TOURISM

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Foreign visitors increasingly use Airbnb during major tourism events

Published January 23, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30362664

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 Foreign visitors increasingly use  Airbnb during major tourism events

Tourism January 21, 2019 18:17

By The Nation

2,821 Viewed

New data shows that travellers to Thailand are increasingly turning to Airbnb for accommodation during big tourism events, according to a report released by the hosting company on Monday.

Last year, Thai Airbnb hosts welcomed more than 100,000 guests and earned Bt380 million combined over three of the Kingdom’s largest tourist events: Chinese New Year, Songkran and Golden Week.

Family travel made up a significant proportion of all bookings during these periods, comprising about 15 per cent of the total.

As Thailand gears up for Chinese New Year with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s anticipated 8-per-cent increase in traveller numbers this year, more Thais are listing their homes with Airbnb to welcome local and international guests for this auspicious holiday.

“By opening their homes to guests from around the world, our local Airbnb hosts are being the best ambassadors for their community, while pursuing their passion for hospitality and earning supplemental income on the side. There’s never been a better time to start hosting with Airbnb,” said Mike Orgill, US-based Airbnb’s general manager for Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

During last April’s Songkran alone, Airbnb hosts welcomed more than 45,000 guests from 3,120 cities.

This tied in with Airbnb’s first-ever launch of unique “Songkran Special” Airbnb Experiences, where guests could book Experiences such as a traditional Thai Songkran ceremony with a Sak Yant master.

There was an almost 50-per-cent increase in guest arrivals year over year during Thailand’s most celebrated and respected festival, with an average of 2.7 guests staying in an Airbnb listing over three nights.

Hosts collectively earned over Bt95 million over just six days.

Thailand ranks as one of the top most popular outbound destinations among China outbound travellers on Airbnb.

Over Golden Week in October, Bangkok and Chiang Mai featured in the list of top 10 outbound city destinations for China guests, with Bangkok-Chiang Mai being one of the most popular air-travel routes in the region.

Guests from China also stayed longer than ever before – the average booking during Golden Week comprised 2.5 guests over four nights, up from three nights in 2017.

Their top-booked destinations included Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Surat Thani.

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TAT shows foreign visitors by the numbers

Published January 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30362570

TAT shows foreign visitors by the numbers

national January 20, 2019 11:19

By The Nation

2,758 Viewed

The Tourism Authority of Thailand published a breakdown of 2018 visitors by nationality on the Facebook page of its Intelligence Centre on Saturday night, with Chinese leading the tally, to no one’s surprise.

Of the 38 million foreign visitors to Thailand last year, 10.6 million came from China, 4.1 million from Malaysia and 1.8 million each from South Korea and Laos.

There were 1.6 million Japanese visitors, 1.5 million Russians and Indians, 1.3 million Singaporeans, and 1.1 million Vietnamese and Americans.

The centre reported the foreign visitors generated Bt2 trillion in revenue, up from Bt1.8 trillion earned from 35.6 million travellers in 2017 and Bt1.6 trillion from 32.5 million visitors in 2016.

See the results at facebook.com/WOWThailandOfficials.

Travel website boasts simple upgrades

Published January 20, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30362436

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Travel website boasts simple upgrades

Tourism January 17, 2019 15:19

By The Nation

2,798 Viewed

Online travel planning site Upgrading.cc offers travellers the ability to secure hotel upgrades prior to arrival. It also says it lets hotel and service apartment partners an opportunity to upsell, at no investment.

Upgrading.cc says all payments are made at the hotel after simple booking online or with the app.

The recently launched e-retail feature enables hotel partners to promote their offers as value add-ons for their customers with confirmed room reservations, the site said.

Cetin Sekercioglu, CEO of Upgrading.cc, said: “With continuous enhancement to our product such as the newly improved upgrade purchase process and introduction of e-retail feature, it will be a win-win for both our hotel partners and customers. Besides improving the overall customer experience, our hotel partners will also stand to enjoy an increase in incremental revenue generated via e-retail.”

Sakura Festival kicked off in Loei

Published January 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30362415

 

File photo
File photo

Sakura Festival kicked off in Loei

Tourism January 17, 2019 11:45

By The Nation

2,867 Viewed

The annual Thailand Sakura Festival was opened on Thursday at the popular Phu Lom Lo mountain.

Loei deputy governor Pornchai Thomkrajang presided over a ceremony to announce the start of the Phu Lom Lo’s Wild Himalayan Cherry blossom festival.

