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Posted by admin on 2015/3/25 17:40:00 (8 reads)
BANGKOK, 25 March 2015 : Tourism Council of Thailand has revised its estimate on Thailand's tourist arrivals from the previous target of 28.36 million to 27.96 million.

According to the latest Thailand Tourism Confidence Index, released Tuesday, the revised target is based on a declining confidence in the Russian market and local economic conditions in Thailand. Russia's weak ruble puts up the cost of a holiday in Thailand by around 35%, while key markets in the EU are also facing economic constraints.

The Thai baht is also stronger against most currencies at present with the exception of the US dollar, which raises the cost of holidaying in the country.

TCT says it is more feasible to set the target at 27.96 million with revenue at THB1.28 trillion compared to 24.77 million visits and THB1.14 trillion in revenue last year.

The tourism confidence index for January to March shows a level of 99 compared to the standard confidence benchmark of 100. The index is based on data from 600 tour agencies.

Meanwhile, the index for April to June should improve to around 101.

TCT president, Ittirit Kinglake, said tourists are worried about the economy and their spending power has been reduced.

"An economic slowdown in many countries and tough competition are key factors that will hold back growth in Thailand's tourism market."

He added : "In the Q2, we expect arrivals to reach 5.74 million... this year Chinese tourists will play a key role and will for the first time break all records by passing 5 million visits by year-end."

According to the index, in Q1, Chinese arrivals were estimated at 1.45 million (+39.41%) ,while in Q2 the projection was set at 1.29 million (+53.82%).

For the entire year , Chinese visits should reach 5.67 million up 23.14%.

In contrast, the Russian market will decline to 768,000 visits a decrease of 52.11% from last year.

In Q1, arrivals from Russia were estimated at 391,500 v(-44.09%) while Q2 was forecast at 95,000 visits (-64.03%).

TCT vice president, Pornthip Hirunkate, advised tourism operators to focus on a variety of markets rather than a single one.

"Pattaya tourism suffered from the decline of Russian tourists," she noted.

"Tourism operators should focus on Asia, ASEAN, Middle East and Latin America to balance the shortfall of European market."

She added that living under martial law was not a key factor any more.

"International tourists understand ...the law was introduced to ensure a peaceful environment and this has raised confidence."

The council also suggested the government should promote national holidays, long weekends such as Chakri Memorial Day (4 to 6 April), Songkran festival (11 to 15 April), National Labour Day to Coronation Day (1 to 5 May) and Visakha Bucha Day (1 June) to spur domestic tourism. It will also encourage outbound travel, giving Thais more time to visit their favourite overseas destinations with minimal loss of company vacation days.

For the second quarter, 15% of Thais plan to travel overseas especially during Songkran and a five-day holiday on Coronation Day. The the index suggested that Japan was the top destination for Thai travellers followed by South Korea and Singapore.

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Posted by admin on 2015/3/24 16:50:00 (8 reads)

The "Water Festival 2015" will be held on 13-15 April 2015, at seven places along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. The event is designed to help promote awareness among the younger generation to conserve Thai heritage, Thai way of life, Thai arts, traditions and culture, as well as the Worshipping of Buddha Statues in 4 temples : Wat Pho, Wat Arun, Wat Kalayanamitr and Wat Prayunwongsawat.

Participants will be able to experience the community life surrounded by cultural heritage and places displaying antique Thai holy objects, eat at famous restaurants with a historical background at Maharaj Pier, enjoy fresh flowers from one of the biggest flower markets in Asia, and revel in Thai way of life activities at Yodpiman River Walk.

They will be go back in time to the "70's Colour & Disco", enjoy entertainment and games in an old traditional style as well as be entertained with "Songkran... Dee Dee" on stage showcasing concerts of famous Thai entertainers at Asiatique The Riverfront.

A free shuttle boat service will be provided from 9 a.m. to midnight from seven piers along the Chao Phraya River :

Tha Tien Pier (Wat Pho)
Yodpiman River Walk Pier
Maharaj Pier
Asiatique The Riverfront Pier
Wat Arun Pier
Wat Kalayanamitr Pier
Wat Prayunwongsawat Pier
The objective of this event is to conserve the Thai way of life, make it become more well-known and to preserve Thai heritage.

Welcome the Thai New Year with a good omen by cruising along the Chao Phraya River, visiting major temples and enjoying various activities as follows :

Wat Phra Chetuphon (Wat Pho)
Worship the Reclining Buddha
Auspicious Blessing : A peaceful life
Activities : 12 Zodiac signs, Thai massage, and Thai traditional games (Sepaktakraw ball)

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)
Worship Luangpho Rung Arun Buddha statue
Auspicious Blessing : A prosperous life
Activities : Pouring water on Buddha statues from 13 temples in the Bangkok Yai district

Wat Kalayanamitr
Worship Luangpho To Buddha statue
Auspicious Blessing : Good friends and family, safety in travel, and profitable business.
Activities : Thai kite show, Klong Yao (long drum) parade, traditional pouring of water onto the elderly in the local community, and writing of Chinese Blessings.

