The Thailand 4.0 economic policy is really going to take ‘bleisure’ to the next level in Thailand. The policy will see key developments to the sector, including the improvement of connectivity, the mega infrastructures, along with the incentives to enhance new investments in the Easter Economic Corridor (EEC). It is expected that these initiatives will magnify the recognition of each established ‘bleisure’ destination, while we also see a potential in the growth of MICE and the income distribution which to drive Mice into a key sector in developing the country.
The current “Amazing Thailand Tourism Year 2018” campaign will run until January 2019, aiming to heighten Thailand as a preferred destination. The promotion features an action-packed schedule of unique Thai local experiences and marquee of international events. Categories include sports, gastronomy, wedding and honeymoon, medical and wellness, community-based tourism, leisure, green tourism, Mice and trade fairs.
Last year, over 616,000 people from the Middle East visited Thailand
The project aims to further strengthen the Thai tourism industry by making it more sustainable, focus on quality tourism, create higher economic value, and distribute tourism income to the regional areas of Thailand.
Thailand is ranked as one of the most Muslim-friendly travel destinations, and it’s no wonder why. Islam is the second largest religion in Thailand and the country is packed with Muslim-friendly hotels, activities and halal restaurants for visitors from the Middle East. In fact, just recently Thailand was voted as one of the top 10 countries for Muslim millennials due to its authenticity and how affordable and accessible it is.
Last year, over 616,000 people from the Middle East visited Thailand, 40 per cent of these visitors were female and the figure looks set to increase this year as more Arab women look to Thailand for unique travel experiences.
UP AND COMING HOTELS
This year, it’s all about luxury with the talk of the hospitality calendar at the moment the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok. Located in the heart of the bustling Ratchaprasong intersection, it marks Waldorf Astoria’s first property in Southeast Asia. The opening of this hotel really sets new heights for luxury in Asia, cutting a dramatic profile across the famous Bangkok skyline.
The newly opened SALA Samui Chawend Beach Resort is another for the up and coming list, providing a high-end, family-friendly option on the sandy shores of the popular Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui. A modern resort with contemporary styles, it offers a mix of pool villas and suites, beachfront dining and an endless array of activities.
Loy Krathong will be celebrated nationwide on November 23 and is one of the most beautiful festivals of Thai culture, making it the greatest times of year to visit Thailand. The picturesque festival is celebrated on the night of the full moon of the 12th Lunar month, and sees all rivers, lakes and seas adorned with thousands of luminous rafts as people gather to set adrift their krathongs. The Thai belief is that with the raft, the sins and mistakes of the past year are washed away, and room is made for new happiness in one’s life.
Another exciting festival for the calendar is the Lopburi Sunflower Festival, which is now becoming a major tourist attraction, running from 1st November until 31st January. This beautiful festival is found in Lopburi, just a 2.5hr drive from Bangkok, and in nearby Saraburi where the stunning sunflowers fields attracts thousands of local Thai visitors, along with foreign tourists each year.
* Pichaya Saisaengchan is director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Dubai & Middle East Office
TTN is the most established trade publication in the Middle East distributed on a controlled circulation basis to members of the travel and tourism industry.
Published monthly by Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group, the region’s foremost trade publisher, TTN is aimed at professionals in the industry, from travel agents to airline and hotel personnel.
TTN provides in-depth and extensive coverage of relevant issues in the Middle East and North Africa as well as in other parts of the world. Travel related news, analysis, and new appointments together with information on up-coming exhibitions, marketing and promotional campaigns are presented in an innovative and striking colour tabloid.
Every issue also contains a collation of international and regional news and topical features of interest to readers.