The Wild Himalayan Cherry’s flowers are called Thailand’s Sakura and the trees yield flowers from late December to the middle of February. The pink flowers will be in full blossom from the second week of January.

Phu Lom Lo mountain is located in Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park in Loei’s Dan Sai disrtrict.

Nit Boonarj, chief of Tambon Kok Sathon Administrative Organisation, said there are about 1,200 rai of Wild Himalayan Cherry trees on Phu Lom Lo.

He said the local tourism club has prepared small buses to take tourists to enjoy the pink flowers.

He said each 24-kilometre ride will cost Bt1,500 for 10 tourists. Tourists can call the TAO at 042-039867-8 for more information.

Couples challenged to prove love by walking up Phu Kradueng

Published January 17, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30362276

File Photo
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Couples challenged to prove love by walking up Phu Kradueng

Tourism January 15, 2019 14:21

By The Nation

2,165 Viewed

The Phu Kradueng National Park chief on Monday challenged couples to prove their love is genuine by walking together up Phu Kradueng mountaintop to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

The popular tourist destination has no road access and visitors must hike up a path to reach the mountaintop, which is 1,288 metres high.

Phu Kradueng park chief Sombat Pimprasit said the park and the Tourism Authority of Thailand were jointly holding the activity to mark the day of love.

He said couples were welcome to register to participate in the activity at the tourist service centre at the base of the mountain on February 13. Then, they will walk the path together to the mountaintop, where they will spend the night.

The couples will be woken up to enjoy the first sunrise on Valentine’s Day morning at the Nok An Cliff and will together give alms to monks.

After the rite with the monks, a traditional bai sri su kwan rite will be performed to bless their married life, the park chief added.

The hunt for pink dollars

Published January 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30362082

  • Spectrosynthesis II: Exposure of Tolerance: LGBTQ in Southeast Asia”, a sprawling exhibition of regional contemporary art with more than 200 pieces by 50 artists held at BACC from November 23 into March 2020. Nation/Prasert Thepsri
  • Thai government’s interest in pursuing “pink dollars” – revenue derived from tourism programmes that appeal to LGBT travellers. Photo/AFP
  • A group of LGBTG in Thailand campaign for the new Life Partnership Bill in Bangkok. The Nation
  • Gender diversity and equality are part of the election platforms for some Thai political parties. The Nation

The hunt for pink dollars

big read January 12, 2019 01:00

By PHATARAWADEE PHATARANAWIK
THE NATION WEEKEND

5,234 Viewed

While marriage equality is yet to clear the legislative thicket, advocates are encouraged by the country’s efforts to woo more LGBTQ tourists

The Life Partnership Bill still has a long bureaucratic path ahead and an election and post-election uncertainty to endure before it could become law. But its recent approval in the Cabinet was an important initial step in making Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to legally recognise same-sex civil partnerships.

Brightening prospects further for Thailand’s sizeable LGBTQ community is the government’s interest in pursuing “pink dollars” – revenue derived from tourism programmes that appeal to LGBT travellers.

With a social climate widely seen as tolerant towards non-heterosexual orientations, Thailand has been called a haven for the gay and transgender lifestyle. The authorities are increasingly seeking to capitalise on that global reputation by encouraging more visits by foreign LGBT tourists, as well as the rights activists and artists who support the community.

Both the public and private sectors are preparing to host events that will appeal to that social segment.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) runs marketing campaigns aimed at LGBT tourism and, among many other plans, the Hong Kong-based Sunpride Foundation will next November be bringing Asia’s largest LGBT art exhibition to Bangkok.

“LGBTQ are seen as a high-potential market with an above-average level of disposable income,” TAT deputy governor Srisuda Wanapinyosak told The Nation Weekend. “In tourism terms, they tend to travel more frequently than the demographic average.”

In a recent report, LGBT Capital estimated the global LGBT population at 496 million, with 4.5 million LGBT people living in Thailand. Global purchasing power was calculated at US$3.6 trillion and spending on tourism at $5.3 billion.

Srisuda said the TAT had begun targeting this segment five years ago, but the market remained niche and hasn’t yet reached its full potential. With the Cabinet’s endorsement of the Life Partnership Bill, though – however troubled its future might be – the marketing is growing more aggressive both domestically and globally.

“The key to tapping into the LGBTQ market is to understand the diversity of preferences and respond accordingly,” she said. “It’s also important to welcome LGBT people genuinely and not be superficially ‘LGBT-friendly’.”