Wat Prayunwongsawat
Worship Luangpho Buddha Nak Noi Buddha statue
Auspicious Blessing : Successful career and education.
Activities : The traditional pouring of water on monks and the general public.

Maharaj Pier
Experience the community life on Rattanakosin Island surrounded by rich cultural heritage of Thailand.
Visit places displaying antique Thai holy objects.
Enjoy local activities and eat at famous restaurants with a historical background.

Yodpiman River Walk
Be delighted with flowers from Pak Khlong Talat, one of the biggest flower markets in Asia.
Participate in traditional water pouring and enjoy entertainment of a long-drum parade.
Be part of numerous Thainess activities at the community mall having the longest river terrace on Rattanakosin Island.

Asiatique the Riverfront
Showcasing "Songkran... Dee Dee" on stage with numerous shows and entertainment.
Enjoy traditional games at a replicated temple fair.
Chill out at DIY shops, chic and snazzy shows along the courtyard.
View demonstrations of rare Thai traditional crafts; such as, alloy bowl rubbed with stone, Thai silk, Thai flute, alms bowl, and making of Thai classical dance costumes.
Enjoy shopping for a variety of Thainess products and tasting local foods; such as, Thai sweets made from Nipa palm, Pandanus leaves, rice, lotus, and palm leaves.

Free Shuttle Boat Service

Morning Route: 09:00 -18:00 hrs.

Route 1: The boats leave every 30 minutes.
Asiatique The Riverfront > Sathorn > Yodpiman River Walk
Yodpiman River Walk > Sathorn > Asiatique The Riverfront

Route 2: The boats leave every 15 minutes.
Yodpiman River Walk > Tha Tien Pier (Wat Pho) > Maharaj Pier > Wat Arun > Wat Kalayanamitr > Wat Prayunwongsawat.

Dinner Route : 16:00 - 24:00 hrs

The boats leave every 20 minutes.
Asiatique The Riverfront > Sathorn > Maharaj Pier
Maharaj Pier > Sathorn > Asiatique The Riverfront

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Posted by admin on 2015/3/24 16:00:00 (9 reads)
Bangkok, 24 March 2015 : The Thai government has launched yet another hotline, this time 1111, to receive complaints from foreigners visitors or residents in Thailand.

The new help line is in addition to the existing 1155 Tourist Police Call Centre. There was no explanation why the country needed two help lines for the single task of assisting tourists in trouble.

It might suggest the Tourist Police line is unable to handle the volume, or there could be doubts that the Tourist Police are capable resolving issues efficiently.

However, in a press release announcing the new service the Tourism Authority of Thailand advised that in emergencies, foreigners should continue to use the Tourist Police service at 1155.

TAT did not clarify what constitutes an emergency, but usually a call to the Tourist Police is often prompted by a crime or scam that creates a crisis for the visitor.

The 24-hour Tourist Police Call Centre claims to offer assistance to both tourists and foreign residents in Thailand.

There are interpreters on standby to handle emergency calls and in some cities the Tourist Police recruit foreigners as volunteers to assist officers.

For non-emergency matters, foreigners are advised to call 1111.

The centre, also available 24 hours and is staffed by representatives from 20 ministries to ensure prompt response to complaints.

According to the TAT press release, pressing cases that are beyond the centre's jurisdiction will be referred to the respective government agencies.

Complaints received will be coordinated through the centre to related government agencies, state enterprises, and non-governmental organisations.

The government plans to expand the 1111 centre's cover to Thai embassies in the ASEAN region soon.

The move is part of a government review of all safety measures, but there is not evidence of any checks and balances to ensure the service works and is a useful channel to improve safety and deal with problems.

There is also considerable duplication in so-called tourist help centres. Both TAT and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports have help desks at Suvarnabhumi Airport in addition to the Tourist Police.

Even in small airports such as Chiang Rai, there is a Ministry of Tourism and Sports centre with three staff and it is doubtful if they have more than a couple of enquiries a day if any.

There is also a Tourist Police office close by, usually with a sign posted on the window of the empty cubicle identifying the officer in charge, who is absent.

Officers are more likely to be found sitting at a nearby tea shop, but that nugget of information is not mentioned in the window notice.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports does not provide updates on how its assistance centres operate to show their cost effectiveness, but they are over staffed.

