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Travel & Tourism 

2012 Golden Year of Thai tourism

BANGKOK, Dec 28 – Inbound tourists to Thailand hit a historic record of almost 22 million persons this year, generating at least Bt900 billion (US$30 billion), a prominent Thai tourism industry leader said today,

Piyamarn Techapaibul, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), described 2012 as the 'golden year' for Thailand’s tourism industry as circulating revenue from local tourists has also increased to Bt500 billion (US$17 billion).

She said that political stability and the increasing popularity of tourist attractions in Thailand have contributed to the tourism boom, while the ongoing Sino-Japanese conflict has diverted travellers from both countries to Thailand.

Number one ranked in numbers of visitors to Thailand this year is from China with 2.5 million travellers. Russia placed second with one million visitors, while India, South Korea and Japan each produced almost one million people from each country.

She said the Tourism and Sports Ministry will be asked to plan a strategy to wider tourist attractions from the traditional locations in the North and beach resorts on the Andaman Coast to other potential areas such as provinces along the Gulf of Thailand.

Ms Piyamarn said the TCT has also targeted extending foreign tourists’ average five-day stay in Thailand to six days and increasing their daily spending of Bt3,000 (US$100) per person to Bt5,000 (US$170).

According to the plan--expected in the next three years--room rates in Thailand, currently the cheapest in Asia, must be adjusted while locally made merchandise should be redesigned to attract Asian tourists.

She urged the government to the lower import tax on luxury goods to make Thailand more competitive with destinations such as Hong Kong and Singapore. (MCOT online news)


Lost in Thailand' could draw more tourists to the kingdom

BANGKOK, Dec 28 – The Thai tourism industry hopes the popularity of a new film, “Lost in Thailand”, that is sweeping China, will attract more Chinese tourists to Thailand next year.

Filmed mainly in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, the movie is a compilation of stories based on the real experiences of expats who have chosen Thailand as their home. It has become a record-breaking film, grossing the highest revenue in China this year.

Sisdiwat Chivarattanaporn, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA), said the extraordinary response to the movie will likely interest Thai and Chinese travel agents to use the locations as attractions for Chinese tourists.

Chinese visitors to Thailand this year number more than 2.5 million, a 56 per cent increase from last year’s 1.7 million. Their traditional and favourite destinations are Bangkok, Pattaya, Ayutthaya and Phuket.

Mr Sisdiwat said the movie should draw the Chinese to a new attraction – Chiang Mai -- adding that new activities seen in the film such as having massage at a spa or riding a “tuk-tuk” could be included in the sight-seeing programme. (MCOT online news)


Promising Satun: Another Thai tourist paradise

Satun, a charming province in Thailand’s south, rests between limestone cliffs, and the beautiful pristine waters of the Andaman Sea. Over the years it has gained popularity as another southern wonder, attracting tourists from all over the globe.

Lipe Island and other islands in Tarutao National Park is a famed destination that Satun is proud to showcase.

With lush green environments and crystal clear water and sand, the peak season attracts tourists from around the world – as well as from Thailand. Up to 80% of the foreign tourists come from Europe, especially Scandinavia, as well as from North America. More importantly, it has also been of major interest to neighbouring Malaysia, as many Malaysians travel to the province, as it is convenient to commute. On the other hand, the peaceful province also accommodates tourists from local near-by provinces, including Songkhla, Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani.

“Tourists enjoy rafting in what is known to locals as the ‘Wang Sai Tong’ route. It is another activity that tourists very much enjoy as the waters here are perfect for rafting all year round," Darunee Lamchan, Thai News Agency reporter, said.

More recently, the Tourism Authority of Thailand organised business-matching opportunities that enabled entrepreneurs to meet and expand business prospects.

With over 700,000 tourists entering the province last year and generating up to Bt3 billion in revenue, the future looks bright for Satun.(MCOT online news)


TAT JOINS THE THAI TOURISM INDUSTRY TO WELCOME THE COUNTRY’S 21,000,001ST VISITOR

Bangkok, December 13, 2012: The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and travel-related offices of the Thai public and private sectors today jointly organized a welcoming ceremony for the group of international tourists that pushed Thailand’s tourist arrivals for 2012 to over 21 million people. The country is fast moving the number of 22 million. With this super growth, TAT is confident that the year 2013 will see 24.5 million arrivals and an income of 1.149 million million baht.


At 11.45 hrs. today at the Arrival Hall of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, TAT Governor, together with top executives from Thai Airways International, Airports of Thailand Public Co., Ltd. and representatives of Thai tourism associations, held a lively ceremony to greet tourists by giving away Nong Sukjai mascot dolls to arriving passengers. Recipients emerging from the baggage claim area were surprised but delighted by the ceremony. There were photo opportunities with the executives by the Thai media, which came in force to cover the historic occasion.


Mr. Suraphon said, “This activity was held to mark a major milestone for the Thai tourism industry. We registered a 15% increase in arrivals over 2011 and we are confident of generating at least 965,000 million baht for the country, a healthy 24% rise over last year. Our statistics showed that Thailand welcomed 19,761,794 international tourists from January to November this year, which was an increase of 13.57%. The top ten countries that sent tourists to Thailand were China, Malaysia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, India, Laos, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. The main growth markets are from Asia. Both Suvarnabhumi Airport and Phuket International Airport showed a good increase in the first half of December of 35% and 47%, respectively. These figures bolster our confidence in achieving 22 million arrivals very soon.”

The trend for 2013 looks to be positive should the travel situation remain as stable as it is now. TAT expects international arrivals to hit 24.5 million (11% increase) and revenue generated to be 1,149,000 million baht (19% increase). The main contributing markets will likely be Asian countries and the launching of the ASEAN Community in 2015 will spur even further growth.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org


PRESS RELEASE: AMAZING THAILAND INVITES BUYERS TO EXPERIENCE THAINESS AT SATTE 2013

New Delhi, December 2012- With the immense success of SATTE 2012, Amazing Thailand will once again showcase the best of Thailand during SATTE 2013 from 16-18 January 2013 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Amazing Thailand will occupy a bigger space at Booth No 1159, Hall No. 11. There will be a wide variety of products and services, ranging from cultural & entertainment options to golf, theme parks to health & wellness, from tour operators to airlines as well as luxury villas and resorts. All in all, there will be 54 sellers, totaling up to over 100 delegations, coming from different parts of Thailand including Bangkok and other beach destinations. The aim is not only to update the Indian travel trade with new offerings from Thailand but also at the same time introduce new locations and products that suit the potential Indian traveler.

During the 3-day event, TAT has arranged for professional therapists from a luxury wellness spa “Rarinjinda” in Thailand, for both buyers and sellers to experience Thai traditional massage, which is a good way to relax and relieve tension and stress.

TAT has achieved our set target for 2012, bringing the total number of Indian travelers to Thailand to 1 million, making Amazing Thailand the champion destination for Indian outbound market. TAT has also received accolades from Indians for:

The Most Favourite Country from Conde Nast Traveller Award, 2012
The World’s Best Country from Travel + Leisure, 2011
The World’s Best Wedding Destination from Travel & Leisure, 2011
The Most Popular Wedding Destination from Hospitality India & Explore the World Magazine, 2012
The Best Destination for Value (International) from Lonely Planet magazine, 2012
The Best Destination International for Film -Making from Cinemascape, 2012

Ms. Runjuan Tongrut, Director, TAT New Delhi, added, “All our co-exhibitors from Thailand are looking forward to meet with potential buyers and partners during the 3-day event. SATTE is one of the best platforms for buyers and sellers to network and discuss business opportunities. This year, Thailand offers more variety and posh products that suit Indian luxury travellers. We hope and wish for 2013 to be a better year with a target of 10% increase in number of travellers and 20% in revenue. We sincerely welcome you all to Amazing Thailand Pavilion, at booth no 1159, Hall No.11 right at the entrance. See you at SATTE 2013.”

