Chonburi governor hits
the road to spread good cheer
Chonburi Gov. Senee Jittakasem believes a little peace and
harmony will do wonders for the tourism industry.
Gov. Senee Jittakasem meets with officials at Nong Nooch Tropical
The governor has been touring the province to meet with local officials
on ways to reduce the discord that has wracked the country over the past
year and focus on boosting the economy. In the latest meeting July 31,
Senee met with top provincial leaders, Pattaya officials and area
bureaucrats at Nong Nooch Tropical Garden to draft an action plan that
ensures foreign and Thai tourists can safely travel around Pattaya.
Street protests and other disturbances have played a big role in the
area’s tourist downturn, Senee said. The province has been able to
bounce back, he added, but further problems should be prevented.
Senee said he’ll continue to hold meetings around the province to get
people to work together on fostering tourism and focus on new projects
covering conservation, tree planting and agriculture.
Bangkok Airways praised for efficient crash response
Tuesday’s crash of a Bangkok Airways flight in Samui is unlikely to
impact Thailand’s image, according to the trade who also praised the
airline’s handling of the incident.
Go Vacation Thailand managing director Christoph Mueller said the
airline had rebooked all his clients scheduled to arrive and depart Koh
Samui Tuesday night, putting them on special flights operating to and
from Surat Thani Airport.
“The airline has been making all the arrangements, including all
transfers, re-scheduled flights and accommodation. We only had a few
guests who missed their departure flights from Bangkok to Europe last
night, but they have been rebooked on subsequent flights.”
Centara Hotels and Resorts senior vice president Chris Bailey said: “The
news has not received much attention from international news networks,
so the impact on Thailand’s tourism image is limited. The schedules of
our arriving and departing guests will return to normal soon after the
However, Pacific World (Thailand) destination manager - Thailand and
Indochina Norman Allin said the news would create a bit of stir in the
UK in the next couple of days as the press there tended to
sensationalize Britons’ problems overseas.
He said The Times in the UK had reported in detail the news that a
British honeymoon couple (Pacific World clients) had sustained broken
legs from the air crash.
“But looking at the big picture, I don’t think this accident will have
much impact on Thai tourism. I don’t think it will make any difference
for our clients scheduled to arrive and depart Koh Samui within the
Cambodia agents welcome new carrier
The travel trade in Cambodia has hailed the launch of the country’s new national
carrier, Cambodia Angkor Air, as significant in helping drive tourist arrivals,
particularly from neighboring markets.
Inaugurated July 27, Cambodia Angkor Air is a 51:49 joint venture between the
Cambodia government and Vietnam Airlines.
The airline will initially operate a fleet of two 66-seat ATR72 aircraft on
daily Phnom Penh-Siem Reap, Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap-Ho Chi
Minh City services from July 28 to October 24.
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) president Ang Kim Eang told TTG
Asia Daily, “The private sector has been waiting for the birth of the country’s
new flag carrier for a long time. We hope this flight will help bring more
tourists in from the region.”
Ang, who attended the inauguration, professed faith in the new national
carrier’s standards. “I was on the flight yesterday. It was not a new plane, but
I had nothing to complain about.”
Cambodia Tourism Working Group co-chairman and CAPA steering committee chairman
Ho Vandy said he hoped the airline would make an official presentation on its
routings and services to the trade soon.
Thailand draws MICE
Thailand remains attractive as a MICE destination, despite ongoing concerns over
the Thai political situation and the A/H1N1 virus pandemic, according to Asian
event planners on a Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) fam trip
over the weekend.
However, while many buyers said they were mulling Thailand for their meeting and
incentive events slated for later this year or next, only two will have trips
materialize within the next few months.
India’s Apollo Tyres group manager - marketing planning Saket Sinha said the
company had scheduled a four-day/three-night incentive for about 150 qualifiers
in August. The group will be staying two nights in Amari Orchid Resort and
Tower, Pattaya, and one night in Amari Watergate, Bangkok.
The company normally organizes six trips per year, including two overseas, but
under the financial downturn, this was slashed to just one overseas trip this
year, and Thailand was chosen for its attractive prices, he said.
Prudential Assurance Company Singapore conventions & events executive Joann Pun
said the company still maintained four to five trips per year, although the
budget was down by about 10 percent.
Pun said one of the trips was an annual three-day/two-night trip for about 150
to 200 first-time qualifiers to Bangkok, scheduled for September or October, but
venues had not yet been decided.
In related news, the Indonesian Bank Mega’s 1,000-person incentive group,
formerly scheduled for August, has been postponed to September. Logistical
issues for the four-day/three-night trip to Bangkok and Pattaya has been
mentioned as reasons for the postponement.
Krabi back on the radar
Karen Yue in Singapore and Sirima Eamtako in Bangkok (TTG Asia)
Krabi’s beleaguered travel trade industry will receive a shot in the arm
when Tiger Airways reinstates its four-weekly flights between Singapore and
Krabi from October 25. Bangkok Airways will also resume Bangkok-Krabi services
from the same date.
Rising operating costs were cited for Tiger Airways’ decision last March to
suspend services. At the time, COO Steve Burns explained, in a note to TTG Asia,
that the airline could not accept the 37 percent increase in handling fee by
Krabi Airport’s sole ground handler, Thai Airways International. A Tiger Airways
spokesperson said an agreement reached with the ground handler allowed the
airline to reinstate the route.
Centara Hotels and Resorts sales and marketing senior vice president Chris
Bailey said the capacity influx represented a “huge” opportunity. The hotel
group intends to leverage the direct service from Singapore to develop its MICE
Singapore agents saw demand for Krabi drop after Tiger Airways suspended its
direct service. Fascinating Holidays president/CEO David Teo said, “Bookings for
Krabi fell almost 75 percent without direct access.” The agency now intends to
develop new packages to tap an expected boom in year-end demand for Krabi.