A quarterly report on their performance and the kind of assistance they offered would add transparency and indicate to the public if the service is worth the investment. Most of the assistance and help centres were responses to a crisis such as the Bangkok flood in 2012 or the earlier tsunami in South Thailand. Government agencies had to show they were responding to a crisis but once it had passed the centres were considered busy if a couple of tourists visited the centre to obtain a city map.

The ministry will, of course ,claim staff are busy every day serving hundreds of tourists, but as they provide little or no feedback on the monthly visits and nature of the assistance provided the media is left to guess just what those people do all day sitting in airport gold-fish bowls. What we can be sure of is duplication of costs and resources.

Duplication confuses visitors, but it makes for excellent PR. It creates new versions so officials can gain another round of publicity to show they are achieving results, The media is not expected to return six months later and ask; "did it work, did you help any tourists?"

Once a service has been introduced, there is little accountability or assessment to indicate results.. The staff are almost forgotten, or from time-to-time they might be called to meet-and-greet a VIP from Bangkok. They may even get to stand in line while the minister makes a cursory tour. Catch the minister's attention, it might be a passport out of the gold-fish bowl of boredom and the start of a real career in tourism.
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Posted by admin on 2015/3/19 16:00:00 (8 reads)
BANGKOK, 19 March 2015 : The Tourism Authority of Thailand marked its 55th anniversary at an event, Wednesday, attended by senior TAT officials as well as members of the tourism private sector and media.

Established as the Tourism Organisation of Thailand in 1960, TAT has been at the forefront of the country's tourism marketing efforts. It has undertaken numerous marketing campaigns, worldwide, to help boost visitor arrivals and make tourism one of the most important job creators and foreign exchange earning industries.

Invited guests were asked not to present TAT with flowers but to make donations to the National Elephant Institute.

A special video highlighting the progress of the Thai tourism industry over the last 55 years is being produced. It is designed to help enhance product development, encourage the Thai people to be good hosts and preserve their heritage and traditions, and better manage their indigenous tourism resources.

The latest promotional campaign "2015 Discover Thainess", now in full swing worldwide, has a target of 28 million visitors and an estimated THB1.35 trillion (USD41 billion) revenue from international visitors, and an estimated THB800 billion (USD24.3 billion) from domestic visitors.

TAT is also partnering with Thai Airways International, which is also marking its 55th anniversary, this year, to promote the "2015 Discover Thainess" campaign in both the domestic and international markets, especially Europe, North America, Asia and the ASEAN countries.

Thai Airways will produce publicity material for the "2015 Discover Thainess" campaign and all the 55th anniversary projects before the start of the Songkran Festival mid-next month. Special videos will also be produced for in-flight screening on all Thai Airways routes.

For the domestic market, TAT will promote tourism to Royal Projects, nationwide, as well as Fly and Bike tourism. Thai Airways has recently announced that bikes can be checked in without extra charges (similar to golf clubs) as long as the passenger does not exceed the weight allowance.

Bangkok Airways has offered the same concession for the last two year.

Applications are open for the 10th Thailand Tourism Awards, which will be conferred at a ceremony in September 2015. These are designed to recognise companies and individuals that have contributed significantly to advancing the sustainability and creativity of Thai tourism products.
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Posted by admin on 2015/3/13 15:50:00 (8 reads)
BURI RAM, 13 March 2015 : Buri Ram in Northeast Thailand has been named one of Asia's freshest emerging vacation spots for 2015, according to

Released earlier this week, Agoda's 2015 list of Fresh Destinations named eight places that will be trendy for travellers in the near future.

The eigh destinations were : Penghu, Taiwan; Chitwan National Park, Nepal; Pangandaran, Indonesia; Yufuin, Japan; Coorg (Kodagu), India; Buri Ram, Thailand; Mount Emei, China; and Sokcho, South Korea.

"Now in its fifth year, the 2015 Fresh Destination list is drawn from data on consumer travel trends with editorial oversight and review. To make the list, a destination needs to be in the top of 2014 booking trends and customer review ratings and meet tight editorial standards," the release read.

"This year, we limited the choices to destinations that have less than 70 properties but have seen a notable jump in bookings when compared to the previous year."

Buri Ram is one of the places chosen for the Tourism Authority of Thailand's "Cities That Can't Be Missed" campaign this year as it has a variety of attractions some linked to sports, but the main attractions are its Khmer temple ruins.

Besides its historical culrure sites, the province also has a motor sports stadium and is home to a leading Thai football team, Buriram United, that plays in the Thai Premier League.

Nok Air also offers daily flights on the Bangkok-Buri Ram route while Thai AirAsia will start a daily service on 2 April.
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