For more information about Amazing Thailand, please visit:
Tourism Authority of Thailand
B- 9/1A Vasant Vihar, New Delhi – 110057
Tel: 91 11 46741111, 41663567-9
Email: [email protected] 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com /Tourism Authority of Thailand India


PHUKET ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND DANCE FESTIVAL 2012 /KARON BEACH COUNTDOWN 2013

Phuket, Thailand - 25 December, 2012 - Inspired by the success and appeal of electronic music festivals globally, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in collaboration with the Department of Intellectual Properties (Ministry of Commerce), and Karon Municipality have once again arranged the Phuket Electronic Music and Dance festival 2012. This exciting event will take place in conjunction with the Karon Beach New Year 2013 Countdown.

The objective of the festival and competition was announced to promote electronic music in Thailand, to encourage talented young Thai electronic artists and to modernize the electronic music industry in Thailand.

Musical events such as this festival attract music lovers from beyond Thailand’s borders, and are a powerful promotion tool to build tourist confidence in Thai destinations; accordingly, all the relevant authorities are using their massive online network to attract visitors for the New Year’s festivities.

The goal of Phuket Electronic Music and Dance Festival 2012 / Karon Beach Countdown 2013 and Creative IP DJ Hunt 2012 is to promote electronic music in Thailand and encourage talented young Thai electronic artists to participate in the electronic music industry in Thailand. The top 3 Winners of the IP DJ Hunt contest will receive 20,000 Baht, 10,000 Baht and 5,000 Baht, respectively, as well as prizes from Pioneer DJ.

The 2-day festival will showcase an exciting line up of more than 30 international and Thai DJs. Top Thai DJs include J Monthon, who is also a presenter for IP DJ Hunt; DJ Domination, winner of the Best Video DJ of the World Contest in Dubai 2012; and Pay and White, who is currently in the Top 10 World Chart of Crystal Palace.


The Creative IP DJ Hunt will take place on Karon Beach starting at 1700 hours on the 30th of December with the Awards and Opening ceremony set to kick off at 2100 hours. All are cordially invited to join the New Year 2013 Countdown Ceremony on Karon Beach starting at 2330 hours. Entrance to the event is totally free.

Fashion TV, the world’s number one fashion and lifestyle channel, also a co-organizer of the event, has invited more than 50 international fashion models to join the countdown on stage. Highlights of the event will be aired on Fashion TV to more than 500 million views around the world.

For more information, please email us at [email protected]  or visit us on Facebook.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org


Chiang Mai, Phuket, Chonburi top venues for New Year celebration

BANGKOK, Dec 27 – Thailand’s economic woes have apparently played havoc with the country’s New Year celebrants as half of the Thai people are now holding back from buying gifts for others and almost 70 per cent of Thais have decided not to travel upcountry during the New Year holidays.

A survey by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) conducted Monday and Tuesday this week found that half -- 49.6 per cent -- of the total 1,247 respondents would buy gifts for others during this traditionally gift-giving season while 44.99 per cent would not.

The poll result represents a decrease from last year’s poll when 60.26 per cent of respondents said they would buy gifts.

Regarding upcountry trips to celebrate New Year, more than two-thirds decided to stay home. Almost 70 per cent (68.89 per cent) said they would not travel, 56 per cent said they will celebrate in other provinces and about one-third -- 34.43 per cent -- said they would return home.

The three most popular destinations for the New Year’s celebrations are Chiang Mai, Phuket and Chonburi.

Half of the respondents said they would spend an average Bt6,000 for their holiday travels. (MCOT online news)


More Chinese tourists expected following film craze

More Chinese tourists are expected to travel to Thailand after a Chinese comedy-adventure film shot in Thailand has become an instant hit among audience in mainland China.

“Lost in Thailand” is directed by Xu Zheng and narrates a story about two Chinese people travelling in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

Words about beautiful sceneries in Chiang Mai and Thailand have been spreading in Chinese social networks where many Chinese people are talking about “Lost in Thailand” and say they want to come to Thailand to follow the travelling route of the film.

Meanwhile, a number of people who have been to Thailand before are sharing their holiday photos in their profile pages. According to Film Business Asia, the film has been at the top of the Chinese box office for three consecutive weeks since its premiere on 12 December.

For the first eight days, it earned about 450 million yuan or 2.166 billion baht. On the 15 December alone, the film made 100 million yuan or about 500 million baht.

By RADIO THAILAND & INSIGHT INFO


Transport Minister orders faster completion of Phuket Airport extension

PHUKET, Dec 27 - Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt ordered the extension of Phuket International Airport to be completed more quickly to serve the anticipated higher number of passengers.

Mr Chadchart visited Phuket International Airport following reports of congestion; reporting an annual flow of 9.1 million passengers while the airport’s designed capacity is only 6.5 million passengers.

Airports of Thailand began construction in October with a budget of Bt5.7 billion (about US$185 million) and the work is expected to be finished in February 2014.

The transport minister said that he ordered AoT to speed up the work as construction is behind schedule. (MCOT online news)

Under the plan, the use of space in passenger terminal, the check-in counter management system, and airport transportation will be improved for greater convenience. An additional emergency plan will be put in place in case of emergency landing as Phuket Airport has only one runway.

Construction of an additional runway is being planned as the number of passengers could reach 20 million per year in the future as the government policy is to increase tourism income to two trillion baht annually.

Under the fiscal year 2012-2014, the airport extension has been initiated and when completed, it will be able to serve 12.5 million passengers per year. (MCOT online news)
 


Flower festival brightens Chiang Mai vistas

Known for its beauty beyond fascinating landscapes and enchanting hill tribes, Chiang Mai--the Rose of the North--is also known for its annual flower festival. Spanning an area of 10 rai (4 acres or 1.6 hectares), HM the King's Horticultural Exposition showcases over 100 varieties of flowers.

This year's horticultural show displays flowers which are native to colder terrains, such as the rare Orange Lily or the famous Holland Tulips. Alongside architectural displays of major worldwide tourist sites, there are also displays of vertical gardens, as well as a tower which provides a vantage point for a 360 degree view of the whole exposition.

Another exhibition taking place is the renowned Royal Flora Rajapruek Show, which is back once again displaying countless varieties of flowers. Graciously granted the name by HM the King in 2010, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives organised this event in celebration of the 60th anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's accession to the throne in 1950. And this year, marking His Majesty's 85th Birthday, the flowers are blooming more than ever.

Tasanee Srimonkol, Director Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai said this year's show has been gaining more and more popularity. The first day the Park welcomed around 2,000 people, the second day saw approximately 3,000, and yesterday about 4,000 visitors came. It could pass the 300,000 visitors-mark this year.

This year's theme "Royal Shade at Royal Park Rajapruek" highlights the benevolence of His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen and HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.

