Thailand To Focus On ASEAN Tourism

A lot of taking the bus from Bangkok to Koh Phangan, or sightseeing around Thailand are international visitors, usually from Europe or China, with the occasional ASEAN tourist being sighted. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) however, is looking to increase the number of ASEAN tourists in the country in 2018, with a goal of hitting 10M within the year.

According to Deputy Governor Tanes Petsuwan, TAT Marketing Communications, revealed the TAT’s plans to encourage tourism from the region, and adds that Thailand and the TAT has opened about 30 new overland border checkpoints for visitors coming in from the region, particularly Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia and Cambodia. Additionally, Thailand four friendship bridges with Laos, and two with Myanmar, with more to follow.

All of these developments are aimed at encouraging visitors from the ASEAN region to visit Thailand. Mr. Tanes says that the ASEAN highway is growing at an incredible pace, and will soon be providing road connectivity beyond just the closest land-neighbouring country, but also to China and India.  Rail travel, he adds, will be the next step in land transport infrastructure, with high-speed links currently undergoing designing and planning.

Marine connectivity and air connectivity are also on the rise, with the former being seen in places like Phuket, Pattaya, and KohSamui, and neighbouring islands, which are now home to several marinas for those who want to forego the bus from Bangkok to KohPhangan, and travel by boat. Ferries bringing in people from Malaysia and other nearby countries is also growing and is expected to continue doing so.

According to Mr. Tanes, ASEAN countries account for the largest part of Thailand’s Asian visitor source market, supplying 9 million visitors back in 2017, with Malaysia being the largest contributor, with 3.35M arrivals, despite a drop in volume from 2016.

The TAT predicts that ASEAN visitors into Thailand will hit 10M in 2018, thanks to increased airline capabilities and promotions from operators.

Part of the TAT’s efforts to boost ASEAN tourism, is the “Experience Thailand and More” programme, which has four notable experiences which seek to enhance ASEAN connectivity. This programme has key experiences, which cover ASEAN history. One of these routes connect Northern Thailand with the historic trails located in the Northern areas of the ASEAN region. The other routes connect Thailand’s cultural hotspots with the nearby locations from other ASEAN countries.

All of these are aimed at stimulating Thailand’s economy via the tourism industry by bringing in international and domestic visitors, with a target of Bt10B in income generated.


Holiday Locations For The Start Of 2018

Once the Christmas holiday is over, everyone feels like January is the saddest month of the year. For many it is back to work and their dull daily routines but it does not mean you cannot enjoy the beginning of the year. You don’t have to be away for long. You can visit on a long weekend or over the weekend if you like. Here are recommendations of the top places to visit in your next trip from La Gomera holidays to Albania.

If you are a foodie, you should visit Slovenia to taste the influences on food brought by various cultures including Italy, the Mediterranean and Austria. The World’s Best Female Chef of 2017 according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants is Ana Ros who is the star Chef’s Table. She has restaurants in the northeastern part of the country in Kobarid known as Hisa Franko. It is also the best time to taste Slovenian wines especially their rose.

For nature lovers, Faroe Islands which is located between Iceland and Scotland is the best go-to place. Aside from being situated in a remote location, the islands have evergreen hills, waterfalls and mountains. There are 18 islands to be seen and a few can be accessed by car and some are best for hiking.

Prague is the most recommended place to visit when searching for good music. To the west is Berlin while the east is Vienna thus Prague is not often considered by travelers. The location is perfect for musical acts because tickets and nightlife are cheaper as well as the accommodations. Music lovers will surely enjoy top acts in the music industry because they are presented in an unusual setting.

Adventure lovers should head over to Vjosa, Europe’s only remaining free-flowing river, located in Albania. It is currently a protected area because of threats of a dam construction. Visitors can explore the river by paddling, kayaking or rafting.

Lastly, it is time to schedule La Gomera holidays to experience the winter sun. The climate varies in each of the Canary Islands. Those who are seeking peace and quiet should visit La Gomera which is accessible via Tenerife.


3 Useful Tips For An Exciting Similan Island Diving Trip

One of the most sought-after activities in Thailand is Similan island diving excursion, among others. To make the experience even more exciting, convenient and comfortable, here are some tips that you might want to consider.

Plan in advance

One of the secrets to a successful holiday is planning the trip at least a month prior to the schedule. When you plan in advance, you can still search for the right company from where you will get your services such as your accommodation, the restaurants where you are going to dine and the activities that you will engage in. even your plane tickets should also be booked earlier. This way, you will have an idea how much you are going to budget for all you holiday needs. Early bookings for hotel and plane tickets are also cheaper when you book them ahead. For cheaper activities and gear rentals, schedule your holiday during Thailand’s low season. You can find trips and activities that are designed for solo travellers while there are also those that are designed for groups.

Search for a liveaboard company

To ensure that you will have a convenient liveaboard trip, search for a reliable Similan island diving company that offers packages with exciting itinerary at an affordable rates. There are numerous liveaboarding companies and it would be wise for you to read customer testimonials or check from discussion boards to find out what customers have to share about their experience with the company. You can also ask diving enthusiasts for recommendations. Choose a company that employs qualified diving instructors who will go with the customers during the liveaboarding trip.

Prepare the trip

Lastly, to have a hassle-free and fun Similan island diving trip, prepare the things that you will need for it. Arrange your schedule, plan out what you will do with your pets, if you have any, buy the right swimwear or gears that you will need while in Thailand and make sure to bring the right set of clothing. Don’t forget to include sun block, sunnies, slippers, hat or sun visor and other essential items for the holiday.


Experience Melbourne With Celebrities Through Airbnb

Many visitors are flocking to the metropolitan city of Australia with the desire to experience adventure activities in Melbourne but this can be further enhanced with the help of Airbnb. A new platform was created for travellers who are interested in mingling with entrepreneurs in the city. The platform is called Trips to Melbourne.

This can be accessed through Airbnb and it has a list of experiences that are powered by locals themselves with the desire to interconnect anyone from the entire globe who shares the same passions and interests.

Local experts designed over 60 activities or termed Experiences in the platform. All of these activities are based in Melbourne and is open for both locals and travellers.

There are many experiences on the list such as hiking inside a forest reserve to look for a group of kangaroos, experiencing coffee and food with a local connoisseur or exploring the street arts in the city and the hidden alleys.

Joe Gebbia, the co-founder as well as the chief product officer of Airbnb, said that the Experiences will be able to bring together local hosts that are passionate about what they do and travellers who share the same passion or interests.

Travelers are now given the chance to experience first-hand the culture, food, sports and fashion of the metropolitan city. The locals view this as a chance for travellers to be able to try new activities and to meet interesting people.

As these locals make money doing what they love, they also help in the local tourism of the city. For the launching, four celebrities in the city are going to join the Social Impact Experiences. All of the money from these activities will be donated to local charities.

With Social Impact Experiences, the visitors will be able to know more about the causes and passions of the celebrities they are with. There are no fees to be collected by the Airbnb and all the payment by the guests will be given to charity.

Guests are encouraged to sign up to experience adventure activities in Melbourne as well as immerse in the city’s culture, food and fashion.