Roundup of Thailand news with AJW

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BKK Weather 33C; Hot, cloudy, rain; Euro:US 1.2511, Euro:Baht 39.26, SET Index: 1215



BKK Weather 33C; Hot, cloudy, rain; Euro:US 1.2511, Euro:Baht 39.26, SET Index: 1215


Government to test canal network drainage capacity in parts of Bangkok. Suspected killer of MP’s son arrested. PTTEP pleads guilty over oil spill.


Romney “to restore promise of America.” 270 miners in S. Africa get murder charge. UN denounces Iran for Holocaust denial. Thousands flee weakened Isaac.


– GOING GREEN: A forum on green economy and low carbon life was hosted recently by the government agency, Designated Area for Sustainable Tourism Administrative (DASTA), at Bangkok’s newest Sofitel Hotel located on Sukhumvit Road Soi 15.

The forum was a joint effort between DASTA and Earthcheck, with support from the PATA Thailand Chapter, International Labor Organization, and SKAL International Thailand with Young SKAL.

– 10 STEPS TO MARKETING A HOTEL: Where to start when implementing a plan? How to promote a hotel with the Internet moving so rapidly with new developments every day, week, and month … Here is a 10-step plan on how to market a hotel.

1 – A Story Worth Telling

Your hotel needs to have something unique, refreshing, or innovative. Your hotel needs to have a story to it which people like, and think worthwhile to share with their friends. Good service is the basic. Being remarkable helps you stand out. It’s not difficult. How about handing out an ice cream at check-in? Or a unique/local breakfast item?

2 – Regional and National Press

PR has and will always be important to reach your domestic market.

3 – GDS + Consortia

Apollo, Galileo, Worldspan are seen by many as a dying breed. But these Global Distribution Systems are reinventing themselves, and are still an important source of business and leisure travel for many destinations. Moreover, mega agencies like Amex, ABC Corporates Services, TQ3 Travel Solutions, World Travel BTI, and Carlson Wagonlit are very effective distribution channels to reach corporate travelers of large corporations.

4 – OTA

The poster boards of the hotel and travel industry in the online age, are among the most important distribution channels. Their commissions and models vary; analyze them well to make sure they add value to your overall strategy. Be certain they aren’t just shifting direct business away from your direct sales efforts, but really generate incremental bookings.

5 – DMC

Local Destination Marketing Companies work hard to attract groups and events. You should approach them and work together with them to attract corporate and leisure groups during low- and medium-demand periods. It will help you to diversify your hotels’ market mix.

6 – Tourist Office + Convention Bureau

Talk to your local tourism office and find out how they can help you to promote your hotel. Make sure you have a representative listing on their website and that you are well promoted in their office.

7 – Sales Team

Have a sales representative put your hotel on the local map with local businesses nearby. Visit prospective and current clients regularly.

8 – Website + SEO

You will need an optimized website for your hotel. If you want to generate direct sales through your website, think keyword searches and consumer segments before burying yourself in the design aspect. Your store can be pretty, but you need people passing by and stepping in to have a chance at a sale. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very often heavily neglected.

9 – Social Media + Review Website

FaceBook, Twitter, FourSquare, Gowalla, YouTube page and profile. We have to manage our presence on these social media sites actively and create fresh new content every week and month. A blog is great tool for this. Next, manage your online reputation. Encourage your guests to leave reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor. Incentivize if needed to get guest pics and videos. Your profile on the hotel and travel review websites needs to be active and dynamic. Oh, don’t forget to respond! You have to be involved.

10 – Mobile

Finally, hotels are starting to move beyond their own website into mobile marketing. Don’t think a mobile app is something every independent hotel needs. Let’s start with a basic mobile website, which allows you to easily navigate an image gallery of the hotel and has a simple click to call button. From there you can work on integrating your booking engine and develop a more advanced mobile hotel website step by step.

A Few Warnings

Tour operators and wholesalers use them carefully. Their model is broken, and hotels can develop their own direct sales over time.

Last but not least, don’t spend too much money on printing brochures, etc. We are in the electronic and digital age.


Samui: Dinner
Tuesday, September 4
La Cuisine restaurant
Baan Taling Ngam 1830 hours

Bangkok: Lunch
Tuesday, September 11
Eastin Grand Sathorn
1200 hours (noon)

Phuket: Dinner
Thursday, September 20
Le Meridien Phuket 1900 hours

Chiang Mai: Dinner
The River Market 1830 hours

Hua Hin: Lunch
Friday, August 31
Verandah Resort Cha Am
I Sea restaurant 1200 hours (noon)

For further details, costs, and advance reservations (essential), please go to: .

– CRYSTAL CRUISES: Luxury travelers can rejuvenate, reduce stress, improve balance, and get motivated in 2013 with Crystal Symphony’s first cruise of the new year, with a brand new “Experiences of Discovery” itinerary through southern Australia. With a mind, body, and spirit focus, the luxury cruise to set sail on January 5 from Melbourne to Brisbane will feature health and wellness experts leading complimentary classes and seminars, appropriate for beginners making a new fitness resolution, or those looking to continue their regimen without missing a beat on vacation.

– PHUKET SEA SAFETY: After the recent sinking of a speedboat, which left 41 tourists struggling in the water after it sank in heavy seas on its way to Phi Phi Island, Phuket marine police confirmed that an alert was in place at the time that warned travelers to be aware of heavy seas, but the warning did not directly prohibit boats from sailing.

The sea disaster followed an after-hours fire on Phuket 10 days ago at the Tiger Disco in which 4 people died; 2 of them tourists.

Again, a critical finger has been pointed at Phuket police and officials suggesting they are not able to ensure safety measures on the island meet international standards.

– CHINA: Chinese travelers and shoppers are already going abroad by the millions, spending much more on luxury products and activities abroad than they do at home. Tourism promoters everywhere are all trying to figure out how to draw that money to their countries.

There will be more than 100 million tourists planning to travel overseas.
Language is a major stumbling block when dealing with Chinese tourists. At times, the Chinese traveler often feels he or she is not getting the same quality of service that others do. It is essential that the operators can ensure their customers’ satisfaction with the best services and memorable experiences.

– TRIPADVISOR: Malaysian’s are the biggest whiners in a recent report.

British holidaymakers post more positive reviews on TripAdvisor than almost any other nationality, the travel review site revealed.

Britons also tend to write some of the most detailed reviews, coming second only to Canadians. On average they write 177 words per review, Canadians write 191 words, while Brazilians are the least specific, writing only 88 words.

South Africa tops the list of countries producing the most positive reviews, with an average score of 4.22 out of five, compared with just 3.8 for Malaysians, who gave the worst reviews.

About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.