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Travel & Tourism 

BMA inviting Bangkok residents to celebraye Chinese New Year at Yaowarat

BANGKOK, 30 January 2013 (NNT)-The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is inviting Bangkok residents to visit the city’s China town to celebrate the Chinese New Year 2013 and learn about the history of Yaowarat road.

In the statement issued at a press conference at the River City Trading Center today, BMA Deputy Permanent Secretary Attaporn Suwattanadeja said the Chinese New Year celebration at Yaowarat will be held on February 10 and 11, 2013.

According to him, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will be presiding over the opening ceremony of the Chinese New Year celebration at 17.00 hrs. A special exhibition will also be held to display His Majesty the King’s philosophy and the history of the Yaowarat China town.

The Deputy Permanent Secretary also said it will be the first time in Thailand that a cultural show from Tibet will be performing at the event. The performance is made possible by the Chinese government as a gift for Thailand and a gesture honoring the long standing relationship between Thailand and China. There will also be a lion dance competition as well as 18 gold bars to give away and other prizes for celebrants throughout the 2-day event.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau will begin to close the road at Chalermprakiat Gate all the way to Chalermburi Intersection on February 9th until February 12 at 18.00 hrs. People are advised to use public transportation to visit the event.


Comprehensive safety program for tourists to be developed

BANGKOK, 29 January 2013 (NNT)-The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is reportedly planning to request from the Cabinet a mid-year budget allocation to develop a comprehensive security plan to assure long-term safety for tourists.

According to Tourism and Sports Ministry Spokesperson Mr. Watchara Kannika, the goal of the Ministry is to raise confidence in the safety measures for foreign travelers in Thailand. Other units such as the Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of Transport will also join the Ministry of Tourism and Sports in developing and implementing the comprehensive safety scheme.

In addition to the scheme, the Ministry is also running a program which recruits volunteers who live around tourist attractions for a training program to assist tourists in various crisis scenarios.

The program has been piloted in Pattaya City, Chonburi province, where 400 volunteers are participating in. Mr. Watchara further added that the same program will be later launched in Phuket, Chiang Mai and Koh Samui where statistics show they are more vulnerable to tourist attacks than any other cities.

The Spokesperson boasted the success of the program, citing lower crime rates and a higher number of arrests in the pilot province than the cities without cooperation from local volunteers.


Thai Tourism Arrivals Cross 22 Million Mark in 2012

Bangkok – January 21, 2013: Thailand has achieved record-breaking visitor arrivals, crossing the 22 million mark for the first time in 2012. Figures tabulated by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports for January – December 2012 show total arrivals by nationality of 22,303,065, up 15.98 percent over 2011.

Commenting on the performance, TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “We are overjoyed to have achieved this result in the year the people of Thailand commemorated the 85th birthday of His Majesty the King. It is also a tribute to the cooperation and creativity of the entire Thai travel & tourism industry for the huge effort that has been made to ensure that travel & tourism remains a leading industry for job creation, distribution of income nationwide and contribution to culture, heritage and environmental preservation.”

The governor said that the primary contributor to this result was the prevalence of global, regional and local peace and stability. “Last year, the world was generally at peace and there were no major geopolitical, economic, environmental or natural disasters and no health pandemics. Travel & tourism can only flourish worldwide if the underlying conditions that support it remain free of disturbance and disruption. That is one of the most important lessons for the entire industry to learn worldwide,” he said.

The highlight of the results was the fact that six countries, five of which are within the Asia-Pacific region, are now producing more than one million annual visitor arrivals. These are Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea, India and Russia.

The following performance analysis by market is based on the figures tabulated so far:

OVERVIEW: Visitors from East Asia totalled 12,502,194 (+20.84%), Europe 5,617,817 (+10.12%), the Americas 1,080,148 (+13.40%), South Asia 1,289,641 (+11.36%), Oceania 1,046,753 (+12.13%), Middle East 604,659 (+0.58%) and Africa 161,853 (+17.36%).

EAST ASIA: East Asian visitor arrivals to Thailand comprise the biggest market share of all visitors. Of the 22.30 million arrivals in 2012, a total of 12.50 million (+20.84%) were from East Asia regions.

By this year, two source-markets, China (2.7 million) and Malaysia (2.5 million) are now generating more than two million annual arrivals each. And two source-markets, Japan (1.3 million) and Korea (1.1 million) are generating more than one million arrivals each.
The ASEAN countries in total are generating over six million arrivals, with spectacular growth by Cambodia (+59.74%), Vietnam (+24.36%), Indonesia (+21.02%), Myanmar (+17.40%) and Laos (+6.63%).

EUROPE: The European visitors showed a good growth rate of 10.12% to 5.61 million. Russia is the largest source market from Europe with arrivals of 1,317,387, up 24.97%. United Kingdom is the second highest source market with a total of 870,164, up 2.98%, followed by Germany 681,566, up 10.08%.

THE AMERICAS: Arrivals from the Americas showed a good growth of 13.40% to 1,080,148 the main market, US, increased by 12.57% to 767,420. Arrivals from both Canada and Brazil showed positive growth of 12.18% and 22.18%.

SOUTH ASIA: Arrivals from South Asia grew by a strong 11.36% to 1,289,641. India has become a top of the list from South Asian market with arrivals up by 11.03% to 1,015,865, making it the region’s fastest growing market, followed by Sri Lanka 73,338, (+36.73%).