More information about entrance fees and other inquires can be found on the website at www.royalparkrajapruek.org or call 053-114-110-5. Exhibitions open today through February next year. (MCOT online news)


Suvarnabhumi Airport ready for New Year travellers

BANGKOK, Dec 25 - Thailand's main international airport, Suvarnabhumi Airport, is prepared for a huge influx of travellers, with almost two million passengers expected to use the facility during the 12-day festive New Year holidays, said the Airports of Thailand (AoT) chief on Tuesday.

AoT acting president Somchai Sawasdipol said 1.88 million passengers are expected use Suvarnabhumi Airport services between December 25 and January 5, or about 156,000 persons daily.

The airport has set up a special centre to facilitate traveler needs and ensure safety on the premises, the AoT chief said.

Mr Somchai the AoT has coordinated with airlines regarding the amount of passengers during the period and has opened more check-in counters to handle the anticipated passenger flow.

He said the airport also sought cooperation from the Royal Thai Police's Immigration Division to deploy more officials at the immigration counters in order to ease congestion.

Mr Somchai expressed confidence that the passengers will receive convenience during their travel through the country's six airports nationwide, operated by the AoT, particularly at Suvarnabhumi.

The AoT acting president said Suvarnabhumi Airport served about 52 million passengers in 2012, exceeding its capacity of 45 million per year.

Mr Somchai insisted that the second and third phase of construction of Suvarnabhumi Airport is needed in respond to the rising figure of passengers.

The overall number travellers for AoT's six airports nationwide for 2012 stands at 74 million and is expected to increase to 78 million next year due to expansion of the tourism industry, the AoT chief said. (MCOT online news)


Foreign tourists visiting Thailand rise 14%

BANGKOK, Dec 24 – Inbound tourists to Thailand reached 21.8 million persons this year, representing a 14 per cent increase from last year and generating a total revenue of Bt 930 billion (US$31 billion), a senior official of the Tourism and Sports Ministry said today.

Anuparp Kesornsuwan, acting director general of the Tourism Department, said the number of foreign tourists to Thailand rose by 60 per cent in November alone while the December figure is predictably high thanks to the holiday season.

Hotel reservations between the end of this year and early next year are higher than the same period in the previous year, he said, adding that global economic recovery will possibly stimulate tourism growth and the number foreign tourists visiting Thailand next year should be 10 per cent greater than this year, or a total of 24 million people.

He said the government’s economic stimulus and successive tourism-related activities have attracted Thai people to travel in the country as well, making it a blessing to the domestic tourism business.

It is estimated that 112 million people in Thailand travelled in the country this year, generating a circulating revenue of Bt500 billion (US$17 billion) while next year should see a 6 per cent growth, said Mr Anuparp.

He added that the Tourism Department has sought cooperation from agencies concerned in cracking down on bogus tour guides and ensuring that illegal tour operators do not cash in on Thai and foreign tourists during the festive season.

According to the five-year National Tourism Development Plan (2012-2016), the government will spend at least Bt6.65 billion (US$221 million) in three years (2012-2014) to develop tourist attractions nationwide and launch activities to boost tourism such as development of tourism/scenic routes and promoting filming locations. (MCOT online news)


TAT LIFTS DIGITAL MARKETING PRESENCE

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has unveiled a package of online marketing strategies designed to take advantage of the rapidly-growing social media networks and attract millions more viewers and visitors to Thailand in 2013.

Speaking at the December 13 launch, Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand said that the TAT’s online marketing strategies plan for 2013 would be one of the cost-effective means of reaching the growing legions of consumers for whom mobile gadgets have become an indispensable part of life.

He said the dual-language social media tools would include a broad variety of “infotainment” tactics, combining both information and entertainment messages targeted at domestic and international visitors.

The TAT has been well ahead of the game in taking advantage of the marketing opportunities made available by these new mediums, Mr. Suraphon said. “Our job is to promote the country’s tourism attractions and drive business for our private sector. Online technologies allow us to do both efficiently and effectively.”

The plan will see TAT boosting cooperation with leading online channels such as Facebook, Google (Street View), Trip Advisor and Zizzee.

At present, there are over 1 billion Facebook users worldwide or 44% of worldwide internet users worldwide. By 2013, facebook users are estimated to grow to 1.5 billion worldwide (not including other social network such as twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest etc.

In 2012, the TAT main website www.tourismthailand.org recorded more than 130 million page views and 20 million visitors. Across all the social media channels, the TAT sites recorded more than 530 million impressions and 50 million visitors.

TAT also launched a new online community called “Amazing Thailand On Line” app which has chalked up 80 million users worldwide. The sticker has recorded more than two million downloads.

Trip Advisor is claimed to be the world’s biggest website with real-time advice for travellers and reviews of products and services. TAT has gained the rights to take reviews from Trip Advisor and publish them on TAT main website; this will help to improve the quality of information and also increase the number of website visitors and pageviews of www.tourismthailand.org website.

With Google, the TAT is using the “Google Street View” which allows users to explore places around the world through 360-degree, panoramic view, and street-level imagery. At present, it can be used to view the three most popular tourist destinations of Thailand: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.


BANGKOK IN TOP THREE OF GLOBAL CITIES FOR TOURIST SHOPPING, VALUE FOR MONEY

BBangkok has been rated the world’s second best city for tourist shopping and the third best city in terms of value for money, according to a global survey of 75,000 travellers covering 40 cities by the TripAdvisor travel site.

Tokyo was the most highly decorated world city ranked number one for best taxi services, friendliest taxi drivers, best public transportation, cleanest streets, and safety. Singapore also rated highly in several categories related to safety, cleanliness and transport infrastructure.

However, Bangkok rated best in two very important categories of the visitor experience, shopping and value for money. Said Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, “This is a very important result for us because it underscores the success of our marketing campaign. We have always sought to position Thailand as a shopping paradise, thanks to our value for money factor and extensive diversity of products and services.”

The exact results were as follows:

Thailand recorded a 31% increase in tourism receipts in 2011 over 2010, according to Ministry of Tourism and Sports figures. The total earnings of 776 billion baht (US$25.45 billion) were also well above the original target of 716 billion baht (US$23 billion). Visitor spending per capita per day in 2011 averaged 4,187 baht, of which 24% (1,001 baht) was spent on shopping, the second highest expenditure item after accommodation.
The growth in total number of visitors, projected at 20.5 million in 2012 and 22.45 million in 2013, is being matched by increased average length of stay and average daily expenditure, further underscoring the role of tourism as one of the most important economic sectors and contributor to job creation and nationwide income distribution.
Overall, the expenditure figures show that the recent strengthening of the baht against the US$ is having little impact and Thailand remains good value for money for visitors across the board. The availability of a broad range of products from the latest designer goods to traditional Thai arts and crafts is further enhanced by the VAT refund scheme.


YOUR BIG DAY... DE LA PAIX: A WEDDING FOR THE AGES IN A HOTEL FROM HISTORY IN THE TOWN THAT TIME FORGOT

TLUANG PRABANG, LAOS - Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang has launched four new ways to wed in the world's most romantic town.

The reflection pool at Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang's courtyard garden - a refined and dignified setting for an unforgettable wedding day.

'Your Big Day... de la Paix' gives adventurous couples the choice of two variations on a traditional Lao wedding banquet and romantic 'Baci' ceremony, never-to-be-forgotten nuptials cruising in a vintage wooden boat on the mystical 'mother of waters', the Mekong River, or a soft-focus floral frolic in Hotel de la Paix's signature courtyard garden, amidst trimmed hedges, wildflowers and reflection pools.

