52.7bn value.
With 261.6 million users and $26.3bn in revenue in 2021, the United States ranked as the second-largest market globally. By 2023, this figure is set to jump to $31.4bn.
India, Japan, and Germany follow with $6.2bn, $4.2bn, and $3.5bn in revenue in 2021, respectively. Statistics show that China and the US, as the two largest markets, are expected to generate nearly 50% of global digital health revenues this year. By 2023, their combined revenue share is expected to slip to 47%.
Youth entries from 25 countries across the world including Guatemala, Thailand, Poland and Egypt raise Creative Storytelling to a new high.
And the winner is Cate Cole, age 11 from Marblehead, Massachusetts in the United States, who won 1st Prize for her powerful short story, As Flames Rise.
The Book Creator global competition, Write a Story in One Page, targeted youth aged 11-18. Book Creator, in association with Planet Classroom Network, came up with a challenge that would work easily for young people across the world, in any language. Youth were asked to create a 1-page story book (with a cover illustration) which they had to read aloud.
“The results were amazing,” says C.M. Rubin, Co-founder of the Planet Classroom Network. Clearly, great tech along with great teachers as mentors are enabling kids to be more creative and imaginative than ever. Over 480 stories by young people were received during the pandemic from 25 countries including Guatemala, Thailand, Poland, and Egypt.”
“Thank you to Planet Classroom for working with us to help create a global audience for these young authors. We were blown away with the quality (and quantity!) of the entries to our competition. We are thrilled to be able to showcase such diverse talent from around the world. Thank you to everyone who entered!”
Cate Cole’s winning entry, As Flames Rise, is an edge of your seat short story about how a crisis can change our lives in a second. Told from the POV of her story’s main character, a lone wolf, animals surrounded by a ferocious forest fire work together to overcome their fear and survive.
Book Creator launched September 2011. From day one, teachers started using it in their classrooms, praising its simplicity and suggesting ways it could be improved. Since then the company hasn’t looked back. Book Creator has reached no.1 on the iTunes App Store in 90+ countries. Over 100 million ebooks have been created with our app worldwide. It’s one of the essential apps for schools using iPads. In 2017 the app expanded further, launching out in the Chrome browser and finding a new audience among Chromebook schools and those not using iPads. The web version of Book Creator continues to grow and push the boundaries of creativity in technology.
About The Planet Classroom Network
The Planet Classroom Network, organized by CMRubinWorld, brings together musicians, dancers, video game creators, filmmakers, learning innovators and emerging technologists from all over the world to entertain, educate and engage youth, and to provide a rich cultural experience at a time when art and learning institutions everywhere are not accessible. Curators and content contributors include Global Nomads, Global Oneness, the Martha Graham Dance Company, Commffest, KIDS FIRST!, Dream a Dream Foundation, OddWorld Inhabitants, Psyon Games, Challenge 59, LXL Ideas, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Creative Visions Foundation, Battery Dance, SIMA Classroom, Young Voices for the Planet, Bard Conservatory, Taking It Global, Materials for the Arts, Book Creator, Addition and Art, XTalks, NFFTY, Young People’s Chorus of New York City, The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace, Ryan Wong Classroom, The Global Search for Education, Voice America, Rocketium and Brandartica. Young people from around the world played a significant role in conceptualizing, creating, and producing the network’s vision and programming.
One of the most enchanting new voices in pop music, Japan-born singer/songwriter Grace Aimi has released her eagerly awaited debut EP PICNIC. Out today via Capitol Records, PICNIC showcases the 20-year-old artist’s bright and airy but emotionally honest brand of R&B-leaning pop.
True to its title, PICNIC embodies a beautifully breezy sound, perfectly capturing the sensation of lazing about in the sun with your friends and loved ones. At the same time, the EP’s six songs often find Grace reflecting on her experience in heartbreak, revealing her deep sensitivity and radiantly hopeful outlook. Through her music, she wants to show people there is a way to go through something bad and still come out happy, “I can feel sad or lonely, but there is a perfect world out there that I just need to go find,” says Grace.
