What the Chinese prefer

Pattaya is the most popular tourist destination among Chinese tourists, according to a recent online survey by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

TAT has launched the 2017 People’s Choice Awards Thailand, as voted by Chinese tourists from May 26 to June 8. About 400 focus groups joined the survey.

The survey asked participants for their favourite places in 14 categories. Pattaya Floating Market was the most preferred individual attraction, while Vana Nava waterpark in Hua Hin received the most votes for a theme park.

Chinese tourists prefer to shop at EmQuartier, watch live showings of “Muay Thai Live: The Legend Lives” at Asiatique the Riverfront on Charoen Krung Road, dine at Baan Rim Pa Phuket, see the doctor at Samitivej Hospital, fly with Thai Airways, get spa services at Let’s Relax Spa and play golf at Gassan Khuntan Golf and Resort in Lamphun.

For accommodation, they prefer Rayavadee Krabi for luxury hotels, Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort for boutique hotels, Centara Grand at CentralWorld for city hotels and Banyan Tree Samui for beach hotels.

Thailand travel expo

The Pacific Asia Travel Association will host the second Digi.travel Thailand International Conference Expo on June 28.

Topics include “5 Big Questions Looking For Answers In A Digitised World”, “Thailand 4.0: Insights On Digitization Of The Thai Tourism Industry”, “Artificial Intelligence In Travel” and “Leveraging Social Media For The Development Of A Sub-Destination”.

Speakers are from Thailand and abroad, such as Prof Dr Marianna Sigala from the University of South Australia; TripAdvisor’s head of destination marketing Sarah Mathews; and Traveliko COO Co-founder Yann Gouriou.

The event will run from 9am-3.30pm at Landmark Hotel, Bangkok.

Visit thailand2017.digi.travel.

Airlines update

United Airlines plans to launch daily non-stop flights between Singapore and Los Angeles on Oct 29.

The airline will operate with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft offering 48 business-class seats, 88 economy-plus seats and 164 economy-class seats.

It will depart Singapore’s Changi Airport at 11am and arrive in Los Angeles at 11.15am. The flight back from LA will be at 9.55pm, arriving at Singapore at 6.50am. Flying time is 15 hours and 15 minutes.

Visit www.united.com.

Emirates Airline will introduce a new layout of its first-class seats on its new Boeing B777-300ERs.

The new seat design will be a 1-1-1 layout, compared to the 1-2-1 configuration on its present B777 aircraft.

In addition to the redesigned first-class product, Emirates’ new Boeing 777-300ER will have new features in the business and economy cabins.

“Our products and services across cabin classes are continually improved and enhanced. But what our customers will see on Emirates’ new 777s, starting from November, will be a much bigger revamp that takes our on-board experience to the next level. All cabins will sport a totally fresh new look,” said Emirates’ president Tim Clark.

Visit www.emirates.com.

Hotels update

Premier Inn Pattaya will be rebranded Travelodge Pattaya on July 1.

Located in Central Pattaya, the three-star hotel will be the first Travelodge in Thailand. It will feature 164 rooms, with 20m² of space for standard and superior rooms, and 40m² for deluxe rooms.

Also provided are outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre, restaurant and free Wi-Fi.

Travelodge will also launch a 224-room Travelodge Sukhumvit 11 in the fourth quarter of this year.

Travelodge was founded in 1985 in Britain and expanded to Asia a couple of years ago. Travelodge (Thailand) is a joint venture company between Travelodge Hotels Asia and Absolute Hotel Services Group, an affiliate company of BTS Group Holding Public Company.

Visit www.travelodgehotels.asia.

Marriott International has combined its three loyalty cards — the Club Marriot, Eat Drink More and Star Privilege — into a single membership programme.

The new Club Marriott membership allows card holders to get points when they stay or dine out in one of 200 hotels across 15 brands in Asia.

Members can get up to 20% off food and beverages, as well as the best available room rates, complimentary stays, room upgrades and wellness vouchers.

The combined programme will be rolled out in the Asia Pacific starting in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Guam, Indonesia, India, Japan and Korea, from July through September. It will be available in the Philippines in November and Thailand in December.

Visit www.myclubmarriott.com/apac.

Email karnjanak@bangkokpost.co.th if you have any comments to share.