OCEANIA: Arrivals from Oceania grew by 12.13% to 1,046,753 visitors. Australian visitors were up 12.14% to 930,599 and New Zealand +12.28% to 113,509.

MIDDLE EAST: Arrivals from Middle East showed a slight growth of 0.58% to 604,659 with all markets up. Israel is the largest source market with arrivals of 129,184 (+3.27%) followed by UAE 113,174 (+4.20%) and Kuwait 64,536 (+15.68%).

AFRICA: Arrivals from Africa were up by 17.36% to 161,853. South Africa is a major market and has showed significant growth of 10.22% to 75,496.

In 2013, the TAT is confident that if the global, regional and local situation remains stable, this year will see Thailand receive 24.5 million arrivals, generating a projected tourism income of 1,149 billion baht.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected] 
Web site: www.tatnews.org


Roi Et to host traditional merit-making festival in March

ROI ET, 24 January 2013 (NNT) - Roi Et Province is preparing to host the Boon Pawed or a traditional merit-making festival to preserve its original culture.

The Boon Pawed is the sermon on the story of Buddha's last incarnation. Apart from that, locals will dress up in traditional Thai costumes and join a decorative parade. Folk dance and plays will be part of the highlight. The grand event is aimed at promoting local tourism as well.

The Boon Pawed Festival will take place at Somdet Phra Srinagarindra Park and Bung Palanchai in Muang District of Roi Et.

In addition, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is also holding the 3rd Amazing I-San Fair at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center during January 24-27 to promote the tourism sector in the Northeast.


Dino Park to be created in Nakhon Ratchasima

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 23 January 2013 (NNT) – The Korat Fossil Museum has planned to build a dinosaur learning center called Dino Park in Nakhon Ratchasima.

A meeting of related agencies has been held to brainstorm the details of the setting up of a theme park called Dino Park Nakhon Ratchasima Province . According to Suwat Liptapanlop, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University Council President and former Deputy Prime Minister, Dino Park is part of the government’s plans to develop northeastern provinces and improve the economy.

The park is to be located in Muang District, Nakhon Ratchasima. Archaeologists have found fossils of various types of dinosaurs in the area and in parts of Chaiyapoom Province, covering over 100 rai. Some of the dinosaur species were among the oldest in the world. Japanese experts have been studying the fossils with the Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University.

Mr Suwat said not only will the park be a learning center, but will also be among the top travel destinations in the Northeast. He is looking into the possibilities of connecting the park with the new high speed rail.


Fashion show of 15 national costumes held in Surin

SURIN, 22 January 2013 (NNT) - Artists from 15 nations donning their national costumes joined a catwalk in Surin Province to promote the local cultures.

The 8th Surin International Folklore Festival has been held at Surin Rajabhat University. The fashion show, consisting of over 300 models from 15 different countries dressed up in their respective national costumes, was held on January 20th amidst huge crowd. The models also donned wedding dresses, under the concept of "wedding party", symbolizing love to welcome the upcoming season of love.

Participants came from Ukraine, Bangladesh, India (Panjab and Manipur), Philippines, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Israel, Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Italy, and Thailand.

Other activities such as performances related to cultural exchange are also held beginning on January 15 and running through January 25; during which artists, musicians, and performers from different corners of the globe strut theis stuff on stage. Thai performers, meanwhile, present local Thai plays at the event to promote the culture and tourism in Surin.


Thailand Named 9th Best Country for Overseas Retirement

International Living cites entertainment and amenities, affordability as key reasons

Bangkok - 10 January, 2013: International Living, the self-proclaimed number one resource for helping people find the best places to retire around the world, has recently released their annual list of top retirement havens. Thailand, long a mainstay on surveys detailing possible locations for spending one’s golden years, placed 9th for 2013.

This year’s list focuses on the 22 best retirement destinations based on eight categories including climate, affordability, and ease of integration, as well as real estate, special retirement benefits, entertainment, health care and retirement infrastructure. Editors at InternationalLiving.com analyzed the feedback they received from correspondents in the places most popular with American and Canadian retirees.

Topping the list for the fifth straight year was Ecuador, highly regarded not only for its wonderful weather and remarkably inexpensive cost of living, but for the ease with which expats can integrate into life there.

Thailand, an immensely popular destination for tourists – as evidenced by the nearly 22 million who visited the country in 2012 – is also well regarded for its retirement opportunities. The Land of Smiles scored highly in two important categories: cost of living, where its 97/100 rating was second best on the list to the Philippines, and entertainment & amenities, where a score of 96 placed it in the top 5.

The index also points to the diversity of lifestyle options awaiting retirees in Thailand. Expats can choose between the bustling city life of the capital, Bangkok, and the white-sand beaches and clear blue waters in the south, or the slightly more temperate higher elevations in the north. The report also brought attention to the inexpensive accommodation costs, as condo rentals can be had almost anywhere for just $500 (USD) per month.

While earning high marks in many areas, the report did indicate that Thailand looks to improve on special benefits offered to retirees, such as discounts on goods & services or duty-free imports of home furnishing, and the English proficiency of the locals.

Rounding out the top 10 was Malta due to its very low crime rate, Mediterranean climate and large numbers of English speakers. Other EU members making the list include Spain, Ireland, France, Portugal and Italy. Thailand was one of only two Asian countries to make the top 10, along with Malaysia.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]  Web site: www.tatnews.org


Taps of Happiness

Rooted in the traditional bronze casting culture with a mixture of passion for art and owning a major bronze foundry, a Thai businessman has ventured into the non-traditional business of designing and manufacturing home decor, with a particular focus on water taps and home décor accessories.