Merging the intimacy and imagination of bedroom-pop with the lush and languid grooves of R&B, PICNIC includes previously released singles like Rainbow; (a soulful and shimmering track built on trap-pop beats), True Feelings; (a sweetly melancholy piece laced with bluesy acoustic guitar work), and My Eyes; (a piano-driven song that landed on Apple Music’s New in Pop playlist). In addition, PICNIC opens with Grace’s debut single Eternal Sunshine; a gorgeously quirky meditation on the meaning of happiness. All throughout the EP, Grace shows her gift for crafting unforgettable melodies, as well as her soft and subtle but endlessly commanding vocal presence.
Hailing from Okinawa, Grace considers her homeland essential to her sensibilities as an artist. “I come from an island that was decimated during World War II, yet people here are beautifully resilient, genuinely happy,” she says. “I’ve been raised in an environment where you find the good and move forward. I want to share that Okinawan spirit.”
Tracklist for PICNIC by Grace Aimi:
About Grace Aimi
Twenty-year-old biracial Gen Z songstress Grace Aimi began her career with her brother posting covers in both Japanese and English on their YouTube channel, Gracie and Gabe. Grace’s radiant but raspy voice complemented her brother playing his ukulele as they performed covers of artists like Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, and Post Malone, among others. Their videos quickly garnered buzz, earning over 10M views in total before Grace made her debut as a solo artist. In August 2020, Grace released her summery debut single, Eternal Sunshine; (a track produced by Chaki Zulu, who’s known for his work with Japan’s hottest hip-hop artists). With her debut EP due soon, Grace’s global upbringing and angelic yet husky vocals make her a force to be reckoned with.
Representing TiE Atlanta, the Insight Optics team consists of Dr. Aaron Enten and TJ Lagrow. Their business venture delivers a mobile-adapted platform which enables primary care physicians to efficiently detect early signs of avoidable blindness before permanent damage is done. The team was mentored by Greg Cory, Neeti Dewan and Eric Ensor from TiE Atlanta.
The team received a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by the Naadam Foundation, and a $4,000 grant from the REAN Foundation. Insight Optics was “best in class” at the Startup Bootcamp hosted by TiE Silicon Valley in early May.
Insight Optics competed with 27 winning teams from across the globe including teams from TIE Chapters in seven countries across three continents. The teams were mentored by local TiE chapters and supported by global workshops, startup bootcamps and mock sessions. There were 526 startup teams with 1432 students that participated in local TiE chapter college competition rounds.
First prize went to TiE Toronto’s ALT TEX whose founders are from York University and the University of Toronto. Their venture focuses on sustainable textiles engineered from food waste by tackling two serious issues — food waste and the high levels of pollution caused by the fashion industry.
The second prize winner was TiE Dallas’ SURVIVR whose founder is from the University of Texas at Dallas. The company aims to make communities safer by providing immersive and humanized police training using virtual reality.
Chapter winners went through a semifinal round on May 15. The virtual event was viewed by over 500 audience members from around the world, and TiE Atlanta’s executive director, Amyn Sadruddin, was instrumental as the MC for a semifinals track. Worldwide teams pitched diverse business ideas such as bio-toilets, career fulfillment tools for higher education, technology-enabled artificial limbs, and tech kits for 21st century education, among others.
The event also featured a fireside conversation between Prof. Jagdish Sheth from Emory University in Atlanta and Mr. Ronnie Screwvala of Mumbai. The co-founder and chairman of Upgrad, an online edtech startup, Mr. Screwvala inspired young entrepreneurs to take risks. His book “Dream With Your Eyes Open” is a commitment to champion entrepreneurship and learn from failure.
This year, TiE University extended the concept of entrepreneurship to form a stronger ecosystem, even more strategically focused to dovetail multiple enablers, said Dr. Paul Lopez, Founder and Co-Chair of the TiE University Program. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, this year’s total cash prizes were $65,000, plus in-kind awards of over $600,000 to empower college entrepreneurs.