All of this is set against the unique, UNESCO-protected precincts of Luang Prabang, and the gorgeous quarters of Hotel de la Paix: a century-old French fort, a World Heritage wonder, and a colonial moment preserved in amber. The hotel nestles in the heart of the former royal capital of Laos, just 23 spacious suites distinguished by the 'world's best luxury hotel interior design' (World Architecture News Awards, 2011).

Hotel de la Paix's Heritage Suites offer newly-weds and guests a refined and luxurious stay in spacious accomodation.

Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang General Manager Kevin O'Hagan said Luang Prabang was one of the most romantic places on earth and its peace and quiet was perfectly suited to intimate gatherings.

'Lao Wedding... de la Paix' offers an authentic Lao traditional wedding ceremony in full costume, with a grand procession, Baci ceremony, flowers, Lao banquet at Baan Silipa, live DJ, Lao music, professional make-up, three-layer cake and champagne, plus free-flow beer and wine and a special wedding gift from Hotel de la Paix. 'Lao Wedding... Mother of Waters' also offers an authentic Lao traditional wedding ceremony in full costume with the variation being and a sunset reception cruise.

'Western Wedding... Gardens and Rivers' uses the hotel's stunning courtyard for the wedding ceremony, before transferring by vintage car to a luxury wooden launch for a sunset reception cruise on the Mekong, flowers, live DJ, Lao music, professional make-up, three-layer cake and champagne, plus free-flow beer and wine and a special wedding gift from Hotel de la Paix.

'Western Wedding... Cocktails and Dreams' offers a sunset cruise with live DJ, Lao music, professional make-up, three-layer cake and champagne, plus free-flow beer and wine, vintage car transfer and a special wedding gift from Hotel de la Paix.

For more information and booking enquiries please go to:

www.hoteldelapaixlp.com 

For further information, high-resolution photography or interest in visiting the property, please contact:

Jesse A. Atienza
Operations Manager
Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang
Tel: +856 71 260 777
Email: [email protected] 
www.hoteldelapaixlp.com

David Johnson
Managing Director
Delivering Asia Communications
Tel: +66 (0) 2246 1159
Mobile: +66 (8) 9170 9866
E-mail : [email protected]
www.deliveringcommunications.com

Note to Editors:

Hotel de la Paix Cha Am Beach Hua Hin, Thailand, Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang, Laos and its affiliated boutique hotel and restaurant 3 Nagas capture the essence of the region's history while offering first-class facilities and services. The 79-room Cha Am resort reflects a sophisticated and contemporary lifestyle, while the 23-suite Luang Prabang-based Hotel de la Paix has been built in French colonial style. 3 Nagas comprises three beautifully restored historical UNESCO World Heritage buildings, staying true to the traditional Lao character. Each property offers unique dining experiences and both resorts offer first-class wellness and recreational facilities, including spas. Stylish accommodation is ubiquitous to all, with a firm belief in preserving the past yet welcoming the future.


JANUARY DATE SET FOR THAILAND TOURISM FORUM

Peter Henley, President & CEO, Onyx Hospitality & Hotels.

ABANGKOK, THAILAND - Is Thailand still amazing, or has it lost step with the competition? A scorecard on the state of the nation's hospitality industry will be presented at the upcoming 2nd Annual Thailand Tourism Forum on January 31st. Featured is a leadership summit with hotel executives Chanin Donavanik of Dusit International, Onyx Hospitality's Peter Henley, Minor Hotel Group's Dillip Rajakarier, and Clarence Tan of the InterContinental Hotels Group.

Dillip Rajakarier, CEO, Minor Hotel Group.

Event founder Bill Barnett of C9 Hotelworks commented "tourism is the face of Brand Thailand and the industry remains a life force for the country."
A series of key features include leading international experts presenting on hotel operating performance trends in the major and secondary Thai destinations, an update on hotel transaction in Thailand and a critical analysis of the country's airports. While a special spotlight will focus on developing new Thai hotel brands which will include a panel of three emerging groups - Sukosol, Akaryn and Kasemkij.

Chanin Donavanik, CEO, Dusit International.

Closing out the event will be a look forward to 2015 and the milestone AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) and what impact will this have on Thailand's hotel and tourism map.
According to key speaker Mike Batchelor, Managing Director of Investment Sales Asia for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels: "Thailand is enjoying record levels of investment activity again following a period of political stability. Investors, dominated by overseas interests are expected to continue to acquire attractively prices assets in the country's gateway cities and resort destinations in 2013."

Clarence Tan, COO, Asia Australasia, InterContinental Hotels Group.

The event will take place at the InterContinental Hotel Bangkok and has been co-organized by AMCHAM Thailand in conjunction with STR Global, PATA, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Horwath HTL, Quo Global and C9 Hotelworks. Last year over 260 participants from throughout Thailand and the Asian region attended. Attendance is free and one of the highlights is a networking opportunity to meet key industry players following the forum.
Whether you work in the industry, are an investor or associated to the affiliated tourism services sector this event it Thailand's leading opportunity to learn about what's driving business in the country. For more information or to sign up visit www.ThailandTourismForum.com 
For further information or high-resolution photography please contact:
David Johnson
Managing Director
Delivering Asia Communications
Tel: +66 (0) 2246 1159
Mobile: +66 (8) 9170 9866
E-mail : [email protected]
www.deliveringcommunications.com
About TTF2013
Founded by Bill Barnett, Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks in partnership with AMCHAM (American Chamber of Commerce) Thailand's Travel & Tourism Committee. The event is a non-profit forum aimed at promoting the country's tourism sector as a leading economic driver for Brand Thailand. Supporters include the InterContinental Hotel Group, Dusit International, Minor Hotel Group, Onyx Hospitality & Hotels, Horwath HTL, STR Global, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, Quo Global, PATA, Zinc-InVision Hospitality and Delivering Asia Communications.


Young Japanese Golf Star to Continue As Thailand Golf Ambassador

Bangkok, Thailand, 14 December 2012: Ryo Ishikawa, one of Japan’s best and most popular young professional golfers, who has been “Thailand Golf Ambassador” since 2009, is to continue to enjoy the same status for another year, under an agreement with the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The signing ceremony of the contract extension and the press conference was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 10 December 2012. Mr. Ishikawa was in Thailand to play in the Thailand Golf Championship, at the exclusive Amata Spring Country Club, Chon Buri Province, between 6 and 9 December 2012.

Born in Saitama Prefecture, Mr. Ishikawa started his golf career when his father took him to a golf driving range at the age of six. In 2007, as a high school student, he became the youngest winner of the “Munsingwear Open KSB Cup”, one of the tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour. He was also recognized as the world’s youngest winner (15 years and 245 days) by the Guinness Book of World Records.

On 10 January 2008, he turned professional, making him the youngest ever Japanese pro golfer. He has played in the Royal Trophy, one of the most significant men’s professional tournaments held in Thailand as a member of the Asian team 3 times since 2009. Through his experience from these exciting matches, he has become very familiar with Thailand.

Mr. Ishikawa said, “Thai people are warm and friendly. I feel happiness with lots of Thai smiles while playing golf. Thailand is already known to have some of the best golf courses and facilities in the world, and the overall atmosphere is just wonderful for the concentration that this sport requires.”


He said Thailand's caddies are much better at reading golf lines than the caddies in Japan. “The service is much more personal, too. In Thailand, we can get one caddy per golfer but in Japan, we will be lucky to get one caddy per four golfers.”

