Easing Visa Restrictions May Bring Thailand Closer To Tourism Target

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Easing visa restrictions may bring Thailand closer to tourism target

Easing Visa Restrictions May Bring Thailand Closer To Tourism Target

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2022

THE NATION

Thailand’s Tourism Industry May Not Achieve The 1.5-Trillion-Baht Revenue Target That The Tourism And Sports Ministry Had Set For This Year.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Monday that the ministry recently adjusted the tourism target to 1.08 trillion baht based on the current trend of tourists. This would be equivalent to 6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

He expects Thailand to welcome 10 million foreign tourists this year, while local tourists are expected to make some 120 million trips.

Foreign arrivals will generate 670 billion baht in revenue, while 410 billion baht will come from Thai tourists, he said.

Easing visa restrictions may bring Thailand closer to tourism target

“As of September 17, Thailand has welcomed 5.43 million foreign tourists,” Phiphat said. “We estimate there will be some 1.5 million foreign arrivals each month in the last quarter of this year, which will help meet the target of 10 million tourists.”

The ministry initially set a target of 1.5 trillion baht in tourism revenue for this year but adjusted it down to 1.2 trillion baht mid-year after realising that there were far few bookings from far-flung countries.

Easing visa restrictions may bring Thailand closer to tourism target

In the last quarter, the following measures are expected to attract more foreigners: reduction of the Long-Term Resident (LTR) visa fee from 100,000 baht to 50,000 baht, extending visa on arrival from 15 days to 30 days and allowing visitors from visa-exempt countries to stay for 45 days instead of 30 days.

THE NATION

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

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6.6-billion-baht venue to serve as a tourist magnet revitalizing the island’s tourism market

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

Phuket, September 1, 2022 – Phuket FantaSea is getting ready to launch “Carnival Magic”, the world’s first Thai Carnival theme park. The 6.6-billion-baht park, covering an area of more than 100 rai, will fling open its doors on September 20, just in time for Thailand’s tourism high season. With travelers returning as the COVID-19 situation eases, the theme park expects to welcome as many as 2 million domestic and foreign tourists next year, which should help revitalize Phuket’s economy.

Mr. Kittikorn Kewkacha, President and Chief Executive Officer of Phuket FantaSea Public Co. Ltd. and Carnival Magic Co., Ltd., said: “Building upon Phuket FantaSea’s 22 successful years as the ultimate Thai cultural theme park, we are ready for the next stage – the opening of Carnival Magic – The Magical Kingdom of Lights.”

“The new theme park will offer spectacular Thai-style carnivals augmented by modern technology. Covering an area of more than 100 rai, the venue is located in Phuket’s Kamala Beach area, adjacent to Phuket FantaSea. We expect Carnival Magic to become a new landmark in Thailand that provides tourists with a memorable, unmatched experience,” he added.

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

Carnival Magic is the world’s first Thai Carnival theme park. Inspired by the fun and colorful parades, carnivals, and temple fairs across Thailand, the park features many interesting and unique attractions and dazzling light decorations that match international standards. The park will offer visitors other-worldly experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

The theme park is divided into 4 main zones, namely:

Zone 1: Carnival Fun Fair

In this zone, visitors can make their way through a shopping street and enjoy shopping for high-quality products in a festive, celebratory atmosphere created by a huge array of bright and colorful shops.

Guests can also enjoy all-night-long carnival performances, VR games, snacks & desserts, many photo & selfie opportunities, carnival games, and kiddie rides.

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

Zone 2: Bird of Paradise Buffet Restaurant

With a seating capacity of 3,000 guests, the grand hall is made to look like a beautiful paradise guarded by 2 giant peacocks fanning their tails. On the menu are more than 100 delicacies from the East and the West, including Indian, vegetarian and Halal dishes.

In the near future, there will be another luxury restaurant called the River of Bliss. Inspired by Thailand’s famous Loy Krathong floating lantern festival, the restaurant will offer set-menus served in beautiful krathong. But before guests make their way to the tables, they will need to get to the Happiness Falls and board the Barge of Happiness which will then lift them 7 meters above ground to the dining hall.

