China opens Bangkok tourism office

June 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Mekong, News, North Asia, Thailand

BANGKOK, 26 June 2017: China National Tourism Administration opened a bureau in Bangkok, last week, the authority’s 22nd overseas office according China Radio Online.

Officials attending the opening ceremony said the two countries enjoy strong two-way travel.

The opening of the China National Tourism Office in Bangkok will also encourage more tourism exchange and provide support for projects linked to China’s “one belt, one road” policy. Read more

HCMC strives to attract medical tourists

June 26, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, 26 June 2017: Ho Chi Minh City health and tourism agencies believe medical tourism could be the next trend to improve the southern Vietnamese city’s foreign exchange earnings.

Vietnam Net Bridge quoted the city’s Department of Health deputy director, Tang Chi Thuong, saying there had been a global boom in medical tourism and Asian destinations had benefited.

“With highly skilled and experienced physicians, state-of-the-art facilities and advanced medical technologies as well as reasonably-priced services, public and private hospitals have reported a consistent increase in the number of foreign patients.” Read more

TCT bullish on Thai tourism

June 26, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 26 June 2017: Tourism Council of Thailand estimates international tourist arrivals to Thailand could reach 8.75 million during the third quarter, July to September, generating THB452,469 million in revenue.

Released last Thursday, the latest Thailand Tourism Confidence Index indicates a level of 102 in Q3 compared to the confidence benchmark of 100. The index is based on data from 600 tour agencies.

TCT president, Ittirit Kinglek, said the country’a tourism  in Q3 should be positive reaching 8.75 million international travellers, an increase of 6.38% over the same quarter last year. Read more

Vietnam eases guide rules

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, 23 June 2017: Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister, Vu Duc Dam, says people who are fluent in lesser-used foreign languages, but lack relevant university decrees are now eligible to accompany professional tour guides to serve international tourists and end a labour shortage.

Saigon Times media reported that the Deputy PM Dam rejected the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s proposal to issue temporary tour guide cards for linguists who are not trained as guides, but he admitted they had a role to play.

The National Assembly passed a revised Law on Tourism that introduces new rules that open a guiding career to vocational college graduates. The move is intended to enlarge the workforce in the tourism sector. Read more

UNWTO’s Rifai got it wrong

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 23 June 2017: At about the same time as Otto Warmbier was shipped out of North Korea in a coma on a flight home to the US, UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai, was preaching the good news that tourism could build international relations with North Korea.

Warmbier never regained consciousness. He died at home from serious brain damage caused by the brutal treatment meted out by guards at a North Korean prison where he was incarcerated for 17 months.

His crime? He pilfered a political poster from his hotel as a memento of his trip, just minutes before he left for the airport. He never made that flight and the last time he was seen in public was during a public televised viewing of his sentencing when he cried for mercy. Read more

Where are the GIs hiding?

June 23, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 23 June 2017: Thailand’s government has asked all 77 provinces to establish their own Geographical Indications (GIs) for local products in an effort to offer diversity and attract more international visitors beyond the major tourist destinations.

Prime Minister’s Office spokesperson, Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, said each province has been asked to promote at least one locally made product for GI signage.

He advised provinces to locate products in communities that do not yet have a tourism draw card.  Read more

Moves to gain heritage recognition

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Myanmar, News

RAKHINE STATE, 22 June 2017: Myanmar’s Mrauk U’s Department of Archaeology and the National Museum says surveys are being carried out to start the process that could ultimately lead to a UNESCO World Heritage site listing in 2019.

Global New Light of Myanmar reported teams are producing a map that will identify cultural heritage and are installing signs indicating heritage locations and drawing up a long-term management plan that could ultimately lead to filing an application with UNESCO.

The department director, U Nyein Lwin, was quoted saying work has started, but much needed to be done. A team of international experts are helping to survey the site and prepare a bid. Read more

Vietnam tightens tourism law

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Vietnam

HO CHI MINH CITY, 22 June 2017: The recently introduced Tourism Law requires bosses of travel firms, or heads of travel departments, to meet stricter educational qualifications.

Under the law heads of department and top management must to obtain college travel diplomas or degrees.

According to the Saigon Times report, the National Assembly confirmed the law specified that bosses of travel firms, or heads of travel departments, must obtain a college diploma in travel services or a recognised certificate on travel management. Read more

AoT reports passenger gains

June 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 22 June 2017: Two North Thailand gateway airports registered increases in international passengers; Chiang Mai up 5% and Chiang Rai, a remarkable rise of 244%, due to an increase in flights from China during May.

Airports of Thailand’s latest report monitored increases in both aircraft movements and passenger traffic at five of its six airports during May this year. Hat Yai suffered a loss in international passenger numbers.

AoT reported, Wednesday, that all of its supervised airports served 10,195,790 passengers up 5.83% from 9,633,787 when compared with the same month last year. Read more

Ministry to improve river safety

June 21, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 21 June 2017: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports says it will focus on safety measures along waterways to prevent accidents particularly along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Pongpanu Svetarundra, said he would improve safety for boat users to prevent accidents, especially in rainy season, and to raise confidence that travel in Bangkok is safe.

He noted that dining cruises topped the list of favourite activities along the Chao Phraya River particularly for European and American travellers. The dinner cruises generate an estimated THB3,067 million in revenue last year. Read more

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