Thailand to host Asia’s first Travel Blog Exchange in October
of the agreement signing ceremony for hosting the TBEX Asia 2015
The Thai tourism industry is set to
significantly expand its social media profile when more than 1,000 bloggers
and online writers worldwide convene for the first Travel Blog Exchange to
be held in Asia between 15 – 17 October 2015, at the Queen Sirikit National
Convention Centre in Bangkok.
The TBEX Asia 2015 is being jointly supported by the Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT), Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and Bangkok
Metropolitan Administration (BMA). It will provide a unique opportunity for
Thailand to showcase the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign and allow
Thailand-based bloggers to network with their worldwide counterparts.
Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing
(Europe, Africa, Middle East, and the Americas) commented, “Travel bloggers
have a very strong and loyal following on social media. We are truly proud
that some of the world’s leading bloggers have chosen Thailand to host their
first TBEX in Asia.
“As each of these online writers has an average of more than 10,000
followers, the TBEX Asia will help us promote a positive image of Thailand
and attract more young generation visitors from around the world.”
TBEX was first held in 2008 and has been organised annually in Europe and
the United States. As attendance has grown significantly, the organisers,
TBEX LLC, have decided to venture into Asia in recognition of the immense
market potential and high growth in visitor arrivals.
Between 22-26 March, 2015, TAT arranged a site inspection and preview trip
along five unique travel routes across Thailand for the organising committee
of TBEX Asia in a group of 30 leading bloggers from around the world.
Organisers expect that the breakdown of participants at the Bangkok event
will include about 52% from the USA, 37% from Europe, and 11% from Asia and
In recent years, TAT has developed aggressive online and digital marketing
strategies to promote tourism via all forms of new media and across all
devices; such as, mobile phones, Smart Phones, and Tablets. These have been
designed to reach specific target audiences worldwide, especially young
travellers and families.
A whole range of award-winning social media campaigns have been rolled out,
comprising of contests and competitions that allow participants to compete
for prizes, including free stays in Thailand.
Social media networks are playing an increasingly important role in the
tourism sector. The Internet has changed consumer behaviour in many ways,
both in terms of the way people buy their travel products, the destinations
they choose, the amount of time they have to travel, and the amount of money
they spend. People are eager to share experiences via social media, making
it the equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing, the most powerful means of
personalised publicity for any destination. For more information, visit:
Amazing Thailand – The Farang’s Guide for Good Living in the Land of Smiles
By Colin Jarvis
When I first saw this book by Brad Walker I thought it was yet another
salacious account of a Farang Kee Nok (Low class westerners) and his
adventures in the bars of Pat Pong and Soi Cowboy. When I read the
introduction I was relieved to find it was no such thing. It was well
written and promised a much wider range of interest than beaches, booze and
As I read through the first half of the book I thought I was wrong. It was
about beaches, booze and bar girls. However, Brad Walker had a deep personal
relationship with every one of these. Everything he says is based on his
personal experience of which he has a great deal. His honest and robust
description of his past life is at once horrifying, gripping, even
entertaining. The man certainly has stamina and had a willingness to make
the same mistakes over and over again. Now he seems determined that readers
of this book should not make the same mistakes that he has.
He is certainly an expert at living a hedonistic existence on a shoestring
and a worthy tutor.
In the second half of the book he covers the more practical aspects of
living in Thailand as a foreigner. He describes his life living in a Thai
village, the problems of communication both cultural and linguistic, coping
with Thailand’s bureaucracy, surviving on a limited income, earning a living
and investing the proceeds, keeping healthy and planning for illness and, of
course, eating and drinking.
All of the subjects he covers in some detail yet in an lively style that
keeps the reader mesmerised even if they are experts on the subject
Unusually for such a book, Mr Walker covers, albeit briefly, the history and
culture of Thailand and its religion as it is practised in this country. His
thoughts are not just theoretical but based on a thorough knowledge learned
from his Thai family and friends. He truly appreciates the culture but has a
very balanced view of it.
He is also particularly brave in that he discusses politics and the Royal
Family in a very honest and insightful manner. He provides the most succinct
explanation of the Thaksins and the red yellow shirts I have ever seen.
This book is not for me or anyone who has lived in Thailand for many years,
who is still delighting in their Thai family and who have found their feet
in whatever career or way of life they wish to follow.
This book is very definitely for, and should be required reading for, any
single male from Europe or America who finds themselves drawn to the Thai
lifestyle commonly lived by single Western males, particularly those of a
certain age. It is a mine of information and knowledge that will help keep
such hopefuls out of serious trouble and enable them to get the most out of
this wonderful country.
Learn from Brad Walker’s mistakes and enjoy the good living that is
available in the Land of Smiles.
Cover of the
new book by Brad Walker on living in the Land of Smiles
Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai joins Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Dhevi Chiang Mai is joining Preferred Hotels and Resorts.