Whether for outdoor or indoor use, the creatively designed bronze water taps with motifs from frogs to starfish, songbirds and seafowl, the creative castings are not limited to traditional concepts of art, or utility. The products are innovative, and are reaching markets as diverse as China and Russia.

Pragmatic, designed with artistic intention and sometimes by discovery, experimenting with inspirations from nature, by animals, the taps are popular among those who enjoy remodeling their homes and decorating them in style.

Initially driven by his objective to create water taps that are different to what is commonly found in local markets, Weerasak Maiwai aimed to incorporate art, the art of the possible, and art which leaps beyond the possible, from the feasible to the unimaginable.

Inspired in part by works he had seen in his travels abroad, about ten years ago he began creating varied designs, and today his elegant collections are seen in high-end home décor stores, as his creative imagination unfolded and has been applied far beyond his original thought.

“My customers and I share many similarities. Customers want something different to what is readily available anywhere, and for myself, I’ve always wanted something innovative. We share our thoughts and develop the designs from there onwards. That is why you see such random designs of water taps. We’ve also ventured into other products such as tissue hangers, hinges and door knobs as well,” said Weerasak Maiwai of Nuanpan International Co.,Ltd.

“It all started with the initial step. It’s important but don’t overthink it to the extent that makes you over-worried about the consequences of experimenting and trying new things… You have to go through obstacles, and all of these will shape your own experiences. All businesses must follow this phase, but learn from the mistakes”.

Of course the business is profitable. But apart from profits, Weerasak’s bronze water tap business has brought his unimaginable satisfaction. His business is a role model, setting a good example for other entrepreneurs of how personal interest, passion, and both the will – and the willingness -- to try what others had not done, are perfect equations for success and happiness. (MCOT online news)


TAT: Most tourists unaware of domestic tourism promotional campaigns

BANGKOK, 18 January 2013 (NNT) – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is surprised by a finding, which shows most travelers remain unaware of the many domestic tourism promotional campaigns, which it has introduced.

The TAT has recently collaborated with the National Statistical Office (NSO) in conducting a survey among some 68,000 travelers across the country regarding the Thai tourism industry in the past year.

The survey found that the number of local travelers rose 54.8% year-on-year in 2012, with the Northeast noted as the most popular destination where 34.2% of holidaymakers journeyed to.

The second-most popular region was the central plain, where 30.7% of Thai travelers opted for in 2012, while 18.2% went to the East and 15.9% chosen the upper part of the North.

The study also uncovered that more and more local holidaymakers have decided to plan their trips themselves rather than turning to travel agents.

The TAT revealed that, on average, each traveler spent 2,694 baht per trip last year.

But what startled them the most is the result of the traveler’s awareness of the TAT’s tourism promotional campaign “Tiew Hua Jai Mai – Muang Thai Yang Yuen”, or literally translated as “A New Heart of Travel – A Sustainable Thailand”. The survey stated that only 38.5% of the respondents have heard of this campaign, while 61% of them are unaware about how or what they will benefit from it.


JARAS AVIATION LAUNCHES REGIONAL LUXURY PRIVATE JET CHARTER SERVICE: INAUGURAL FLIGHT TO INTERCONTINENTAL HUA HIN RESORT

Jet setting with Jaras: The luxury private jet company offers chartered flights to destinations throughout Asia in seven seater Cessna 550 Citation Bravo jet aircraft.

HUA HIN, THAILAND : Exclusive luxury private jet company Jaras Aviation launched its first flight recently to Hua Hin, the first of many journeys the new business will take as it offers a fast, flexible and personalised service to elite travellers and businessmen to domestic and regional destinations.

Departing from the sumptuous Private Jet Terminal at Don Muang International Airport in Thailand, the inaugural flight in a Cessna 550 Citation Bravo jet aircraft took just 20 comfortable minutes to Bo Fai Airport in Hua Hin, escorting guests to the invitation-only Orchestra of Thai Silk event at the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort.

 A majestic display: The Orchestra of Thai Silk held at InterContinental Hua Hin Resort showcased the finest silk from around Thailand, inspired by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. .

Asia's number one tennis star Li Na (left) and world champion Victoria Azarenka (right) take to the catwalk for a stunning display of Thai design.

The evening began at the illustrious resort's restored 1920's period house, La Residence, where an exhibition showcased silks from all four corners of Thailand inspired by the tireless work of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand to bring silk weaving materials and traditions to the fore.

A short while later, the kingdom's top models assembled on the central lawn area and strode out along an elevated catwalk, treating leading Thai dignitaries, socialites and international guests in attendance to a dazzling fashion show of silk gowns and stylish garments by leading designers, Khun Kem Issara and Hook's by Prapakas.

The highlight of the glamourous evening was world tennis number one Victoria Azarenka and Asia's number one tennis star Li Na stepping onto the runway to rapturous applause wearing silk outfits specially created for them by the designers.

A trio of guests enjoying the event in the royal Thai heritage surroundings of the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort.

Tennis aces Li Na and Victoria Azarenka with local dignitaries associated with InterContinental Hua Hin Resort.

Owner of both the InterContinental Hua Hin Resort and Jaras Aviation, Ms Jaraspim Liptapanlop, said she was delighted to launch the Cessna 550 Citation Bravo jet service and welcome the first passengers to such an elegant occasion at the beachfront resort.

