Smart is good, child-friendly is better

December 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 12 December 2017:Airport customer relations were in the news when AirAsia’s founder challenged the management of  Malaysia’s airport on its decision to raise the passenger service tax at KLIA2 to be in line with other international airports in Malaysia.

KLIA2 is the low-cost airport next to KLIA and home to AirAsia. Its founder and chairman, Tony Fernandes, is known for dishing out criticism of the airport’s management on pricing and delays in introducing smart check-in solutions.

Airports tend to make arbitrary decisions on customer services and fees without seeking passenger feedback. Read more

A slow stretched out launch in Boracay

December 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Hospitality, Philippines, Travel Logs

MANILA, 6 December 2017:  Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts claims it is setting new hospitality standards in Boracay, the Philippines, with the “launch of a new resort located on one of the tropical island’s most beautiful unspoiled beaches.”

But a check of TripAdvisor reviews indicates the Mövenpick flag, fluttering in the breeze, was welcoming guests to this hotel in October 2016.

That begs the question; how do hotel groups define ‘launch’ and ‘new’ these days? Read more

Too much of a good thing

December 4, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 4 December 2017: Thailand’s new Minister of Tourism and Sports, Weerasak Kowsurat, will have his work cut out for him, although he is no stranger to tourism, having served as its minister in 2008.

After a roller coaster ride spanning decades,  due in part to fickle Thai politics, coups and demonstrations that curtailed growth, Thailand’s tourism is now enjoying an astounding recovery.

This year, international visits will exceed 32 million and there are reliable projections that estimate arrivals could easily exceed 35 million before 2020 dawns. Read more

Airbnb sees ‘experiences’ take shape

November 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 28 November 2017: Airbnb has opened for bookings three new Asia Pacific trips ‘experiences’ in Melbourne, Bali, and Hong Kong.

Launched globally in November 2016, there are now more than 3,100 Airbnb Experiences offered in over 40 cities, worldwide, 600 of which are in APAC.

Airbnb Experience hosts have earned more than THB204 million to date, while  booked Experiences in APAC have grown 14 times since January 2017. Tokyo is one of the top five most popular global markets for bookings. Read more

Changi the model airport

November 27, 2017 by  
Filed under Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 27 November 2017: When AirAsia’s CEO, Tony Fernandes, tweets people sit up and take note, particularly if it concerns airports.

So when the founder of Asia’s most successful low-cost airline says  “Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 is the model airport of the future for low-cost carriers,” we probably nod in agreement.

Even without all the technology packed into the brand new Terminal 4, Changi’s three other terminals, consistently gains accolades and awards that elude the grasp of Bangkok’s two international airports. Read more

Road carnage tarnishes Thailand’s reputation

November 20, 2017 by  
Filed under Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 20 November 2017: It was a bad week for Thailand’s dreadful road safety record with critics claiming the country must now have the worst safety record in the world.

The driver of a minivan that ploughed into the back of a truck killing four Japanese tourists and their guide, last week, has since been charged with reckless driving causing death.

A tour bus taking school children on a field trip flipped out of control killing three children and injuring 48. Within days a double-deck tour bus careered off a hilly road killing one passenger and injuring 30 senior citizens, who were on a weekend tour of Petchabun province. Read more

Trade show headaches for newcomers

November 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 13 November 2017: You could say the travel industry is spoilt for choice, but the vast array of trade shows vying for our attention could be a nightmare for new players.

Just imagine you have opened a small resort, based on your confidence that the boom in travel will make it a profitable venture, only to learn your competitive set list is as long as your arm.

Better sign up for a trade show fast, but which one? Read more

ITB Asia’s poor carbon footprint

November 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 6 November 2017: Travel shows are embracing technology fast and it shows in the reduction of paper waste.  We no longer have the bulky sellers and buyers catalogues. Instead, there are apps that provide a calendar and online databases to provide sellers with access to buyer profiles.

It’s a pity that ITB Asia official trade media is living in the past churning out pulp dailies on heavy glossy paper that are destined for the garbage trucks.

Who takes ITB Asia show dailies home? Apart from the weight, the dailies are freely available online, downloadable to a flash drive in seconds. Read more

Housekeepers hassled and underpaid

October 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Editor's Post, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 24 October 2017: Equality in the hotel workplace still remains a big issue with far too few women taking up the top posts in management.

The hotel industry will quote the vast improvements that have been made noting the high number of women who head marketing, sales and public relations. It may even quote the fact that the majority of housekeepers are women.

Oxfam Canada’s latest report on women’s rights in the hotel industry begs to differ and it focuses particularly on the disparity in wages for women housekeepers. Read more

Myanmar: Is there a moral dilemma for tourism?

October 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 19 October 2017: Does tourism promotion have any role in resolving complex religious, political, socio-economic challenges such as currently being experienced by the Rohingya people and the Myanmar authorities?

Can tourism provide solutions for the long-term settlement of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees crossing over the border from Myanmar to Bangladesh?

I believe not. Also with reference to the travel media (as opposed to mass media) they promote tourism, which provides a sustainable, trickle-down stream of revenue to the people, particularly the poor. Read more

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