Vol. VI No. 38 - Tuesday
November 13, - November 19, 2007



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


BUSINESS & TRAVEL
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Expat investment seminar

Launching Chic by Thailand

Expat investment seminar

Expats in Chiang Mai or those planning to retire in Thailand might be interested in a wealth management seminar to take place at the Amari Rincome, Chiang Mai, on November 15th. The short afternoon session will cover topics such as offshore investments, pensions, tax-savings, trust management and expat investing privileges.
Organized by Sterling Assets, one of Thailand’s most qualified teams for expat wealth management, the seminar is free to all members of the public. Those who are retired or working in Thailand and other parts of Asia, and those who are planning to come and live here from all parts of the world can benefit from the obligation-free advice that will be covered at the talk.
The event will take place from 3:00pm, lasting about two hours, during which attendees will have a chance to quiz some experienced and qualified financial advisors about re-organizing their assets, pensions, savings and investments, when they are living outside of their own countries.
According to Richard Colburn, Managing Director of Sterling Assets and a key speaker, the simple advice that will be discussed covers; tax-saving pension plans, setting up offshore bank accounts for privacy, moving UK pensions offshore, and investment opportunities for expats.


Launching Chic by Thailand

Sirima Eamtako
(TTG Asia)

In a country where creative style flourishes and young designers have begun to lead the way on the global stage, the mood among Thailand’s owners and developers of hotels and resorts alike has also started to swing towards the chic, artistic and modern.

This photo shows a studio suite in the new Dusit D2 Chiang Mai. The hotel is one of a host of new boutique accommodations opening in the kingdom that offer tourists a more chic holiday experience.

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor, Ms Phornsiri Manoharn, said the development of chic or hip hotels and boutique resorts were on the rise because room rates for this type of accommodation were quite high, starting from around 5,000 baht (US$160) to more than 100,000 baht a night.
The growing trend and tourist interest in a lavish and chic travel lifestyle prompted the TAT London office to launch its first Chic by Thailand campaign in September last year. The office subsequently introduced the second chapter of the promotion last month.
TAT London office said there was strong growth in the number of luxury tour operators interested in promoting the chic campaign. At least 15 companies to-date had shown interest it said, and added the majority had embraced the promotional tactic and even created their own dedicated Chic by Thailand brochures.
UK-based tour operators promoting Chic by Thailand include Tropical Locations, Turquoise Holiday, Travel Mood, Destinology, Key2Holiday, Kuoni UK and Thomson Worldwide.
Turquoise Holiday’s product manager, Ms Tessa Williams, said the first Chic By Thailand brochure was very well received within the industry and it was an effective tool for raising the profile of the country as a chic lifestyle destination.
“As a company who specialises in chic, discerning products, we have seen a strong demand for anything from the latest restaurants and hotspots in Bangkok to a chic retreat on one of the Thailand’s beaches since the launch of our dedicated Asia brochure.
“Thailand’s innate sense of style and excellent levels of service are particularly well suited to this market and I believe that demand for Chic by Thailand will only continue to grow, thanks to the fantastic new style of its second chapter,” Ms Williams said.
The second chapter of Chic by Thailand highlights four key chic areas in the country: Urban Chic – all about the buzz of Bangkok; Beach Chic – devoted to popular and off-the-beaten-track islands such as Koh Kood and Koh Yao; Easy Chic – featuring lesser known islands such as Koh Chang and Koh Samet; and Rural Chic – for all things green and ecotourism activities.
TAT London office director, Mr. Tanes Petsuwan, said Thailand continued to lend itself to the concept of chic as a result of the further steady development of many new boutique-style properties in the country, bringing on the rise in the number of visitors to the new islands and resorts due to strong support from its trade partners.
He said the Chic by Thailand campaign was set to continue to thrive with the third chapter slated to launch for 2008/2009, incorporating new themes which will highlight key issues and bringing the latest in “what’s new, where to be seen and how to be green”.
It is not only the UK and Irish tourists who are keen on chic travel and lifestyle in Thailand. Go Vacation Thailand executive director for product and contracting, Mr. Hermann Wegmueller, said there was also a growing demand in the German-speaking markets for trendy accommodation and attractions in the kingdom.
Mr. Wegmueller said: “We do not plan to produce a dedicated brochure on this particular travel product. However, in the German-speaking market, there is no other tour operator that features as many boutique hotels as our company (Rewe Group) does.”
Besides the European market, TAT Seoul office has also launched a Thai for Ladies – Chic Spots map in the South Korean market.
The map highlights trendy places South Korea’s international superstars and celebrities visited during their stay in Thailand. These included spas, boutique hotels, trendy restaurants, cool cafés and Bangkok’s famous shopping streets. It also features travel destinations such as Koh Samet in the eastern coast of Thailand.
The TAT headquarters in Bangkok also launched Thailand Chic Vanity in February this year – a guide to the country’s chic and stylish hotels, resorts, eateries, entertainment, wellness and shopping.
Among the accommodation highlights are D2 Chiang Mai, Dream Hotel and [email protected] Design Hotel and Spa in Bangkok, as well as Aleenta Resort – a member of Chic Retreats and Small Luxury Hotels of the World – in Hua Hin and Costa Lanta in Krabi.
[email protected] Design Hotel and Spa reported an average occupancy rate of 77 per cent this year – a healthy performance given the fact the hotel just opened in April.
The hotel’s general manager, Mr. Sanya Saengboon, said the hotel expected to run at around 82 per cent occupancy rate next year while the average room rate would be raised from around 3,000 baht to just above 4,000 baht.
Thus, the chic lifestyle has proved its ability to add a sparkle to not just travellers’ lives but also hoteliers’ bank vaults.



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