Tourism News

Tourism News Phuketwan Tourism News
facebook recommendations


Sign up now for our News Alert emails and the latest breaking news plus new features.

Click to subscribe

Existing subscribers can unsubscribe here


Anantara offers seabedded bliss with underwater weddings

'Superstar Search' as Thai Resorts Fight Back

Wednesday, May 6, 2009
BE THE next ibis superstar. Or should that be Ibis Superstar? Marry underwater, or snaffle a ''lazy break'' at a discount price . . .

Resorts on Phuket and elsewhere are reacting to troubled times with all kinds of novel ideas to boost profiles and business, and lower prices.

As one brand says, it's all part of ''May Madness.''

With so much uncertainty, lower prices are one certain way to restore consumer confidence. But how low will they go?

The ''Search for the Ibis Idol 2009'' has just begun, with contestants having the ''chance to win the experience of a lifetime as the new face of the ibis brand in Thailand, plus 100 free ibis hotel stays to win by competition voters.''

What's on offer, say ibis idol promoters, are ''fashion shoots, personal portfolios, trips abroad, DJ-ing and free hotel stays is just one click away at''

Anyone aged 17-35 ''with the right look, style and personality to represent the new generation for the ibis Hotel Thailand brand, is welcomed to get online and complete the entry with introductory photos or a video clip.

''The winner of ibis idol 2009 will live the dreams of millions with a year long, trendy lifestyle which includes a trip to Korea for two, a year of free accommodation at ibis hotels across Thailand and the star role in a professional photo shoot to create a personal fashion portfolio.

Taking its lead from reality tv, much as the Australian tourism ''Best Job in the World'' also did recently, the competition will involve online entries and voting.

The ibis idol 2009 winner will also enjoy a one month stint as a ''superstar VJ Rookie on Channel V'' and a monthly salary of 10,000 baht for a year.

''Like all ibis customers who enjoy a fun and friendly stay at affordable price, the winner will experience fame and a cool lifestyle with ibis Hotel Thailand.''

There, Phuketwan has done its bit to promote the competition, even though it discriminates against those under 17 and those over 35. Thailand's culture, fortunately, remains one of the least ageist in the world.

Details of the ibis idol 2009 competition can be found at

we remain puzzled why some resort brands have taken the constantly confusing lower case route while others scream for attention, all in capital letters.

Established in 1974, ''ibis is the European leader and one of the first economy hotel chains in the world, with nearly 90,000 rooms and 790 hotels in 39 countries, including five in Thailand.''

There's one in Patong on Phuket, with another on the way.

Thai brand Centara is also stumping for customers, offering ''a selection of special rates exclusively for members of the travel industry.''

This usually means the rate applies to everybody.

''We really want the industry to see for themselves just what great value Thailand is, and that everything is back to normal,'' Chris Bailey, Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, is quoted as saying.

Rates start at just 999 baht a night for ''a double room with Buffet Breakfast included'' (strange how Buffet Breakfast deserves capitals but the whole ibis brand does not).

''So whether you fancy a lazy break on the paradise island of Samui, a visit to that old favourite Phuket, the charm of Hua Hin, 'newly discovered' Trat, a browse round the markets of Chiang Mai or an exciting break in bustling Bangkok, Centara Hotels & Resorts has it all.

''And with Krabi, Mae Sot and Hat Yai participating too you may be tempted to stay longer than planned!''

For just one baht more, you can stay at a Millennium Hotel where 1000 room nights from 1000 baht are going at the five-star Grand Millennium Sukhumvit Bangkok and Millennium Resort Patong Phuket.

Packages are available online at from now until June 15.

Special rates are valid for a maximum two-night stay and include a 30-minute massage. Additional room nights are also discounted.

At the very top end, Anantara, which recently opened a Phuket resort at Mai Khao, is now promoting weddings underwater for divers and non-divers, who can undergo a lesson before the wedding at no extra charge.

''A wedding is a once-life-time experience that every bride and groom wants to be unforgettable, unique, amorous and special.

''Anantara Koh Samui presents couples with an amazing underwater wedding location full of coral and of course colourful fish as the witnesses!''

We are holding our breath to see what kinds of interesting offers come next.

MediaWATCH: PM Tells All on 'Mob' to NY Times
Latest Thailand's Prime Minister has chosen to give his first detailed account of the attack on his life and the street mob crisis to an international newspaper, the New York Times.
MediaWATCH: PM Tells All on 'Mob' to NY Times

Phuket Cruise Ship Check: Three Held in Flu Alert
Latest Health authorities on Phuket also have responsibility to check seaborne arrivals, with concerns about swine flu still riding high and three new quarantine cases in Thailand
Phuket Cruise Ship Check: Three Held in Flu Alert

Wanted: More Phuket Risk-Takers, and Money
Opinion The campaign on the Great Barrier Reef for ''The Best Job in the World'' would have worked ideally on Phuket. The island needs great ideas of similar quality, and financial support.
Wanted: More Phuket Risk-Takers, and Money

Phuket Begins Climb to Asean Summit Success
It's Official Ready, set, go. The race has begun to ready the island and its people for a Asean Plus Six summit, plus spinoff benefits. The island's profile and income should gain a boost.
Phuket Begins Climb to Asean Summit Success

A Phuket Village: Lasting Pearl With More Wine
Photo Album Pearl of Naithon investors and owners often gather to drink to each other's good judgment in choosing a quiet village beach that will never be overwhelmed or undervalued.
A Phuket Village: Lasting Pearl With More Wine

Phuket Summertime Summit: Photo Special
Photo Album They came, they saw, they shared a drink or two, and talked about the weather. That was the Summertime Summit, languid and relaxed as a summer's day.
Phuket Summertime Summit: Photo Special

Phuket Light Rail Plan Starts on 52b Baht Track
Latest Many ideas have been suggested down the years for Phuket's transport needs. Now a Singapore based private investment group suggests a light rail network.
Phuket Light Rail Plan Starts on 52b Baht Track

Airlines Liftoff Gives Phuket Fresh Flying Start
Latest Gloom and despondency should start to lift with the launch of a new air service to Malaysia and the opening of another branded airlines store in Patong.
Airlines Liftoff Gives Phuket Fresh Flying Start

Phuket Three Stars 'Will Face Pricing Pressure'
Latest Three star resorts face competition from four and five stars in the months ahead, says a leading politician. And a top lawyer gives his appraisal of the Songkran Skirmish.
Phuket Three Stars 'Will Face Pricing Pressure'

Cape Sienna Phuket Captures Chic City Hearts
Take the Tour Where the sea meets city chic just about sums up Cape Sienna, a stylish new addition to Millionaire's Mile in Kamala that is already attracting locals, too.
Cape Sienna Phuket Captures Chic City Hearts


Comments have been disabled for this article.

Friday June 21, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


Facebook Twitter