"What we achieved for the launch can give exclusive travellers and businesspeople an idea of what is possible by chartering our jet service," Ms Jaraspim said. "Just imagine taking off from Bangkok according to your own schedule for an evening in Hua Hin and coming back to be met by a private limousine. Convenience, comfort and absolutely customised service. Next stop Hong Kong or Singapore."

The private jet plane company offers both domestic and international flight services with a maximum range of four and a half hours, making it possible to fly to regional centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore - as well as emerging business and tourism destinations in Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Indonesia.

The capacity of the world-renowned jet aircraft model is seven seats, with a top speed of 734 kilometres per hour, a range of 3,520 kilometres and a ceiling height of 45,000 feet. The cost of chartering the Cessna 550 Citation Bravo is USD3,500 per hour, excluding ground handling costs and other bespoke services such as special food and beverage requests.

"We are focusing on executives of large corporations, high net-worth individuals and international business travellers who we believe can greatly benefit from our service as it offers a level of personalised exclusivity and efficiency in travel for business or social purposes that is not possible through regular air travel," said Ms Jaraspim.

"With the ASEAN Economic Cooperation grouping set to achieve full integration in 2015, we strongly believe that the frequency of travel and the need for timing flexibility for businessmen will increase tremendously in the ASEAN region. This will have a positive impact for not just the private jet industry but also for Thai business people and businesses located in Thailand."

Jaras Aviation is based in Bangkok, Thailand and also provides in-flight services such as catering and audio visual as well as offering other related services such as hotel bookings and limousine transfers.

Jaras has partnered with MJETS and Thai Flying Services. MJETS is the largest private jet service operator in Thailand and will assist Jaras with its wide network of clients through agencies and brokers. Moreover, MJETS has the experience, knowledge and capabilities to handle ground services and other exclusive associated services. Thai Flying Service, an operator with a strong and unblemished track record for more than 10 years would provide seamless operational services.

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

Tanakorn Sisangthong
Director of Sales and Marketing
Jaras Aviation Co., Ltd.
Tel: +66 (0) 2656 0236-8
Mobile: +66 (0)8 1888 7514
Fax: +66 (0) 2656 0239
Email: [email protected] 
Website: www.jarasaviation.com 

Nattapun Runyasewa
Director of Sales & Marketing
InterContinental Hua Hin Resort
Tel: +66 (0) 2656 0236
Fax: +66 (0) 2656 0239
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.intercontinental.com/huahin

Notes to Editors:

Jaras Aviation is based in Bangkok, Thailand, providing a seamless flying experience on domestic and international routes via a private jet charter service on a CESSNA 550 CITATION BRAVO business jet. Jaras Aviation also provides high-end in-flight services and other related additional services such as utilization of Thailand's first private jet terminal, full ground support services, hotel bookings and limousine transfers. Jaras Aviation operates in partnership with MJETS, the largest private jet service in Thailand. With this partnership, our clients will have alternative choice of aircraft by MJETS fleet.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 4,400 hotels and more than 645,000 guest rooms in 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club Rewards with 48 million members worldwide. IHG has 1,400 hotels in its development pipeline, which will create 140,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at www.ihg.comand  information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at www.priorityclub.com  . For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at www.ihg.com/media 


RAMADA AWARD ARMADA: KHAO LAK RESORT IN THE GROOVE AFTER SCOOPING TOP GLOBAL TRAVEL GONGS

The people's favourite: TripAdvisor users voted for Ramada Resort Khao Lak to top the poll in the Luxury and Top hotel categories.

KHAO LAK, THAILAND - Ramada Resort Khao Lak showed its true colours as a guests' favourite when it was announced today as a first-time two-time winner in the Top and Luxury hotel categories by TripAdvisor in its 2013 Travelers' Choice awards.

Now in its eleventh year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards honour the world's best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best - real travellers. Unlike any other hotel honours, TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers around the world.

This follows the receipt of the prestigious HolidayCheck Award this week, also decided by positive reviews of satisfied guests, which lists Ramada Resort Khao Lak as Thailand's number one hotel for positive customer feedback and one of the top 99 hotels in the world.

The HolidayCheck Award was bestowed in recognition of the resort's "extraordinary dedication as well as the commitment of your staff to exceed the expectations of your guests with a great product and an excellent service on a daily basis - a performance which is reflected in numerous satisfied guests and their positive hotel reviews."

Ramada Khao Lak Resort General Manager Michael Vorderleitner said his first reaction, upon receiving news of both awards, was 'we rock!' "Of course it's a great team effort, and I want to thank all of our valued guests who took the time to write such glowing reviews.

"These are important awards, you can't buy them or fake them, because they are decided by the most important people in our industry - travellers themselves.

"Ramada Resort Khao Lak has received more than 600 reviews on TripAdvisor alone, and we are often rated number one on TripAdvisor amongst resorts in Khao Lak. I'm delighted that track record has been recognised with this award.

"I want to thank my brilliant and hard-working team for their efforts, because all good reviews begin with great service. Oh, and did I mention that we rock?"

Christine Petersen, President, TripAdvisor for Business, said: "TripAdvisor is once again thrilled to recognize the world's most outstanding hotels with the help of more than 75 million reviews and opinions from travelers around the globe.

"From the best bargain hotels to top luxury properties, outstanding service, value and quality are the hallmarks of our Travelers' Choice winners."