He said he could summarise his best impressions of Thailand with three words: “smile, warm and spicy.”

“I would like to recommend tasting Tom Kha Kai (chicken in coconut milk soup) which is as delicious as the Tom Yum Gung (Thai Prawn Soup with lemongrass). The next time, if I have a chance, I would like to find time to take a family trip to Phuket as well as other spots in both South and North Thailand.”

He said he was very honoured to be asked to remain on as Thailand’s Golf Ambassador and would work hard to ensure that more Japanese tourists visit Thailand to enjoy playing golf”. Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of TAT said, “Mr. Ryo Ishikawa is a superstar and popular among all generations in Japan and other countries. We are so proud and happy that he has agreed to continue being our Ambassador.”


Mr. Ryo Ishikawa has taken a very important role in promoting Thailand as an interesting destination, as he has often visited Thailand to play in major tournaments for many years.

Golf is one of the major attractions of Thailand that many Japanese tourists come to enjoy playing in world-class courses all over the country. The golf market in Japan is a segment with high potential growth, as the numbers of golfers keeps increasing, particularly female and junior golfers. Many Japanese golf travellers now rank Thailand as one of the best golf destinations not only in Asia but in the world.

In January – October 2012, the number of Japanese visitors to Thailand was 1,106,657, an increase of 12.9% over the same period of 2011. We are pleased that the total number of Japanese visitors to Thailand 2012 will be possibly hitting the largest record in history.

More Information, please contact:
East Asia Region
Tel:02 250 5500 ext. 1220-23
Fax:02 2537423
E-mail: [email protected]


TAT Promotes Inaugural Direct Emirates Airlines Flights From Dubai To Phuket

Dubai – December 13, 2012: The Tourism Authority of Thailand marked the start of a daily Emirates Airlines flight between Dubai and Phuket by hosting a high-level delegation of 10 media and five special guests aboard the inaugural service on December 10.

Phuket, the biggest island in Thailand and now the second most important tourist city after Bangkok, has become Emirates’ second destination in Thailand. The flights have been launched in time for the holiday high season.

Operated by a 267-seat Airbus A340-300 aircraft, EK378 will depart Dubai at 1245hrs and arrive at Phuket at 2155hrs. The return flight, EK379 will depart at 0035hrs the following day and arrive at Dubai at 0435hrs.

The TAT designed the December 10-14 trip in line with the themes, “Phuket and Beyond” and “Family Destination.” The itinerary was packaged to showcase the broad range of fabulous tourism products and services both in Phuket as well as surrounding provinces.

In addition to the media from various print publications and TV stations, the TAT hosted five guests of honour: Mr. Warawudh Chuwiruch, Ambassador, Royal Thai Embassy, UAE, and his wife; Brigadier Obaid Mehayer Bin Suroor, Deputy Director of Dubai Immigration, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (DNRD); Mr. Khalid Bin Touq, Executive Director Licensing & Classification Section, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), and Mr. Salem Obaidalla, Senior Vice President, Far East & Australia, Emirates Airlines.

A press conference and lunch was held at Indigo Pearl Phuket.

Phuket will become the 15th route launch for the airline this year and the second in South East Asia after Ho Chi Minh City in June.

According to Mr. Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airlines, “We have been operating flights to Bangkok since 1990. We currently operate four daily flights between Dubai and Bangkok, including one with our ultra-modern Airbus A380 aircraft. We are confident that Phuket will prove a popular destination for our passengers, especially those from the UAE, Middle East and Europe.”

Emirates Holidays, the airline’s tour operating arm, offers tailor-made holidays to Phuket, that include a hand-picked selection of five, four and three-star hotels. Its annual brochure, A World of Choice, highlights many of Phuket’s attractions from lush vistas and the turquoise waters of its sandy western shoreline, to cultural landmarks such as Chalong Temple and old Phuket Town.

Often dubbed as the Pearl of the Andaman, Phuket has become Thailand’s second most important direct-access gateway with a total of 56,673 domestic and international flights in 2011. In 2011, the island attracted over 9 million domestic and international visitors, generating 188 billion baht in tourism income.

In January – November 2012, Middle East visitor arrivals to Thailand totalled 563,743, up 0.30% over the same period of 2011. Of these, 103,906 were UAE visitors, Kuwait (61,884), Egypt (18,196) and Saudi Arabia (16,396).

Ends


Czech Tourists Rank Thailand One of Their Top Destinations

Czech – December 13, 2012: Readership polls conducted by two of the Czech Republic’s popular consumer and travel trade papers have shown that Thailand ranks among the most popular destinations for Czech travellers this winter season.

The daily tabloid newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes, in its 3-4 November, 2012, edition, reported that Thailand was one of the top destinations for Czech tourists during the winter season, highly regarded for the scenic beauty of its many islands, safety and security, good atmosphere, value for money, and good transport systems. The newspaper claims to have an average daily readership of around 224,000, making it one of the country’s most popular and influential newspapers.

Moreover, Thailand was selected as the third best tourist destination for Czech travellers in 2012 by readers of the Travel Trade Gazette (TTG), according to a report from the Royal Thai Embassy in Prague. The awards ceremony was held on 9 November, 2012. TTG is a popular travel trade paper in the Czech Republic and conducts regular readership polls to identify travel trends and customer preferences.

In 2011, Thailand welcomed a total of 29,126 Czech visitors, up 5.68% over 2010. During January - September 2012, Czech visitors totalled 23,615, up by 0.14% over the same period of 2011.

Ms. Supranee Pongpat, Director of the TAT Frankfurt Office, which also oversees tourism in the Czech Republic commented, “The Czech Republic is one of our important emerging source markets that is producing good results in spite of the somewhat difficult economic conditions in Europe. The growing popularity of Thailand also shows that our marketing strategies there are working. In January 2012, we worked with various Czech media groups and events organisers to have Thailand featured as a backdrop destination for the widely-televised Miss Czech beauty pageant.”

Thousands of Czech citizens seek out warm weather destinations to get a brief respite from their cold winters. The fact that they get a 15-day visa on arrival in Thailand facilitates the decision-making process. First time visitors mostly visit Pattaya while repeat visitors venture beyond to the beaches of Krabi, Phuket and Surat Thani.

Although there are no direct scheduled flights between the Czech Republic and Thailand, visitors come via charter flights organised by various travel agents and tour operators or via other transit points in Europe and the Gulf countries.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org


IT TAKES AN OLYMPIAN TO LIGHT UP THE CHRISTMAS TREE AT THANYAPURA

Bikes and bulbs combine to make Thanyapura's dazzling Christmas tree entirely unique.

BPhuket, Thailand: Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club Phuket recently organised a magnificent Christmas tree lighting ceremony to mark the beginning of the festive season. To promote one of the most popular sports on the island, triathlon cycling, the tree was creatively formed by joining up ten bicycles of varying sizes with a stunning lighting design.
Of course, it takes a true Olympian to light up a Christmas tree at Thanyapura, so three times LPT winner, second place winner in the recent 70.3 Ironman Phuket on December 2nd and triathlon Olympian, Radka Vodickova, was the guest of honour, spinning the generator wheel to send electricity flying up and illuminating the most unique Christmas tree ever seen on Phuket.

Triathlon Olympian Radka Vodickova span the pedal-powered generator to light up the tree.

