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New cruise to Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam

The Thaiger

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New cruise to Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam | The Thaiger

PHOTO: sunlightcruise.com

Thailand has Phang Nga Bay, Vietnam has the famous Ha Long Bay and the lesser-known Lan Ha Bay.

Vietnamese cruise operator Indochina Sails has a new route starting this December, sailing from Hai Phong to the Lan Ha Bay region, northern Vietnam.

They say that joining this new cruise will be more convenient for guests as the home-port is closer to Hanoi. Lan Ha Bay is one of three bays served by their cruise boats. Ha Long Bay is the most famous with more than 100 cruise operators in operation. The bay has close to 2,000 islets. Boats are based at Bai Chay harbour

Bai Tu Long Bay is 30 km east of Ha Long, quieter and has around 1,600 limestone islets. Cruise boats are based at Hon Gai harbour.

The smallest of the three bays, Lan Ha Bay, is 10 km south of Cat Ba Island with 300 islets and limestone karst. This bay is recommended for adventure travellers interested in kayaking, rock climbing and trekking

Indonchina Sails has more than 20 years experience offering cruises on Ha Long Bay.

The new cruise boat will have 36 cabins and offer guests a luxury travel experience.

Famed for its tropical islets with secluded sandy beaches the UNESCO World Heritage bay has retained its pristine environment by avoiding substantial tourist attention.

So far it has been protected from over crowding and environmental issues that blight the bigger tourist magnet, Ha Long Bay.

Indochina Sails’ Lan Ha two-day, one-night cruise package comes with on-board meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) served at the boat’s second deck restaurant, which also has a lounge area with a vantage point to admire the bay.

New cruise to Lan Ha Bay, Vietnam | News by The Thaiger

Cruise activities include food carving, cooking classes, sunrise Tai Chi, spa service, gym and a heated on-board swimming pool.

Shore activities highlight trips to secluded sandy coves and visits to fishing communities living on floating villages.

The ship has been designed in traditional Indochina Colonial style with token sails. Spacious private cabin have en-suite bathrooms and balconies.

Indochina Sails is a brand name of Huong Hai Group and one of the first companies to specialise in cruises on Ha long Bay with more than 15 years of experience.

Find out more about their tours HERE.

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Business

Hotel association wants rules on short-term rentals, home sharing

Greeley Pulitzer

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Hotel association wants rules on short-term rentals, home sharing | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Airbnb and other accommodation-share businesses, plus a glut of newly opened hotels rooms across the country, is putting pressure on the traditional hotel model

The Thai Hotels Association has again asked for a meeting with the Minister of the Interior to discuss the impact of short-term rentals and home sharing services like Airbnb on the domestic hotel business. The Assoication’s president Supawan Tanomkieatipume reminds him Thai law officially doesn’t, technically, allow owners of condos to rent out their units for less than 30 days without a hotel licence.

But he acknowledges that the practice is widespread and almost impossible to police.

“THA has no intention of seeking a ban on these services in Thailand. We just want the government to issue suitable regulations on the operations of these service providers, and enforce related laws to protect customers.”

Supawan acknowledges that the tourist numbers are still reaching almost last year’s levels but says that the both accommodation-sharing services and a surfeit of new hotel rooms available is cutting into his members’ bottom-lines.

His solution would make owners offering short-term rentals and home sharing services be required to register with the Ministry and apply for a business licence, the same as for hotel operators, and display their licence numbers when advertising.

THA also wants to count them in the total number of hotel operators, so the government can design measures to promote hotels based on the actual number of businesses in the market.

“A preliminary survey by THA shows that there are over 21,000 providers of accommodations not listed as hotels scattered around Bangkok and tourist cities. Without knowing the actual number of competitors, hotel entrepreneurs face the risk of room oversupply.”

Statistics published by Airbnb earlier this year showed that home sharing generated more than 33.8 billion baht to property owners and the surrounding communities.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Bangkok

Suvarnabhumi authorities passing the blame for long queues yesterday

The Thaiger

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Suvarnabhumi authorities passing the blame for long queues yesterday | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Immigration Police

A post about long waits and airport queues at Suvarnabhumi yesterday has sparked an immediate response from an immigration spokesperson today. Hundreds of people were queued up for hours in the departure areas, as they waited to be processed after checking in.

The spokesman responded to reporters after claims on the Facebook page JS 100 Traffic Radio that there were “terrible queues” at Suvarnabhumi Airport yesterday morning.

But Pol Col Cherngron Rimphadee placed the blame on Airports of Thailand who contract the body scan and hand luggage security check systems on the western side of the second floor section of the airport.

He told Thai Rath that downstairs at immigration “everything was running normally”.

Immigration chief Lt-Gen Sompong Chingduang had told immigration that during peak traffic hours all booths were to be staffed.

“And that is exactly what was happening at immigration”.

The spokesperson placed the blame for the queues firmly in the court of the Airports of Thailand PLC who say the problem was the responsibility of AoT who wee checking carry-on luggage and body scanning between check-in and the immigration areas.

He said that immigration did what they could to alleviate the situation that received many complaints yesterday. He said that passengers on many flights were being processed at the same time.

SOURCE: Thai Rath | Bangkok Post

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Bangkok

Bangkok is #1 in travel index for fourth year in a row

Greeley Pulitzer

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Bangkok is #1 in travel index for fourth year in a row | The Thaiger

PHOTO: TakeMeTour

Bangkok, despite some recent tourist number woes, continues to be ranked near the top in most world travel indices. Now Bangkok has been ranked first in the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) for international overnight visitors for the fourth straight year. And the sixth time in the past decade.

Thailand is the only country in this year’s GDCI with three cities in the global top 20 (Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya) and two cities in the global top 10 for spending by international overnight visitors (Bangkok and Phuket).

The GDCI 2019 ranks 200 cities is based on Mastercard’s analysis of visitor numbers and spending in 2018.

International overnight visitors spent more than US$20 billion in Bangkok, a 15% increase from 2017, while in Phuket they spent more than $12 billion, a 9% increase, according to Mastercard.

Bangkok is #1 in travel index for fourth year in a row | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai had the highest increase with growth of over 19%, mostly from Malaysian visitors.

China was Thailand’s biggest market, though some of the kingdom’s famous holiday destinations, particularly the islands, saw an increase in visitors from Europe and Japan.

Visitors from Germany topped island destinations such as Phangnga (25.1%), Koh Samui (17.1%), Koh Tao (11.4%) and Koh Chang (11.3%), and Japanese visitors accounted for 25.5% of arrivals in Ayutthaya, the nation’s ancient capital, an increase of 1.7% from 2017, according to Mastercard.

Koh Phangan joined the top 100 for Asia-Pacific at 96 surpassing island locations like Koh Chang (139), Koh Tao (130), Boracay in the Philippines (129) and Lombok in Indonesia (110). Hat Yai (31) jumped 27 places in 2018.

SOURCE: bangkokpost.com

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