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

Zone 3 – River Palace

The River Palace, designed to look like a palace in the ancient Kamala Kingdom is an enormous 16,000-square-metre (10 rai) indoor show theater – one of the largest in Thailand and among the largest in the world. The theater with a 70-meter-long and 22-meter-high stage can accommodate 2,200 spectators and will showcase the world’s biggest indoor parade show called the River Carnival.

River Carnival is a 50-minute extravaganza that blends fantasies, festivals, and traditional parades of Thailand augmented with modern technology and special effects. Among the highlights are more than 88 gigantic floats with millions of lights, automation, and cutting-edge special effects. The best feature is the world’s longest float that is more than 70 meters long or about the size of the world’s largest passenger jet, the Airbus A380.

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

Zone 4 – Kingdom of Lights

Built as an illumination park, this zone features more than 40 million lights to create a dazzling masterpiece that sparks visitors’ imagination. There are 9 areas to explore in the Kingdom of Lights, where visitors can walk around enjoying stunning illuminated decorations and sculptures. The centerpiece is the River of Lights where millions of lights glitter from uniquely designed steel plates called the “luminaries”.

The steel plates used to create the luminaries are over 50 kilometers long and they are installed around a lake. Visitors can enter the area by crossing a bridge, which offers them a panoramic view of millions of lights from all directions.

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

“In creating Carnival Magic, we were inspired to build something that is uniquely Thai and never before seen anywhere in the world,” said Mr. Kittikorn. “This resulted in Carnival Magic becoming a theme park that broke many records both in Thailand and overseas, including 9 Guinness World Records”

The 9 Guinness World Records that Carnival Magic has set are:

1. The longest single-chassis parade float

2. The most lights used in a permanent light-and-sound show

3. The largest LED sculpture (supported)

4. The largest LED structure

5. The largest popcorn machine

6. The largest outdoor chandelier

7. The largest paper – mache sculpture (supported)

8. The tallest proscenium arch

9. The most LED lights on a van

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

“We have begun our marketing and communication efforts domestically and internationally through more than 1,000 tour operators. So far, we have received a great response,” Mr. Kittikorn said.

“International tourists account for 70 percent of our customers, while domestic visitors account for the other 30 percent. Among international tourists, we will specifically target those from India, China, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Carnival Magic will open on September 20, 2022, with the aim of serving some 2 million visitors in 2023,” he added.

“Phuket’s tourism industry is expected to recover and grow now that international tourists have started returning. Phuket’s provincial Tourism and Sports Office reported that thanks to the lifting of the Test & Go requirement on May 1, it can safely expect 5 million international arrivals to the island this year, marking 50 percent of the pre-pandemic level, which was 10 million international tourists,” he said.

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

“In addition, Phuket is a favorite destination for Thai tourists, especially during the cooler months. The grand opening of Carnival Magic during the high season will not only help boost the Thai economy by attracting visitors who will spend but will also boost local employment and revitalize tourism at both local and national levels. This should help steer the country back on the right track towards growth,” Mr. Kittikorn said.

Carnival Magic will open its doors on Tuesday, September 20. It is located at 999 Moo 3 (next to Phuket FantaSea), Kamala, Kathu District, Phuket Province. For more information, call the Public Relations department at 076 385 222, email pr@carnivalmagic.fun or visit www.carnivalmagic.fun

Carnival Magic, world’s first Thai Carnival theme park lands in Phuket

Published : September 03, 2022

By : THE NATION

Yaowarat Road named one of world’s ‘coolest’ streets by Time Out magazine

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Bangkok’s Yaowarat Road was named the world’s eighth coolest street in the latest Time Out poll, which saw pollsters asking more than 20,000 people about post-pandemic life in their city.

Yaowarat Road named one of world’s ‘coolest’ streets by Time Out magazine

Time Out magazine released its list ranking 33 coolest streets last week. The ranking is based on food, fun, culture and community.

The magazine describes Yaowarat as “one of Bangkok’s oldest thoroughfares, with a history that dates back to the city’s foundation, Yaowarat Road winds and curves through Bangkok’s riverside Chinatown.

“Lined with neon signs and bustling day or night, this cultural hub is home to temples, restaurants, markets and legions of acupuncturists and dispensers of Chinese medicine.