For further information or high-resolution photography, please contact:
Ms. Nathaphat Asavathanachart
Marketing Communications Manager
E-mail: [email protected] 
Tel: +66 (0) 76 336 000 Ext 50633
Mobile: +66 (0) 80 266 9393
www.thanyapura.com 
Mr. David Johnson
Managing Director
Delivering Asia Communications
E-mail: [email protected] 
Tel: +66 (0) 2246 1159
Mobile: +66 (0) 89 170 9866
About Thanyapura. Thanyapura offers a diverse portfolio of unique properties centred on one idyllic campus in the heart of Phuket including Thanyapura Sports & Leisure Club - Phuket, a world class sports and fitness facility for elite athletes and amateur enthusiasts, Thanyapura Mind Centre for the cultivation of mental and emotional balance, Phuket International Academy Day School, 77-room Thanyapura Resort (opening 2012), 38-room Thanyapura Retreat as well as a satellite operation, the five-star, nine-suite Thanyamundra two hours drive north of Phuket on a working organic farm adjacent to Khao Sok National Park. Thanyapura's leisure amenities extend to a day spa, fully equipped kids and teen clubs, arts studio and performance centre plus innovative food and beverage outlets featuring organic cuisine, wine and cooking instruction. Unrivalled on Phuket, Thanyapura presents the ideal destination for active leisure travellers, professional and amateur sports enthusiasts, corporate groups on offsite retreats, seminars, incentives and team building as well as for the active and wellness needs of the local community. Thanyapura prides itself on being a responsible member of the Phuket community, operating with integrity as equal opportunity employers and adhering to the highest ethical standards.


Sukothai Turns Back the Clock

Rim Yom Market, Kong Krai Las District, circa 1894

Miss Saratwadee Asasupakit, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Sukhothai Office, together with the Kong Krai Las sub-district of Sukhothai, would like to invite you to the Rim Yom Market to look back on life and commerce in the year 1894. This special celebration held the first Saturday of every month will allow tourists to experience the turn-of-the-century lifestyle and culture of the Chinese community there.

The market, once an important port named “Koh Kong,” was where groups of Chiu Chow and Hainanese went to do business with the Ban Kong people who lived simply and peacefully in rafts on the Yom River. Even though this port is not used commercially in the present day, the locals have conserved its history and have replicated the way the market felt in the golden age.

Visitors to this modern-day re-creation can experience the local lifestyle through demonstrations of Thai dessert-making done in the traditional Kong Krai Las way, and by sampling the delicious flavors: Thong Muan (rolled coconut wafers), Cha Mok Nga Dam (milk tea with black sesame seeds), and Khanom Phing (tapioca flour cookies) and, they can check out the Yom River Basin fishery and its various products made by the local fishermen, such as delicious pickled fish and fish sauces made from minnows.

And film buffs should know too that the market is acclaimed for being the site of the film Ka Wao Tee Bang Pleng, the Thai Sci-Fi thriller written by the famed Mom Rajawongse (M.R.) Kukrit Pramoj.

The TAT Sukhothai office would like to announce a special promotion for tourists as well. We are providing FREE transportation to Rim Yom Market from the center of Sukhothai, the first Saturday of every month. The shuttle departs TAT headquarters once per day at 17:00 and returns at 19:30, and runs from November 2012 through November 2013. Feel free to wear attire reflecting the people of this golden era for historical photo opportunities!

For more information please contact:
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Sukhothai Office
130 Chrodwithithong Road, Thani Sub-District,
Muang District, Sukhothai 6400
Tel: 055-616-228, 055-616-229
Web site: http://www.tourismthailand.org/sukhothai
E-mail: [email protected]


Thai Tourism Industry Pursues High Net-Worth Visitors at Luxury Travel Mart

CANNES, France - 6 December,2012:Eighteen Thai exhibitors selling products and services targeted specifically at the rich and famous participated in the International Luxury Travel Mart 2012 (ILTM) held between 3-6 December, 2012, at Palais des Festivals et des Congres, Cannes, France.

Organised by Reed Exhibitions annually since 2002 amidst the backdrop of the deluxe French Riviera, the ILTM positions itself as the leading ‘by invitation only’ event for the global luxury travel community. It brings together the world’s most sought after collection of luxury experiences for the most discerning international luxury travel buyers, for four days of business and networking opportunities.

VIP Buyers attend on an invitation-only basis. The range of exhibitors includes over 1,300 of the very finest high-end properties, secluded destinations and desired experiences.

Thailand has been a regular annual participant since 2005. This year, the Thai delegates included 13 hotels from Khao Yai, Hua Hin, Samui, Phuket, Ko Pha Ngan, Phang Nga and Krabi, 4 travel agents and 1 hotel management company.

Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said, “Thailand’s range of luxury products and services do perfect justice to our campaign slogan, “Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You”. High-end buyers and tourists worldwide have great regard for such products and services and we continue to see growing demand.”

The Thai delegation undertook a range of activities to boost Thailand’s profile at the event. A networking lunch was organised for French tour operators on 3 December, 2012.

In 2011, Thailand hit 19.23 million arrivals in 2011, with total spending of US$ 25.45 billion, based on an average spend of US$ 137.33 per person per day. Visitors from the UAE (US$ 175) and Saudi Arabia (US$ 166) were the highest average daily spenders. Other top spenders are visitors from Kuwait, Brunei, Korea, Australia, Singapore, South Africa, India and Indonesia.

In January-June 2012, total arrivals of 10.61 million generated total spending of US$14.98 billion, based on an average daily expenditure of US$ 134.17 per person. The top spenders were the UAE, Hong Kong, South Africa, Singapore, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, India, Australia, Egypt and China.

Thailand is extremely well positioned to attract this top-end market.

In addition to the range of award-winning hotels and health and wellness resorts, already well-known among the world’s rich and famous, Thailand has seen the recent emergence of hip and intimate boutique pool villas located in some of the scenic and picturesque parts of Thailand.

Many wealthy travellers are also seeking new experiences; such as, learning how to cook Thai cuisine, give a traditional Thai massage and meditate. Shoppers, too, can find plenty of choices in both the multitude of modern multi-storey department stores and shopping complexes as well as small traditional street markets which are well worth the experience.

List of Thai Exhibitors at ILTM 2012
Organisations
Website

Asara Villa & Suite Hua Hin

www.asaravillaandsuite.com

Ayara Hilltops Boutique Resort & Spa

www.ayarahilltops.com

Asian Trails

www.asiantrails.info
www.asiantrails.travel

Avista Hideaway Resort & Spa

www.avistaphuket.com

Diethelm Travel Group

www.diethelmtravel.com

Discovery Holidays Co., Ltd

www.discoveryholidays.com,
www.discoveryholidays.co.th

Indigo Pearl

www.indigo-pearl.com

Kirimaya Golf Resort Spa

www.kirimaya.com

Rayavadee & Tamarind Village

www.rayavadee.com,
www.tamarindvillage.com

SALA Resorts and Spas

www.salaresorts.com

Santhiya Resorts & Spas

www.santhiya.com
 
Sayama Travel Group

www.sayamatravel.com

Sri Panwa Phuket

www.sripanwa.com

The Racha

www.theracha.com

The Surin Phuket

www.thesurinphuket.com

The Unique Collection

www.theuniquecollection.com

The Vijitt Resort Phuket

www.vijittresort.com

Twinpalms Phuket

www.ayarahilltops.com

Contact Information
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org


WORLD CHAMPION PIZZA MASTER TOPS FESTIVE BILL AT RAMADA RESORT KHAO LAK

Three times World Pizza Champion and Guinness World Record holder - Danilo Sangrigoli shows off his skills.