There are three main components to the TAT drive – events spanning entertainment and lifestyles like the Songkran festival and the Wonderfruit and White Party gatherings; high quality in the destinations, hospitality and cuisine on offer; and legal support from the government.

The TAT hosted an LGBTQ symposium in Bangkok in September that drew travel agents from 50 countries.

This month Srisuda will lead a road show in Spain. About 20 Thai tour operators will join her at Fitur, an international tourism-trade fair being held in Madrid.

“Fitur is one of biggest tourism fairs in southern Europe and features a Gay Pavilion,” she said. “Thailand will have a presence as usual, but this year for the first time we’ll also have a booth in the Gay Pavilion.”

Spain, of course, has already had a good look at Thailand. Spaniard Angela Ponce Camacho was in Bangkok in December as the first transgender contestant ever entered in the Miss Universe pageant. She used her time well, raising awareness about gender and LGBT issues as well as boosting Thai tourism on Instagram.

Game changer

“LGBTQ is a game changer for the tourism business in Thailand,” gender academic Thitirat Duangkong told The Nation Weekend.

“Gender diversity and equality are goals of the United Nations and other global bodies and are even part of the election platforms for some Thai political parties. So it’s quite relevant to the tourism business,” added the guest lecturer at Thammasat University.

“We’re stepping forward ahead off our neighbouring countries like the Philippines and Singapore, so we’re on track.”

Tourism and Sport Minister Weerasak Kosurat said a new Bt30-million Digital Tourism Platform introduced by Kasikornbank will further boost the “pink economy”.

“LGBT people have purchasing power and also tend to be creative,” he said. “Our new Big Data platform will provide information about all target groups, including LGBTQ. They can easily select destinations, activities and services designed specially for them and book online.

“Besides more pink dollars, we want to see more big smiles from the gender-diverse community visiting Thailand.”

A year from now the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre will be in the midst of “Spectrosynthesis II: Exposure of Tolerance: LGBTQ in Southeast Asia”, a sprawling exhibition of regional contemporary art with more than 200 pieces by 50 artists. That runs from November 23 into March 2020.

The Sunpride Foundation show debuted in Taiwan in 2017 to critical acclaim. Bangkok will be its second stop.

“Bangkok is my second home and Thailand is the most friendly LGBT country in Asia,” said Sunpride founder Patrick Sun of Taiwan.

Culture Centre director Pawit Mahasarinand said it would also be hosting film screenings, live performances and international symposiums on gender-related issues as well as conducting educational outreach programmes.

“There have been major LGBTQ shows in Europe in recent years, but with the second Spectrosynthesis for artists with roots in Asia, we’re able to share a more distinctively Asian narrative,” said Chatvichai Promadhattavedi, a former Culture Centre director serving as curator for the coming exhibition.

One of the artists involved, Sudaporn Teja, is actually planning to send out a message about the Life Partnership Bill in its current form, which she said falls short of ensuring equality for gender-diverse groups.

Bangkok spending ranks high

Published January 13, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30362032

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Bangkok spending ranks high

Tourism January 10, 2019 21:17

By The Nation

2,856 Viewed

Travel opens the door to dining and shopping. With its Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI): Indulgences, Mastercard looks where visitors spend the most on dining and shopping around the world.

The Mastercard GDCI 2018 ranks 162 destination cities in terms of total international overnight visitors and the amount spent by visitors throughout the previous year. The index ranks Bangkok as the number one destination for overnight visitors (for the third consecutive year), with Phuket and Pattaya also in the global top 20 (at 12 and 18, respectively), making Thailand the only country with three in the top global 20 destinations.

Mastercard’s GDCI: indulgences – an offshoot of the GDCI – looks specifically at the amount spent within destination cities on dining and shopping. Findings show that not only is the amount significant, but so is the impact on cities’ economies.

Bangkok, world famous for food, ranks third in dollars spent on food and beverages with US$3.38 billion, equivalent to 20.6 per cent of visitors’ budgets. Palma on Mallorca, Spain, came in second place with US$3.78 billion, behind top-ranked Dubai, with US$5.94 billion.

Singapore and London are also in the top 10 for overall food and beverage spend, but it’s worth noting that travellers are spending a lower percentage of their travel budgets on food in these cities (12.9 per cent and 17.6 per cent, respectively).

Visitors to Dubai and London spend heavily on shopping, whether purchasing clothes, souvenirs or other goods. Visitors to London, Seoul and Johannesburg, in particular, might want to bring a bigger suitcase as international travellers to all three destinations are spending at least 40 per cent of their travel budgets on shopping.