“It’s been a street food lovers’ favourite for generations, but lately the area has seen cool galleries and high-end restaurants move in too, keeping Yaowarat as relevant and culturally diverse as the day it was paved.”

Yaowarat Road named one of world’s ‘coolest’ streets by Time Out magazine
Yaowarat Road named one of world’s ‘coolest’ streets by Time Out magazine

The top 10 coolest streets in the world are:

  1. Rue Wellington, Montreal, Canada
  2. Gertrude street, Melbourne, Australia
  3. Great Western Road, Glasgow, Scotland
  4. Yongkang street, Taipei, Taiwan
  5. Værnedamsvej, Copenhagen, Denmark
  6. Karangahape road, Auckland, New Zealand
  7. Tai Ping Shan street, Hong Kong
  8. Yaowarat Road, Bangkok
  9. Oranienstrasse, Berlin, Germany
  10. Hayes Street, San Francisco, US

Meanwhile, Bangkok came in at 51 among 53 top cities in the world in 2022, while the capital’s Ari area was 47th among 49 coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Time Out.

Yaowarat Road named one of world’s ‘coolest’ streets by Time Out magazine
Yaowarat Road named one of world’s ‘coolest’ streets by Time Out magazine
Yaowarat Road named one of world’s ‘coolest’ streets by Time Out magazine

Published : August 30, 2022

By : THE NATION

Ubon Ratchathani gets ready for surge of visitors lured by yearly ‘parading shrimp’ phenomenon

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Ubon Ratchathani’s annual “Parading Shrimp” festival is expected to attract hordes of tourists to the Kaeng Lamduan Wildlife Study Centre in Nam Yuen district in September.

Ubon Ratchathani gets ready for surge of visitors lured by yearly ‘parading shrimp’ phenomenon

In a Facebook post on Monday, the Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) announced that the annual natural phenomenon is expected to start from September 1 and last until the end of the month.

“Once a year around September, an army of shrimps will march on the rocky banks of Kaeng Lamduan creek on their quest to hunt for food and to avoid being crushed by gushing torrents caused by rain,” the post said.

“These shrimps [Macrobrachium eriocheirum] are referred to locally as ‘hairy claw shrimps’, and they have been doing this march for decades to ensure the survival of their species.”

Ubon Ratchathani gets ready for surge of visitors lured by yearly ‘parading shrimp’ phenomenon

The DNP said the shrimp will start “parading” after sunset at around 6pm until 10pm depending on weather conditions. When the current is not too strong due to less rain, fewer shrimp will be seen marching on the rocks as most will stick to the safer path underwater, the department said.

To accommodate the surge in tourists, the Kaeng Lamduan Wildlife Study Centre will close at 10pm throughout September and provide tour guides to help visitors navigate the path in the dark. Visitors are advised to carry flashlights and wear facemasks to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

For more information, call (097) 212 3951 or (094) 287 4156.

Published : August 23, 2022

By : THE NATION

Over 4 million foreign tourists have visited Thailand so far this year

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Thailand welcomed more than four million foreign tourists from January 1 to August 16, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) reported on Wednesday.

Over 4 million foreign tourists have visited Thailand so far this year

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said 4,015,504 foreign tourists visited the country in the seven-and-a-half-month period, while the first half of August saw an average of 42,000 international arrivals per day.

He said the tourism sector has recovered to a great extent after the government eased several Covid-19 prevention measures, including removing the Thailand Pass entry system from July 1.

TAT expects the number of foreign tourists to reach 4.5 million on August 31, Yuthasak said.

It aims to attract an overall 10 million tourists this year, with more than 1 million per month in August and September and 1.5 million per month in the fourth quarter.

Yuthasak expects foreign tourists to generate 625.8 billion baht in revenue for the country this year, while another 656 billion baht is likely to come from 160 million domestic trips by Thai travellers.

The top five countries from which the most tourists arrived from January 1 to August 16 were:

  1. Malaysia – 526,051
  2. India – 395,025
  3. Laos – 218,043
  4. Singapore – 213,523
  5. UK -193,003.

And the top five entry points were Suvarnabhumi Airport, Phuket International Airport, Don Mueang International Airport, the Sadao border crossing in Songkhla, and the Nong Khai border crossing, TAT added.