Eight university teams made it to the finals of the global pitch fest. In addition to the top three winning teams, the other finalists were TiE Austin’s Clocr, a digital legacy management and emergency planning platform; TiE Chennai’s Kitab, a digital PDF-Reader that redefines the way technical literature and textbooks are consumed; TiE Dubai’s Small World that connects NGOs and high school students; TiE DC’s Early Intervention Systems that builds software and algorithms to enhance elder-care; and TiE New Jersey’s Sulis, a low-cost water sanitization device.
The keynote speaker on Finals Day was Sheel Tyle, Founder/CEO of venture capital global firm Amplo. Interviewed by TiE Coimbatore’s Pradeep Yuvaraj, Tyle has some advice for entrepreneurs, Whether you spend time doing something small or doing something big, it actually takes the same time. If you’re going to spend your precious time on something, do it where your time has the greatest impact on the world.
About the TIE University Program
TiE University, an initiative of TIE Global, aims to foster entrepreneurship among college students. University startup teams gain access to learning resources, mentorship by successful entrepreneurs and opportunities to participate in Hackathons, Startup Bootcamps, and Pitch Competitions. These interactions and experiences help startups take their business from a campus idea into a viable business.
About TiE Atlanta
TiE Atlanta is a top five chapter of TiE Global, a nonprofit consisting of 61 chapters in 14 countries, that generates prosperity through development of entrepreneurs in all stages by creating community and beneficial relationships to support them. TiE Atlanta develops entrepreneurs and startups through mentoring, education, investment, and networking. Learn more at their website.
Accelerating a rapid rise to the forefront of international culture, Universal Music Group Korea’s first K-POP idol group TRI.BE unveil their second single album, CONMIGO, today via Republic Records. It features the title track “RUB-A-DUM” and accompanying anthem “LORO.”
Listen to CONMIGOHERE and watch the video for “RUB-A-DUM” HERE.
With CONMIGO, these fiery and fierce women only amplify their signature “Girl Swag,” radiating contagious levels of self-confidence in the process. As a high-energy call-to-arms, “RUB-A-DUM” nods to the timeless tale of the Pied Piper and invites fans to follow with the clarion call, “Everybody come play with TRI.BE,” making it irresistible not to. On “LORO” –– Spanish for “Parrot” –– the girls preach about finding confidence in your true self. They might just urge you to mirror TRI.BE’s magnetic moves, much like a parrot. Musically, the multinational group fuses a young and refreshing mix of Dancehall and Reggaeton beats like never before.
Reflective of the title, CONMIGO—or “With Me” in Spanish—the group welcomes an alliance from all who want to come and dance. “RUB-A-DUM” and “LORO” elevate TRI.BE’s eclectic charisma as they continue their boundary-breaking rise.
The first-of-its-kind quadrilingual group, TRI.BE consists of seven members—SONGSUN, JINHA, HYUNBIN, and SOEUN hailing from Seoul, KELLY and JIA from Taipei, and MIRE from Tokyo—and speaks and sings in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Earlier this year, they teamed up with two of the most famous K-POP producers in the world, S.Tiger [BEAST, IU, 4Minute, MOMOLAND, EXID, T-ARA, Apink, HyunA] and none other than TRI.BE’s supportive big sister EXID’s ELLY, for the two tracks on TRI.BE Da Loca, generating 5 million-plus streams right out of the gate. The two have come together yet again with TRI.BE to create another masterpiece, CONMIGO.
TRI.BE’s name comes from the combination of the words “triangle,” which signifies the most perfect shape, and “being,” leading to the slogan, “We are perfect as we are.” The group conveys the message of self-love and confidence by unapologetically flaunting their key concept of “Girl Swag.”
Returning to #1 around the world and breaking numerous records,Taylor Swift has made history yet again with Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Notably, she’s the first woman with three new No. 1 albums in less than a year. Moving over 1 million units worldwide, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) logged the “biggest first week debut of any album this year,” “the biggest first week debut for a country album since 2015” and “the biggest female country streaming week ever.”Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the only No. 1 album of its kind: a re-recording of an artist’s (own or another’s) previously released album.