A HolidayCheck spokesman said Ramada Resort Khao Lak was a worthy winner. The presentation of the HolidayCheck Award would take place at the opening event for the ITB in Berlin on March 5th 2013.

To be eligible for the award, hotels and resorts had to receive a recommendation rate of 90 percent or more, at least five 'suns', and the reviews were vetted to make sure there were no detectable manipulations.

To see 2013 Travelers' Choice winners, go to www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice 

To see the 2012 HolidayCheck winners, visit http://campus.holidaycheck.de/files/2012/12/HolidayCheck-Award-TopHotel-2013_EN.pdf 

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.

TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site,* enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 60 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 75 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.


Charming Hinterland on Display

Two northeastern native artists Ruangsak Patthawaro and Boonnum Sasood showcase their beautiful artwork, with over 80 unique pieces depicting life in Thailand's hinterland.

Titled as the Sawan Baan Na exhibition, it aims to illustrate the world of happiness beyond the context of everyday modern city life.

"The fact that we both grew up from poor families and are from villages outside the capital has always been a factor that inspired us to illustrate through these canvasses the beauty of life, culture and tradition in remote areas. We want to show that amid the underdeveloped nature of the area, there is plenty of charm that we both would like to share with people in Bangkok," Ruangsak said.


Although both styles resemble life and tradition, the techniques used by both artists are seemingly different. Ruangsak paints scenery, and Boonnum focuses on stencil art in creating images with depths and angles.


"I use oil paint and stencil technique to draw. I use this technique to dab tiny dots everywhere to create texture as well as dimension. In the past, I did not focus so much on colours, but today, I rely on colours to help create illusion and depth," Boonnum explained.


From today through Sunday January 20th, visit the exhibition at Jamjuree Art Gallery to view for yourselves, the charming life in Thailand's hinterland. (MCOT online news)


Myanmar will emerge as Thailand’s tourism competitor

BANGKOK, Jan 16 - Myanmar will become Thailand’s major competitor to attract tourists in the next 5-10 years, according to the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA).

Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, ATTA president, said that after Myanmar opened its doors, more Thai tourists are travelling there and each travel agent has arranged more travel packages to serve the higher demand.

A travel package price to Myanmar is still high at around 20,000-30,000 baht, similar to the price of a 4-day package tour to Korea as there are not many hotels in Myanmar.

However, he said in the next 5-10 years, if Myanmar fully promotes its tourism with more services and facilities, it will become Thailand’s competitor, attracting foreign tourists.

The ATTA president said besides upgrading existing tourist attractions, Thailand must promote new ones and connect travel routes to reduce the density at popular tourist destinations such as Phuket.

As for tourism at the beginning of this year, he said travel business is robust with tourists from major markets like China, Russia and Europe spending their holidays here. The lively atmosphere will remain through Chinese New Year in February.

There are many bookings of Chinese tourists and some will arrive by charter flights. (MCOT online news)


Lopburi residents wearing traditional costumes to preserve Thai culture

BANGKOK, 16 January 2013 (NNT) - Lopburi residents will be wearing traditional Thai costumes from now until February 22nd, to help preserve the Thai cultures and traditions that have been passed down since King Narai’s reign.

Lopburi Province is holding a campaign to ask locals to dress up in traditional Thai costumes. Lopburi Governor Pichet Piboonsiri said during the opening ceremony that the campaign is to help Thai people carry on their historic national heritage as well as promote the province's tourism industry. The campaign will also help strengthen ties between the government and the private sector as both parties are taking part in the campaign.

The campaign features various activities in relation to Thai tradition and culture, including Khee-ma-kan-kuay or Banana Rib Hobby Horse Riding, coconut-shell walking, and a long-drum dance parade.


Satun Governor allocates 10 million baht to develop tourism

SATUN, 14 January 2013 The Satun provincial municipality has launched a tourism development project, collaborating with the locals to support sustainable tourism.

Satun Governor Nuachai jira-apisit has assigned the Satun Community Development Office to work with other government agencies in drafting tourism development project, using 10 million baht of budget. Under the initial plan, the province is expected to improve 12 communities, each with its own distinct qualities.

Tourist attractions and home stay will be developed to reach the standard desirable in order to welcome local and foreign travelers and to prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015.

Satun is a quiet southern province known primarily by travelers for its spectacular islands, particularly Koh Lipe and Koh Tarutao.


Phatthalung holds tourism fair

PHATTHALUNG, 14 January 2013 The southern province of Phatthalung is organizing a tourism fair to promote the province during this high season.

The annual tourism fair is held to promote local forests, beaches, culture and traditions, as well as to prepare the province for the advent of the ASEAN Economic Community. Visitors will enjoy virtual exhibitions showcasing the local ways of life including that of the Sakai jungle tribal people, and tourism attractions such as rafting, nature trail hiking, horticultural gardens, and bird nest collection at Koh Si and Koh Ha.

Traditional music and cultural performances are also part of the fair. Visitors can also taste and purchase native food and vegetables.

The fair is being held at the Phatthalung Town Hall from today until January 21st.


Lao Song ethnic community strives to retain unique culture

Over 234 years ago, a vibrant ethnic group known as the Thai Song Dam or Lao Song migrated from Laos to Khao Yoi, in Thailand's present day province of Phetchaburi, southwest of Bangkok. Dubbed as one of Thailand’s top eight strongest ethnic groups with a distinct traditional identity, the present day “Thai Song Dum” ethnic group are gathered once again to celebrate their matchless identity and culture.


