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Political unrest stalled Thai tourism

[ Tourism News ] Posted by admin on 2014/11/19 11:10:00 (505 reads)
BANGKOK, 19 November 2014 Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul projects Thailand's tourism will reach 25 million trips by year-end admitting the political crisis lopped off at least a million leisure trips this year.

She claimed that was due to political turmoil, late 2013 through the first half of 2014. Tourism arrivals will drop by 1 million to reach 25 million visits.

"Political instability was the key reason for the decline during the first half of the year, however, the enforcement of martial law did not cause a significant impact on the country tourism," she said.

Most tourism executives would disagree with the latter conclusion as they look at their figures and recognise that the substantial dip on the performance graph was caused by martial law and a coup. Martial law is still in place, but the negative impact has lessoned during the final quarter of the year as overseas tour operators and consumers come to terms with the situation. However, martial law did have a massive negative impact on tourism regardless of what the novice tourism minister might think.

However, she correctly noted that "there are now good signs of recovery as room reservations, for December, have risen by 6% year-on-year."

The tourism ministry permanent secretary, Suwat Sidthilaw, earlier admitted that it would be difficult to meet earlier targets and raise tourist arrivals to 28 million this year.

He said the year would close with 25.5 million visits and THB1.8 trllion in tourism revenue. The original target was 28 million foreign tourists and THB2 trllion in tourism related revenue.

For January to September this year, there were 17,558,999 visits to the country decreasing 10.28% from 19,571,685 over the same period last year.

Last year, the kingdom attracted 26,735,583 international tourists increasing 19.60% from 22,353,903 visits. Tourism revenue generated THB1,171,651.42 million in 2013 up 19.08% from THB983,928.36 million in 2012.

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Centara makes it four in Krabi

[ Tourism News ] Posted by admin on 2014/11/18 11:00:00 (592 reads)
BANGKOK, 18 November 2014 Centara Hotels & Resorts will expand its presence in Krabi province with the addition of a Centra value brand hotel; Centra Phu Pano Resort, Krabi, giving it four properties in the southern province.

The group will also have three of its brands represented in Krabi, extending its reach across a range of tourism market segments.

The management contract for Centra Phu Pano was signed at Centara's head office in Bangkok end of October with owning company Chok Dee Suk which in addition to the hotel owns Vogue Department Store. Centra Phu Pano Resort is expected to open in mid 2016.

With it's location in Ao Nang close to shops and entertainment spaces this resort sits in a unique location for our guests said Centara Hotels & Resorts chief executive officer, Thirayuth Chirathivat.

Since we opened our five-star resort in Krabi in 2006 we have built an excellent reputation and have a strong customer base allowing us to so to expand and add more resorts including Pelican Bay earlier this year.

Centara Hotels & Resorts senior vice president for sales and marketing, Chris Bailey added Centara has a strategic expansion plan for the south of Thailand, with currently three different brands across the region to cater for specific market segments.

Opening a new resort in Krabi gives us extra strength in the Southern Thailand market, and extends our range in the value sector.

Centra Phu Pano Resort will have 158 rooms featuring a series of family rooms and connecting rooms, all day restaurant with bar, a meeting room of 150 sqm, fitness centre and swimming pool with separate children's pool. The resort is conveniently located in Ao Nang and is just a short drive from the beach, shops and restaurants and is where many boats are available to take guests to the Islands.
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Chinese are back on Thailand trail

[ Tourism News ] Posted by admin on 2014/11/17 15:20:00 (726 reads)
BANGKOK, 17 November 2014: Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports says Chinese tourists visiting Thailand could exceed 5 million possibly rising as high as 5.5 million next year.

Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said: "Tourism dropped due to the political situation, earlier this year, but it is now recovering in the last quarter...the ministry and related tourism organisations are promoting Thainess to woo tourists back to the country."

She added the three month visa fee exemption for Chinese visitors expired, 8 November and was not extended because the market had made a recovery.

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Chinese photosThe minister expects 5 to 5.5 million Chinese tourists to visit Thailand, next year, compared with 4 to 4.5 million this year.

Regarding the now expired visa fee waiver, Association of Thai Travel Agents president, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, said ending the fee exemption would not discourage tourists.

"The measure worked well to stimulate Chinese tourists travelling to the October Chinese tourists travelling with the association's members increased 113.78% to 121,186 visits."

He added: "Although the government does not consider the extension of this policy, the market should continue to recover. However, we should monitor advance booking during December to January next year to see how the market performs."

"If the Chinese market drops we will make another presentation to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and Tourism Authority of Thailand to bring back the visa fee waiver."

For the first nine months of this year, 3,097,436 Chinese tourists visited Thailand, a decrease of 17.37% from 3,748,703 visits during the same period last year, according to the tourism ministry's latest data.

