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Awards set to give major boost to Thailand tourism

In just over one month, Thailand will play host to one of the most extraordinary and prestigious events in the world travel & tourism calendar, taking centre stage as a world class leisure and business destination, as it spearheads the global travel & tourism recovery.

The Asia & Australasia World Travel Awards Gala Ceremony is set to take place at the luxurious Dusit Thani Bangkok in Thailand on 28th September

A distinguished line-up of travel industry professionals, senior executives from renowned travel companies, and hoteliers representing Asia & Australasia’s leading hotels, as well as media from 60 countries are expected to attend this prestigious ceremony when winners will be recognized for their outstanding achievements.

Thai Heritage Suite at the Dusit Thani Bangkok, host venue for the WTA Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony next month

“It is a distinct honour for Dusit Thani Bangkok as well as for Thailand to host such a prestigious international event,” said Danny McCafferty, General Manager of Dusit Thani Bangkok.

“We are proud to be the host hotel for this event, which endorses Thailand as a world-class leisure and business destination and honours nominees for excellence in the industry.” For selected guests, the hotel is planning an evening that celebrates all things truly Thai to showcase the Dusit philosophy of drawing on the uniqueness of Thai culture for inspiration and “using the gifts of Heaven to create heaven on earth,” the essence of Dusit Thani.

Dusit Thani Bangkok was chosen after a rigorous selection process that announced Bangkok as this year’s host destination for World Travel Awards 2011 Asia & Australasia ceremony.

Peter Komposch, General Manager, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket and colleagues collect 3 awards at last year’s WTA Asia & Australasia’s ceremony.

Last year, its sister property - Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket – was named Thailand’s Leading Beach Resort, Thailand’s Leading Golf Resort and Thailand’s Leading Spa Resort in an unprecedented run of success.

Other destinations that will host the regional awards – which will culminate in the Grand Final at the end of the year - include Dubai, Jamaica, Sharm El Sheikh and Antalya.
The choice of World Travel Awards hosts for 2011 reflects destinations that have dug deepest in adversity and are now spearheading the global travel and tourism recovery.

Thailand’s incredible resilience and forward-thinking attitude has led to Bangkok earning these hosting rights to the World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Ceremony.

Bangkok is known as the ‘Venice of the East’ - with an excess of waterways

Asia & Australasia lead the way for tourism recovery

Following the challenges brought by the economic downturn, Asia and Australasia have been leading the way for tourism recovery– accounting for 22% of the global tourism industry last year, according to recent figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The Asia/Pacific hotel development pipeline comprises 1,244 hotels totalling 306,537 rooms, according to the July 2011 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report.
Among the region’s countries, China ended the month with the largest number of rooms in the In Construction phase with 120,298 rooms.

Four other countries reported more than 5,000 rooms under construction: India is planning 29,127 new rooms; Thailand has 9,182 rooms in the pipeline; Vietnam is planning 8,554 rooms, meanwhile Indonesia is planning to add 6,456 rooms.

Thailand enjoys hospitality boom

Hotel performance across Thailand has bounced back after a tough year, with the combined challenges of the global recession and political unrest.

Thailand has now appointed a new female prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra and as the Government has stabilised, the tourism industry is already reaping the benefits.

Year-on-year revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the first six months of 2011 is up across the country.

Bangkok has seen occupancy recover by 26 percent for the year-to-May 2011.

“After a difficult few years when the global economic slowdown was exacerbated by violent demonstrations, the Thai hotel industry is on a recovery path”, said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “As overall demand and international tourist arrivals picked up again, more and more guests will again experience the Thai hospitality”.

An influx of international hotel chains to the third largest island in Thailand – Koh Samui – is setting the stage for fierce brand competition as Thailand enjoys an unprecedented hospitality boom.

Suite at the Istanbul Moevenpick - one of the hotels groups with plans to expand in Thailand

Well-known names in the pipeline include InterContinental, Le Méridien, Conrad, Accor and Moevenpick who will all be intent on luring travellers to the destination by the end of 2011.

