Friday, 12 June 2009

A boost to Thai tourism? And an advert for Airbus...

Along with many others dependent on the Thai tourism sector we have an expectation that tourist arrivals from the Middle East to Thailand will substantially increase following the launch of a daily A380 Emirates service from Dubai to Suvarnabhumi Airport on 1st June.

Emirates' A380 can carry 489 passengers and features luxurious facilities such as onboard shower spas, lounges, flat beds, massage-equipped private suites in first class and a new generation of intelligent seating and flat beds in business class. Other revolutionary features offered across all classes include mood-lighting to reduce jet lag and an award-winning, bespoke entertainment system featuring 1000-plus channels of on-demand entertainment.

The A380 is the world’s only twin-deck airliner that has 35 per cent more seats than its closest rival.  It is the most environmentally-advanced commercial aircraft in the sky today, offering better fuel economy than most hybrid passenger cars. The A380 burns up to 20 per cent less fuel per seat than today's next largest aircraft, and is quieter, generating less than half the noise of other aircraft on takeoff.

Emirates currently operates 21 flights per week to Bangkok from Dubai, but such is the interest in experiencing a ride in the new A380, usually reserved for longhaul flights, from Dubai based expats and locals alike, there is genuine optimism that visitor numbers can increase in the coming months.

The giant aircraft were originally destined to serve the airline’s Dubai-New York route, but due to a huge fall in the number of passengers flying to and from US destinations, Emirates made the decision to redeploy the A380s to Bangkok and Toronto. 

We need all the help we can get. Hotel occupancy rates on Koh Samui are expected to average 40-50% this year, a drop from 70-80% in previous years, mainly because of visitor concern about Thailand's political tensions and the world economic recession.

Seni Puwasetthawon, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, said visitors from the Middle East had great potential because of their high levels of spending, they travel in large groups, and they like Thailand's medical services.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand expects Middle East visitors to grow by 6.5 per cent to 500,000 this year from 470,000 in 2008. Mr Seni expected visitors from the Middle East to Koh Samui will double to 10,000 this year.

The association expects one million foreign visitors to Samui this year, down from 1.1 million in 2008, with revenue down by 30-40 per cent from 20 billion baht. Tell me about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin