BANGKOK, 23 May 2013: TripAdvisor places Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, at the top of its Travellers’ Choice Asia Destinations list of 25 cities.
Released Tuesday, Bangkok ranked first of all destinations in Asia, while Chiang Mai was in sixth place.
Bangkok was ahead of Cambodia’s Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (fifth and 23rd), Vietnam’s Hanoi , Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An and Halong Bay (14th, 15th, 17th and 25th), and Laos’ Luang Prabang (19th).
HANOI, 23 May 2013: Hanoi’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism has asked the tourism ministry to establish a tourist police force to protect visitors who it claims are victims of petty theft and scams in the Vietnamese capital.
Spain was the first country to establish dedicated tourist police patrols at tourist destinations, while Thailand was the first in Asia to create a similar police force.
The department’s deputy director, Mai Tien Dung, told local media, earlier this week, that there were daily complaints from foreign tourists claiming they were overcharged by taxi drivers and cheated by hotel employees.
BANGKOK, 23 May 2013: Despite heavy criticism that the proposed F1 race circuit on Rajdamnoen Avenue will damages ancient properties and cause noise pollution in Bangkok’s historical district, Ministry of Tourism and Sports confirms it is sticking to its choice of race venue.
Tourism minister, Somsak Phureesrisak, said there was no intention to change the route from Rajdamnoen Avenue. It will be the first option presented to the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which is the governing body for many auto racing events.
“We have agreed with the FIA to host a F1 Grand Prix in 2015 at Rajdamnoen Avenue, so we cannot move it elsewhere.”
BANGKOK, 22 May 2013: Bangkok Airways has cut fares for travel to the Maldives until 31 October this year.
The latest promotion sells a roundtrip fare, excluding airport taxes, fuel and insurance fees at Bt13,900, ex-Bangkok to Maldives.
The fare is only valid in economy class.
Passengers can purchase promotional fare until 31 July and travel must be completed 31 October.
HANOI, 22 May 2013: Vietnam should map a careful strategy to maximise profits from a booming Russian travel market, according to Sai Gon Tiep Thi (Saigon Marketing) a local media outlet.
In the opinion piece, the publication said Russian tourists were flocking to coastal destinations in Binh Thuan province, Ninh Thuan province and Nha Trang town turning the market into one of the most important travel sources for the country.
It quoted a local tour company based in Ho Chi Minh City, Lua Viet Tours’ chairman Nguyen Van My who said destinations were almost entirely relying on Russian visitors.
BANGKOK, 22 May 2013: Thailand earned a record Bt671.43 million from on-location film shoots, January to April, according to a Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ Thailand Film Office Department update released on Monday.
For the first four months of the year, 283 documentaries, advertising slots, TV series, and music videos were filmed on location in Thailand generating Bt671.43 million in tourism related revenue compared to 238 productions and Bt791.77 million.
The 283 productions were categorised as 43 documentaries, 168 advertising spots, 39 television programmes, 14 music videos and 19 films.
BANGKOK, 21 May 2013: International tourist arrivals to Thailand posted a growth of 19.04% during January to April this year, according to Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data.
Released late last week, the ministry’s research registered 8,841,730 trips to the country during the first four months up from 7,427,772 visits during the same period last year.
In April alone, there were 2,013,012 trips, up 19.38% compared to 1,686,268 visits during the same month in 2013. The Songkran festival in mid-April was identified as the key driver that drew tourists in a month when temperatures soar to almost unbearable levels in the Thai capital.
DANANG, 21 May 2013: Six agencies in Danang will collaborate to crackdown on tourist related scams to help build tourism competitiveness.
The city’s six agencies are: Public Order Police Department; Danang’s 115 Emergency Centre; local market management agency; Transport Department’s traffic inspectors; Aviation Security Centre; and Danang Visitor Centre.
They will support local police to deal with accidents, robberies, fraud, rip-offs that involve foreigners.
KIEN GIANG, 21 May 2013: An island destination near the Mekong River delta, Phu Quoc, needs more hotel rooms and better airline connectivity from neighbouring countries.
Kien Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism director, Le Minh Hoang, told the local media that due to the growth in tourism, Phu Quoc Island needed around 3,000 new hotel rooms over the next two to three years to meet increasing demand.
Phu Quoc Island welcomed around 38,000 tourists per month at the start of the year, but the monthly visits are now 70,000. The island has approximately 2,900 rooms, with only 600 rooms that are star ratings.
BANGKOK, 20 May 2013: Just two days remain to grab Etihad Airways latest discounts on fares to Europe and the US.
Fares to Ireland’s Dublin sell as low as Bt23,750 and to Manchester in the UK at Bt27,605. The fares must be purchased by 22 May and travel has to be completed by 31 July.
Those are just two of the fare bargains that cut fares to Europe and some points in the US by approximately Bt5,000.