Generating 50 million-plus streams on release day, it also achieved “the biggest first day streaming debut for any album on Spotify this year” and marked her fourth consecutive album to exceed 50 million Spotify streams in 24 hours. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) also becomes the first country album by a female artist to reach #1 on Apple Music’s US Albums chart.
In addition to capturing #1 on the Billboard Top 200, #1 on the Billboard Top Album Sales chart and #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart, it went #1 in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland. It debuted Top 5 in Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands and in Germany it was the biggest debut by a country album in the history of Germany’s album chart. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) charted at #1 on the iTunes Top Overall Albums Chart in 61 countries.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) stands out as Taylor’s 4th #1 album in less than two years with the “3 biggest debuts since July2020” with folklore, evermore, and Fearless (Taylor’s Version). It also emerges as “the biggest female country album debut since the inception of the Billboard Top 200 album-based conception charts in 2014.” Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the eleven-time GRAMMY Award-winning, record-breaking superstar’s 9th #1 Album.
Taylor entered rarified air across the pond as Fearless (Taylor’s Version) became her 3rd album to chart #1 during its debut week in less than a year in the UK. The Beatles had previously accomplished this incredible feat the fastest in 364 days, but Taylor eclipsed the speed of The Fab Four as she reached this benchmark and accumulated three #1’s in just 259 days—a difference of 105 days.
Not only did it become her 7th #1 in the country, but Taylor became “the first and only solo artist ever to claim three UK #1 albums in less than 12 months during the 21st century” and“the first ever international artist and first ever female artist to land three #1 albums in the UK within one year in history.”
Physical sales of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) outsold the remaining combined total physical sales of the UK Top 15. The permanent downloads also bested the remaining combined total permanent downloads of the Top 70. She shattered her own record for the second time in the last year as “the first and only female artist to garner7 #1 studio albums in the UK this century.” Additionally, she has gathered “the 3rd Most #1 albums in the UK by a female artist.”
Down Under, Taylor is now “the first artist to release three #1 albums in a 12-month periodin Australia.” Taylor is the first artist to have three different albums top the ARIA Charts in a twelve-month period. She bests her own record of “the shortest span of #1 albums in Australia” with only 17 weeks between evermore and Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Her previous record was 20 weeks between folklore and evermore. With eight total #1 albums in Australia, she is second for “female artist with most #1 albums” only behind Madonna and just behind Eminem for “most consecutive #1 albums.” At radio, “Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version)” bows in the Top 10 on the Airplay Chart.
REVIEWS OF FEARLESS (TAYLOR’S VERSION)
“A Rating” – The A.V. Club, Saloni Gajjar
“5/5 Stars” – The Daily Telegraph, Neil McCormick
“Fearless was always an exceptionally fine album of country-pop songs, detailing the romantic fixations of a wholesome teenage American girl on the verge of adulthood, and guess what? It still is.” – The Daily Telegraph, Neil McCormick
“4/5 Stars” – Rolling Stone, Jonathan Bernstein
“Her thirtysomething voice is richer, deeper, and more sure of itself.” – Rolling Stone, Jonathan Bernstein
“There are the songs that feel more moving now than they did 13 years ago.” – Rolling Stone, Jonathan Bernstein
“4/5 Stars” – The Guardian, Alexis Petridis
“Fearless is the kind of album in which fans have a genuine emotional investment.” – The Guardian, Alexis Petridis
“She’s changed from a talented kid with a guitar to one of today’s biggest superstars.” – USA Today, Hannah Yasharoff
“The new album is really well done.” – Entertainment Weekly, Lauren Huff
“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” Is Even More Beautiful Than The Original Album” – Buzzfeed, Ryan Schocket
“Taylor’s vocals are undeniably stronger, smoother, and more connected than ever.” – Buzzfeed, Ryan Schocket
“The vault songs are making everyone question why the album wasn’t 27 tracks long to begin with.” – Buzzfeed, Ellie Bate
“Taylor Swift’s Fearless Re-Recording Is a Thrilling Timewarp.” – SPIN, Bobby Olivier
“4/5 Stars” – i Newspaper, Sarah Carson
“There are lyrics throughout Taylor Swift’s breakthrough record Fearless that nearly 13 years later, feel prophetic.” – i Newspaper, Sarah Carson
“There’s something really special about listening to Taylor sing these songs knowing the huge distance between where she is now and who she was when she wrote them.” – TIME, Annabel Gutterman
