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According to data from the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index, Thailand, which has traditionally been the hottest outbound destination for many Singapore travellers, has in the past six months been overtaken by Hong Kong, becoming the most popular destination abroad. Despite the recent political turmoil in Thailand, Bangkok is still proving to be a destination hotspot for Singapore travellers – with the capital city only falling one spot to become the second most popular overseas destination. The findings also revealed vast opportunities across Thailand’s wide array of beach resorts, as tourists increasingly opt for beach getaways away from the capital. In fact, for the first time, Krabi (19th) entered the running as one of the Top 20 destinations abroad for travellers from Singapore. Tokyo experienced the biggest fall in the Top 10 list, taking a three-step tumble from third position to sixth. Taking its place was Taipei and Seoul, which rose one and two spots respectively to inch their way into the Top 5 destinations for travellers from Singapore. “Looking ahead, we expect Taipei and Seoul to maintain their positions as top overseas destinations for travellers from Singapore, especially as these cities continue with their aggressive marketing initiatives,” said Katherine Cole, Regional Director, ANZ & Singapore for the Hotels.com brand. The results also showed that Penang experienced the greatest jump within the list, leaping four spots to enter the Top 10. “Penang has definitely regained its appeal as an ideal destination for Singapore travellers over the past year, especially with its heritage attractions and rising popularity as a food city,” said Cole. “As travellers increasingly look to the UNESCO heritage site as a viable short-haul destination, we are also seeing more Singaporeans taking advantage of the long weekends to make a short trip up.” The Hotel Price Index is based on bookings made on Hotels.com sites around the world. - AsiaTravelTips
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Tuesday 2 September 2014, 02:13PM
BANGKOK: Kobkarn Wattanavragkul, 54, has been named Minister of Tourism and Sports in the new Cabinet selected by Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-Ocha. Ms Kobkarn is chairperson of Toshiba Thailand, a joint venture her parents started in 1969 with Toshiba Corporation, with the latter holding 45% of the equity. Mrs Kobkarn is often described in the glossy pages of lifestyle and society magazines, such a Thailand Tatler, as an “Artist of Business”. She is also well known as a campaigner for stamping out corruption in the private sector. In an interview with the Bangkok Post a year ago, she said, “Corruption in this country has gone beyond the level that we can accept. Ms Kobkarn said she draws her anti-graft campaign inspiration from Dusit Nontanakorn, the late former chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Charnchai Charuvastr, the late former president and chief executive of the Thai Institute of Directors (Thai IOD). The men were pioneers in private sector graft busting. Dusit and Charnchai initiated Thailand’s Private Sector Collective Action Coalition against Corruption (CAC) in 2010. There has been considerable discussion about “tea money” accounting for 30 per cent of the value of some state projects contracted to various companies. Ms Kobkarn said she thought the figure might be even higher. “We can’t sit back and be the silent majority who look the other way,” she said. Ms Kobkarn held various management posts in the family’s joint venture, Toshiba Thailand Co Ltd, including advertising manager, before moving up the ladder to take on the role of chairperson. Active in business, education, art and a member of Thailand’s elite hi-so, she has won awards and accolades for her contributions to art and community service. She is married to Pol Maj Gen Chonnasit Wattanavrangkul, who for a short time was provincial police commander in Phuket. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s cabinet list was officially announced on Sunday (August 31) after it was endorsed by HM the King and published in the Royal Gazette. See original story here.
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