Published : August 18, 2022

By : THE NATION

Upbeat Tourism Council expects over 12 million foreign visitors this year

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The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) is confident that more than 12 million foreigners will visit the country this year.

Upbeat Tourism Council expects over 12 million foreign visitors this year

TCT president Chamnan Srisawat said the tourism sector needs to welcome 12 million to 16 million foreign tourists to survive.

This number, he pointed out, is 30 to 40 per cent of total visitors before the Covid pandemic or 40 million in 2019.

Chamnan said he was confident Thailand would see more than 12 million foreign tourists this year, while the government sector has a set a target of attracting 10 million.

The country saw only 2 million international arrivals in the first half but more than 1 million came in July, Chamnan noted, adding that he expected the number of tourists to shoot past the 1-million mark both in August and September.

As for the high season from October to December, he expected more than 2 million foreigners to visit the country each month.

Chamnan said the tourism sector is waiting for a 1.03-billion-baht budget from the government in the form of a “booster shot” to help the industry recover.

Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said his ministry is requesting the government to provide 2 billion baht, with 1 billion being used to stimulate the sector while another 1 billion will be used to support sport tourism.

Pipat said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan told him he is waiting for the National Sports Development Fund manager to answer whether there is enough money to boost the tourism industry.

The tourism minister said he believed that budget is enough and is waiting for money which he hopes will be available from October 1.

As for the so-called “booster”, he said the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has sent a plan to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council and is awaiting approval from the Centre for Economic Situation Administration.

The budget will be used to attract 10 million foreign visitors this year and boost the number of domestic trips to 160 million to generate 1.2 trillion baht in income.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said 3,977,631 foreign tourists visited Thailand from January 1 to August 15, with the daily number of tourists being around 35,000 to 40,000 on average. He expected the figure to reach 4.5 million by August 31.

Meanwhile, the number of domestic trips is increasing, touching 60 million in the first six months.

He said TAT had asked the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to approve visa extensions for foreign travellers:

  1. From 30 days to 45 for visas for visitors from 56 countries.
  2. From 15 days to 30 for those entering with a Visa on Arrival.

TAT wants arrival cards scrapped for visitors coming through land borders with Laos and Malaysia as a lot of tourists are arriving via the two countries.

Yuthasak said TAT also expects Chinese tourists to be allowed to visit Thailand at the end of the year as the government there has eased several anti-Covid measures.

Moreover, the Chinese government is allowing local organisations to consider whether people can travel out of their provinces.

TAT speculated that increasing interest rates will not affect tourists’ decision to travel and the authority will not adjust its goal of foreign and domestic travellers because it believes they would still travel but cut down on expenses.

Yuthasak added that TAT is more worried about the increasing fuel prices.

Published : August 17, 2022

By : THE NATION

Great Wall Motor partners with TAT to promote Ecotourism

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Great Wall Motor (GWM) is continuing its partnership with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a strategic partnership to promote Thailand’s Ecotourism with new energy mobility.

Great Wall Motor partners with TAT to promote Ecotourism

The collaboration reiterates GWM’s commitment to becoming Thailand’s xEV leader ready to work with partners in all sectors to revive inbound tourism and drive the country’s transition to an EV society, following the government’s direction, while sustainably growing its business alongside Thai society.

Held at the GWM Experience Center, ICONSIAM, the signing ceremony was presided over by Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports; and Wang Liping, The Economic and Commercial Minister-Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Thailand, who were welcomed by Elliot Zhang, President Asean of Great Wall Motor. The MOU was signed by Michael Chong, General Manager of Great Wall Motor (Thailand); and Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said: ” The collaboration between the TAT and the company showcases the significant role of the state and private sector in driving the government’s and the ministry’s national strategy as well as Thailand’s transition to good carbon governance. Plans will be developed to support ecotourism activities and create business collaboration in terms of travelling with new-energy vehicles to benefit both parties. We hope to further the scheme by promoting a new series of unseen regional attractions (Unseen New Series) to drive forward the tourism industry, the new-energy vehicle industry, and improve the country’s environment ” 