“I love that this re-recorded album is essentially a love letter to being a teenage girl. The world still dismisses teenage girls as not serious enough, too dramatic, and overall too much. Adolescence is often looked back on with embarrassment and shame. But these songs make me want to give my former 14-year-old self a hug and tell her she was doing just fine.” – TIME, Samantha
“It’s really a triumph of self-knowledge and self-awareness, in the way that Swift is so hyper-conscious of the ways she’s matured that she has the ability to un-mature before our very ears.” – Variety, Chris Willman
“Has there been a greater pop single in the 20th century than “You Belong With Me”? Probably not.” – Variety, Chris Willman
“It would not be surprising if, as we speak, Big Machine was putting a combined team of scientists and lawyers on the case of the new album’s waveform readouts, to make sure it’s not just the original album, remixed. Honestly, it’s that close.” – Variety, Chris Willman
“4/5 Stars” – NME, Hannah Mylrea
“‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ both celebrates and stays true to Swift’s ‘Fearless’-era.” – NME, Hannah Mylrea
“Swift never cringes away from her younger self. Instead, she revisits the songs with kindness and affection, celebrating the success of her teenage releases.” – NME, Hannah Mylrea
“Taylor Swift’s Fearless album proves her songs were written to last.” – TheIndependent, Roisin O’Connor
“We can’t help but be impressed…” – Evening Standard, David Smyth
“Taylor Swift has taken control.” – Forbes, Abigail Freeman
“ALBUM OF WEEK: The real treats are the extra tracks, previously unreleased outtakes from the Fearless sessions. Maren Morris duets on the gorgeous You All Over Me, Keith Urban crops up and Mr Perfectly Fine is the banger that should have shown 13 years ago why country alone could never contain Swift’s talent.” – The Sunday Times, Lisa Verrico
“I immediately went to the chorus of “Fifteen,” one of my 2000s pop high-water marks, to see if I’d get chills. Good news: I did. Felt that gut punch during “White Horse.” “You Belong With Me” had that crucial air of resignation.” – The New York Times, Jon Caramanica
“As she dives back into her past work, it’s another reminder of what she brought to the genre — and what it lost when she moved on.” – The Washington Post, Emily Yahr
“The redone tracks from the original release, which make up the album’s first portion, are almost uniformly better than their forebears: warmer, crisper, more clearly enunciated. They sound newer and, at the same time, more lived-in.” – The Washington Post, Allison Stewart
“Taylor Swift releases a ‘perfect replica’ of Fearless.” – BBC, Mark Savage
“Damn, this album holds up – not only to the hype of its initial release, but despite that, beyond that.” – Consequence of Sound, Katie Moulton
“8/10” – The Line of Best Fit, Ross Horton
“4/5 Stars” – The Times, Will Hodgkinson
“Swifties grab your tissues, the release of Taylor Swift’s Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is finally here in all its nostalgic and emotional glory.” – Wonderland, Staff Writer
“8/10” – Clash, Lucy Harbron
“Like a restored photograph brightening from black and white into colour, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the same, but better.” – Clash, Lucy Harbron
“It’s the latest evidence that Swift is not just fearless but also relentless.” – Stereogum, Chris DeVille
“8/10” – Gigwise, Kelsey Barnes
“Swift is creating a bridge between two worlds; one where she’s merging older, timeless songs with a mature voice and outlook.” – Gigwise, Kelsey Barnes
“4/5 Stars” – The Evening Standard, David Smyth
“A masterclass in classic Nashville songwriting, from the searing melodrama of Love Story to the breakdown of a relationship in Breathe.” – The Times, Will Hodgkinson
INTRODUCING BEYOND GREEN: A PURPOSE-DRIVEN HOSPITALITY BRAND DEDICATED TO HELPING GLOBAL CITIZENS MAKE TRAVEL A FORCE FOR GOOD
Forward-Thinking Hotel Network Debuts Booking and Storytelling Platforms That Invite Travelers to Explore How to Travel Gently and Travel Well
Committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet, Beyond Green officially launches today as a curated guide for travelers seeking a more purposeful way to explore the world, featuring a global portfolio of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. Debuting at the onset of a new era of travel in which protecting nature, benefitting local communities, and celebrating cultural diversity has taken center stage, this forward-thinking brandinvites travelers to discover, plan, and enjoy adventures that align with their sustainable travel values and aspirations through a variety of intuitive tools and experiences. These include a new brand website; dedicated storytelling via its @StayBeyondGreen social media accounts; exclusive benefits through I Prefer Hotel Rewards; and a celebratory, limited-time Journeyer’s Pick Package.
