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Thailand gears up for World Travel Awards

On the back of reporting an impressive growth in hotel occupancy levels in August, Bangkok, Thailand is preparing to play host to the World Travel Awards, Asia & Australasia Ceremony.

Dusit Thani Bangkok plays host to the WTA Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony on September 28th.

Industry leaders from across the region – from India in the east, through Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China, to Australia and New Zealand in the west – will be in town ahead of the show.

Tickets for the hotly anticipated event – known to many as the Oscars of the travel industry – are selling fast, with just a handful remaining ahead of the event next week.

It seems fitting that the event should be hosted in Thailand for the first time – a destination that has been relentless in its bid to utilise every opportunity to enhance its offering and boost visitor numbers. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) aims to attract 19.5 million international tourist arrivals by 2012.

TAT recently launched a new strategic plan to drive up these visitors numbers. According to TAT governor Suraphon Svetasreni: “Responding to constant and incessant change has become our biggest challenge.”

He went on to explain the body had set a 2012 target of 19.5 million international tourist arrivals, generating approximate revenue of 760 billion Baht (US$24.85 billion USD).

This represents a nine per cent increase on the target for 2011.

TAT will continue to utilise the “Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You” theme into 2012.

Suraphon added: “In spite of all the changes taking place globally, the TAT still has many opportunities to increase visitor arrivals.

“We can see many positive factors; such as, continuing economic growth in many countries particularly in this region, the positive effect of people who do not cancel their travel plans but merely change their destinations in the event of unpredictable natural phenomena, and the progressive liberalisation of economic growth and transportation in the ASEAN region.”

A recent report by the Post Office Travel Money has already indicated that British tourists are being urged to travel further afield to get more for their money. Thailand came in second place as the cheapest destination for British travellers.

The benefits seem to be being felt by hoteliers, with Bangkok, Thailand, reported the largest occupancy increase for hotels in the Asia/Pacific region in August, according to the latest STR Global data.

Bangkok’s occupancy levels climbed by 26.7 percent to 65.3 percent, followed by Phuket, Thailand, with a 25.2-percent increase to 71.8 percent.
Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “Average room rates continue to improve against the prior year”.

Awards for those hotels that have innovated despite challenging economic times will be announced at the WTA ceremony tomorrow, with categories including Thailand’s Leading Hotel and Thailand’s Leading Resort.

Hotels that have will be competing for the coveted awards include: Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Conrad Bangkok, Thailand, The Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Thailand and The Peninsula Bangkok,

Tickets for the hotly anticipated event – known to many as the Oscars of the travel industry – are selling fast, with just a handful remaining ahead of the event next week.

Among the most eagerly anticipated guests are representatives from the Dusit Thani Group itself, with observers keen to see if Dusit Thani Bangkok - pictured - can emulate the success of the Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, which was last year recognised as Thailand’s Leading Beach Resort by World Travel Awards.

Dusit Thani Bangkok – which will host the World Travel Awards later this month – has been nominated as Asia’s Leading City Hotel

Check out a complete list of nominees here.

The event will be co-hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, with more information on the official World Travel Awards website.

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