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If you can’t play BIG don’t even bother playing small.

Darren Scherbain

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If you can’t play BIG don’t even bother playing small. | The Thaiger

by Darren Scherbain

These word of wisdom, that absolutely resonate to my core, were handed to me from Jim.

Jim, a fellow Canadian and a near and dear friend, grew up playing hockey in Wilcox, Saskatchewan. The Notre Dame Hounds, a hockey team, belonged to a catholic boarding school in the middle of the Canadian Prairies. The Hounds produce exceptional hockey players but  also empathetic, well-rounded, young adults. Anyone who has spent a winter on the Canadian prairies has had first hand experience  with what it means when we say bone-chilling cold, hope and resolve.

One day Jim is in class just giving a class mate a real hard time. Jim is picking on this kid and doing his best to tear him down. Suddenly, Jim  feels a hand on his shoulder.

Jim looks up and is greeted by a firm and fair look of disapproval.

“James”, the voice beckoned.

“Yes Father?” Jim replied.

“James”, the stern-yet-compassionate voice continued, “…if you can’t play BIG don’t even bother playing small.”

What exactly does it mean to play BIG? To stand for something!

If you don’t stand for something then you are constantly going to get blown around like the sand in the wind. Swept up and scattered around until the next rendezvous with wishing-it-were-different.

Playing BIG is making that shift from being ME-centred into a collective WE-centred.

Ask any of the riders who stood face to face with each for the 700 kilometre Ride4Kids. What was their WHY?

Each WHY would be as varying as the riders out on the road. Infused into each question is the bond of hope. Hope is something we all share.

Hope is the spark for playing BIG and the catalyst for putting one foot after another. One foot after the other; even when the torrential rain and wind are doing their best to test your resolve. After you wiped the sweat, rain, grit from your eyes and survived the wobble, you realise that playing BIG is an inside job.

Playing BIG, hope, inspiration, and to some extent character and integrity, are all noble concepts. It’s one thing to idolise noble concepts, and they do make a cute little Instagram post. But that cute little post isn’t going to validate your case when you are asked to embrace struggle as a means to growth.

It’s NEXT LEVEL to embrace and commit to the sheer physicality of putting your ass in the arena. The drained legs and self doubt are all a part of the process and shouldn’t be interpreted as doing something erroneous.

It’s easy to play BIG when it follows the perfect plan and all the pieces fit so conveniently in your neat and tidy little box.

And if you really want to be taken seriously then throw in a “THIS ISN’T FAIR”.

Usually the one’s arguing for these virtuous concepts of justice and fairness are left sitting on the curb watching everyone else ride on by.

There is a price to pay.

If you can't play BIG don’t even bother playing small. | News by The Thaiger

One of the inherent truths of playing BIG is that it doesn’t leave any wriggle room for any bull shit. You either play BIG and stand for something or you don’t.

One hundred and sixty kilometres doesn’t look that far on paper. A ‘century’ ride is held in high esteem in the cycling community. It’s what would be described as a Big Ride. The 160 kilometres that separated Krabi from Surat Thani was a testament to the ferocious commitment to play BIG and make a difference. For a lot of the riders out on the road that day it was their longest ride …EVER.

Teamwork.

Collaboration.

WE CENTRED.

That 160 kilometre ride was poetry in motion.

That night we cemented our comradery over cold pizza and tales from the road. The smiles on the faces and the look of achievement was inspiring. It was hope.

To all participants, sponsors, and everyone involved with Ride4Kids, I tip my hat.

If you can't play BIG don’t even bother playing small. | News by The Thaiger



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Darren Scherbain believe that each of us possess the capacity to be the creator of a heroic and courageous life. Living a courageous and passionate life requires that we embrace the sheer physicality of these concepts, while not forgetting that Heroes are useful. "What would your life look like if you eliminated the word CAN'T just for one day?"

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Bangkok

Bangkok luxury poised to push through the US$300 ceiling

Bill Barnett

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Bangkok luxury poised to push through the US$300 ceiling | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett of c9hotelworks.com

PHOTOS: Rosewood Bangkok

For hotel owners and managers in South East Asia, one of the great mysteries of the past ten years has been the low rate profile of Bangkok’s luxury hotel set. Despite soaring and sustained tourism growth, rising airlift and a strong economy, rates at Bangkok’s top tier properties have remained fairly stagnant.

