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Asian boat shows merge

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Asian boat shows merge | The Thaiger

The local boating industry’s been calling for it for years – a single boat show to showcase the best of Phuket and Thailand’s boating opportunities, destinations and marine lifestyle.

In a joint statement issued today by Andy Treadwell, CEO of Verventia, owner of the Singapore and Thailand Yacht Shows, and Gael and Olivier Burlot, owners of Asia RendezVous, organisers of the Phuket, Penang and Singapore RendezVous events, it was announced that the two companies have agreed to collaborate by jointly producing only one show in Thailand and one in Singapore – the destination hub and the business hub, respectively, for the yachting industry in South East Asia.

The move was precipitated by a request earlier in the year from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to gather the industry together in one major event in Thailand so as to demonstrate united support for the government’s yacht tourism initiative.

In essence, after a three-year campaign spearheaded by the Thailand Yacht Show, the Thai government has agreed to change some of the prohibitive yachting regulations and allow foreign yachts to charter in Thai waters – effectively opening up the ASEAN cruising grounds to superyachts from overseas for the first time. This initiative is now in its final stages, with the Thai Marine Business Association (TMBA) working with the Ministries of Finance and Transport to work out a business model for collecting VAT on charter income, rather than on the value of the yacht itself.

Asian boat shows merge | News by The Thaiger

Andy Treadwell (centre) , CEO of Verventia, owner of the Singapore and Thailand Yacht Shows, and Gael and Olivier Burlot from Asia Rendezvous.

At the same time, the yachting industry has been vocal for years that there should only be one boat show in each strategic location and has requested just such a “get together”. The two show organisers acknowledge that they have different yet complementary strengths and skill sets that, combined, will create bigger and better single events in each country. Similarly, with their joined-up resources and budgets, they will be able to activate an aggressive and far-reaching promotional plan that should draw many more potential buyers and charterers into the market.

The new Phuket event will be a straight joint venture between the two existing businesses, called the “Thailand Yacht Show & RendezVous”, and there will be an additional jointly-owned event alongside the current Singapore Yacht Show which will be called the “Singapore Yacht Show RendezVous.”

Andy Treadwell explained: “It’s a classic example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts, from every point of view. The TAT, our partners and main sponsor of the Thailand Yacht show, asked us to try to get everyone working together instead of competing and dividing the industry. The major industry players asked us to do exactly the same thing. Gael and Olivier have a great work ethic, an excellent region-wide digital and print media platform, and a direct line to the luxury lifestyle industries – which is a good complement to any kind of yacht show.”

Gael Burlot added: “We feel it’s a good time and a good place to get everyone working together – the luxury industries are coming out of a challenging period, and things are looking better and better, while the yachting industry should now be in a position to dramatically expand in the Asia-Pacific region. All our efforts over the last 15 years to promote the industry and educate a growing audience of prospects in Asia are paying off; so is the hard work Andy and his team have been doing with the regional governments to open up Asia to yacht tourism – an initiative we want to support and fully be part of. Exciting times ahead!”

The trick will be to select a venue to stage the Thailand event. In recent years the Phuket Rendezvous was held at Royal Phuket Marina and the Thailand Yacht Show at Ao Po Grand Marina. Both have advantages and disadvantages for staging such a big show – RPM is hampered by the size of vessel that can get into the marina; Ao Po Marina is just a long drive for visitors to attend. And then there’s always Pattaya which will surely be lobbying the TAT for a bite of the boat show cherry.

The Thailand Yacht Show & Rendezvous will take place from  January 4-7, 2019, with the venue to be confirmed shortly in conjunction with the consensus of industry opinion. The Singapore Yacht Show Rendezvous will replace the current Luxury Pavilion at SYS 2019, which will run from April 11-14.

Asian boat shows merge | News by The Thaiger



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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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Plastics

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | The Thaiger

By the end of 2019 Thailand will be free from three types of plastic – microbeads, cap seals and oxo-degradable plastics.

Then by 2022 four other types of single-use plastics will also be banned – lightweight plastic bags less than 36 microns thick; styrofoam food containers for takeaways; plastic cups and plastic straws – according to a road map approved by the Cabinet.

The Plastic Waste Management Road Map 2018-2030 also includes an ambitious plan for Thailand to use 100 per cent recycled plastic by 2027 in various forms, including turning waste into energy.

The Cabinet has acknowledged the road map and assigned the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry to formulate a draft action plan for plastic waste management, so it is in line with the 20-year national strategy.

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

The Cabinet also called for clear details on related agencies’ role in the integration of the work for managing plastic waste, which will also get huge participation from the private and business sectors. The related state agencies should create various mechanisms to propel this forward such as creating a good understanding among agencies, continuously implementing a public relations campaign via social media to achieve the set goals, the Cabinet instructed.

The work procedure must consider lifecycle plastic-waste management so steps are taken from the very start: with plastic products designed applying the “Eco Design” approach, manufacturing and post-consumption disposal which will include garbage separation, transport and storing, recycling and proper disposal.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Thais generate as much as 1.14 kilogram of garbage per head per day, contributing to the 27.04 million tonnes of waste per year.

One person uses approximately eight plastic bags a day – or 500 million plastic bags per day for the whole nation.

Most of the plastic waste ends up in the oceans, accounting for 16% of garbage in the seas.

SOURCE: The Nation

Thailand to ban three kinds of plastic by end of this year | News by The Thaiger

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