Elliot Zhang, President Asean of Great Wall Motor, said: “Since the very beginning of our business in Thailand, we have focused on the mission of ‘In Thailand, For Thailand’ or growing while improving Thailand for Thai people. In our second year of business operations in Thailand, GWM will continue pursuing such mission and offering new experiences to Thai consumers with quality electric vehicles and services, while strengthening the country’s EV ecosystem. We are pleased to collaborate with the TAT in promoting new-energy vehicle usage for ecotourism activities, which will contribute to the growth of tourism and environmental preservation in general. In the meantime, we will support public relations tasks on social and media channels to create awareness of eco-travelling with new-energy vehicles. Additionally, we will further this partnership to bring to life many activities to promote Thailand’s tourism consistently. This is another testimonial for GWM as Thailand’s xEV leader with a mission to carry out social activities under the ‘GWM Initiative’, which focuses on improving the social environment, promoting cultural diversity, and developing communities in a sustainable way.”

Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said: “It is the TAT’s mission to promote marketing and public relations activities as well as to build trust to expand the quality markets, making Thailand an ever-popular destination for tourists while driving net-zero-carbon-emission tourism i.e., focusing on reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from tourism activities. It is a great opportunity to further reinforce our partnership with GWM through the MOU on counselling, analyzing, planning, and supporting ecotourism activities, for which new-energy vehicles are being utilized. The TAT will work closely with GWM to drive tourism towards good carbon governance (carbon dioxide management in tourism), and we would like to thank the company for continuously supporting tourism activities.”

GWM has consistently provided high-performance electric vehicles packed with superb safety technology and cutting-edge innovation, including the All-New HAVAL H6 Hybrid SUV and All New HAVAL JOLION Hybrid SUV, supporting the TAT’s initiatives e.g., ‘TAT BCG Road Trip’, promoting simple tourism in the central region; ‘TAT YEC Green Road Trip’, strengthening the bond between the central and the eastern regions; ‘Green Road Trip’ in the northeastern region; and ‘Green Road Trip’ in the southern region. Meanwhile, the TAT has offered counsel for the ‘GWM Life Road Trooper’ program.

All of this has promoted travelling with eco-friendly alternative energy vehicles as well as ecotourism across Thailand.

GWM, as the ‘Global Intelligent Technology Company’, is committed to developing products and innovations that offer clean, safe, and comfortable commute experiences for Thai consumers.

In addition, the company focuses on supporting society and elevating the country’s automotive industry while standing alongside society and consumers to drive forward Thailand’s economic growth.

Published : August 17, 2022

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

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Yala is one of three deep South provinces in Thailand that many tourists overlook due to its distance from Bangkok. Yala’s Betong is the southernmost district in Thailand, sharing a border with Kedah and Perak in Malaysia. However, this small province has plenty of other attractions awaiting visitors besides its southerly location.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

One of the most obvious features of Yala city is its urban planning. Yala was ranked by www.wtfintheworld.com as the world’s 23rd best location in the terms of city planning. The provincial capital is divided into zones covering government complexes, residential buildings, shopping districts and public parks, enhancing quality of life under the administration of the Yala Municipality Office.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

Yala has also developed into a “city of learning”, with features such as TK Park Library housing books and information from all around the world, and public parks offering “edutainment” activities for children and the general public. The Exploring Park in Muang district features a state-of-the-art learning centre, playground and workout zone, outdoor amphitheatre, and green space for people to relax. Admission is free.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

For your first visit to Yala, you could begin by paying respect to the Yala City Pillar Shrine in front of the city hall in Muang district. You will be greeted with a view of beautiful shrine revered by local people, surrounded by a public park with decorative shrubs and trees as well as a running track for exercising.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

For those who enjoy street arts, head to Saphan Dam (Black Railway Bridge), which crosses Pattani River in Sateng subdistrict. This new landmark features street arts and performances by local artists, as well as the colourful “Rainbow Buildings” along the train tracks.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

Yala is a city of multiple cultures, with local residents descended from different races, religions and cultures. The multicultural mix has created a unique charm reflected in many tourist attractions. For example, Wat Khuhapimuk in Na Tham subdistrict is a Buddhist temple that also has a shrine of Lim Ko Niao, a deity worshipped by Chinese people in southern Thailand. During Chinese New Year, Chinese communities in Yala host an annual fire-walking procession of faithful attendants to honour the deity. Meanwhile, the 80-year-old Yala Central Mosque in Sateng subdistrict offers proof of the piety and prosperity of local Muslim communities, with a beautiful and majestic design making it an unmissable attraction for Thai and foreign tourists.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