Gathered at a local museum, village leaders performed a special ceremony to pay respect to their deity known as Prayataenluang in asking for peace and prosperity for all villagers.

“We have our own language, a language which includes 39 characters… we have our own distinct hairstyle and vibrant clothes which are different to other regions in Thailand. We have our own set of rules, and way of life. More importantly, we are loving, humble and very honest people. All ethnic groups regardless of where they are from should have this particular standpoint and unity,” said Thanom Kongyimlamai, a local wisdom bearer.

The clothing that the Thai Song Dam wear are mainly dark colours, such as black or dark blue, with women’s hair specifically tied up in a high bun, as well as a scarf which describes their own status. The various activities enable the youth to get to learn more about one another.

“We are very concerned about how this ethnic minority group will be able to withstand the changing currents of modern trends and globalization. We’re worried about this issue and will try to incorporate local culture into the educational curriculum. We have our own language, way of life as well as culture, which I believe has brought us to this day,” Panas Luanmuang, chief of Nong Prong Subdistrict Administrative Organisation.

Although ethnic groups are always posed with a challenge to maintain their own sense of identity amid an ever-changing world, the ethnic Thai Song Dam are a great example of how traditions passed on for over hundreds of years can still be beautifully performed even in the midst of our globalised era. (MCOT online news)


Social Travel Site Lists Favorite International Destinations Bangkok is the 6th most popular among Gogobot.com users

Bangkok, Thailand - 10 January, 2013

2012 was a record-setting year for tourism as an estimated 1 billion vacationers went abroad worldwide and seemingly just as many documented their trips on social media.
Gogobot.com, a site designed specifically for people to share their travel experiences, has released their list of the most “shared” places in the world and Bangkok came in as the 6th most popular; no surprise as nearly 22 million tourists visited Thailand last year.

As reported by CNN Travel, the list is a popularity ranking of cities across the globe based on the quantity of stories, photographs, and “virtual postcards” - an app that allows travelers to document the sites they are visiting and post them to Facebook. Bangkok, which is no stranger to top-10 rankings in travel-related polls and surveys placed sixth, just behind #5 San Diego, USA and ahead of #7 Rome, Italy. Leading the way was Paris, France.

Bangkok entry indicates that over 459,000 people in the Gogobot.com community have visited the city and features recaps of its hotels and vibrant restaurant scene, and countless images of famous temples and other landmarks, wet market and nightlife scenes, and river life on the Chao Phraya.

The rankings are derived from over 10 million travel “documents” from the 2 million+ users connected by the growing social travel platform, and other cities making the list include Barcelona, New York and Venice.

Here’s a look at the top-10 most shared destinations:

Paris (France)
Las Vegas (USA)
San Francisco (USA)
Barcelona (Spain)
San Diego (USA)
Bangkok (Thailand)
Rome (Italy)
New York (USA)
Venice (Italy)
Marrakech (Morocco)
Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]  Website: www.tatnews.org


Thailand’s Northeast given major tourism boost

BANGKOK, January 9th, 2013 – Long overlooked by the international tourism industry, Thailand’s northeastern region, called “Isan” by Thais, is being given a major boost with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) collaborating with travel trade partners to promote the destination by organising Amazing I-San Fair 2013. The fair will be held during January 24th-27th, 2013, at Plenary Hall, Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

There are more than 60 operators participating in the fair including travel agents, airlines, accommodations, and producers of local handicrafts. The travel fair is aimed at increasing tourist traffic from Bangkok and other provinces to Isan.

For decades, Isan was perceived as a remote, underdeveloped area that held little tourism appeal. Things began to change as the region’s transportation network expanded in the 1980’s and a number of historical sites and nature reserves opened up to the public. In recent years, the Northeast has seen an influx of domestic and foreign travelers going for its unspoiled nature and chic resorts. It is also the main gateway to the many wonders of the neighboring countries of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni said “The Isan culture has its own uniqueness. Visiting Isan is another way to gain memorable experiences with enjoyment and recreation.”

The fair is divided into 6 Amazing Zones; 1) Isan Arts Crafts and Festivals 2) Isan Buddhist Heritage 3) Isan Chic and Chill 4) Charm of Isan way of life 5) Heritage of Isan Weaving and 6) Isan local dishes.

Live cultural performances, traditional showcases and demonstration of silk weaving have been brought from various Isan communities to entertain visitors.
In 2011, there were more than 26 million visitors to the Northeast (+15.86% over 2010), more than 95 percent of whom were Thai tourists. In 2013, TAT expects the number of domestic trips will increase to 115.36 million trips and generate 537,800 million Baht.
Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.tatnews.org 


TAT Releases Calendar of Festivals & Events for 2013

Bangkok, Thailand: 9 January 2013 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand has released its calendar of festivals and events for 2013. A total of 28 events are listed in the calendar, ranging from annual marathons to music fests and martial arts.

The calendar will be very useful for travel agents and tour operators seeking unique experiences and packaging opportunities for their clients this year. Individual travellers looking for new and interesting things to do on holiday in Thailand will also find it helpful.

Said TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, “Thailand is very proud of the broad range of cultural, sports and special-interest events which highlight our culture and heritage. These festivals are held all through the year and throughout the kingdom. Many of them are unique to Thailand such as wedding ceremonies on elephant backs and the colourful Loi Krathong festival.”

He added, “Since we launched “The Miracle Year of Amazing Thailand” campaign last year, visitors from all over the world have participated in our colourful festivities. Everyone can enjoy these amazing experiences, many of which are unseen elsewhere.”

