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Critics, academics blast “worst auction ever” and low 3G prices. Anti-government senators to drag rice-buying program back to court.
Obama-Romney debate today for tight US election. Hillary takes blame for Libya terrorism. Malala recovery likely. Iran rejects EU pressure for nuke talks.
– ITB ASIA: Held from October 17-19 at the iconic Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Already Asia’s most important travel and tourism event, bringing together leaders in tourism from 120 countries.
– KUWAIT-THAI: Thailand’s bilateral trade relations with Kuwait have improved, with a 185% growth in trade and other domains over the last five years, Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday. “This forum will reinforce bilateral cooperation between Thailand and Kuwait,” Yingluck said in a speech before the “Strengthening Kuwait-Thailand Business Partnerships” forum. This event is part of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) two-day summit due to begin today.
Thailand is a very attractive country, as its economy continues to grow despite the global economic crisis, and that is due to strong financial institutions that stimulated domestic consumption as the main factor for growth, the Thai premier noted. “Among our economic policy is a plan to invest US$70 billion in vital projects like infrastructure and railways, as well as developing our international airport in order for Thailand to become of Asia’s economic centers,” she pointed out.
In this connection, Yingluck said that potential areas of Thai interest in Kuwait include the agro-food industry, energy, jewelry, construction, tourism – with emphasis on medical tourism – as well as finance, banking, and the capital fund sector. Thailand and Kuwait have long enjoyed close and cordial relations. HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited Thailand in 2006 to celebrate the occasion of His Majesty the King’s 60th anniversary of accession to the throne. In addition, there has been exchange of visits between the two countries on a continuous basis.
Yingluck referred to the fact that during the first half of 2012, approximately 40,000 Kuwaiti tourists visited Thailand, an increase of 20 percent over the same period in 2011, whereby visits were either family-oriented, for honeymooning, or for medical tourism.
The ACD is to officially kick off on the leaders’ level today at Bayan Palace. Preparatory meetings on the levels of senior officials and foreign ministers of the 32 member countries already took place and resulted in adopting the ACD final communique (Kuwait Declaration), which is to be forwarded for the leaders’ summit for ratification. Acclaimed for being the initiator of the ACD concept in 2001, Thailand, a founding member of the gathering, will host the second ACD Summit in 2015. Its Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul is ACD’s General Coordinator.
– THAI ARRIVALS: It’s official! We’ve been saying this for many months… Thailand is likely to achieve over its official target, attracting 20+ million international tourists this year, the Tourism and Sports Ministry said. Permanent Secretary Suwat Sidthilaw said the number of international tourist arrivals in Thailand this year had reached 15.96 million as of September 2012, an 8.69 percent year-on-year increase.
– MEDICAL TOURISM: A cardiac treatment in India or Thailand could save an American patient roughly 80 percent of what it would cost at home. Increasingly, insurers (especially self-insured firms) are providing medical tourism options in their plans as a way to cut their own costs, at least where permitted to do so by existing law.
The word “tourism” is surprisingly apt.
“One of the big hospitals in Bangkok, Thailand, looks more like a four-star conference hotel instead of a hospital.”
Researchers are often shocked by the large amounts of money involved in medical tourism and how many people in the field are “out to make a quick buck.”
At medical tourism conferences, researchers are surprised at how many people are in marketing. It seems like an industry much more dominated by business and marketing people rather than health care people.
– PAN PACIFIC BKK: Pan Pacific Hotels Group is set to rebuild its profile in Thailand in five years including with a new format, Parkroyal.
“We are actively working on it in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok as the hub, also key tourism cities like Phuket, Hua Hin, and Chiang Mai,” Patrick Imbardelli, President and Chief Executive Officer, said.
The international hotel chain is now only operating the 148-key Pan Pacific Services Suites Bangkok on Sukhumvit Soi 55 after its management contract with Ramaland Development for the 241-room Pan Pacific Bangkok ended two years ago. This hotel was renamed the Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park.
Imbardelli said that in the long term, Thailand was attractive with a strong economy, diversified business platforms, and the largest consumption market in Southeast Asia.
– VINTAGE CAR RALLY HUA HIN: Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin (a member of the Leading in cooperation with Hua Hin Municipality and with the support of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, and leading five-star hotels in Hua Hin, is organizing the Hua Hin Automobile Concours 2012, which will take place December 14-16, 2012.
The event this year is dedicated to Thailand’s 3 auspicious occasions, the 85th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol, the 80th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, and the 60th birthday of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, all of which fall in 2012.
The aim of this year’s event is also to assist in creating destination awareness, throughout Thailand and abroad, as well as displaying the charming classic and vintage cars.
Among the many vintage cars that will take part will be Police General Niyom Karnjanawat’s Hub Mobile 1914, the only one in Asia. Sawad Hohrungrueng will present his Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster 1955, Pot Vijittanont his Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gull-wing 1955, and Witthawat Sawad-Chutoh his Ferrari Dino 246 GTS 1974.
Fifty classic and vintage cars will take part in the parade which will also feature period costumes and a car contest. There will also be a jazz concert on the beach on Saturday, December 15.
– PATTAYA DEATH: South African tourist Jonathan Osborn Koch, 43, fatally shot himself at a Pattaya Beach Road shooting range with a 9 mm pistol. A similar suicide happened with another tourist last year at the shooting range.
– OZO PATTAYA: Thailand-based Onyx Hospitality Group has announced plans to bring its Ozo budget brand to the resort town of Pattaya. The 170-room Ozo Pattaya will be located in the centre of the eastern Thai destination and will feature a rooftop swimming pool and restaurant, fitness facility, and snack bar.