Thailand Bulletin For Friday, July 13
Roundup of Thailand news with AJW
BANGKOK BRIEF: It's Friday the 13th at the Constitution Court. Korkaew criticized by foes and friends for anti-court threat.
WORLD SUMMARY: UK beefs up Olympics troops. US, China to work on China Sea spats. US tightens sanctions on Iran. Ex-ambassador urges Syrians to "turn guns on" Assad.
COURT POLICE: Hundreds of police are expected to surround Thailand's Constitutional Court Friday as the country braces for a crunch ruling that threatens to rip open bitter political divisions. The court is set to rule on whether plans by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's party to amend the constitution, drawn up under the military junta that deposed her brother Thaksin , are legal or not.
COURT RULING: PM Yingluck calls on all parties to peacefully wait for the Constitution Court's ruling on constitutionality of the charter amendment bill. Meanwhile Pheu Thai Party list-MP and United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD Red Shirt) co-leader Korkaew Pikulthong has come under fire for directing hostile remarks at judges in the Constitution Court ahead of today's ruling.
TODAY: Weather - 32C; Wet, Hot, Humid; Euro:US 1.2191; Euro:Baht 38.77; SET Index: 1193
SMART MARKETING - ORBITZ: In recent weeks, the online travel company, Orbitz, has been in the news for supposedly directing Mac users to more expensive hotels than PC users.
If Mac users have deeper pockets than PC users, is it really a discriminatory pricing “scandal” if they are targeted with advertisements of high-end hotels? Or is it in fact good business practice and something that travel companies should be making much more of?
So Orbitz is using predictive software to better target its customers. And by doing so it had discovered, for example, that Mac users are more likely to book 4- or 5-star hotels and that families traveling with children are likely to book different hotels than couples.
Such practices are certainly not new. Amazon has been using collaborative filtering for many years to personalize shopping recommendations, based not only on past purchase history, but also on similarities in purchasing behavior among groups of like-minded consumers. If Customer A likes Product 1 and Product 2, then Customer B, who likes Product 1, may also like Product 2, and so on.
Selling the right rooms to the right customer at the right time for the right price is the very definition of revenue management in hospitality. I do not see anything out of line in Orbitz targeting a customer segment that is perceived as more upscale with more upscale hotel properties. Is this new? Not really, for example high-end luxury travel suppliers and intermediaries advertise in the American Express magazine for platinum and gold card members.
There are very smart travel suppliers that are targeting the right customer at the right time for the right price. The same applies to some OTAs. It’s a very competitive market out there, and only the smartest digital marketers will survive.
Many more travel companies should and could be following in their footsteps.
With the proliferation of electronic distribution channels in travel and hospitality, there are a wealth of opportunities for travel marketers. In fact not why not target iPad users with a suite special versus a room special tomorrow?
RADISSON BLU: Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, the world's 10th biggest hotel operator in terms of room ,will open a Radisson Blu hotel in Bangkok next year and one in Hua Hin in 2015, complementing the Radisson Blu Plaza Resort, Phuket.
SINGAPORE EXPORTS: Singapore’s economy shrank last quarter as manufacturing fell, adding to signs of a deepening slowdown in Asian expansion as Europe's debt crisis curbs demand for the region’s goods.
Gross domestic product fell an annualized 1.1 percent in the 3 months through June from the previous quarter, when it climbed 9.4 percent.
IMF: The head of the International Monetary Fund has praised Thailand for its economic resilience and “V-shaped” recovery, while cautioning Asean not to rush into a single currency like Europe did. "We see a very positive outlook," Christine Lagarde said.
THAI EDUCATION: The Office for National Education Standards and Quality Assessment said it had certified only 5,690 of the 7,985 basic educational institutes it assessed.
HILLARY: Addressing a regional forum in the Cambodian capital, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton studiously avoided using either Myanmar or Burma during a speech in which she lauded the reforms there that “few dared would come.”
YAHOO HACKED: Yahoo is investigating an apparent security breach which has led to more than 450,000 email addresses and passwords being leaked online. Users are advised to change their passwords today.
THE ROLLING STONES: Rock veterans, The Rolling Stones, spent the night together as they celebrated half a century since their first gig. The band, sporting a few more wrinkles than on their debut exactly 50 years ago, embraced and partied as they marked their milestone.