Category Archives: Asia Pacific

Thailand’s National Parks Face Surge Of Tourists

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The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation already conducted talks with some business operators to look for ways in dealing with overcrowding of tourists in tourist-high places especially as the high season is approaching.

Thanya Neithammakun, the director-general, said that the accommodations at well-known national parks is nearly fully booked on long holidays during the months of December and January.

Famous National Parks to take note of

The popular places on the list include Doi Suthep-Pui, Doi Inthanon, Doi Pha Hom Pok and Huai Nam Dang national parks located in Chiang Mai; Surin and Similan national parks located in Phangnga; Phu Kradueng and Phu Rhua national parks located in Loei; Khao Yai national park located in Nakhon Ratchasima; Khuean Srinagarindra and Erawan national parks located in Kanchanaburi; Thung Salaeng Luang and Phu Hin Rong Kla national parks located in Phitsanulok; and Nam Tok Phrew park located in Chanthaburi.

According to Mr. Thanya, the meetings were targeted in looking for better ways to manage with overcrowding of people in several tourist attractions while guaranteeing a constant flow of tourists.

Improvements to the parks on the way

The DNP is gathering data to determine each national park’s tourist-handling capacity. An order has been made to improve the conditions of the toilets in all the parks, he said.

Advance booking systems and e-tickets for park entrances is being developed by the DNP. This system will likely be put in place sometime early next year, he said.

Work is also under way to make its website (nps.dnp.go.th) available again, which the public uses to book accommodations in national parks. The site is currently unavailable because of an increased traffic volume.

The Meteorological Department has predicted that the lower North-East will be colder compared to the past couple of years from November to February, and the improvements came after that.

Good news for tourism

Influx in the natural park visits is something that means a great deal for all business, hotel and resort operators, whether that be a Chanthaburi resort or a Chiang Mai budget hotel. This is an indication that Thailand is fast becoming a major tourist destination especially during the busy holiday season.

Thailand Lures More Tourists

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Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul who is the Minister of Tourism and Sports in Thailand recently visited Hanoi to be in attendance for the Thai Culture Days. In her interview with Vietnam News, she said that since Vietnam will be the one to host the ASEAN Beach Games in Da Nang by September and since there is to be a seminar about sports tourism included in its agenda, Thailand and Vietnam will be able to cooperate on the matter.

“Two Countries – One Destination” campaign

She added that the ASEAN today greatly attracts interest from tourists or people across the world in relation to tourism, investment and business, and this is why the ASEAN connectivity is included in the campaign which was launched in 2015.

She said further that they are presenting their “Two Countries – One Destination” campaign for American or European tourists. This means that if a tourist wants to go to Vietnam, Thailand will take them to Vietnam. Likewise, if a tourist wants to go to Thailand, Vietnam will take them to Thailand.

Alongside providing and presenting new products and destinations each year, she mentioned that Thailand and Vietnam together with the member countries of ASEAN can assist each other to offer new tourism products.

In the initial phase, Thailand has already started increased connectivity with the countries of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Kobkarn said that there are already tour packages such as Thailand – Vietnam, Thailand – Laos, Thailand – Cambodia and Thailand – Myanmar.

The Tourism Administration of Thailand (TAT) brought media and tour operators last year from the United States. They went to Ha Long Bay, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to check the routes. Another group will do the same the route from Thailand going to Hanoi to Sapa then Lao Cai.

Intra-ASEAN connectivity

The minister mentioned that they are also creating an “intra-ASEAN” connectivity, and this is to encourage travels within ASEAN countries.

According to her, there were 29.8 million international tourists who traveled to Thailand last year. 7.8 million of these were from ASEAN countries. There were also 770,000 Vietnamese travelers to Thailand and 140,000 Thais went to Vietnam.

Australian Interest Rate Steadied At 2%

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The real estate industry is reportedly to be doing good which means that those companies engaged in Perth bathroom renovation will also benefit from this positive news. One of the main driving forces behind this improvement is the Reserve bank’s freeze of interest rates thrice in a row. The official rate is at 2 percent which has been recorded as a historic low.

What experts say
This move by the board was predicted by experts long before who commented that the Reserve bank will be holding the interest rate throughout the middle of the year. Governor Glenn Stevens commented that while the Australian economy is continuously expanding at an average pace, there is still a slow growth rate experienced. He further stated that domestic inflationary pressures are continuously contained and that experts are hopeful that the economy has a little capacity to spare.

With an economic threat looming, monetary policies by the Aussies should be flexible and accommodative. Low interest rates are maintained in order to support investor borrowing and buyer spending. Overall, credit activities have a moderate growth. There is a steady growth in the housing sector in the past few months. In Sydney, the housing prices are rising strongly. However, this trend has not been sustained by other key cities.