Here is the full list mentioned in the calendar. The full calendar can be downloaded here. Users are advised to double-check the listed dates closer to the event.

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.tatnews.org


Top Travel Site Names Bangkok #1, Agoda.com customers rank cities with the best nightlife

Bangkok, Thailand - 07 January, 2013: The leading hotel booking engine in the Asia-Pacific region, Agoda.com, has released a list of their customers’ top 10 favorite cities based on nightlife excitement. Agoda, which is under the NASDAQ-listed Priceline.com umbrella and whose website boasts of having 4,000,000 satisfied customers, received feedback from over 113,000 respondents who rated their experiences in various Asian cities.

Travelers were asked to rate a city’s nightlife on a scale of 1-to-5, with 1 being “poor” and 5 being “excellent”. Bangkok, the hopping Thai capital known for its eclectic shopping opportunities, energetic clubs and pubs, and endless street food options, nabbed top honors. Rounding out the top three were Dubai, the UAE’s luxurious desert city that stays fairly low-key during the daytime heat, but revs up when the sun goes down, and Boracay/Caticlan in the Philippines, famous for its outdoor venues and beach bars.

Thailand placed two more destinations in the top 6 as seaside town Pattaya, with its kinetic “Walking Street” area and huge flow of foreign tourists looking to party while on vacation, grabbed the fourth spot; and Phuket, the Land of Smiles’ largest island with its host of bustling beaches and their pumping discotheques and lively beer bars, placed sixth.

Tokyo, Japan’s high-wattage monster city and home to 13 million people, placed fifth in between Pattaya and Phuket, and was followed by two Chinese SAR’s (Special Administrative Regions): Agoda.com customers ranked Hong Kong’s nightlife seventh best and Macau’s, famous for its upscale hotel/casino-centered scene, came in eighth.

Completing the top 10 were Taiwan’s modern capital Taipei and its modern clubs, and Bali, Indonesia’s always humming island paradise.

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


Tourism Authority of Thailand Supports the 2013 “Together Festival”

Bangkok, January 8, 2013: After the great success of the 2012 “Together Festival” with LMFAO, Lil’ Jon and Afrojack last year, in 2013, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is once again supporting A.G. Production Bangkok’s leading house music promoter, Retox Session for the 2013 “Together Festival” this coming January 19, 2013 at BITEC International Trade and Exhibition Centre, Bang Na.

The headliner of this year is “Snoop Dogg,” the world-famous rapper and record producer who has sold more than 30 million copies, reaching the top of the charts with hits like “Gin and Juice” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot.” Also, in spring 2013, he is on schedule to release the studio album and film named Reincarnated with the new signature “Snoop Lion.”

The French electro-pop duo “Justice” is also ready to hit the stage. After its debut in 2006 and club hits like “We are Your Friends” and “D.A.N.C.E,” they quickly became known for blending vitamin-enriched electro beats and pop on the dance floor. Their gusto skill is underscored by winning the Grammy Award for their song “Electric Feel” in 2009. They have announced to release a new EP this month.

Lining up the list are house DJs Max Vangeli and AN21. Both of them have been well-known globally before releasing an album together. Vangeli was named by DJ Mag as one of the “Top 5 DJs to watch in 2011” and has collaborated with Example, Calvin Harris and Tiesto. AN21 is a Swedish export with a reputation as an eclectic club connoisseur.

DJ Quintino from Holland will also join the stage. Discovered by Laidback at the tender age of 18, Quintino has traveled the world playing landmark gigs and high-profile festivals. In 2009, his remix of Cidinho & Doca's "Rap Das Armas" became a worldwide summer anthem with over 10 million YouTube views.

Thaitanium, Thailand’s own hip-hop legend will share the stage with international artists with their unique style of East meets West. Also, the group of deejays from Superzaaap will represent Thailand together with many more local artists

The “Together Festival” pre-event tickets are available at www.thaiticketmajor.com  Tel. 02-262-3456.

Pre-event tickets are at 2,300 Baht and 2,700 Baht for Limited VIP pre-event tickets. All attendees must be over the age of 20. Valid ID card is required.

For the updates of the festival, visit www.facebook.com/ togetherfestival or www.togetherfestival.net.
Also contact [email protected]  for any further queries.


Thai airports service 74 million passengers last year

BANGKOK, Jan 5 – More than 74 million passengers passed through six airports in Thailand last year, a 12 percent increase from the previous year, the Airports of Thailand (AoT) reported.

Somchai Sawasdeepon, AoT Senior Executive Vice President Engineering and Construction and Acting President, said 46 million passengers were non-Thais while 496,749 flights – 275,422 of them international – landed at the six airports, representing a 10.5 percent growth.

The six airports are Suvarnabhumi, Dong Meaung, Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, Phuket and Chiang Rai.

Suvarnabhumi airport alone received 51.462 million passengers and 312,493 flights last year.

As for the Phase 2 expansion of Suvarnabhumi airport under the 2011-2017 development budget, Mr Somchai said the AoT has already hired a consultant firm, EPM Consortium, to map out conditions for a bid on the design while the winning company should be announced in April.

The designs which will take 10 months, between May and February next year, will involve three major projects: the passenger buildings, public utilities system and construction, he said, adding that the contractors and construction inspectors should be hired in August next year.