Bangkok, also a world-renowned shopping haven, came in sixth in this category, with visitors spending US$3.75 billion on shopping, some 23 per cent of their travel budget.

“Dining and shopping are experiences which people throughout the world use to connect with culture, traditions and history,” said Donald Ong, country manager for Thailand and Myanmar at Mastercard. “Through programmes like Priceless Cities, Mastercard is enriching travel experiences for travellers in some of the world’s most fascinating cities. Whether in Bangkok’s hippest boutique hotels or sampling some of Thailand’s world-famous cuisine, Mastercard believes in expanding horizons and thus has created a wide range of memorable experiences for people around the globe.”

Mastercard is focused on helping cardholders travel the world with peace of mind through seamless planning, convenience and connectivity at their destinations and worry-free acceptance at millions of locations. Compelling travel offerings and benefits help travellers every step of their journey.”

TRAVELOKA INDONESIAN SITE RATED AMONG BEST IN ASIA

Published January 10, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30361870

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TRAVELOKA  INDONESIAN SITE RATED  AMONG BEST IN ASIA

Tourism January 09, 2019 01:00

By The Nation

Indonesia’s Traveloka is labelled as a mobile master brand, or top mobile site, in travel in Asia by Google and Accenture Interactive, a leading digital agency network.

The outcome of the evaluation indicates that Traveloka is now one of the top mobile travel sites in Southeast Asia with an overall score of 82 per cent against an industry average of 69 per cent.

TCEB to spotlight venue standard, promoting Thailand as Asian MICE business hub

Published January 10, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30361816

TCEB to spotlight venue standard, promoting Thailand as Asian MICE business hub

Breaking News January 07, 2019 23:53

By The Nation

5,134 Viewed

The Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is planning a five-year venue development model scheme (2019-2023) with the intention of promoting the Kingdom as Asia’s MICE business hub that meets international standards, as well as the centre for MICE education within Asean.

Following its overwhelming success to date, the TCEB has set its sights on making more than 1,200 industry-standard rooms available by 2023, and featuring the largest number of MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) venues in Asean.

Additionally, Thailand Sustainable Event Management Standards, or TSEMS, will be launched next year in response to the world’s trend towards business operations with social and environmental concerns, TCEB president Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya announced on Monday.

He also described Thailand MICE Venue Standards, or TMVS, as one of the key projects aiming to leverage the capabilities of Thailand’s MICE industry to grow on a par with its international competitors with genuine competitiveness, in accordance with the government’s policy to feature MICE as one of the businesses that generates major income for the country.

“Standardisation is a key element of trustworthiness and is a tool to assure the country’s readiness. It reflects the professionalism of Thailand’s MICE venue operators in regard to attracting events, as well as domestic and international organisers to choose industry-standard venues.

“Launched in 2014, the project has been warmly welcomed by venue operators. Thailand is the first in Asean to initiate MICE venue standard certification, and push forward as Asean MICE Venue Standards, or AMVS,” Chiruit explained.

Achievements of the project have fulfilled the previous five-year venue development model scheme (2015-2019), which comprises six key strategies: the development of a Thailand MICE Venue Standard to conform to international standards; the development of personnel capabilities; the development of IT systems; public relations and marketing support; promotion of a venue standard among Asean countries; and enforcement of a MICE venue standard towards sustainability.

Special operations centre for tourists affected by storm

Published January 7, 2019 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30361626

  • Chinese tourists disembark at Surat Thani airport after tour operators were forced to suspend boats to tourist islands due to tropical storm Pabuk, in the southern Thailand/ AFP
  • Foreign tourists with their belongings wait as their flights to leave the island of Samui have been cancelled following a tropical storm Pabuk weather warning, at an airport of Koh Samui Island, Surat Thani province./EPA-EFE

Special operations centre for tourists affected by storm

Tourism January 05, 2019 02:00

By The Nation

8,370 Viewed

A war room has been set up to help tourists in the wake of tropical storm Pabuk.

Santi Pawai, deputy permanent-secretary of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, said on Friday that the ministry has set up an operations centre to help tourists affected by the storm.

The centre, jointly run by state agencies and the private sector, will also keep a close eye on the situation.

The centre, manned by staff from the Tourist Assistance Centre and Tourist Police, will be available round the clock and can be reached via (02) 356 0662, (02) 356 0688, (065) 504 1484 and via fax at (02) 356 0655

Pabuk, the first tropical storm in decades to strike during the peak holiday season, is expected to make landfall on Friday evening.

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