Yala’s food also reflects the multicultural roots of the province, combining unique flavours of Thai, Muslim and Chinese Teochew cuisines. Recommended hotspots for foodies are Anna’s Garden for roti (flat bread), fried chicken and nasi dagang (Malaysian aromatic rice); Kuay Chap Thepwiman with its Teochew-style noodles; Rice Kafe for Thai-Southern fusion cuisine; and Lae Pha Na Tham restaurant in Na Tham subdistrict, where a towering cliff provides a natural backdrop while you enjoy Yala’s traditional jungle cuisine.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems
Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

Yala is also a paradise for coffee lovers, with chic and vintage cafés dotted throughout the province. Look out for the Bali-style Bev Bar with selfie-friendly corners, and the Moon Café for its fusion menu of desserts and drinks made from the delicious local mangoes.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

Speaking of fruits, Yala’s signature product is durians, as can be seen from the orchards scattered throughout the province as evidence of the government’s support for cultivation and research. The Saded Nam Durian variety is exclusive to Yala as the province is characterised by steep mountainous areas with lodes – making the soil rich in minerals and nutrients. Yala durians are renowned for their firm flesh, unique texture, and creamy taste.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems
Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

Other notable fruits grown in Yala include Betong Mandarin oranges, which have a unique fragrance, high acidity and soft peel; and Longkong (southern Langsat) whose thin peel and semi-transparent flesh are prized by Thais nationwide.

Bedazzled by Yala – Thailand’s city of multicultural gems

Yala has a wealth of urban attractions, but there are many more to explore outside the city area. For your next vacation, consider visiting Yala – you will not be disappointed.
 

Published : August 17, 2022

By : THE NATION

Agoda Announces 2022 Customer Review Awards

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US properties lead the pack, with Thailand accommodation providers securing top spot in Asia. while Bangkok tops on the list of winning destinations.

Agoda Announces 2022 Customer Review Awards

This week, Agoda presented its Customer Review Awards 2022 to more than 36,000 properties in over 150 markets that have endeavoured to achieve high-rating customer reviews (ranking 8 or above), in a year where the world continued to face restricted travel and international lockdowns.

The Agoda Customer Review Awards are presented to hotel and accommodation partners who have offered exceptional services to their customers, including great pricing and availability. Properties must also utilize Agoda’s Yield Control System (YCS).

This year, globally, Asia tops the region league table with 18,670 properties represented, followed by Europe and North America in the second and third place respectively.

The US becomes this year’s market champion with 7,015 properties represented, followed by Thailand (4,343), Indonesia (2,590), Japan (2,053), and India (1,948).

Bangkok tops on the list of winning destinations with 681 properties, while is second Bali (579), Paris third (498), Chiang Mai fourth (479) and Phuket (451) rounding out the top five.

“Customer reviews quickly help travellers to make decisions where to stay. They are a trusted source which allows travellers to identify places that match their own travel requirements such as travelling with kids, the location in relation to other attractions, or how welcoming the guest relations staff are, said Liyana Jamil, Vice President of Partner Services, Agoda.

There has to be consistency in delivering quality stays to achieve the 8+ ranking and with the challenges faced by the travel industry over the past years, winning this award not only speaks about our partners’ exceptional service but is also a testament to their hard work, dedication, and passion for providing our guests with an experience they truly value.

With over 35+ million guest reviews on the platform, Agoda understands the importance of customer reviews as Agoda’s Usage & Attitude Study data shows 84% of travellers globally read online reviews before choosing where to stay when they travel.

For hoteliers and accommodation partners, these reviews provide vital feedback to benchmark services and make improvements.

For the first time this year, there will be a dedicated landing page https://www.agoda.com/customerreviewaward to celebrate and feature all Customer Review Award winners.

This landing page will be accessible to all Agoda’s customers and help guide them to great service offerings. Customers may filter their reviews in several ways, including score, timing, reviewer demographics, and language, to discover the best suits their needs.

