Kuoni meets Skål International
Felix Gaehwiler (5th left) and Andrew J.
Wood, President of Skål International Bangkok (4th right) are pictured
with other Skål members at the Plaza Athenee Bangkok Hotel.
Over 60 members and invited guests attended Skål International Bangkok’s
luncheon meeting at the Plaza Athenee Bangkok Hotel on September 9,
2008. The guest speaker was Felix Gaehwiler, General Manager Sales
Southeast Asia of Kuoni Destination Management, with a presentation
titled “Trends and Challenges in Destination Management”.
Taking questions from the floor Mr. Gaehwiler was asked for his comments
on the current political climate in Thailand. He said, “Kuoni Thailand
has had an excellent year so far in 2008. Two weeks ago when the
demonstrations started in front of government house, our business was
little affected and we have had almost no cancellations. Today we are
seeing reduced volumes in particular from non-leisure travel and a small
reduction in Government and Corporate overseas travel.”
He added, “September is normally the end of the budget year for Thai
Ministries, they have historically used travel budgets in these last
weeks as this cannot be carried forward. This business will not improve
until the emergency decree is lifted, which we hope will be very soon.”
Marriott Resort holds agent orientation
Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa recently
welcomed 17 supportive travel agents to experience its new facilities;
the new Terrace Suite, More Bar & Grill as well as enjoying a team
building activity at Sak Island. The special program was held to
encourage all travel agents to utilize the updated information in order
to up sale the traveling programs in Pattaya destinations to their
Royal Cliff Beach Resort re-launches website in 16 languages
The multi award-winning Royal Cliff Beach Resort re-launched its website – www.
royalcliff.com – in Ukrainian language recently in line with its ongoing efforts
to cater to the growing number of Ukrainian travellers to Thailand.
the current re-launch, www.royalcliff.com, which is apparently the largest hotel
website in Asia, is now available in 16 languages – Arabic, Chinese
(Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, Farsi, Finnish, French, German,
Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Ukrainian.
In a statement, Panga Vathanakul, the Managing Director of the Royal Cliff Beach
Resort said: “We are delighted to re-launch our website in Ukrainian. Our
multi-lingual website aims at providing travelers and business partners in fast
growing markets with a chance to better understand our world-class products and
what the exciting destination of Pattaya has in store for them.”
Khao Sarn sees drop
in backpackers business
Tourism business in Bangkok’s Khao Sarn Road is seeing a drop in hotel occupancy
rate from the political unrest in the city.
Khao Sarn Business Association president, Surat Vongchansilp, said 2,000 rooms
of three-star hotels and guesthouses in that area reported only 30 per cent
occupancy rate last week, a drop from 70 per cent of the same period last year.
The association has 200 members of hoteliers, restaurants and shops owners.
Surat added that Korean and Japanese tourists, which together constituted 50 per
cent of Khao Sarn Road’s tourism business, had made immediate trip cancellations
after the state of emergency was declared.
However, Intrepid (Thailand) general manager, Carl Needham, said the company
received a small number of cancellations, particularly by individual travellers
from Australian and the UK.
He added bookings were running as normal and the company would continue to
update clients on Bangkok’s political situation and identify areas in the city
where clients should avoid.
His clients were inconvenienced though, by the disruptions in transport,
especially railway transport, a key mode for backpackers, because of the
occurrence of a strike by the Union of the State Railway of Thailand.
According to a statement issued by the State Railway of Thailand last week, only
18 trains were operating each day in the southern line, while 40 trains were
pending service. The northern line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and north-eastern
line from Bangkok to Ubon Ratchatani and Nong Khai are operating as normal.
It’s Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
In what appears a coup for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG), the
landmark hotel it manages, The Oriental, Bangkok, will be renamed Mandarin
Oriental, Bangkok, bringing it in line with all other MOHG properties which now
carry the ‘Mandarin Oriental’ name.
The hotel, with a history of more than 130 years, was originally called The
Oriental Hotel. It has been managed by MOHG for more than 35 years, with its
general manager, Kurt Wachveitl, helping to make the hotel and destination
Bangkok famous worldwide.
Wachveitl said: “With The Oriental’s over 130 years of unparallelled historical
background and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s reputation as one of the
world’s best luxury hotel brands, the name change to Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
will enhance access to the Mandarin Oriental brand by its customers through an
ever-widening range of distribution systems, including reservations networks,
the media, Internet and websites, sales offices and marketing partnerships.”
The group now comprises 39 hotels in strategically important destinations around
the world, including 18 under development. (TTG)