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Thailand's travel slump extends to October

[ Tourism News ] Posted by root on 2014/11/21 11:40:00 (738 reads)
BANGKOK, 21 November 2014 International tourist arrivals to Thailand posted a decline of 8.72% during January to October this year according to Ministry of Tourism and Sports' data.

Released Tuesday, the ministry data reported 19,739,600 visits to the country during the first 10 months, down from 21,626,233 over the same period last year.

Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, projects Thailand tourism will welcome over 25 million international tourists by year-end.

Due to the political turmoil since late last year the kingdom's tourism, this year,will drop by 1 million to reach 25 million visits, she explained.

The original target was 28 million arrivals and THB2 trillion in tourism related revenue.

In October alone, foreign travellers recorded 2,180,601 visits, an increase of 6.14% from 2,054,548 visits during the same month last year.

By regions, all markets recorded increases except Europe, the Americas and Oceania in October.

East Asia (ASEAN included) reported an increase of 15.10% from 1,200,509 to 1,381,735 visits.

East Asia improvements
China (+67.02%); Myanmar (+48.65%); Cambodia (+16.40%); Malaysia (+11.05%); Singapore (+4.92%); Philippines (+4.60%); and Brunei (+0.99%).

The markets that showed declines were: Laos (-21.24%); Indonesia (-18.88%); South Korea (-15.03%); Vietnam (-14.03%); Japan (-10.11%); Taiwan (-8.55%); and Hong Kong (-1.29%).

South Asia
South Asia represented a 7.30% increase from 109,679 to 117,682 visits. India led the field supplying 87,990 visits and growing 9.14% from 80,623 followed by Bangladesh (10,330; +12.87%), Sri Lanka (7,378; +0.93%); Pakistan (5,934; -15.57%), and Nepal (2,844; +4.41%).

Middle East
The Middle East gained 6.47% from 56,352 to 59,999 visits. Israel led the field with 14,475 visits increasing 78.73% from 8,099. Other main markets: United Arab Emirates (11,427; +0.35%); Kuwait (5,554; -20.13%); Egypt (2,791; -22.75%); and Saudi Arabia (1,054; -59.18%).

Africa recorded a growth of 0.80% from 13,383 to 13,490 visits. The main market South Africa improved just 1.12% from 5,829 to 5,894 visits.

The Americas dropped 6.62% from 97,737 to 91,268. Brazil posted an 18.61% increase from 3,273 to 3,882.

The United States recorded the highest arrivals at 64,130 down 6.28% from 68,824 followed by Canada (16,837; -10.79%); and Argentina (1,305; -12.24%).

Oceania represented a slowdown of 8.65% from 91,374 to 83,470. The main market Australia declined 7.84% (73,943) and New Zealand was down 14.66% (9,177).

Europe posted a decline of 10.83% from 485,514 to 432,955. The markets recording declines were Austria (-33.22%); Russia (-23.24%); Spain (-15.88%); Norway (-14.27%); Sweden (-10.47%); Denmark (-9.63%); Finland (-7.84%); Netherlands (-6.52%); Belgium (-5.64%); Switzerland (-3.42%); Germany (-3.19%); France (-1.88%); the United Kingdom (-1.31%); and Italy (-1.26%).

Ireland and East Europe were the only two identified markets that showed increases of 1.49% (4,906) and 0.84% (24,129) respectively.

In addition, the tourism ministry reported international tourists at the country's gateway Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports in October improving 4.20% rising from 1,352,139 to 1,408,889 visits.

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Zeavola scoops award

[ Tourism News ] Posted by root on 2014/11/21 11:30:00 (692 reads)
PHI PHI, THAILAND, 21 November 2014 Zeavola Resort, located on Phi Phi in Thailand, has scooped the global prize for the World's Best Sustainable Boutique Hotel at the World Boutique Hotels Awards ceremony in London recently.

The exclusive black tie event was held at Montcalm Hotel, Marble Arch and represented resorts globally that have won country specific awards in various categories.

It was Zeavola's night, said general manager, Florian Hallermann. All the team have worked tremendously hard and I am very proud of them all. This is for them, he said.

We operate on an island and we need to live sustainably, close to nature and to the environment. For us it is not an option to operate otherwise.

Located on the shores of Laem Ton beach, Zeavola is built around a sustainability ethos, with features such as a water reserve system, which includes four deep wells and a reverse osmosis plant to minimise unnecessary water consumption at the resort. These efforts earned the resort a membership in the international 'green' hotels group Green Pearls.

The resort was also recently awarded the PADI Green Star Award, for outstanding contribution to the environment through the resort's project Coral Freedom.

This is a project focussed on reversing the devastating effects of coral bleaching, a consequence of high carbon footprints and increasing global warming, and have so far seen over 10,000 coral fragments replanted around Phi Phi that were regenerated in Zeavola's coral nursery.

Zeavola is also part of the Green Fins project, which is coordinated by the United Nations Environmental Programme as part of a global effort to increase public awareness, and resort management practices that will benefit the conservation of coral reefs and reduce unsustainable tourism practices.
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Centara bags website award

[ Tourism News ] Posted by root on 2014/11/20 11:20:00 (567 reads)
BANGKOK, 20 November 2014 At the recent 7th Travel Mole APAC Web Award 2014, held in association with ITB Asia, Centara Hotels and Resorts topped the category of Best Asia Pacific Hotel and Resort Website.

The Travel Mole APAC Web Awards recognises the best web, social, mobile and travel technology deployments.

The award ceremony took place at ITB Asia, late last month, where more than 10,000 travel industry professionals, from 110 countries were in attendance and this was the first time Travel Mole opened the final voting to the subscribers and friends of Travel Mole.

Centara Hotels and Resorts senior vice president - sales and marketing, Chris Bailey, said: "Our website receives the largest number of daily, monthly and annual hits when compared to any other hotel company in Thailand, so it is therefore gratifying that although the site is extremely busy we can still manage to be at the forefront of the awards parameters being Content, Layout, Ease of Navigation and Innovation."

Centara Hotels & Resorts has 48 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in Thailand and a further 26 resorts in the Maldives, Vietnam, Bali, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Qatar, Laos and Oman. It brings the present total to 74 properties.
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Political unrest stalled Thai tourism

[ Tourism News ] Posted by root on 2014/11/19 11:10:00 (690 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 root on 2014/11/18 11:00:00 (698 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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