Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya begins renovation
at a new deluxe room, on board in 2011.
As Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya sings past its 9th anniversary
on their way to their 10th, the hotel began an extensive renovation
commencing on October 25. A 20-month program marks the most extensive work
in the hotel’s history, starting with guest room accommodation, which is
estimated to complete by end of 2011, followed by upgrading works in public
areas, hotel entrance, reception, lobby, bar, restaurants and eventually the
poolside area. This comprehensive renovation project is scheduled to
complete by mid 2012.
what the new main entrance will look like in 2012.
More than a simple makeover, the new style and ambience
of the renovated rooms have a decidedly contemporary feel, yet retaining the
warmth and allure of Hard Rock. All rooms will be made anew, starting with
the sea-facing Deluxe Rooms, which will be expanded to offer a larger living
area. New Family Suites will be added, with fun bedding for the young fans.
Re-design work is planned to make the exclusive Producer and Kings’ Suites
better fit for the 21st century divas and guitar heroes. In theses suites,
guests can, as always, enjoy the expansive views over Pattaya Beach, as well
as the beautiful sunset at the Eastern Seashore of the Gulf of Thailand.
reception area, scheduled for 2012.
Likewise, the public areas including restaurants and bars
will also be upgraded. The E-bar will morph into the Soul Lounge, a
destination bar offering periodic live soul, jazz and blues, serving nu &
retro cocktails, mixes and blends. The Starz Diner will be completely
refreshed, offering new culinary dimensions with hot & cold teppanyaki
plates and churrasqueira. Adjacently, the new Pizzeria will serve up fan-rockin-tastic
wood-fired Neapolitan style pizzas, and a wide choice of the most al-dente
flavorful pasta. Above all else, Hard Rock will also maintain and refine
their signature great service.
More information is available at http://pattaya.hard
Note: The renovation works will inevitably be noisy,
but management promises to keep the rowdy works between 10.00 a.m. and 1.00
p.m. daily. Furthermore, rest assured that no major works will be carried
out on Saturdays, and up to 2.00 p.m. on Sundays. This is to ensure our
guests continue to enjoy fun weekends with us. This also applies to Public
Holidays in Thailand too.
Visa snags cost Europe half
a million tourists annually
Over 450,000 tourists a year are deterred from travelling
to Europe due to the lengthy and tedious visa application process, according
to the latest European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) report on visa
Conservative estimates by the ETOA put the financial loss
to the European Union (EU), caused by poor visa processing, at over €500
million (US$698 million) per year.
ETOA’s survey of tour operators and agents focused on
origin markets whose citizens must obtain a visa to visit the EU such as
China, India and the Middle East.
UK visa procedures were identified as most likely to
cause potential visitors to give up on their travel plans, closely followed
by France. Over 58,000 tourists cancelled their trips to the UK owing to
slow visa processing, and ETOA estimates that nearly 314,000 decided not
even to apply.
ETOA noted that Indian and Chinese tourists applying for
visas were most likely to encounter bad communication and red tape.
“Applications clearly have to be made available in the
applicants’ mother tongue,” said Tom Jenkins, ETOA executive director. “Not
doing so breaks a basic rule of sales and certainly acts as a disincentive
to travel. It displays a sweeping arrogance to applicants.”
Jenkins added: “The cancellations caused by problematic
visa processing have repercussions... That Europe is perceived as slow and
bureaucratic is a major disincentive in itself.” (TTG Asia)
Malaysian demand for Thailand
and Indonesia holding strong
S. Puvaneswary, TTG
Agents selling Thai and Indonesian holidays are reporting
strong year-end bookings despite recent natural disasters in both countries.
Sri Sutra Travel managing director, Syed Razif Al Yahya,
expects a 20 percent increase in sales of Indonesian tour packages for the
year-end period compared to the previous year.
He said demand for popular shopping and entertainment
areas for the Malaysian market such as Bandung, Surabaya, Bali, Jakarta and
Solo were not affected by the calamities in central Java and west Sumatra.
He did not foresee any cancellations.
Mayflower Acme Tours senior general manager, Chan Meng
Fatt, also said he expected at least a 20 percent increase over last year in
outbound traffic to Indonesia, mainly to Bali.
He cited affordability of travel and close proximity as
factors driving demand.
For travel to Thailand, Apple Vacations group managing
director, Desmond Lee, said year-end bookings to unaffected areas such as
Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Bangkok were holding strong, and there were no
cancellations to date.
Air France returns to Cambodia
Sirima Eamtako, TTG
Air France will resume its direct Paris-Phnom Penh flight
via Bangkok from March 27 next year. It last operated flights through
Cambodia in 1974.
