Bangkok is second most-visited

Bangkok at sunset. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Bangkok is listed as the second most-visited city this year, according to the Top 100 City Destinations 2018 of the global market research company Euromonitor International.

The result was based on the number of international tourist arrivals, counted as any person visiting another country for at least 24 hours, for a period not exceeding 12 months. Each arrival is counted separately and includes people travelling more than once a year and people visiting several cities during one trip.

While global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 5% to 1.4 billion trips in 2018, arrivals to this year's top 100 city destinations are set to grow by 7.5%, outperforming global arrivals growth, according to the research.

The ranking shows that Hong Kong is the top city destination, followed by Bangkok, London, Singapore, Macau, Paris, Dubai, New York City, Kuala Lumpur and Shenzhen.

"Asia continues its rise, accounting for 41 out of the top 100 cities globally in 2018, in comparison to 37 cities in 2012, with cities in Japan and India standing out for their strong growth in international arrivals," said Euromonitor International Travel research consultant Wouter Geerts.

Cities in the Middle East and Africa region, on the other hand, have dropped out of the ranking in the past few years, mainly due to terrorist attacks and subsequent slumping demand. In contrast, strong growth was registered by Turkish cities, as the country rebounded from a turbulent 2016.

Beside Bangkok, four other Thai cities are listed in the top 100 most visited city destinations, including Phuket (11th), Pattaya (25th), Chiang Mai (64th) and Krabi (100th). Other cities in Southeast Asia on the list include Denpasar in Indonesia (33rd), Johor Bahru in Malaysia (37th), Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (39th), Hanoi (51st), Ha Long Bay (53rd), Jakarta (60th), Penang Island (66th), Phnom Penh (69th), Siem Reap (86th) and Batam in Indonesia (97th).


Ethical elephant tours

The first ever Elephant Travel Mart 2018 will kick off tomorrow in Chiang Mai's Muang district.

Organised by Save Elephant Foundation and Asian Elephant Projects, the event will bring together 40 ethical elephant tour operators and tour agencies in Thailand and neighbouring countries including Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia to promote ethical elephant tours.

Visitors will have a chance to shop for programmes that are sustainable and make the well-being of elephants a priority. The event will be organised in the afternoon starting from 1-5pm at Khum Khantoke in the city of Chiang Mai.

Call Save Elephant Foundation at 053-272-855.


- Bangkok Airways will launch its first direct flight from Bangkok to Nha Trang, a coastal resort city in southern Vietnam, on Jan 25.

The airline will fly with a 144-seater Airbus A319 aircraft. The service will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

The outbound flight will depart Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 10.20 am and will arrive Cam Rahn International Airport at 12.05pm. The inbound flight will depart Nha Trang at 12.55pm and will arrive Bangkok at 2.40pm.

To promote the new route, the airline offers an all-inclusive round-trip fare starting from 5,915 baht.


- Thai Lion Air has launched daily flight from Bangkok to Tokyo.

The flight is operated with Airbus A330 with premium economy class offering flat beds and in-flight entertainment.

The flight departs Don Mueang International Airport at 1am and arrive Narita International Airport at 9.10am. The return flight from Tokyo is 11am and the arrival time in Bangkok is 4.15pm.

The airline also plans to launch direct flights from Bangkok to Nagoya on Jan 16. The service will be available on every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

The flight will depart Bangkok at 7.45am and arrive Nagoya at 3.45pm. The return trip will depart Nagoya at 5.15pm and will arrive Bangkok at 9.50pm.

The promotion price for a one-way, all-in-fare ticket to Nagoya starts at 4,055 baht.



- Devasom Khao Lak Beach Resort & Villas will be opened on Dec 24.

Located on a 19 rai site on Kheuk Khak beach in Phangnga, the newly built resort features 69 rooms including pool suites and beachfront villas. The space of the rooms range from 54m² for Seaside Grand Deluxe room to 430m² for Devasom Sky Villa with two bedrooms and a private pool.

The resort offers two restaurants, beach bar, spa, swimming pools, 24-hour fitness centre and kids' club.

It also provides free shuttle service to and from Khao Lak town three times a day.


- Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, plans to renovate rooms and facilities in its River Wing.

The wing will remain open until the project starts in March next year. The award-winning designer, Jeffrey Wilkes of Design Wilkes, has been appointed to oversee the interiors, which will feature updated amenities, Thai fabrics, crafted furniture and reconditioned artwork from the hotel's collection.

The hotel's Lobby, Lord Jim's, The Verandah and Riverside Terrace restaurants will also be renewed, with many original features restored and reinstated.

The renovation is expected to be completed in October 2019.


- Dusit Thani Hua Hin has launch a New Year package.

The promotion include two-nights accommodation with complimentary daily breakfast, two tickets to the New Year's Eve Gala Dinner with mini concert by Panadda Ruangwut renowned Thai artist and free shuttle van service to Hua Hin city.

Prices start from 21,900 baht per room for the two night stay on Dec 30 to Jan 1.


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