Mr Somchai said Phuket airport will have the capacity of servicing 12.5 million passengers when the four-year expansion completes in 2014. Its current service capacity is 6.5 million passengers.

He added that the improvement of Don Meaung airport will include the Terminal 2 passenger building, the concourse building 5, the seven-storey parking building, communications system and public utilities system.

The expansion will boost Don Meaung’s capability to 27.5 million passengers or adequate until 2026, he said. (MCOT online news)


TAT expects to see 2 trillion baht tourism revenue in 2013

BANGKOK, 7 January 2013 (NNT) - The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is expecting to see at least 2 trillion baht revenue from tourism industry in 2013.

The TAT has launched a traveling campaign to further boost the tourism industry of Thailand. The campaign focuses on visiting famous temples in 19 central provinces of Thailand. After launching a temple-visiting caravan tour, TAT Governor Surapol Svetasreni said he expected to see tourism revenue of 2 trillion baht this year, believing the campaign would help the country reach the goal.

The caravan comprised 37 buses, with over 1,200 people joining the tour program, which offers 10 different routes into the central region including the provinces of Phetchaburi- Prachuap Khiri Khan or Nonthaburi- Ang Thong.

Travelers can choose whether they want to stay overnight or do a day trip. It is a cooperation between the TAT, the Kanchanaburi Chamber of Commerce, and 47 entrepreneurs.

The aim is to provide opportunities to Buddhist people to visit temples and wish for luck for the new year.


Special report: TAT will invest 550 million baht in promoting regional tourism

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is spending 550 million baht on tourism campaigns across Thailand, hoping to attract up to 107 million travelers to visit the country this year.

According to Mr. Thawatchai Aranyik, Deputy Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for domestic market, the tour packages under the TAT’s marketing campaign will be offered at convenient stores throughout Thailand.

The TAT is expected to spend around 550 million baht on the campaign. It will enter talks with convenient store owners to allow its travel packages to be sold with other everyday items.

According to the Deputy Governor, the goal of the campaign is to entice as many as 107 million travelers in the country to visit local attractions, expecting them to spend approximately 450 billion baht in total.

Mr. Thawatchai explained that convenient stores have been chosen because they are easily accessible to all the people.

Additionally, regional tourism will also be promoted through roadshows as well as exhibitions. The first exhibition will be held at Queen Sirikit Convention Center between January 24-27, 2013. Visitors can also buy affordable tour packages at this event.

The TAT, said Mr. Thawathchai, also aims at raising income from tourism promotion for each region by 5%; around 42 billion baht for the Northeast, 55 billion baht for the East, 60 billion for the North, 70 billion for the South, and 200 billion for the Central Plain.

As the number of tourists increases, spending will also rise accordingly. Revenues from tourism are expected to increase between 15-20% in Isaan and the East of the country, whilst in the figures for the South, the North and the Central region have been predicted to be around 3-4%.
 


Tourism Authority of Thailand and tourism council of Bhutan join hands to promote tourism among two kingdoms

Bangkok, 4 January 2013 – The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) in cooperation with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hosted a familiarisation trip for Thai media to visit the Kingdom of Bhutan in December 2012. The trip was organised following the agreement made during the 2nd Tourism Cooperation on 8th June, 2012, in Bangkok. The collaboration is comprised of Marketing Channels, Public Relations and Training Internship Programmes.

TAT also provided information for TCB’s possible participation at the Thai International Travel Fair hosted by the Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA). The Fair will be hosted twice a year in February and September to help promote Thailand’s tourism industry and to provide tourists with tourism products and services, both domestic and out-bound. The exhibitors are travel agents, airline representatives and members of National Tourism Organisations (NTO).
Bhutan’s carrying capacity for national tourists is estimated to be not over 150,000 arrivals a year. In 2011 the country received 65,756 tourist arrivals. During January – September 2012, there were about 2,450 Thais visiting Bhutan and 12,000 Bhutanese visiting Thailand.

Most Bhutanese people come to Thailand for shopping and a medical checkup. Meanwhile, many Bhutanese students continue their studies at the bachelor’s degree level in Thailand.

The majority of Thai tourists to Bhutan visit only the western part of Bhutan for cultural tourism. Mr.Thuji Dorji Nadik, Acting Managing Director for TCB said TCB wants to promote more tourism relating to snow and also nature tourism to Thai people as Bhutan has immense ecological resources including birds, wildlife, orchids and medicinal plants.

Druk Air – the Bhutanese national carrier – is the only airline operating flights to Bhutan and runs daily flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Paro Airport in Bhutan.

For more information on Bhutan’s tourism, please check http://www.tourism.gov.bt

Contact information:
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: [email protected] 
Web site: www.tatnews.org


DAILY UPDATE

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Satun Governor allocates 10 million baht to develop tourism

Phatthalung holds tourism fair

Lao Song ethnic community strives to retain unique culture

Social Travel Site Lists Favorite International Destinations Bangkok is the 6th most popular among Gogobot.com users

Thailand’s Northeast given major tourism boost

TAT Releases Calendar of Festivals & Events for 2013

Top Travel Site Names Bangkok #1, Agoda.com customers rank cities with the best nightlife

Tourism Authority of Thailand Supports the 2013 “Together Festival”

Thai airports service 74 million passengers last year

TAT expects to see 2 trillion baht tourism revenue in 2013

Special report: TAT will invest 550 million baht in promoting regional tourism

Tourism Authority of Thailand and tourism council of Bhutan join hands to promote tourism among two kingdoms

 

 

 

 



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