Mekong tourism

Mekong tourism

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand will host the Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 in Nakhon Phanom next week.

Under the theme “Transforming Travel Transforming Lives”, the annual meeting is expected to have about 500 attendants from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) tourism industry including Cambodia, China (Yunnan province and the Guangxi Autonomous Region), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

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The conference will cover market development and tourism promotion to promote GMS member countries as one single destination. Topics include “Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism”, “Working With Influential Content Creators” and “Transforming Travel”. There will also be a Mekong Mini Movie Festival.

The Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 will be held from June 25 through June 29 at Nakhon Phanom University.


Bollywood awards

Bangkok has been chosen as the host city for the 19th International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA).

Started in 2000, the award ceremony is organised annually in different countries across the world. The event will return to Thailand a decade after it was first held in Bangkok.

“India is one of Thailand’s important sources of tourism. Being named as the host country for the IIFA Awards for the second time reiterates Thailand’s position as the preferred destination among Indian travellers,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Thailand welcomed 1.4 million Indian visitors in 2017, up 18% from the year before, generating 62.4 billion baht in income. The TAT expects the number to further rise this year. In the first four months of 2018 already, 17% more Indians visited Thailand than in the same period last year, totalling 481,573 arrivals.

The event will also draw Bollywood fans to the capital. Top Bollywood celebrities to join the event include Anupam Kher who will receive the ceremony’s Outstanding Achievement Award, Ranbir Kapoor who is known as one of India’s highest-paid actors, Shahid Kapoor who is one of the most attractive Indian celebrities and Kartik Aaryan who is widely known for his recently released film Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.

The International Indian Film Academy Awards will take place at Siam Niramit from Friday to Sunday.


Airlines update

– Thai AirAsia will launch direct flights between Chiang Mai and Yangon starting Aug 11.

Flights will depart from Chiang Mai Airport at 1.15pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and will arrive at Yangon Airport at 1.45pm.

The return flight from Yangon will be scheduled for 2.25pm and arrive in Chiang Mai at 4.30pm. The travel time is about one hour.

On Aug 16, the airline will also launch its first direct flight from Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.

The service will be available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The flight will depart from Don Mueang Airport at 9.30am and will arrive at Kota Kinabalu Airport at 1.35pm. The return flight will be at 3pm and arrive in Bangkok at 5.05pm. The travel time is about three hours.


– Thai Airways celebrates the 25th anniversary of Royal Orchid Plus, its loyalty programme.

To mark the anniversary, the airline has signed up with new business partners including the Government Savings Bank, Vana Nava Water Jungle, Blacklane Limousine and Concept Golf Management to offer special privileges and more selections for mileage redemption. Royal Orchid Plus will also launch activities at Quartier Gallery, EmQuartier to offer promotion tickets on July 1-2.


Hotel deals & update

– 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts announces a policy to eliminate single-use plastic from its hotel rooms and outlets.

Plastic straws are to be replaced with paper straws which will be offered on request, drinking water will be served in recycled glass bottles and plastic bags for collecting waste will be switched for reusable woven bags.

137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts operates two 5-star hotels in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, with a plan to open another one in Phuket.

– Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has partnered with Timeshifter to help guests beat jet lag.

Guests booking directly with Six Senses will get free access to the Timeshifter’s jet lag app. The app offers personalised plans based on the traveller’s sleep pattern, chronotype, flight plan, and optional preferences such as pre-travel adjustment to help guests quickly recover from time zone differences.


– Santiburi Koh Samui has introduced an “Exclusive Culinary Experiences” package for guests staying in the Grand Reserve Pool Villas or Grand Deluxe Pool Villas.

The offer includes a “Floating Breakfast” served on a floating wooden tray in guests’ private swimming pool and a private barbecue for up to six people with a personal chef.

The prices for the floating breakfast per person is 1,390++ baht with Prosecco wine and 1,990++ baht with unlimited Champagne. The price for the private BBQ per person is 1,290++ baht.


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