The Agoda Customer Review award is judged on genuine customer reviews based on five key criteria including Cleanliness, Facilities, Location, Room comfort, Quality, Service, and Value for money.

The 2022 Customer Review Awards was awarded, on July 26, 2022. The winning properties were notified through an email and YCS App pop-up.

Published : August 16, 2022

Thai Hosts recognised among top Airbnb Hosts under 30 in Asia Pacific

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This International Youth Day, Airbnb recognises two top Hosts under the age of 30 years old in Thailand

Thai Hosts recognised among top Airbnb Hosts under 30 in Asia Pacific

While Airbnb Hosts span the age spectrum, Airbnb is celebrating International Youth Day (12 August) this year by shining a light on its most successful, innovative and tenacious Airbnb Hosts in Asia Pacific under 30.  

Airbnb is recognizing 13 outstanding young Airbnb Hosts across the Apac region with an average rating of 4.9 and over 4,300 guest check-ins collectively, including two from Thailand – Genie, 23 and Kantaphon, 27.

“A new world of opportunities has been unlocked for the younger generation through their access to and adeptness with modern technology. We are seeing more young Thais discovering Airbnb and sharing about it with their families and friends. They are not only travelling with us domestically and overseas but also becoming tourism entrepreneurs by helping their families generate new streams of income through hosting,” shared Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

For many Airbnb Hosts in Thailand, hosting is a way to generate additional income and for passionate Thais to share their local culture, hospitality and neighbourhood communities with their guests.

In fact, 77 per cent of Thai hosts use Airbnb as an opportunity to connect guests around the world with their local communities.

During the pandemic, Thailand welcomed many first-time hosts and Bangkok, Phuket, Hua Hin, Koh Samui and Pattaya were the top destinations for new Hosts’ earnings. 

Genie, who hosts this three-bedroom home in Bangkok with her family, was inspired when staying in an Airbnb for the first time overseas.

Thai Hosts recognised among top Airbnb Hosts under 30 in Asia Pacific
Thai Hosts recognised among top Airbnb Hosts under 30 in Asia Pacific

“In 2016, my family and I travelled abroad during the summer and stayed in an Airbnb for the first time. We absolutely loved the experience. We thought it would be so nice to be a Host back home in Thailand – to welcome guests from around the world that are maybe looking for a more local experience of travelling in Bangkok. Later that year, we put up a listing on the platform and welcomed our first guests.”

For Kantaphon, who hosts the Punjum House Airbnb Stay in Chiang Mai, becoming a Host was unexpected.

Thai Hosts recognised among top Airbnb Hosts under 30 in Asia Pacific
Thai Hosts recognised among top Airbnb Hosts under 30 in Asia Pacific

“My parents rented out our family home but unfortunately our long-term resident did not take good care of our home leading to high costs of refurbishment and repairs for us. A friend of ours then made the life-changing suggestion that we list our home on Airbnb, and I have been an Airbnb Host for 5 years now since 2017.”

To become a successful host, Genie suggests future hosts should look through the eyes of guests and distinguish their stay from others.

“I think it’s helpful to put yourself in the shoes of the guest and imagine yourself as a traveller in a foreign place. What would they want? I think reliability is a top priority, also comfort, and even community. For places like ours, where we might not have the most prime location, it’s also helpful to recognize the charm of your own home and bring it out. There’s a unique charm to every house and you can really showcase it differently on Airbnb. You also learn from other hosts! I enjoy staying at other Airbnb stays and seeing how they do things differently.”

Kantaphon believes in creating a stay that reflects your own style and ensuring the local community benefits too.

“If you’re interested in being an Airbnb host, I strongly encourage you to start now! It’s a great occupation as it allows you to spend time with your family and enables you to create opportunities for the local community. Make sure to look after your guests as if they are friends visiting you, and decorate your home based on your own style. I believe if you do this, guests will feel connected to you and will see how sincere you are. And all the great reviews from your guests will come flooding in.”

As these young Thai entrepreneurs show, age is definitely no barrier to becoming a successful Airbnb Host.

For more detail on hosting, visit https://www.airbnb.com/host.

Infinity Communications

Published : August 09, 2022