According to new data released by leading consulting firm C9 Hotelworks in its Samui Hotel Market Update report, five hotels managed by global operators will enter the existing supply side during the second half of this year.

The destination has already experienced a surge in luxury brand penetration with properties operated by Four Seasons, Starwoods W, Banyan Tree, Six Senses and Orient Express.

According to the report, the island made inroads in the first half of the year, with hotels hitting an overall occupancy of 62% - a positive indicator that the island is getting back to business.

Accor has opened the 5th all seasons hotel in Bangkok, as the capital of Thailand enjoys an unprecedented hospitality boom.

Pool Villa at Banyan Tree, Phuket

Thailand’s Six Senses Resorts & Spas has recently seen Yao Noi, Phuket, reopen after a month of renovation.

This follows the launch of Six Senses Laamu, the only resort on the virtually uncharted Laamu Atoll, earlier this year. Both developments will have been noted by World Travel Awards voters as the group seeks to maintain its title of Asia’s Leading Resort Brand.

Aviation in focus

Airlift continues to be a primary focus as the increasing popularity of the monthly Full Moon Party on nearby Koh Phangan is drawing worldwide attention and is displacing seat capacity required for expansion of the mainstream leisure segment.

Bangkok Airways founder Prasert Prasarttong-osoth recently revealed that the airline was studying the possibility of divesting a 30% stake and possibly going into an IPO, which would pave the way for change on Koh Samui.

A market liberalisation under the Asean Economic Community in the next four years and open skies policy in the region are being hailed by travel industry watchers as a positive move.

Thailand taps into MICE market

Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) is promoting Phuket and Samui as luxury incentive travel and meeting destinations, through its new ‘Believe in Thailand’ marketing campaign.

Chinese visitors will be eligible for special promotions offered by four other MICE cities, Bangkok, Chiengmai, Phuket and Pattaya. TCEB and major Thai MICE operators will be at CIBTM, and continue on to three major cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhao, as part of their road show.

To find out more information about the thriving city of Bangkok, why not try logging onto from your mobile telephone.

Golf lures travellers to Thailand

Thailand has set itself out as one of the top golfing holiday destinations in Asia, with over 260 golf courses, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) which recently held a survey with over 3,389 tourists from 68 countries participating.  According to findings, its beaches and islands are the biggest draw, with golf also proving very popular.

Thailand sets itself out as a golfing hub in Asia

The county’s finest golfing resorts have been carefully selected in the category of Thailand’s Leading Golf Resorts, which will be revealed during the World Travel Awards ceremony. Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle, Bangkok Golf & Spa Resort, Blue Canyon Country Club, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket and Santiburi Resort Samui are this year’s nominees.

World Tourism Sport Congress

For the first time this year, alongside the climax of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the World Sport Tourism Congress will take place on the luxury cruise ship – the P&O Pacific Dawn – and will comprise of four days of inspirational panel debates, leading-edge presentations and priceless networking opportunities, all conducted whilst cruising in style around New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands.

The fully-inclusive cruise package departs from Queen’s Wharf, Auckland on October 10th, returning on October 14th in time for the Rugby World Cup Semi Finals.

Themed “Sharing the Sport and Tourism Boom”, WSTC presents an opportunity for network and engage with industry’s elite, gain invaluable insights from the world’s leading experts and meet face-to-face with the key Sport Tourism buyers as deals are brokered for future sporting events.

Confirmed speakers include: Jeanine Pires (Minster Special Advisor, Rio 2016 Olympics & former President, Embratur), Geoffrey Lipman (Advisor to Secretary General UNWTO), Campbell Jamieson (Commercial Director, International Cricket Council) and Darren Mee (COO, TUI Travel PLC, Specialist & Activity Sector).

The delegate rate of £950 will include access to all sessions on the WSTC programme, four nights accommodation on board the P&O Pacific Dawn, as well as exclusive VIP receptions and gala dinners, as the ship cruises around New Zealand’s North Island.