Beefing up hotel standards through new benchmark
Pimmara Intrawityanunt, daughter of former deputy prime minister Pitak Intrawityanunt, wants to raise the standards of the Thai hotel and travel industry.
Pimmara, 28, is editor-in-chief of Anywhere travel magazine and executive director of Magic Productions, which was set up by her mother Panprapa in 1982 and publishes Kinnaree, the in-flight magazine for Thai Airways.
"I believe in our capability to create a benchmark for hotels to benefit our readers," said Pimmara.
Pimmara graduated from the faculty of arts of Chulalongkorn University in 1997. She has worked as a presenter on Today News on UBC's News Channel and hosted the news show on INN Radio from 1999 to 2001.
She founded Anywhere in 2002.
"We have currently more than 10,000 subscribers," said Pimmara, saying that more than 50 per cent of these have master's degrees and an average income of more than Bt50,000 a month. They travel on average 10 times a year.
"We offer more than just the basic information on destinations and instead try to satisfy our readers' lifestyle demands.
"We also cover other activities like home decoration," said Pimmara, who says the monthly magazine has a circulation of 40,000.
An English-language version of Anywhere will be launched later this year.
"I have seen a change in the Thai travel industry, as consumers become more selective in finding accommodation that fits their style. They will consider the promotion campaign launched by each hotel and what services they have to offer," said Pimmara.
She said Magic Productions was looking to expand into other formats, such as terrestrial and cable television and going online.
The magazine's second travel awards recently rewarded the best hotels, resorts and spas in the Kingdom.
"We want to reflect the view of our readers towards those hotels and spas and create the benchmark to lift the standard of the Thai travel industry," said Pimmara.
Anywhere named the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai the best luxury resort.
The best urban hotel award went to the Oriental Bangkok and the best spa was Chiva Som in Hua Hin. The Banyan Tree in Bangkok was named the best urban spa.
Promoting itself as a hill resort, Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort and Spa in Chiang Rai recently won in the "small and stylish" hotel category.
"We want to promote ourselves to be cottages for the rich, providing the best five-star services," Phu Chaisai's sales manager Bussara Pupatanakul said.
Located in Mae Salong Nai in Mae Chan district of Chang Rai, the Phu Chaisai has been operating for almost four years.
"Almost all our 200 staff are from the area or hill-tribes in Chiang Rai, often the Akha and Thai Yai. They welcome our visitors as if the hotel was their own home," said Bussara.
"They have been trained in how to treat their guests and make them happy. Good service is our priority," she said.