Have we reached the tipping point?

I had had the opportunity to visit the latest entry to the Bangkok luxury class a few days ago, the Rosewood. With 159 keys which includes a limited number of posh houses with private pools and terraces the property is seeing an exceptional response and already achieving high rates.

What’s impressive about the entry is a take on the design approach that sees hotel developers apply a non-uniform approach with AvroKO coming in to focus on the restaurants and bars, while the rooms and public areas were led by Celia Chu Design and Associates.

While the speakeasy Lennon’s has not be opened yet, the 6,000 record vinyl collection is impressive and the bar will clearly have a strong pull. Taking the approach to designing restaurants and not typical hotel outlets, the Chinese eatery Nan Bei is a breath of fresh air and limited seating provides a bespoke appeal.

Taking a step back, and looking at recent entries like the Waldorf Astoria, and upcoming 101 key Capella, what is clear is luxury properties are shifting in terms of key drivers of the segment of art, fashion, residential vibe, bar and restaurant offerings, wellness and events.

So, what about rates?

On a broad basis Bangkok’s top tier hotels have averaged rates of US$200-240 for the past few years. This set has seen longer serving properties such as the St. Regis, Kempinski, and Okura effectively flatline on rates, though newer entries have come up including the Park Hyatt. On the broader horizon is the return of the Four Seasons and Capella by the river and the Orient Express at the MahaNakhon skyscraper.

With the entry of Rosewood driving rates, my expectation is that a few of the set will follow and at the end of 2019 we will set limited number of hotels crash through the US$300 average room rate barrier and effectively smash the legacy glass ceiling of Bangkok’s luxury hotels.

As in any business there will be winners and losers. Smaller hotels with some rate leading premium key types will be able to push up average daily rates. Segmentation is another key and hotels on the river that lack substantial corporate numbers will remain challenged until transport links to the area improve.

Where in the world are Bangkok luxury hotels heading?

To sum up 2019, size and location matter, the shift on food and beverage and social events along with niches like wellness and  smaller meetings/weddings are the key to the future. As for the quantum leap in rates, it’s about time Bangkok hoteliers be confident and push rates towards a more global norm.

Bangkok luxury poised to push through the US$300 ceiling | News by The Thaiger

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Bangkok

Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport

The Thaiger

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Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport | The Thaiger

The Thai cabinet yesterday approved the construction of a third runway at Suvarnabhumi International Airport as part of the country’s ambition to become the aviation hub of ASEAN.

The 21.7 billion baht project will increase the combined capacity of Suvarnabhumi international airport’s runways to 94 arrivals and departures per hour from the current 64, said Lt-Gen Weerachon Sukonthapatipak, deputy government spokesman.

Suvarnabhumi Airport (aka. BKK) was opened in 2006 as Bangkok’s second airport. Initially it replaced the tired Don Mueang Airport but Don Mueang was later revamped as a low-coast airport to service the growing traffic demands.

Meanwhile Suvarnabhumi Airport was, and still is, operating above its designed capacity. An earlier bid to build a third terminal has been mired in controversy and is currently shelved pending a new brief from Airports of Thailand with a new round of design bids called for in the future.

Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

Average hotel prices drop in Thailand in 2018

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Average hotel prices drop in Thailand in 2018 | The Thaiger

The latest Hotel Price Index (HPI) released by Hotels.com reveals no sign of a slowdown for the global travel industry. Prices are up for overnight accommodation by 3% globally in 2018 across every regional index, except for the Pacific region, including Thailand.

Hotel.com has 85 websites in 34 languages, and lists over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Its inventory includes hotels and B&Bs, and some condos and other types of commercial lodging.

Travellers to and around Thailand paid an average price of 1,720 baht a night for their domestic accommodation last year, a 7% drop compared to 2017, and paid the same average price of 4,437 baht a night for international accommodation in both 2018 and 2017.

The growth in travel comes despite global uncertainties including Brexit, California wildfires, South African drought and Japanese earthquakes. Travellers also showed resilience and renewed confidence in destinations touched by unrest: Paris, Egypt, Turkey; regions experiencing currency fluctuation: South America; and areas affected by natural disaster: North America.

Despite the overall growth in global accommodation prices, average prices paid for domestic accommodation in Thailand have decreased, with average prices for international beds remaining stable.

SOURCE: The Nation | Hotel.com

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