TAT sets ambitious new visitor targets
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has set an ambitious goal for the tourism industry next year with 19.5 million international arrivals generating revenues of 760 billion baht.
"The industry will grow about 9%," said TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, adding that by the end of this year the number of tourists to Thailand will be 18-18.3 million, up from the projection of 16.5 million at the beginning of the year.
The major factors would be more aggressive marketing campaigns via both traditional and online media such as promoting Thailand through social media, online games and online advertising via YouTube.
"'Amazing Thailand' will still be our country brand for this year and the next because although we have internal problems, there are still a large number of tourists visiting the Kingdom," he said, adding that the TAT would also add more meaning to the campaign and it will become 'Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You'.
Marketing campaigns under the slogan will include promoting Thailand as an 'Asia Ideal Family Holiday Destination' for visitors from Europe, 'Dream Destination' for honeymoon couples, 'World Class Golf Experiences' for international golfers, international health and spa services for Asian markets as well as 'Eco Tourism Destination'.
For the domestic market, the TAT will focus more on family travel and green tourism as well as promoting travel as part of lifestyle.
The target is 93 million trips with a revenue of 453 billion baht in 2012.
More wireless services at Suvarnabhumi
Passengers at Suvarnabhumi International Airport will have another wireless internet choice when Boingo Wireless introduces a service at a monthly flat rate.
The main target is those who travel frequently because they can use one account to access the new service in the airport and 325,000 other Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide.
The new service is a result of a partnership between Boingo and Milcom Systems Company which offers a wireless internet network at the airport.
The service will share the same infrastructure of Milcom Systems, but it will have its own service rates which are US$4.95 (about 150 baht) per hour and US$7.95 (about 240 baht) per month.
Boingo Director of Asia Pacific Allen Pan said the service would serve regional travellers who need a cost-effective and simple solution to Wi-Fi roaming.
The service is an alternative to Milcom's WLanNet which charges 250 baht for one hour's access, 450 baht for 2 hours and 650 baht of 3 hours. Although Milcom also offers free 15-minute internet access, passengers must register their names at airport information counters before passing the immigration areas.
According to Milcom Systems Managing Director Rattana Metem, up to 2,000 people pay for the service per month and about 25,000-30,000 passengers register for the free internet access per month.
The demand for internet usage is increasing and Boingo's service could bring more internet traffic to the airport, he said.
JNTO office relocated
Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) has moved its Bangkok office to the 10th floor of Serm-Mit Tower on Asoke Road.
The new office is a short walk from Asoke skytrain station and Sukhumvit subway station.
Call 02-261-3525/6 or visit www.yokosojapan.org for a mmap.
- Thai Airways will introduce its first direct flights from Copenhagen to Phuket on November 11.
The flying time will be 10.35 hours and will depart from the capital of Denmark on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. However, for the return leg, passengers must fly domestically from Phuket to Bangkok before catching another flight to Copenhagen.
THAI will also add three more flights per week on the Bangkok to Copenhagen route on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Visit www.thaiairways.com, for more details.
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has taken another green step, announcing that it will use recycled cooking oil on 200 flights between Amsterdam and Paris in September.
The fuel is biokerosene which must contain the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene and must not require any adjustments to aircraft engines or infrastructure, according to the company. The airline must also have authorisation before operating commercial flights on the biofuel.
KLM announced a policy to develop biofuel in 2007 and it kicked off its pilot test carrying 40 passengers on board by using biokerosene in November 2009.
According to airline managing director Camiel Eurlings: "The route to 100% sustainable energy is enormously challenging. We really need to move forward together to attain continuous access to sustainable fuel."
- Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is launching an international competition to give a child aged 7 to 15 the chance to become a reporter for its 10th Elephant Polo competition.
The winner will cover the week-long event to be held from September 4-11 at Anantara Hua Hin and will also receive a free seven-night stay at Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa with an adult, daily activities such as visiting Mrigadayavan Palace, a vineyard and joining a Thai cooking class, transportation and two round-trip air tickets.
To enter the contest, candidates must submit a one-to-two-minute video in English about "amazing elephant tales with Anantara" to www.facebook.com/anantara. The winner will be the one who receives the most votes from elephant experts of the hotel. The submission deadline is August 1 and the winner will be announced on August 4.
Visit www.anantaraelephantpolo.com for more information.
- Best Western International will introduce the Grand Howard on Charoen Rat Road, Sathon in October this year.
The Grand Howard will feature 256 rooms with choices ranging from studio rooms to premier rooms. Each room will have a working area, a bathroom with bathtub, a 32-inch LCD TV and internet service.
Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, an all-day dining restaurant, a coffee lounge, an outdoor bar, a fitness room, business centre and function rooms including a grand ballroom for 700 guests.
- Crowne Plaza has introduced rooms for people who snore.
The new room is built with egg-box style foam walls to reduce the snoring noise, a specially designed sound-absorbing headboard, an anti-snoring bed wedge encouraging snorers to sleep on their sides or upright, an anti-snoring pillow and a machine to help drown out the snoring noise.
The project is a trial to reduce the impact of snoring and has been implemented in nine Crowne Plaza hotels in the Middle East and Europe.