KHAO LAK, THAILAND - Ramada Resort Khao Lak has enlisted the help of three times World Pizza Champion Danilo Sangrigoli to entertain guests with fantastic displays of floury-fingered finesse and dough-handling dexterity throughout the festive season.
All through December, Mr Sangrioli will be demonstrating his pizza acrobatics and serving up expertly crafted specimens of the Italian favourite at Ramada's bar and restaurant, Sassi's Beach Club, located on the pristine white sands of Bang Niang beach.
A certified master from the Scuola Italiana Pizzaioi, Mr Sangrigoli is no stranger to impressing an audience with pizza-based performances, having won the title of European Champion at the 2006 Pizza World Cup in Barcelona as well as holding the Guinness World Record for baking 504 pizzas in under 103 minutes.

Mr Sangrigoli is the first competitor to win both the Acrobatic and Baking titles in Italy's Pizza Championship, evidence that his baking consists of style and substance. A natural choice for Ramada's management therefore, who are dedicated to offering guests the ultimate in tranquil relaxation alongside the unique experiences offered by Khao Lak.

Surrounded by the ancient forests of Khao Sok and facing out towards the legendary Similan Islands, Ramada Resort Khao Lak offers guests luxury accommodation in an awe-inspiring setting.

Ramada Resort Khao Lak is located on an expansive stretch of idyllic coastline facing out towards the legendary diving hotspot that is the Similan islands, and surrounded by the backdrop of vast mountains and dense rainforest that make up Khao Sok, Thailand's most ancient, ecologically significant and visually spectacular rainforest.

When guests aren't diving, nature-gazing, rafting or trekking around Khao Lak to take in the stunning natural beauty of the area, Mr Sangrigoli's pizza twirling can be admired and its results enjoyed from 19:00 pm every Wednesday evening.

For further information and high-resolution photography, please contact:

Michael Vorderleitner
General Manager
Ramada Resort Khao Lak
Tel: +66 (0) 76 427 777
Mob: +668 1370 0991
Email: [email protected] 
www.ramadakhaolak.com

David Johnson
Managing Director
Delivering Asia Communications
Tel: +66 (0) 2246 1159
E-mail :
[email protected] 
Website: www.deliveringcommunications.com 

Notes to Editors:
Ramada Resort Khao Lak is the heart and soul of unique, pristine and beautiful Khao Lak: located in the centre of Khao Lak in an absolute beachfront location at Bang Niang Beach, the resort is also infused with community spirit and takes pride in its efforts to reach out to the local community and preserve the natural environment. Fronted by pristine white sand beaches, close to fantastic outlying islands, with lush tropical foliage, comfortable contemporary and very spacious rooms and villas, sumptuous dining choices, rejuvenating spa treatments and more, Ramada Resort Khao Lak is only an hour - and yet worlds away - from Phuket International Airport and the world's most renowned resort island. Its tranquil beaches, unspoiled environment and relaxed ambience offer the perfect setting for a true tropical getaway.


TAT Stockholm Launches Website to Promote Health and Wellness Trips

Bangkok, November 29,2012: The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Stockholm Office has launched its first website specifically to promote health and wellness travel to Thailand, especially by Swedish women and senior citizens.

Ageing populations and changing lifestyles are contributing to a growing demand for health and wellness solutions, with a specific focus on prevention, maintenance and cure. This means that vacations for rest and recreation are being accompanied by breakouts for yoga, meditation, spa treatments and spirituality.

According to Mrs. Nalinee Pananon, TAT Stockholm Office Director, “As a Buddhist country, Thailand is well-known for its beautiful temples, retreats and high-class spas. As such, we are taking this opportunity to promote Thailand as the world's leading country for spiritual and physical health. Key target markets are families and career women aged 30+.”

The idea of setting up the website emerged after the TAT organised a media familiarisation trip under the theme, “Body & Soul Retreat.” The media participants reported extensively on the broad range of Thai health and wellness products, facilities and services. Articles appeared in popular magazines such as Cosmopolitan Norway, Cosmopolitan Sweden, Allt om Resor, Topphalsa and Voi Hyvin.

After generating the high level of interest, it was a logical next step for the TAT to help potential health and wellness travellers get more detailed information. As such, the website is broken down into categories such as: Body & Soul; Live philosophy; Medical Tourism; Active vacation, and tips from travellers. These categories include more details on Thai spas, yoga classes, meditation, detox, dental treatments, foot massage, and opportunities for physical activity.

More categories are to be added after evaluation of the feedback.

Said Mrs. Nalinee, “In the Scandinavian countries, active vacations are as important a part of well-being as meditation and the pursuit of mental peace. In the latter category, visitors can also undertake temple tours and classes on Buddhism.”

Arrivals from Sweden have been growing strongly over the years. In 2011, visitor arrivals from Sweden were up 5.88% to 369,144. Their daily expenditure per person per day was 3,619 baht (USD118) with an average length of stay 18 days. Females comprised 42% of the total, 78% were repeat visitors and 89% FIT travellers.

In January – October 2012, Swedish visitor arrivals totalled 256,132, a decline of 5.36% over the same period of 2011. As of November 2012, there were 7 direct scheduled flights per week between Bangkok and Stockholm operated by THAI Airways International.

For further details, please check out www.amazingwellness.se

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org


Thailand Grabs the Best Five AsiaSpa Awards 2012

Hong Kong, November 30, 2012: Thailand won the Asian Spa Capital of the Year award at the 8th annual AsiaSpa Awards for 2012, organised on 15 November in Hong Kong by AsiaSpa magazine. The award was one of five picked up in total by Thai spas, health and wellness resorts, more than any other country.

The remaining four were:
Day Spa of the Year: The Oasis Spa Lanna, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Spa Retreat of the Year: Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa, Ko Samui, Thailand
Medi-Spa of the Year: S Medical Spa, Bangkok, Thailand
In-Spa Training of the Year: Banyan Tree Spa Academy, Phuket, Thailand

Mrs. Titiporn Manenate, Director of TAT Hong Kong Office said, “When the Chiva-Som International Health Resort opened in Hua Hin in 1995, it broke new ground in the annals of Asia-Pacific health and wellness tourism. Ever since then, Thailand has continued to raise the bar in the quality and diversity of its spa offerings. Today, the kingdom has a huge range of health resorts and spas offering superb herbal treatments and traditional massage, all of very high and certifiable standards.”

She added: “Thai spas blend traditional well-being therapies with relaxing massage, holistic treatments and numerous other ways to relieve and detox an overworked physical and mental system. Enjoyed by people around the world, Thai spas are becoming as popular as Thai cuisine.”

Originated in 2005 to recognise what the organisers refer to as the “sensational spa industry of Asia,” the AsiaSpa awards now cover a total of 24 categories. This year’s awards event attracted more than 350 industry professionals representing spas, hotel and resorts, retreats, academies, personalities and products. The categories recognise achievements in luxury standards, innovation, ecological awareness, and exceeding the benchmark in spa training.

“2012 has been a very interesting year for the spa industry, with many new brands and spa additions,” says Vivienne Tang, Editor-in-Chief of AsiaSpa magazine. “We’ve never received so many nomination entries like we did this year, and it has been a truly thrilling experience to see who eventually took home an award.”