“At the heart of Beyond Green is a belief that to travel gently and with purpose is to travel well. More than ever, each of our individual travel choices make a difference, and, together with our outstanding member properties, we designed Beyond Green to make it easier for travelers to enjoy incredible luxury vacations that also support significant social and environmental change for the future,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of both Beyond Green and its parent company, Preferred Hotel Group. “The world has shown an unwavering need to Believe in Travel, and this is our defining moment to inspire a kinder and gentler way to explore the planet together, where good guests meet good hosts.”
“The question is no longer whether we can transform travel based upon sustainable tourism principles and practices to be a powerful force for saving nature, regenerating ecosystems, and providing tangible social and economic benefits to local people, while also celebrating cultural diversity and inclusiveness around the world. This is now happening, as also represented by Beyond Green members. Rather, the most important question is how travelers help can make sustainability the new normal around the world while also having a great vacation. The answer is when we travel the sustainable way – the Beyond Green way – we can have a positive impact right now on the places we visit,” said Costas Christ, Brand Leader of Beyond Green and President of Beyond Green Travel, also an entity of Preferred Hotel Group.
Digital-First Resources for Inspiration and Information
Experiential travelers looking for a more meaningful way to explore the world can now visit Beyond Green’s website for thoughtful, essential resources and tools to book truly sustainable luxury getaways, from Belize to Bora Bora. The new website features highly curated visual content of each member property and the experiences they offer, along with vivid stories about the world of sustainable travel through its Good Stories blog, where novel content, tips and advice will be added on a continuous basis. The brand also invites travelers to engage in daily dialogues about sustainable tourism, inspiring travel experiences, and best practices for being informed global citizens on social media by following its newly launched Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn channels and #StayBeyondGreen and #TravelGently online conversations.
I Prefer Hotel Rewards Member Benefits
As part of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Beyond Green invites travelers to enroll in I Prefer to access meaningful rewards at more than 650 participating properties worldwide. In addition to receiving standard, I Prefer benefits such as points for every eligible stay and early check-in and late check-out privileges, I Prefer members who book stays at participating Beyond Green hotels, resorts, and lodges receive access to exclusive bonus points-earning opportunities that are tied to participation in on-property enrichment activities representative of the three pillars of sustainable tourism. Varying from property to property, these experiences range from an Ecology Tour in San Juan Capistrano at The Ranch at Laguna Beach in California to a specialized lecture on the Gobi Desert at Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia. I Prefer members with Elite-tier status will also receive a welcome amenity or community giving opportunity, in addition to earning 50 percent more bonus points during every eligible stay.
