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Phuket still on the map at TTM+ 2013

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Phuket still on the map at TTM+ 2013 | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The island is still a top tourist hub in Southeast Asia, with a wide variety of hotels, resorts and hospitality-related businesses representing Phuket at 13th annual Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2013 (TTM+ 2013), held at the IMPACT Exhibition Hall in Bangkok recently.

More than 800 delegates arrived from around the region to network with the 420 hospitality related organizations participating at Thailand’s largest business-to-business event, which is organized annually by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Phuket-based Internet marketing and booking engine provider for hotels, Wide Discovery Dot Com, reported a very positive response from visitors to the company’s booth.

The TAT reported a 16 % jump in international arrivals to Thailand last year to reach a record-breaking 22.3 million travellers, according to Deputy Governor in charge of Europe and the Americas, Juttaporn Rerngronasa.

The TAT aims to attract a total of 24.1 million international visitors this year, predicting tourism revenue of up to US$37 billion (1.14 trillion baht). TAT says it will focus more on quality, rather than quantity by employing more effective marketing campaigns that target upper class, high-spending travellers.

“This year’s TTM was one of the best yet for Wide Discovery,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Ms Nitima Hongyot.

“As Phuket’s only provider of custom internet marketing and booking solutions for the hospitality industry, we have seen a significant increase in hoteliers seeking to improve their position in the global market by upgrading their online end-user experience and reach out to more independent travellers to encourage them to book directly on line,” she said.

IN BRIEF: Thailand number one for Kazakhstan tourists

Thailand is the most favored destination in Southeast Asia for tourists from Kazakhstan, with the number of arrivals continuing to rise due to the friendly service, greater accessibility and affordable prices.

Given the cold climate in the Central Asian country, an estimated 80% of Kazakhs like to enjoy a beach holiday in Phuket and Pattaya, while Krabi was fast emerging as a preferred destination.

Some women travellers prefer Thailand for its spas, and also consider it as an ideal wedding and honeymoon destination.

In 2013, the number of Kazakh tourists visiting Thailand is projected at 60,000, up from 52,000 in 2012, and 42,000 in 2011.

Sergey Jetpyspayev, project manager at Travellab, a travel operator based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, said Thailand, Turkey and Dubai were the popular countries among Kazakh tourists. Mr Jetpyspayev was in Bangkok to attend the Thailand Travel Mart 2013 Plus. As a buyer, he updated tourism products and services in Thailand with local and regional sellers.

He said that Kazakhs also liked to go to China, but mostly for business. Compared to Dubai, Thailand offers price competitiveness, being 20 to 30% cheaper for most things, he said.

Thailand was the most favored destination in Southeast Asia because the country is more accessible, with daily direct flights in addition to charter flight service during the winter season.

In comparison, there were fewer flights to countries like Malaysia and Vietnam – twice a week and once a week respectively.

Kazakhs were also interested in Cambodia and Vietnam but Thailand remained their primary destination, with only short trips to those places.

Groups that visit Thailand range from students to wealthy people. Some had bought villas in Thailand to stay as well.

At present, Kazakhstan has a population of 17 million, with about 1.5 million people going out of the country to travel each year. – Bamrung Amnatcharoenrit

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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