Of the other award winners, spas from Singapore won four awards, and from Hong Kong and Indonesia, three awards each. The Maldives won one award. The rest went to industry personalities and products around the region.

The trophies were provided by Baccarat with additional event sponsorship by Thalissi, W Hong Kong, Alissi Brontë, Phytocéane, Acantha and Hedonist. The W Hong Kong hosted this year’s Awards.

AsiaSpa describes itself as being Asia's only magazine totally dedicated to the pursuit of complete well-being. It has a readership of over 120,000, many of them brand-conscious urban females.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org


Trang Province Welcomes Its One-Millionth Tourist for 2012

TRANG, November 30, 2012: The stunning southern Thai province of Trang welcomed its one millionth visitor, Mr. Wichaya Kiatying-angsulee, on 29 November 2012. Senior executives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Trang Provincial Authority, Trang Chamber of Commerce and Nok Air presented a certificate to the millionth tourist of 2012 at the Departure Lounge of Don Mueang Airport, Bangkok.

The event was presided over by Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, TAT Governor.

Trang is a magnificent coastal province with a beautiful 199-kilometre shoreline along the Andaman Sea. In recent years, it has become as popular as Krabi and Phang-nga, both of which are attracting a growing number of foreign and domestic visitors seeking to go beyond Phuket.

In January – October 2012, Trang received a total of 910,000 visitors, both domestic and foreign. As the average number of daily visitors is 3,200, it was calculated that the millionth visitor of 2012 would we arriving on 29 November. By the end of 2012, Trang is expected to record 1.15 million visitors, an increase of 14% over 2011. Official statistics show that 70% of total visitors are Thai and 30% are foreigners.

Major factors that have contributed to the tourism growth are the increased flights by Nok Air and Thai AirAsia, the absence of natural disasters and a stable social and economic situation, thanks to a combination of private and public sector policies which are designed to ensure a balance between the local cost of living and income levels of the local people.

Most of the foreign visitors are European, especially from the Scandinavian countries who enjoy long-stay, leisure holidays at the beachfront bungalows, mostly between November – March. More recently, there has been strong growth in arrivals from neighbouring Malaysia, where TAT and the Thai tourism private sector have done extensive promotions.

Mr. Charun Chuennaitom, Director of TAT’s Trang Office, said, “Trang is another alternative destination for regional and global visitors. The province has a unique local culture, abundance of natural resources and outstanding cuisine.”

Trang boasts breathtaking beaches along the mainland coast as well as offshore islands. Visitors can cruise the coastal waters and visit notable sights; such as, the enchanting Emerald Cave, the nearby Mu Ko Petra National Park, wildlife sanctuaries like Namtok Khao Chong and Khlong Lamchan Park where waterfalls, nature trails, and caves are awaiting exploration.

The waters off Trang have also become a refuge of the threatened dugong, the “sea cow” cousin of the manatee. Ko Libong is one of the best places to spot these docile sea mammals which have become the unofficial symbol of Trang.

Trang city, the provincial capital, is a centuries-old seaport with a multicultural population of Thai, Malay, and Hokkien Chinese residents, a mixture that is best appreciated while dining on the local cuisine or mingling with the locals at a local coffee shop.

The best time to visit Trang is between December and May.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4544-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.th
Web site: http://www.tatnews.org


BHAVANA LAUNCHES 'NEW BEGINNINGS' PROGRAMME TO END FESTIVE SEASON PRESSURES

 Serene surroundings: Bhavana Phuket's calm and tranquil surroundings offer a healthy place for personal reflections induced by the hectic festive season.

BANGKOK, THAILAND: Bhavana, South-East Asia's only medically licensed rehabilitation and detoxification centre, has launched the 'New Beginnings' programme aimed at helping those with addiction issues make it through the holidays unscathed.

The festive season could be one of the most challenging times of year, said Dr Kai Goh, Bhavana founder and CEO, and an international addiction specialist. It was also, however, a period of reflection, resolutions and fresh starts.

"For those prone to addiction problems, the Christmas and New Year break can be a very trying time," Dr Goh said. "We created 'New Beginnings' to help people escape the stresses and temptations of the festive season.

"For recovering addicts or people just beginning to realize they have a problem, these 7 to 28-day programmes will guide them in a new and positive direction, and allow them to step back from the peer group pressures or other temptations that come even more strongly to bear as the holidays approach.

"I urge anyone who feels things might be sliding off the rails a bit to join the programme and to participate in what promises to be a life-changing experience, subject to availability, of course."

Caring company: Bhavana Phuket offers patients an open and relaxed environment to tackle behavioural addictions and substance dependency.

Programmes are available for 7 to 28 days, beginning from December 13 this year. The last day patients can book the 28-day program is December 15, 2012; while the cut-off date for the 7-day programme is January 8, 2013.

The all-inclusive fee is USD 3,000 for 7 days including airport transfers, full-board accommodation and medically supervised detox as required.

Dr Goh said the 'New Beginnings' programmes would incorporate Bhavana's flagship BEAT (Bhavana Evaluation Assessment Treatment) approach, which represents a significant breakthrough in treatment of addiction in Asia, requiring a stay of as little as seven days to achieve detox from alcohol dependence and begin the rehabilitation process.

Dr Goh is an addiction specialist formerly with world-renowned The Priory in London and also has a psychiatric practice dealing with addiction in London's Knightsbridge.

Bhavana's treatment programmes have been designed and created by leaders in their field at Cottonwood in the US and adapted to the Asian environment. The centre's credentials are further enhanced through the strong support from addiction specialists at The Priory in London and Promises in Singapore, all amongst the world's top centres for treatment of addiction.

Bhavana's team of specialists were accustomed to helping patients coping with a varied range of both substance dependences and behavioural addictions Substance dependences range from over-the-counter and prescription drugs, painkillers, sleeping pills to alcohol and illegal substances such as cocaine, methamphetamines and heroin.

Behavioural addictions include internet addiction, addiction to pornography, compulsive shopping, gambling and also sexual compulsivity. Forms of anxiety, various phobias and post-traumatic stress, although not addictions, are also disorders that could be successfully treated using Bhavana's integrated approach.

Bhavana offers short and long-term programmes including medical detox for safe alcohol or drug withdrawal and a genuine medical and therapeutic addiction treatment facility, licensed as a hospital by the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand. The centre is located on a serene and very private beachfront estate in Southern Phuket, with international flight access close at hand yet a level of seclusion and natural beauty which ensures the best possible start to each patient's recovery.

To see the Bhavana Phuket Brochure, click here:

http://share.snacktools.com/AFDBE686AED/fzp52cnt 

www.bhavanahealing.comm 

For further information or high-resolution photography, please contact:

Tanagrid Chongkittiraks (Mr)
Director of Operations
Tel: +66 76 200 584
Mobile: + 6685 231 6556
Fax: +66 76 200 484
Email: [email protected] 
www.bhavanahealing.com 

David Johnson
Managing Director
Delivering Asia Communications
Tel: +662 246 1159
Mobile: +6689 170 9866
Email: [email protected] 
www.deliveringcommunications.com 

Notes to the Editor:

Bhavana Phuket is a boutique rehabilitation centre with just 17 guest rooms – allowing all patients to receive highly personalized treatment and focused attention to ensure their recovery stays on track. It is also Asia's first internationally accredited rehab and medical detox centre with a hospital license offering masters-qualified counsellors offering absolute privacy at its serene beachfront estate in Phuket


Daily Update

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2012 Golden Year of Thai tourism

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