Celebratory Launch Offer
Whether seeking to stay within their own country or satisfy the pent-up desire to dust off their passport and go somewhere new, Beyond Green encourages travelers to seize the moment by taking advantage of a limited-time only Journeyer’s Pick Package, available at 15 participating properties for bookings made by September 30, 2021 for travel through December 31, 2021. Featuring the best available rate plus a unique local experience or meaningful memento exclusively available through this special offer, as well as 5,000 I Prefer bonus points, the Journeyer’s Pick Package include highlights such as, but not limited to:
Traditional sunset Dhow Cruise with snacks and drinks at andBeyond Mnemba Island
Guided walking tour of the Monastery of Panagia Spileotissa at Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
Body scrub wellness experience using organic ingredients at Borgo Pignano
Polynesian outrigger experience at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
Where Good Hosts Meet Good Guests: The Beyond Green Portfolio
With plans for steady, thoughtful growth, Beyond Green celebrates its official launch in collaboration with 27 inspiring member properties that each take a unique and genuine approach to hospitality while representing sustainable tourism leadership through actionable, measurable efforts:
Americas – andBeyond Vira Vira (Pucón, Chile); Arenas Del Mar Beach Front and Rainforest Resort (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA); Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize); Carneros Resort and Spa (Napa Valley, California, USA), Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA); Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama); Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA); Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA); The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA); Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize)
Africa – andBeyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya); andBeyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania); andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia); Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa); Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda); Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana); Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia); Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe); Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana); Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
Asia – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia); The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia); Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)
Travelers are invited to access more information on Beyond Green, its three key pillars of sustainable tourism, and its member properties, and book authentic, luxury travel experiences around the world by visiting Beyond Green.
About Beyond Green
Guided by a passion to embrace travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability leadership. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of properties based on their commitment to deliver on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Hotel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit Beyond Green.
About Preferred Hotel Group
Owned and operated by the Ueberroth Family, Preferred Hotel Group is the parent company of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel, representing more than 1,100 hotels, resorts, and residences across 80 countries, in addition to a global portfolio of destinations such as Suzhou, China; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Uganda. With more than 200 seasoned travel professionals situated across 20 countries, the company connects independent hotels, hospitality companies, destinations, and tourism bureaus to key markets worldwide through a variety of strategic branding, sales, integrated marketing, revenue management, and comprehensive distribution services, along with other consultancy services. Fueled by its brand promise, Believe in Travel, the company champions an unwavering belief in the transformative power of travel and its ability to enrich people’s lives and create greater tolerance. For more information on Preferred Hotel Group’s entities, please visit Preferred Hotels, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel.
Smartphone Subscriptions Have More Than Doubled In 5 Years – 11% CAGR from 2016-2020
Smartphones have become abundant in today’s society, giving us the ability to control many aspects of our lives with just our fingertips. Today’s smartphones act as a portal to our everyday needs and desires; from banking to shopping, from work to leisure, from hobbies to passions, our smartphone allows us to connect with the world more than ever before. According to data presented by BuyShares, smartphone subscriptions in 2020 has more doubled since 2015 to 6.1B units globally, growing at a CAGR of 10.54% in the 5-year period from 2016-2020.
Smartphone Subscriptions Have Doubled From 2015 to 2020 – 6.1B in 2020
The title of the very first smartphone belongs to the Simon Personal Communicator (SPC) which was produced and launched by IBM in 1994. A few of the SPC’s main features still remain as staples of modern-day smartphones, but the SPC would be unrecognizable as a smartphone among today’s generation of devices.
The iPhone’s launch in 2007 is what many consider the first version of the smartphone as we know it today. It was the first phone to offer access to the internet in its entirety and not a scaled-down version of it. For the first time ever, you could browse the internet just like you would on your desktop computer or laptop.
Smartphones became mainstream soon after the iPhone’s launch and are now ubiquitous in today’s society. Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson, estimates there to be 6.1B smartphone subscriptions in the world in 2020, over 101% more than 2015’s smartphone subscriptions. In the 5-year period from 2016-2020, smartphone subscriptions grew at a CAGR of 10.54%.
In the year that the first iPhone was released, it is estimated that 122M units of smartphones were sold to end-users. In 2018 that figure ballooned to a record 1.56B smartphones sold. 2019 posted similar numbers to 2018 but experienced a 10.5% YoY decrease in the pandemic ravaged year of 2020. The number of smartphones sold to end-users is projected to bounce back and increase by 11.4% YoY in 2021.
China Has the Most Smartphone Users with Almost 1 Billion
China has an estimated 912M smartphone user in 2020, the most in the world. China’s smartphone penetration rate in 2020 stood at 63.4% which is the 8th highest in the world. Of the top 20 countries with the most smartphone users, the USA had the highest penetration rate of 81.6%. 15 other countries from the top 20 list, posted smartphone penetration rates of above 50%.
