Beaches still a top holiday travel draw for Thailand

Learn how Thailand's beach hotels are delighting holiday-goers with the right upgrades and innovations.

Beaches still a top holiday travel draw for Thailand

A beach holiday in Thailand can almost be a cliché, except that beaches in the Land of Smiles are still the proverbial magnet for travellers and holiday-seekers. As hotels and resorts continue to upgrade and innovate, Thailand’s beaches appear to have lost none of their lustre.

International arrivals to Thailand in 2018 hit 38.27 million, a 7.5% increase over 2017. The Chinese market led East Asian visitor arrivals, accounting for 26 million of the total. Arrivals from Europe were up 3.9% to 6.76 million while the Americas registered 1.6 million arrivals, up 3.8%.

Admittedly, Chinese arrivals dropped last year after a series of safety incidents. In response, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) have collaborated with other government agencies to improve safety standards and change perceptions about the destination.

Arrivals during Chinese New Year this year indicate that the campaign is gaining traction. The Thai Hotels Association reported that the occupancy rate in Phuket during the week of Lunar New Year reached close to 90%, and the Chinese New Year festival alone was expected to generate up to four billion baht in revenues, according to TAT’s Phuket office.

Consistently adding value for visitors

Thailand’s vast offerings of beach destinations offer great value for families and couples alike.

Thailand’s vast offerings of beach destinations offer great value for families and couples alike.

Thailand’s vast offerings of beach destinations offer great value for families and couples alike.

Although Bangkok was still the top choice to visit in Thailand, a beach holiday to Phuket, Pattaya, or Krabi was never a second option. The allure of sandy beaches of five-star resorts—this usually means nature with all the modern amenities—is one of the major attractions of Thailand’s beaches. But so, too, is the value-for-money proposition: Thailand’s beach destinations are acknowledged as offering the better bang for the buck.

Hotels and resorts in Thailand’s beach destinations continue to work on keeping tourists inspired enough to visit. For instance, most beach hotels and resorts have accommodations designed for families.

However, besides size considerations such as family residences or guestrooms with two double beds, forward-thinking brands like Centara’s properties have been tweaking their designs. Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi offers furnished balconies and terraces on all its rooms and suites just to give guests that homey feeling.

Step out to a pool right in front of your balcony when you stay in a Deluxe Pool Access room at the Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi.

Step out to a pool right in front of your balcony when you stay in a Deluxe Pool Access room at the Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi.

Step out to a pool right in front of your balcony when you stay in a Deluxe Pool Access room at the Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi.

Aside from Deluxe Pool View rooms, the property also has Deluxe Pool Access rooms with two double beds that are ideal for families. For more space, the Family Suite Pool View features a living room and separate children’s area.

Resorts and hotels are also consistently focused on generating growth hand-in-hand with the rest of the travel industry. For one, tour operators see potential in booking family holidays to beach destinations. With a wide array of activities to offer the family, hotels and resorts in destinations like Phuket and Samui are keen on making a footprint in the holiday travel market.

Fun for kids means fun for the family

Water parks are amenities that provide full enjoyment for families.

Water parks are amenities that provide full enjoyment for families.

Water parks are amenities that provide full enjoyment for families.

Denis Thouvard, General Manager, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya, says they have been successful in tapping the family holiday market (the property is, after all, acknowledged as Thailand’s top family hotel). And the reason is simple: making kids’ interests a priority.

“We put the kids’ interests, expectations, and well-being at the top of our daily priorities. The property has geared its amenities for the full enjoyment of families,” Thouvard says. The property, for instance, has a Kids’ Club, an extensive water park, and family-friendly residences. Come this June, families can look forward to the Lost World Adventure Land: a new activity haven featuring cookery, arts and crafts activities, and thrilling trampolines, ziplines and sky rides.

An Aerial View of the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya.

An Aerial View of the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya.

An Aerial View of the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya.

Centara’s other properties like the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi, the Centara Karon Resort Phuket, the Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi, and the brand new Centara Ao Nang Beach Resort & Spa Krabi (opening in September 2019) also have Kids’ Clubs with Camp Safaris and E-Zones.

Other features have been put in place to make the properties more appealing to family holiday guests: Centara Ao Nang, for instance, has an elevated beachfront swimming pool with a panoramic view of the sea. It is also located on the more reticent area of Ao Nang Beach. Centara Karon Resort Phuket and Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi also have waterslides for kids, a “must-have” for a certified fun-filled family holiday, as well as babysitting services that are available on request.

Game rooms such as this at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya keep kids actively engaged, a key ingredient in a good family holiday.

Game rooms such as this at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya keep kids actively engaged, a key ingredient in a good family holiday.

Game rooms such as this at the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya keep kids actively engaged, a key ingredient in a good family holiday.

Keeping kids actively engaged—pleasantly occupied as parents would put it—is also a key to a good family holiday. Water sports, for instance, are a big thing with kids: Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui offers kayaking, windsurfing, and windsailing. Game rooms, complimentary Wi-fi, and smart TVs are now staple features in the chain’s beach properties.

Immersion in stunning nature and vibrant local communities

Get whisked away to a landscape of sandy beaches and lush nature at the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi.

Get whisked away to a landscape of sandy beaches and lush nature at the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi.

Get whisked away to a landscape of sandy beaches and lush nature at the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi.

Experiential travel isn’t limited to adults: more and more families are seeking holiday activities that expose young ones to different environments and cultures. Christie Holmes, co-founder and managing partner and principal of tour operator Global CommUnity, says they provide families with the tools they need to help their children become “global citizens.”

Global CommUnity works with local non-profits that educate travellers about what they're doing to solve common community problems that range from ecological sustainability to preserving cultural practices.

For Centara, family travel is rewarding for the local community as well as travel agents who invest in this market. “Family travel is about rest and recreation together. But it is also really all about educating the future generations, the children, about the environment and how to love and preserve nature,” says Michael Gaarde, General Manager, Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi.

He explained that with thoughtfully developed accommodations, local communities benefit from increased revenues from families.

“It holds especially true for Centara, with our beach properties that are located in pristine natural settings.

While we provide the amenities to make it enjoyable for kids and their parents, there’s a trickle-down effect that helps everyone, all stakeholders,” Gaarde said.

Centara

This article was brought to you by Centara Hotels & Resorts.