Monday, December 17, 2018

Southeast Asia


Thailand to take bleisure up a notch
October 2018 1554

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.

 

HALAL TRAVEL

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.

 

KEY EVENTS/FESTIVALS

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





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