As of 2020, Newszoo estimates that there are 3.6B smartphone users worldwide. The same estimates project smartphone users to rise by almost 20% by 2023 to 4.3B. The smartphone penetration rate globally in 2020, stood at 46.45% compared to just 33.5% in 2016.
With its moody blend of Afrobeats, smooth R&B production and Wes’ infectious melodies, “Nice To Meet Ya” feels like an instant classic; confident, effortless and ridiculously catchy. Written by Wes and produced once again by rising beatmaker, Ayo Beatz (Fredo, Young M.A.), the track delivers on Wes’s promise both as a talented songwriter and vocalist. Featuring Yxng Bane, the East London star had written and recorded his parts within a day of hearing the track.
Wes says, “I wanted people to sing ‘Nice To Meet Ya’ and just feel good about themselves, like 3 minutes of escapism! Especially with lockdowns, we’re all feeling a bit trapped, and people are down, I just want people to get up and feel good.”
One of 2020’s biggest singles, “See Nobody” was written and produced during lockdown from Wes’ makeshift bedroom studio. A Gold-certified hit in the UK and double Platinum in Ireland, the top 3 debut single has accumulated over 70 million streams globally, with over 38 million streams on Spotify and over 13 million video views. It also became an instant favorite amongst cultural commentators, musicians and attracted notable fans such as the likes of Anthony Joshua, Idris Elba, Stevo The Madman, Chip, Krept & Konan, Jay1, S1mba, Jae5, SL and many more.
A former undefeated champion Muay Thai kickboxer, semi-professional footballer and Nuclear System Design Engineer, music has always been Wes’ first love and his greatest ambition. After being gifted with a red plastic karaoke machine at age 3, he would perform for his family every Friday night and sing along to the Top of The Pops’ hits of the day. As he grew into his teen years, he lacked the confidence to be open about his passion for music and instead focused on other interests. Last year, quarantine became an opportunity for Wes to return to his artistic craving: while others baked banana bread and binge-watched Selling Sunset, he took the discipline he learned from Muay Thai and applied it to music.
With his focus now fully on music, who knows where the next chapter could lead. He has the desire – and potential to be one of the UK’s most successful R&B/Pop artists. Wes not only has the talent, but the focus, drive and discipline that such ambition takes.
“I know it’s not going to happen overnight, but consistency is key. The best artists are the ones who stay true to themselves; authenticity is everything to me and that’’s what will take me all the way.”
Spotify’s global emerging artist program, RADAR, announced its latest artist partnership for the US, the Oslo-based pop sensation, girl in red, aka Marie Ulven.
On the heels of the recent announcement of her debut album,if i could make it go quiet,out April 30th and its accompanying FINNEAS-produced first single, “Serotonin,” Marie has proven exactly why she’s a Spotify RADAR artist: She has over 886 Million Spotify streams to date, almost 9 Million monthly listeners, and placements on over 396 Spotify playlists including New Music Friday, LOREM, Oyster, Ultimate Indie, and Out Now.
To celebrate these milestones, Spotify and girl in red have teamed up for a mini-documentary, which is out today and viewable on YouTube HERE or on our RADAR playlist HERE.
In the 11-min clip, Marie’s bubbly personality shines, as she cracks jokes and spins a basketball while playing show-and-tell in her childhood bedroom: The serotonin molecule she bought in honor of her new single, her grandmother’s metronome, her bass, her cello, a spiderweb (!!), her fingerboard ramps, and even her diary.
After a jaunt through the snowy forest in Marie’s hometown of Horten, Norway, we learn about her early inspiration for making music. Her close bond with her family is clear, and we’re let into their circle as her mom shares old photos and memories of her upbringing — from her tomboy style to her fear of flying to her sexuality. As Marie revs up for a return to live music, a busy album promo cycle, and arena-headlining ambitions, she shares who keeps her the most grounded: Luna, her Bernese Mountain dog!
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