Mekong Tourism: Is there a way forward?

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

LUANG PRABANG, 14 June 2017: “We shouldn’t repeat the mistakes of others, I am not happy with tourism development and be careful what you wish for,” were some of the cryptic comments of panelists at last week’s Mekong Tourism Forum.

Asked to talk about the way forward, 20 years after the first MTF convened in Thailand, a new generation appears to be ready to grapple with tough decisions and choices.

Their comments followed the official presentation of the GMS Tourism Strategy Draft Report 2016 to 2025 and a thought provoking keynote address by Conscience Travel Founder, Anna Pollock, who told the travel industry it isn’t an industry. Read more

Chinese stay away from Korea

May 24, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

SEOUL, 24 May 2017: Chinese tourist arrivals to South Korea plunged by two-thirds in April after Beijing banned tour groups over Seoul’s deployment of a US missile defence system, official statistics showed.

Beijing imposed a boycott from 15 March on Chinese tour groups visiting the South in a spat over the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system.

Washington and Seoul say it is purely to defend against threats from nuclear-armed North Korea, but Beijing fears it could undermine its own nuclear deterrent and has reacted with fury, imposing a series of measures seen as economic retaliation. Read more

Nha Trang tackles Chinese manners

March 14, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

KHANH HOA, 14 March 2017: Nha Trang Tourism Association will bring together travel agencies serving Chinese tourists to form a ‘club’ to improve service for the country’s largest market.

Tuoi Tre News quoted the association deputy chairman, Nguyen Van Thanh, saying the club is a must if agents are to improve the quality of service offered to Chinese tourists.

Nha Trang has emerged as a favourite destination for Chinese holiday makers, but there have been growing complaints. Read more

Travel to Vietnam booms in February

March 3, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HANOI, 3 March 2017: Vietnam National Administration of Tourism estimates the country welcomed 1,199,421 international visitors in February representing an increase of 42.2% over the same month last year.

China was the top supply market with 403,663 visits improving 84.4%. Other top performers were South Korea, Taiwan, the United States and Japan.

Thailand slipped off the top 10 source markets list recording 25,205 visits, although there was a healthy growth rate of 35.4%. Read more

Chinese owners close Waldorf

March 1, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

NEW YORK, 1 March 2017: It’s goodbye for now to the grand Art Deco lobby and celebrities crossing paths en route to “The Towers” at the Waldorf Astoria: one of the world’s most luxurious hotels is closing for renovation.

The legendary establishment opened at its Park Avenue location in midtown Manhattan in 1931 with more than 1,400 rooms, the largest — and tallest — anywhere at the time.

It has hosted a stream of international political leaders, movie stars, tycoons and power players of all kinds for more than 85 years. Read more

Chinese launches Cambodian airline

February 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Cambodia, News

PHNOM PENH, 28 February 2017: JC International Airlines, a Chinese-backed airline, owned by a conglomerate in Yunnan province, is almost ready to launch Cambodia’s newest airline.

Phnom Penh Post reported the airline will launch its first services from its home-base in Phnom Penh, 17 March, once its air operator’s certificate is issued.

The airline’s production manager, Cheav Kirirom, was quoted saying the new airline would serve domestic routes, flying between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Read more

Asians are the travellers to watch

February 9, 2017 by  
Filed under News, North Asia

SHANGHAI, 9 February 2017: The 2017 Travelzoo Travel Trends Report released, Wednesday, by global travel deals publisher Travelzoo reveals that, despite a turbulent 2016, Asian tourists plan to travel overseas more and spend more time on in-depth exploration trips to safe destinations in 2017.

According to the trend report, when asked about 2017 travel, 70% of Chinese respondents said they will travel overseas two times, or more, an increase of almost 10% compared to the same period last year.

Nearly 30% of respondents in Hong Kong plan to travel four times, or more, which is an increase of 5% over the same period last year. Read more

Russians back in Phuket

February 6, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand, Trade Talk

PHUKET, 6 February 2017: Russian arrivals are back to pre-crisis levels while zero-dollar tourism curbed Q4 growth rate according to the newly released C9 Hotelworks Phuket Hotel Market Update released Monday.

With airport arrivals surpassing 7.5 million passengers, Phuket experienced a sharp year-on-year rise of 18% in 2016, compared to 13% the previous year.

This was largely attributed to the resurgence of the Russian source market, which increased by 51% last year. The rebound was prompted by the strengthening of the ruble against the Thai baht and political volatility in the Middle East that shifted Russian tourists to the island during high season. Read more

Not your typical tourist town

February 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, Travel Logs

KENG TUNG, MYANMAR, 3 February 2017: Keng Tung could be a million miles away. It’s not. In fact’ it’s relatively close to my hometown province of Chiang Rai; 163 km beyond the province’s border with neighbouring Myanmar on a twisting road through hilly terrain.

Once you cross the Mae Sai –Tachilek border checkpoint, 68 km north of Chiang Rai town, it’s just a four-hour bus drive to Keng Tung.

But it feels a long way perhaps because it takes all day to get there and Keng Tung is an understatement as far as tourism goes when you arrive. Read more

Plaza Premium expands in Australia

February 3, 2017 by  
Filed under News, PACIFIC

SYDNEY, 3 February 2017: Plaza Premium Group has opened a new airport restaurant, Terrace Chinese Kitchen, at Sydney International Airport.

Terrace Chinese Kitchen  hails from the award-winning Chinese restaurant The Terrace at Hong Kong International Airport.

Located at International Departures of Pier B, Terminal 1 (near Gate 30), the 1500 square-feet Terrace Chinese Kitchen showcases popular and traditional Chinese dishes. Read more

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