If I was on a day trip

NTO executives in the region tell TTG Asia how they would spend the day off in their destinations


“In the morning, I would go to the Taling Chan Floating Market for a tour of the canals and the temples on the Thon Buri side of Bangkok. Lunch would be at an old restaurant called Wang Burapha Noodles, then coffee at On Wok Yun. In the afternoon, I would head to Chatuchak Weekend Market and Or Tor Kor Market for some shopping. I would have street food for dinner, and end my day with a traditional Khon performance at Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre.”

Suraphon Svetasreni
Tourism Authority of Thailand



“I would try to spend that time with my family in Bohol. As a matter of fact, I own a small farm there, where we used to plant mangoes.

Bohol is a centre for culture and adventure, with many historical churches and great scenery. There’s so much to do there: diving in Balicasag, seeing my ‘cousins’, the tarsiers, and my ‘nephews’, the whalesharks!

Seriously though, I’d probably do a little birdwatching in the morning, curl up in bed for a while and read a book, then go out and soak up a bit of sun or go out for a scenic drive around the island. I have lots of friends in Bohol and a relative who owns the beautiful Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa. Visiting Bohol would also be a good chance to brush up on my Visayan-speaking skills.”

Domingo Ramon ‘Chicoy’  Enerio III
Philippine Tourism Promotions Board



“I would like to go back to Penang as that was my birthplace and I have very fond childhood memories of the island city. Today, Penang has become one of the most developed resort islands in Malaysia.

While holidaying in Penang, I would sleep in, enjoy authentic Penang food and catch up with old friends and on my reading.”

Azizan Noordin
Deputy director general
Tourism Malaysia



“I am a big-time foodie so I love to search for new tastes in town whenever I get a break from work. There are tens of thousands of eateries offering some of the world’s best cuisines, with new ones popping up every now and then, so I am never short of choices.

Another thing I do on holiday is hiking in the suburbs. Believe it or not, most of Hong Kong’s land area is actually rural! Some of the most breathtaking scenery in the region is a mere hiking boots’ throw away from the teeming city centre. What’s more, Hong Kong is so compact that you can get to these places within 30 minutes via public transport. After stretching your legs, there is no better way to end the day than with a feast, whether it is seafood in a fishing village or al fresco dining by the beach.”

Anthony Lau
Executive director
Hong Kong Tourism Board



“I like to spend my holidays in Yeosu and Namhae coast (in the south). The Namhae coast is well known for the beautiful scenery of its maritime park, natural ecology and culinary culture. It is also where the 2012 Expo was held.

Whenever I go there, I feel really relaxed. I usually take a cruise around the maritime park, and the grand, naturally formed rocks are a wonderful sight. A walk in the ecological park in Suncheonman Bay makes me feel completely refreshed.

Next year, I plan to go to the Garden Expo in Suncheonman Bay. It runs from April to October, which is the perfect time to enjoy the changing seasons and colours of nature. From the greenery in warm and sunny spring to the beautiful foliage in autumn, the scenery will be amazing.”

Jeong-bo Shim
Executive vice president for marketing
Korea Tourism Organization



“I like seeing new things and trying local foods. Depending on the number of days I have, I would like to travel to destinations in Indonesia I have not been to before. There are so many!

But if I had only one day, I would spend it in Jakarta and the surrounding areas like Bogor, Tangerang and Banten. Cuisine is an important part of tourism, and also an interest of mine. I would ask someone who knows the area to take me around.”

Mari Elka Pangetsu
Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy Indonesia



“Sydney? That’s an obvious one – climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It should be on everyone’s bucket list.

For Queensland, I would take a chopper ride out of Cairns or Hamilton or Hayman Island in the Whitsundays and hover over the incredible Heart Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

For Perth, walk to the top of the steps at Kings Park and look out over the beautiful Swan River.

I also love Kangaroo Island in South Australia and Phillip Island in Victoria, and want to one day go to Lord Howe Island, off the coast of New South Wales.

Other destinations on my wish list include Cape Leveque, Broome and the Kimberley, Ningaloo Reef, Arnhem Land, Clare Valley, Lizard Island, Byron Bay, Noosa and the Gold Coast hinterland. And of course, Tasmania.”

Andrew McEvoy
Managing director
Tourism Australia



“As I live and work in Tokyo, I would like to visit the cities in the western region such as Osaka, Kyoto and Wakayama for a short getaway for something different.

I would spend a day relaxing in the hot springs at Shirahama Onsen in Wakayama, while reflecting on how best to showcase Japan to the world in the coming year. Shirahama Onsen, popular among locals, is one of the oldest hot springs in Japan and offers a fantastic view of the Pacific Ocean.

If time permits, I would love to hop over to Kyoto, the former capital that’s famous for its culture and historic temples.

Last but not least, I would like to savour the wide variety of authentic Japanese cuisine in Osaka, which is known as a gourmet’s paradise.”

Ryoichi Matsuyama
Japan National Tourism Organization



“I would assess the vulnerability of the natural environment in any destination I visit. As a scientist, I will always try to formulate solutions so that increased footfalls do not lead to the deterioration of the location. I would also scout around for more local information while I enjoy my holiday to get a better feel of what makes the destination work.

Ensuring cleanliness and an understanding of how careless conduct can harm the beauty that tourists are so enamoured of must be ingrained in every traveller.

As a policy maker and executor of tourism guidelines, I am always alert to the lacuna that each destination may suffer from and how it can be improved upon.”

Lalit Panwar
Chairman and managing director
India Tourism Development Corporation

This article was first published in TTG Asia, December 14, 2012, on page 15. To read more, please view our digital edition or click here to subscribe.

Additional reporting from Xinyi Liang-Pholsena, Mimi Hudoyo, S Puvaneswary, Marianne Carandang, Prudence Lui, Linda Haden, Shekhar Niyogi


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