TAT board names new governor

BANGKOK, 30 June 2015: Tourism Authority of Thailand’s board of directors named Yuthasak Supasorn,  as the new governor at its meeting yesterday.

He replaces Thawatchai Arunyik who completed his term at the end of March. He is the first  outsider without any direct connection with the agency, or the tourism industry at large, to be appointed to TAT’s top post.

Following the departure of Thawachai, deputy governor Juthaporn Rerngronasa assumed the role of acting governor, pending a board decision on a replacement. It is understood the short list was whittled down to a single candidate from TAT and Yuthasak.

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Vietnam’s car rules ease

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 30 June 2015: Travel companies and event sponsors overseas will be have an easier time getting their overland caravans into Vietnam starting 1 August, if the cars are left-hand drive.

The improvements are not perfect, but they remove a seat capacity obstacle that made it difficult to organise car caravans in Vietnam with cars that had more than nine seats.  The government confirmed last week it has amended  the regulation on managing foreign vehicles that enter Vietnam for tourism purposes.

It issued Decree 57, 16 June, that replaced Decree 152 that has been effective since 2013.

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App flags Yangon taxis

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

YANGON, 30 June 2015: A new mobile phone application linking passengers with taxi drivers has officially launched in Yangon’s Hlaing Tharyar Township.

The application claimed to be the latest initiative to help reduce traffic congestion in Myanmar’s car-clogged commercial capital.

Irrawaddy media reported the phone application, named “hoho,” was created by Yangon-based start-up company Myantel and officially launched in mid-June after a trial-run period from February to May this year.

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Qatar cuts summer fares

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

BANGKOK, 30 June 2015: Qatar Airways has cut its fares on flights departing Bangkok and Phuket to selected destinations, across its network in economy and business class during July to December this year.

The promotion sells roundtrip fares, inclusive of taxes, fees and surcharges, in economy and business class at THB24,815 and THB57,710 to Abu Dhabi.

Fares to other Middle East destinations are: THB26,255 and THB58,915 Bahrain; THB35,270 and THB107,650 Istanbul; THB37,195 and THB78,110 Jeddah; and THB38,925 and THB90,875 Doha. Read more

Thai tour guides face dress code

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 30 June 2015: Professional Tourist Guide Association of Thailand says the Department of Tourism should delay a plan to dress all registered guides in Thailand in uniforms.

Last Friday, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Department of Tourism announced it would introduce uniforms to help identify registered guides and add more pressure on those who guide illegally.

The guides association president, Wirote Sitaprasertnand, told TTR Weekly that the new regulation due to start, 1 October, received a mixed response from guides, some saying they support the move, while others objecting in principle to the need to wear a uniform.

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How Hong Kong citizens travel

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

HONG KONG, 30 June 2015: Japan is the top destination for Hong Kong citizens with Taiwan in second place, according to the latest visa card survey.

Thailand and Korea trailed the leaders in third and fourth place in the popularity holiday stakes based on feedback from 800 card holders resident in Hong Kong .

But the surey also showed wherever Hong Kong citizens travel  mobile phones and credit cards are the top two essential travel companions.

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Malaysia in carnival mode

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Malaysia, News

PUTRAJAYA, 30 June 2015: Malaysia’s biggest shopping extravaganza –– the annual 1Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival and 1Malaysia Unified Sale –– are back again, offering huge discounts and promotional activities put together by malls, retail stalls and other participating retailers throughout Malaysia.

Running for over two months until 31 August, this year there is also the added attraction of Ramadan food bazaars. Street bazaars and shopping malls are also hyping up with numerous offers for the upcoming Hari Raya celebrations and the Merdeka Day public holiday.

The sales events were launched 27 June by the secretary-general of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Tan Sri Dr. Ong Hong Peng at the Marriot Putrajaya Hotel.

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Greening hotel keeping

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Hospitality, News

BANGKOK, 30 June 2015: Judging by the turnout at Monday’s Green Hotel Supplier and Consumer Conference, hoteliers are keen to be green especially when they are buying services and products.

Around 130 hoteliers attended the event joined by more than 70 suppliers.

Sponsored by the Green Leaf Foundation, Human Resources Management Club and the Thai Hotels Association the event was hosted at Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok.

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Spain’s Airbnb outplays hotels

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under EUROPE, Hospitality, News

MADRID, 30 June 2015: Beds listed by online home rental services like Airbnb in Spain surpassed the number on offer by hotels last year, a study published by Spanish tourism sector body Exceltur showed.

Airbnb and other similar sites listed 2.7 million beds in Spain at the end of 2014, compared to 2.4 million beds available at hotels and other traditional regulated lodgings, according to the study carried out by audit firm EY for the association.

Sites like Airbnb, which lets homeowners rent out their homes for a fee by marketing them online, list around 278,000 properties in Spain.

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EU lifts safety ban on Philippine airlines

June 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

MANILA, 30 June 2015: Philippine airlines will no longer be banned from flying into Europe, aviation authorities said late last week after the European Union removed all remaining Philippine carriers from its safety blacklist.

The EU list, which has included Philippine airlines since 2010, bars from operating in European airspace any airlines it deems unable to meet international safety standards, or whose civil aviation authorities cannot provide the necessary safety oversight.

“All airlines from the Philippines, banned since 2010, have been released from the (air safety) list and are therefore allowed to operate in the European airspace,” a statement from the EU office in Brussels said.

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