Last year, 4,705,173 Chinese tourists visited Thailand an increase of 68.83% from 2,786,860 in 2012.
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Awards: A chance to be recognised

[ Tourism News ] Posted by admin on 2014/11/17 14:50:00 (749 reads)
BANGKOK, 17 November 2014: Tourism Authority of Thailand is encouraging tourism business operators to submit their products, services and marketing campaigns for consideration at the 28th ASEANTA Awards for Excellence.

The awards are presented at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January 2015.

TAT governor, Thawatchai Arunyik, said he wanted a stronger representation at the awards and encouraged more companies to present their signature products for consideration.

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"We want to encourage any individual or organisation in Thailand's tourism industry that are proud of their products and services to put themselves forward for consideration. As the region is moving toward the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, the Awards will help to further enhance Thailand's reputation as a top tourist destination."

The ASEANTA Awards for Excellence 2014 are divided into nine categories: Best Tourism Photo; Best Tour Package; Best Airline Programme; Best Conservation Effort; Best Tourist Attraction; Best Travel Article; Best Marketing and Promotions; Best Cultural Conservation Effort, and Best Poster.

The Awards presentation ceremony will be held at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015, which will take place from 22 to 29 January, 2015, at the Myanmar International Convention Centre in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

Among Thailand's tourism organisations and business operators honoured at past ASEANTA Awards are: Thai Airways International (THAI), which won the Best ASEAN Conservation Effort Award 2009 for its 'Keep the World Beautiful with THAI' campaign; dusitD2 baraquda pattaya, which won the Best ASEAN Conservation Effort 2011 for its 'Release of Baby Clownfish (Nemo) to their Home Reefs' campaign; and THAI's Royal Orchid Holidays, which won the Best ASEAN Marketing and Promotional Campaign 2010 for its 'Thailand Plus & More' project.

For specific details of each Award's category, visit: 28th ASEANTA Awards for Excellence.

The submission period starts from now until 10 December 2014.
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The best places to see beautiful flowers in Thailand

[ Tourism News ] Posted by admin on 2014/11/17 14:30:00 (1000 reads)
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has listed 22 best places to see beautiful flowers in Thailand under the 'Dream Destinations 2' domestic tourism marketing campaign. TAT Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik said, "Last year's inauguration of the Dream Destinations campaign was a success. For this year, we continue the project with a new highlight-flowers. Thailand is a tropical country, and there are plenty of exotic tropical flowers to appreciate and enjoy in different locations every month of the year."

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The 22 best places to see beautiful flowers in Thailand have been categorised in a calendar of seasonal flowers that bloom in different regions and at different periods throughout the year.

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January: Phu Lom Lo, Dan Sai district, Loei, for the wild Himalayan cherry blossoms; Chiang Rai for tulips at the annual flower festival; and Nakhon Nayok where yellow cotton trees line streets and roads.
February: Wang Nam Khieo in Nakhon Ratchasima is filled with chrysanthemum blossoms. Nong Han in Khumphavapi, Udon Thani boasts magical sights of lotus blossoms in Thale Bua Daeng (lake of red water lilies). Highway 3502 in Suphanburi turns into the yellow blossom road of silver trumpet trees. Chae Son National Park in Lampang is famous for the lovely pink flowers of Dok Sieo (orchid tree or butterfly tree).
March: Kasetsart Universty, Kampaeng Saen Campus in Nakhon Pathom where its roads feature the magical sights of blooming pink trumpet trees.
April: Khon Kaen, where the yellow flowers of golden shower trees are in bloom along the road to the Government Complex and along Kaen Nakhon Lake. Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve in Phatthalung features the magical sights of pink lotus blooms.
May: Khlong Mahasawat in Nakhon Pathom is filled with white and pink lotus.
June: The flower field of Dok Pro Phu (Caulokaempferia alba) at Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park in Phitsanulok.

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July: Pa Hin Ngam National Park in Chaiyaphum where pink and white Siam Tulips are in full bloom.
August: The flower field of Dok Thian Peek Phi Sua (Impatiens patula Craib) at Doi Hua Mot in Umphang, Tak. The superb scenery of golden Sunn Hemp or Dok Po Thueang at Ramdaeng sub-district in Songkhla.
September: The dancing blue Dok Ngon Nak flowers come out in the meadows of the Phu Soi Dao National Park in Uttaradit.
October: Pha Taem National Park in Khong Chiam, Udon Ratchathani boasts a variety of beautiful wild flowers in full bloom.
November: Doi Mae U-kho, Mae Hong Son for the spectacular hills covered with the golden blossoms of Mexican sunflowers; and Nong Nooch Tropical Garden in Chon Buri for the vivid pink desert roses.
December: Chumphon for the blooming white flowers of coffee trees in Chumphon; Phu Rua in Loei for the beautiful Christmas fields; and Khao Chin Lae in Lopburi for the golden sunflower fields.
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