The Board at the Reserve Bank judged that leaving the rate unchanged was the appropriate measure to the current situation of the country. The Australian economy has been quite in focus and is under great scrutiny. The member of the Board will conduct further assessment of the economic and financial conditions of the country and would then announce to the public any changes to the current interest rate. The decision will of course be aligned with the condition at hand as well as the target growth for the country and issues on inflation will have to be evaluated.

This decision of the Board was received positively. However the results that followed in the housing industry was mixed. Both Melbourne and Sydney continue to flourish in their campaign for an improved housing sector while other major areas in the country continue to experience subdued rates.

Thailand To Make An Upgrade In Its Tourist Spots

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Dishes like Phat Thai and Tom Yam, island escapes like Ko Tao and Ko Samui, as well as the heavenly accommodating holiday villas in Thailand may be some of the highlights that are part of ones ‘list of reasons to explore Thailand’. Undeniably, the tourist spots being cheap in price as compared to those offered in other countries may be at the top of the list of the majority.

Despite the incredible image Thailand has already proven not just in Asia but to the whole world, the tourism sector of the country continues to work towards the improvement it can offer to tourists. It has been reported last July 13, 2015 that the Tourism & Sports Minister Kobkarn Watanawarangkura has announced about a new tourism strategy that is set for implementation until the year 2017.

The planned strategy centers on turning five clusters of major tourist destinations in Thailand to quality destinations by upgrading and rebranding in order to completely wipe out the ‘cheap’ image that has been established throughout the years. The five clusters mentioned are the Lanna Zone, Andaman Sea Zone, Southern Isarn Zone, Eastern Seaboard Zone, and Western Seabord Zone. Under these zones are different provinces like Chiang Mai, Phuket, Buriram, Chonburi, and Ranong to mention a few. Some provinces not covered by these zones such as Nan, Ratchaburi, and Loei will remain to be advertised to the world as ‘destinations that should not be missed out’.

The tourism minister foresees to make earnings as high as 2.5 trillion baht which is equivalent to 75 billion US dollars by 2017, as high-end visitors are being looked forward to visit the kingdom of Thailand after it has been implemented. The talked about strategy is yet to be submitted for approval to the cabinet under Premier Prayut Chan-o-cha.

According to Watanawarangkura, the people that are part of the tourism promotion should have a shift on their focus. By this shift, she means to emphasize that upgrading the most treasured destinations of Thailand instead of just having a target on the number of people to visit and explore the country yearly should be done.

The World’s Happiest Nations

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With all of the evil lurking in this world and the negativities that we watch on the news every day, it is a breath of fresh air to hear news about happy people in the face of our planet.

The United Nations declared March 20 to be the International Day of Happiness. This celebration recognized that happiness is one of the primary goals in every individual’s life.

According to the World Happiness Report, most of the happiest countries are located in the Scandinavian region. The ranking for the world’s happiest countries is based on the following: social support, life expectancy report, gross domestic product per capita, generosity, low perception on corruption and freedom in making choices in life. Here is the list of the top ten happiest countries in the world.

1. Denmark
Denmark grabbed the first place as the happiest country in the world. Iconic places to visit in Denmark which will surely make you happy are the Tivoli Gardens and the King’s Garden at Rosenborg Castle. These are popular picnic spots for the locals especially during summertime.

2. Norway
The Norweigan warm smile brings the country to the second spot. The country offers scenic views and mountaineering experience for the adventurous people.

3. Switzerland
Skiers will delight in the landscape of Switzerland with its ski slope regions in the town of Zermatt. Hikers will also be treated to mountain trekking in the renowned Matterhorn.

4. Netherlands
The spring season in Holland turns the iconic tulip into bloom. Visitors from around the globe visit the happy country to see the various varieties of flowers in this blessed nation.

5. Sweden
Get lost and explore the medieval city in Stockholm’s Gamla Stan. And then take a walk through the first urban park in the world, the city’s Royal National Park.

6. Canada
When in Canada, explore the Islands of the People, the home of the Haidas. The rich culture and landscape of Canada will leave you wanting for more.

7. Finland
Get excited to see the Northern Lights in your trip to Finland while enjoying the view from an igloo.

8. Austria
Vienna’s famed Musikverein’s Golden hall will bring sweet music to your ears with a combination of chocolate Sacher torte, your trip will be a mouth watering experience.

9. Iceland
Take a dip at the country’s Blue Lagoon and then head for an adventure to Snafellsjokull National park and be awed with the views of breath taking glaciers and mountain tops.

10. Australia
Wrapping up the tenth spot is Australia. The Australian waters hold the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Great Barrier Reef. This is a must see 344,400 kilometer stretch of coral reefs teeming with marine life.