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Vol. XV No. 29
Friday July 20 - July 26, 2007

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TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

Etihad Airways briefs agents on new fares

Nok Air reveals blueprint for regional growth

Embattled Thailand looks to 2008 and new market segments

Amari announces launch of luxury Nova Suites


Etihad Airways briefs agents on new fares

Agents from both Pattaya and Rayong were briefed on the new services offered by Etihad Airways.

Sawittree Namwiwatsuk
Etihad Airways held a seminar on June 30 at the Amari Hotel and Resort for fifty of its agents in Pattaya and Rayong to advise them of new discounts and services available to Etihad passengers, and to also brief them on the new security regulations.
Florian Preuss, Etihad’s manager for Thailand and the Mekong Region, and Etihad sales manager Chaiyavut Chomsakorn conducted the presentation.
Chaiyavut said that over the period September 16 to December 31, airfares would be reduced by 11.5 percent for all classes of travel. Etihad is also offering promotional fares for students traveling to Europe, with tickets priced at only 17,555 baht for the under-25s.
There are also new rules issued by the airline for carrying liquids, aerosols and gels in carry-on baggage, which now have to be in 100ml containers and placed in a single, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Larger containers that are half full are not allowed. Each traveler can carry only one clear plastic bag. There are exceptions for baby formula liquids and medications.
Duty-free purchases are only allowed if they can be delivered directly to the aircraft, and a receipt from the duty free shop has to be presented.


Nok Air reveals blueprint for regional growth

Nok Air plans to unveil its second international route by the end of the year with the launch of a Bangkok-Hanoi service.
The no-frills carrier’s marketing vice-president, Mr. Pinyot Pibulsongkram, said: “If everything goes according to plan, the Bangkok-Hanoi service will be up and running in late October or early November.”
Nok Air launched its first international service between Bangkok and Bangalore on June 1. The carrier also plans to introduce new domestic routes by the end of the year, including Bangkok-Chiang Rai and Bangkok-Surat Thani. The route expansion plan hinges on the arrival of new aircraft.
Nok Air hopes to take delivery of four new Boeing 737-400 aircraft before the year is out, bringing its total fleet to 10. (TTG)


Embattled Thailand looks to 2008 and new market segments

James Arean (eTN Asia)
It’s back to the future for Thailand. With a lousy 2007 in terms of tourist arrivals and revenue, its tourism chiefs are hoping that 2008 will usher good tidings and tourists.
With only half of this year gone however, it is rather odd that Thailand’s tourism chiefs are talking about next year’s tourism performance and promising that 2008 will deliver more tourists and more tourism revenue.
Usually such announcements are done towards the end of the year, after taking into account the current year’s performance.
Perhaps it’s just to deflect attention from the troubles the Kingdom is experiencing this year which have impacted tourist arrivals.
For the record, the government said it expects 15.5 million tourists next year, who will bring in 600 billion baht (US$19 billion) in revenue - a rosy 10 percent rise over this year’s targets. The Tourism Authority of Thailand intends to spend 1.2 billion baht on next year’s marketing program, up from this year’s 1.07 billion baht.
Earlier in the year, the TAT said it was slashing the 2008 tourist arrivals target from 20 million to 16 million. Travelers were genuinely keeping away so the TAT’s policy shift to pursue “quality travelers” instead of the mass market seemed to shift the attention away from the real reason behind the dwindling numbers.
The political uncertainties and continuing security issues in the south have wreaked havoc on international arrivals this year. The Asians are either staying away or making fewer trips to Thailand.
To circumvent that, the TAT’s plans next year include marketing activities targeting visitors from 21 countries including Japan, China, India, and European countries.
During the first week of July, the TAT staged a road show in Japan, speaking to 500 Japanese travel operators and tour agencies. The number of Japanese visitors in the first five months of this year fell almost 5 percent compared to last year. Japan is Thailand’s second biggest tourism source market, with 1.4 million tourists visiting last year.
The TAT is also pursuing new market segments, including wedding couples, especially from India, the double-income-no-kids (Dink) market and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transvestite group.
“These are the new market segments that will drive Thailand’s tourism business next year. These groups are always higher spenders than normal tourists,” the TAT’s deputy governor for international markets, Jutaporn Reungronasa, was quoted saying.
While it’s good to plan ahead, with an election to be held towards the end of the year, it might be better to keep forecasts for next year until after the election results are known. After all, who knows who might be handling the tourism portfolio post-election?


Amari announces launch of luxury Nova Suites

Pattaya’s luxurious Amari Nova Suites are set to open at the end of this year.

Amari Hotels and Resorts have launched their brand new luxurious serviced apartments, Amari Nova Suites, to be opened in Pattaya in November this year.
Nestled in the midst of Pattaya city centre and managed by Mr. Marco Seiler, the 5-star Amari Nova Suites will provided top quality serviced apartments for both long and short stay guests.
This upscale development will boast 76 exclusive suites, including studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom options, ranging from 46 sq.m to 190 sq.m. All units will have fully-equipped kitchens, 42" flat screen TVs and balconies, and will be extremely spacious, bright and stylish. Adding to the luxury of the project will be a rooftop swimming pool with Jacuzzi, private fitness room, parking for up to 40 cars and 24-hour security.
Amari Nova Suites will also provide outstanding services and facilities, such as mini-bars, grocery service, babysitting, daily-cleaning service, business services and Internet access. For a unique dining experience, the hotel will offer an innovative bar and restaurant facility in the shape of the (‘minus 5’) -5 Ice Bar and Supper Club.
The Amari Nova Suites are set to raise the bar of accommodation in Pattaya once more, and will provide the ultimate in comfort and luxury for both the discerning business guests and leisure travellers.



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