New airports in Northeast and South
The Department of Airports plans to build two new airports in the Northeast and another in the South.
The locations in the Northeast are Mukdahan and Bung Kan, bordering Laos. The location in the South is Satun, which is known for the white-sand beaches on Koh Lipe and the beautiful diving sites of Tarutao marine national park.
According to department director Ampawan Wannako, the new airports will enhance the country's logistics capability, following the government's goal to be the logistics and transportation hub of Asean.
The department will conduct a feasibility study before constructing the airports.
Meanwhile, the department also plans to upgrade the facilities of its existing domestic airports nationwide, including those in Mae Sot, Krabi, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Udon Thani, Sakon Nakhon, Lampang and Buri Ram to handle more passengers within the next five years.
During the initial facility-upgrading plan, the Department of Airports also plans to introduce free Wi-Fi service in all of its 27 airports within April of next year.
Bangkok among tops for expats
Bangkok is listed among the 10 best cities for expats, according to the Expat City Ranking 2018.
The result was based on the Expat Insider survey conducted by InterNations, the largest expat community worldwide. It had 11,966 responses from 55 countries. The survey asked expats to rank the cities in 25 aspects, such as quality of living, getting settled, work life, finance and housing.
The top city is Taipei. The survey found that expats gave Taipei the best rankings for quality of living. They are happy with the local transportation system, safety in the city, cost of living and friendliness of the people.
The second place is Singapore, followed by Manama in Bahrain, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Aachen in Germany, Prague, Madrid, and Muscat.
Although Bangkok is ranked 5th in the global list, expats are not happy with the low quality of the urban environment. They, however, gave Bangkok thumbs up for the second-best city for finance and housing.
The survey also reported the worst city for expats, which is Riyadh, followed by Jeddah, Rome, Stockholm, London, Paris, Dublin, Stuttgart, Johannesburg and Milan.
More solo Thai travellers
The number of solo Thai travellers has increased during the past two years, according to Visa's Global Travel Intentions Study.
The research examined international travel trends and the behaviour of 17,500 global travellers from 27 countries including, Thailand. It found that 28% of Thais travelled alone, ahead of the global (24%) and Asia-Pacific (23%) averages.
Those who like to travel solo are aged 18-24, while travellers aged 36-44 years old are the most likely to travel with family and friends.
"The development of technology allows travellers the ability to take trip planning and booking into their own hands. In addition, payment technologies and innovations also give them greater convenience, security and confidence to spend during their time abroad," said Visa Thailand country manager Suripong Tantiyanon.
The top three activities for Thai travellers are tours and attractions, food and dining, and shopping. Thais also like to visit cultural locales, theme parks and religious sites.
For food, Thai travellers opt for eating at local casual and small restaurants and street food. For shopping, Thai travellers like venues that have a range of brands and products like duty-free shopping at destination airports, large and medium retailers, and small retailers.
Thai Airways has opened a new office in Stockholm, after having offered direct flights between Bangkok and Stockholm for 32 years.
It expects that the new office will make it more convenient for customers to contact the airline.
Meanwhile, THAI Catering has recently signed a memorandum of understanding with PTT Oil and Retail Business to sell its food and pastries at Café Amazon. The collaboration is a co-branding joint venture for product development, expansion of distribution channels, manufacturing-technology co-operation and brand-image promotion.
Five coffee outlets of Café Amazon have offered THAI Catering baked goods since May of this year. It will add 12 branches by the end of the year.
HOTEL DEALS AND UPDATE
- Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok plans to renovate its River Wing.
The hotel will enlarge the guest rooms so the overall number of rooms in the River Wing will be reduced from 338 to 301, while the number of suites will increase from 30 to 46. The hotel will also renovate the lobby, swimming pools, Lord Jim’s, The Verandah and Riverside Terrace.
All guests rooms and facilities in the Authors’ and Garden Wings, located in separate buildings to the River Wing, will remain open throughout the renovation period.
The project will begin in March 2019 and is expected to take seven months to complete.
- Manathai hotels offer 50% discounts on all rooms in its three properties in Khao Lak, Phuket and Koh Samui.
Until Dec 23, guests who book through the hotel website will receive daily breakfast, an offer to upgrade to the next available room category and 25% off for food and drinks.
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