Having rebranded itself from Preferred
Hotel Group on 4 March 2015, Preferred Hotels & Resorts represents the
finest and most diverse global portfolio of independent hotels with five
distinctive collections that allow one to craft their own inspirations as
they travel the world in search of memories and new opportunities. The
Preferred Promise of the finest properties, impeccable service and
imaginative experiences will be shared with all five collections: Legend,
LVX, Lifestyle, Connect and Preferred Residences.
A global leader in the hospitality industry since 1968, Preferred Hotels &
Resorts has over 650 properties across its worldwide brands. All guests of
Preferred Hotels & Resorts experience the high quality standards and
unparalleled service levels every hotel in the portfolio is required to
maintain by the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Integrated Quality Assurance
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai joins the Legend Collection, the ultimate
portfolio of exceptional properties in the world’s most remarkable
destinations. Globally sophisticated and culturally refined, the singular
properties within this collection feature exquisite accommodations, stellar
and intuitive personal service, renowned dining and exceptional spas,
setting the stage for the most unforgettable experiences.
For The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, one of Asia’s best-loved luxury hotels and
one that is consistently recognized year after year with international
awards and accolades, it is a perfect match.
“Joining Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ world-renowned and superbly respected
collection of hotels and resorts is a great opportunity for The Dhara Dhevi
Chiang Mai and one that we are very excited about. We look forward to adding
our distinctiveness, character and charm to the group’s global offerings”,
said The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai’s general manager Andrew Quinlan.
TAT expects Songkran foreign tourist arrivals to rise 30 percent
The lifting of martial law is expected to result in more foreign tourists
visiting Thailand during the Songkran festival, whereas Japan and South
Korea's banning of Thai chartered flights should not affect foreign tourist
arrivals into the kingdom, said Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) acting
governor Chuthaporn Roengronasa.
According to Ms. Chuthaporn, the TAT expects no less than 300 chartered
flights to enter Thailand between April 11-19. This influx of visitors would
push the number of foreign tourist arrivals during the Songkran period to
roughly 500,000. About 14.5 billion baht of revenue is expected to be
generated as a result. The projected number of foreign tourist arrivals
during this Songkran exceeds last year's figure by 30%. According to the TAT
acting governor, the expected rise of foreign tourist numbers may be
attributed to the lifting of martial law and a more stable political
Commenting on Japan and South Korea's banning of Thai chartered flights, the
TAT chief said the ban's effect will be more apparent on outbound flights
from Thailand to the two countries whereas tourists from Japan and South
Korea will still be able to enter Thailand via routine flights, and
chartered flights originating from the two countries. (NNT)
AOT forecasts 15 percent revenue growth in fiscal 2015
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Airports of Thailand
PLC. (AOT) Prasong Poontaneat revealed that the company’s overall revenue
would not be affected by Japan’s ban on Thai chartered flights, as they can
be replaced by foreign operators.
The CEO expressed confidence that AOT’s revenue for fiscal year 2015 would
grow 15 percent, exceeding previous estimates by more than 10 percent. He
attributed the gains to higher-than-expected growth during the first three
months of 2015, which may lead to a 10 percent growth in the number of
passengers this year.
He elaborated on the figure, saying that Chinese tourists are likely to
increase by a million from last year’s five million visitors. The number of
Russian travelers is likely to decline by five percent, but will be
compensated by an increase in Indian tourists.
The AOT CEO also touched on the second phase of the Suvarnabhumi
International Airport development project. Mr. Prasong said the matter is
being forwarded to the Ministry of Transport and awaits approval from the
National Economic and Social Development Board.
He said the project bid is tentatively set for the beginning of 2016. Major
developments include the construction of the third runway, second passenger
terminal, secondary plane hanger, eastern passenger terminal expansion and
parking lot & office building.
Upon the project’s completion, the international airport would be able to
accommodate 85 million passengers a year.(NNT)
Spice Up Your Business Campaign with the TAT
Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Executive
Director of the Advertising and Public Relations Department, TAT (second
from left) and Mr. Nopparat Maythaveekulchai, President of TCEB (third
from left) at the press conference to announce the ‘Spice Up Your
Business Agenda’ campaign
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has pledged strong support to a
campaign launched by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau
(TCEB) to build awareness of Thailand’s MICE industry and reinforce
Thailand’s positive image as a premiere MICE destination.
Spice Up Your Business Agenda_02Under the theme slogan, ‘Spice Up Your
Business Agenda’, the TCEB campaign includes an aggressive digital
marketing plan, development of an innovative Thai MICE web portal, and
launch of a mobile application for MICE travellers and professionals to
allow easy access to the Thai MICE database. The campaign aims to
increase MICE visitor numbers and spending.
A series of online marketing promotion and PR campaigns will be
conducted throughout 2015 in high potential key markets.