Operating with three flights per week, the airline will
initially utilize an Airbus A340 with 275 seats - 30 seats in Business, 21
in Premium Voyageur and 224 in Voyageur Economy, and will subsequently
deploy the 309-seat Boeing B777-200.
Soci้t้ Concessionnaire des A้roports (SCA) said the move
resulted from its breakthrough talks with Air France and Cambodia’s State
Secretary for Civil Aviation.
SCA develops and operates Cambodia’s three international
airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Its CEO Nicolas
Deviller said, “The return of Air France is a testament of confidence in the
traffic growth potential between France and Cambodia.”
About 70,000 French national passengers were expected to
be travelling through Cambodian airports this year, he added.
Along with Air France’s service, Phnom Penh International
Airport will be served by 410 flights per week, connecting with 22
destinations, next year.
AirAsia connects India and Thailand
Sirima Eamtako, TTG
Air access between Thailand and India will be given a
boost with AirAsia’s scheduled launches of two new routes on December 1.
The low-cost carrier will introduce a daily flight for
Bangkok-Kolkata and four weekly flights for Bangkok-New Delhi. Its ticket
sales system was activated last week.
The new flights will join the existing 125 direct weekly
services between Bangkok and major Indian cities operated by carriers such
as Thai Airways International (THAI), Indian Airlines and Air India.
In addition, THAI will increase its frequency on two
routes for the winter timetable, from October 31 to March 26. It will up its
Bangkok-Kolkata service from five to seven flights per week and double its
Bangkok-Mumbai service to 14 flights per week.
According to official data made available to TTG Asia
e-Daily, this year’s number of incoming direct and indirect flights from
India to Thailand will reach 5,895 with 1.41 million seats, representing a
12.7 percent and 16.5 percent increase over 2009 respectively.
The Indian market has been identified by the Thai travel
trade as one of the fastest growing sources of visitor arrivals to Thailand.
In the first nine months, arrivals from India totaled 531,017 visitors, a
21.6 percent growth over the same period in 2009.
Thailand to rebuild flood hit areas
The Thailand Ministry of Tourism and Sports plans to
carry out immediate restoration of tourism and sporting sites once the
flood-stricken areas in the country have returned to normal.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s flood
watch, as of last week many parts of 18 Thai provinces in the north,
north-eastern, central and eastern regions remain flooded, although the
situation has eased over the last few days.
MoTS deputy permanent-secretary Thanitta Maneechote said
the ministry had prepared a strategy for the short-, medium- and long-term,
that would be executed once the floodwaters had receded. TAT will carry out
tourism promotional tasks while the Department of Tourism will collaborate
with related government agencies on the rehabilitation of tourist sites.
Thanitta said the floods had caused tourism-related
establishments in Isaan about 70 million baht in losses, due to trip
postponements, re-routings and cancellations.
MoTS opened a Flood-Crisis Management Centre for Tourism
and Sports (Specific Unit) last Friday to provide information to tourists
and athletes who were traveling within the flooded areas.
TAT has advised travelers to contact the hotel or resort
where accommodation has been booked to enquire about the latest situation
prior to travel. (TTG Asia)
Singaporeans cautious with bookings to Thailand and Indonesia
Karen Yue, TTG Asia
Floods in parts of Thailand and Indonesia’s earthquake,
tsunami and volcano eruption, are expected to suppress demand out of
Singapore for these destinations.
While travel agents said no cancellations had been made
so far, they believed Singaporeans might hold back on forward bookings.
AD Travel general manager, Joe Lim, said enquiries for
both destinations had slowed.
“Travelers are worried that the problems will spread. Our
2010 targets for Thailand and Indonesia will be affected, and we hope
bookings for other destinations will make up for the shortfall.”¯ He added
that much interest appears to have been diverted to Hong Kong.
CTC Travel senior vice president (marketing & PR), Alicia
Seah, said those who were booking for the Chinese New Year holidays early
next year might be cautious about buying trips to Thailand and Indonesia.
However, she noted that Singaporeans were not backing out
of these destinations for now, as popular areas had escaped unscathed from
the natural disasters.
CTC Travel has about 30 customers in Bangkok and
Indonesia, mostly in Bali and Surabaya, and 100 more are due to leave for
these destinations next week, while Chan Brothers yesterday received four
new bookings for Bangkok.
Chan Brothers spokesperson Ivy Tan said: “Singaporeans
can still head to Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai or Bali this year end as they
are unaffected by current events.