MICE delegates to Thai trade exhibitions and companies organising
meetings in Thailand are also being offered a broad range of discounts,
value-added services and complimentary facilities; such as, a meeting
package, airport transfer, as well as, premium hotels and spa. Full
details are available at the campaign website:
In addition to TAT, the campaign is being backed by Thai Airways
International PCL, the Ministry of Commerce’s Department of
International Trade Promotion, and Visa International (Asia-Pacific),
Mr. Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, Executive Director of the Advertising
and Public Relations Department, TAT reaffirmed the benefits of this
campaign to the MICE and tourist industry.
He said, “MICE travellers have high-spending power. Their contribution
to the Thai economy starts from making business deals and topped up by
the recreational spending that follows. TAT aims to increase the number
of quality tourists, and as such we have been an active partner in this
campaign which will reaffirm Thailand’s position as the world’s best
business and leisure destination. It will accommodate and facilitate
MICE travellers as well as attract them to come to Thailand and stay
longer for leisure. Therefore, the benefits of the Spice Up Your
Business Agenda 2015 campaign are far beyond the MICE industry but help
the tourism industry as a whole.”
The campaign is targeted at international business travellers,
international delegates, trade visitors and trade exhibitors attending
trade exhibitions or organising meetings in Thailand between March to
December 2015. It is valid from now until December 2015.
Further details are available here: www.SpiceUpYourBusinessAgenda.com.
New hotel planned for Nimmanhaemin area
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Absolute Hotel Services Group announced recently that they plan on
opening a new hotel in the trendy Nimmanhaemin area in late 2016. The hotel,
which will be the second U-Hotel & Resorts property in Chiang Mai, will be
called U-Nimman and will have 140 rooms in an industrial modern design with a
The new hotel will feature all day dining in the restaurant with a terrace bar,
library, spa with five treatment rooms, swimming pool, gym and large garden
area. The hotel will also offer a large banquet space and function lawn to cater
events and meetings.
When launched, the hotel will have an all-day dining restaurant with terrace
bar, library, spa with five treatment rooms, swimming pool, gym and large garden
Additionally guests will have access to U-Hotel’s new 24 hour service concept
which allows guests to have their rooms for 24 hours from check –in and
breakfast any time during their stay. Additional amenities such as special
pillows, teas and soaps can be selected when booking online.
Chiang Mai International Airport shows double digit growth for February
1.49 million passengers in the first two months of 2015
Chiang Mai International Airport recorded 1.49
million passengers in January and February 2015.
(Photo by calflier001 via Wikimedia Commons)
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Mai International Airport registered double digit growth in both aircraft
movements and passenger traffic for the month of February, 2015. International
passenger traffic grew 44.18% from 123,326 passengers to 177,810 passengers in
February. Domestic passengers grew by 22.28% from 432,320 to 550,261 passengers.
Aircraft movement for the same month also grew with international aircraft
movements growing by 31.52% from 1,082 to 1,423. Domestic aircraft movements
grew from 3,299 to 3,924 or 18.94%.
Suvarnabhumi showed slight growth in aircraft movement with domestic increasing
2.41% and international 5.44%. However, International passenger traffic
increased 23.14% from 3,088,517 to 3,803,348, while domestic passengers
decreased 3.46% from 789,860 to 762,507.
Don Mueang Airport showed a jump in international aircraft movements in
February, going from 3,453 to 4,838 or a 40.11% increase. Domestic aircraft
movements also grew 26.41% from 9,673 to 12,228. International passenger traffic
showed a huge increase of 69.29% as more international flights landed at the
airport, with the numbers of international passengers using the airport going
from 33,700 to 649,57.
Chiang Rai International Airport saw 39.27% increase in aircraft movements from
848 to 1,181, while passenger traffic grew 23.81% from 110,843 to 137,233.
In January and February Suvarnabhumi had the most passengers at9.33 million
followed by Don Muang second with 4.6 million, Phuket third with 2.41 million
and Chiang Mai with 1.49 million passengers.
Kan Air starts direct flights from Chiang Mai to U-Tapao
The new flights to U-Tapao
will use the 66 seat ATR72-500.
(Photo by Rawipadccp via Wikimedia Commons)
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Kan Air, the Chiang Mai based airlines, will be adding new routes in
April, starting with a new direct flight to Pattaya’s U-Tapao Airport that
will fly three times a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and will offer
the flights for 990 baht one way. The airline will use a 66-seat ATR72-500
for the Chiang Mai flights and also for the flights to Khon Kaen, Ubon
Ratchathani and Udon Thani.
The airline plans on adding flights from U-Tapao to Ubon Ratchathani, Khon
Kaen and Udon Thani for 990 baht one way and from Don Mueang to U-Tapao,
starting from 490 Baht.
Direct flights from U-Tapao to Chiang Mai will begin April 10 and can be
booked online at www.kanairlines.com.