Koh Tao has been listed among the Top 10 Island Destinations in the World and the top Island Destination in Asia, according to the inaugural Travelers’ Choice Islands awards of TripAdvisor, a global travel review website.

According to TripAdvisor Chief Marketing Officer Barbara Messing, the winners were based on the feedback of millions of travellers who rated the quality of the most highly-rated hotels, restaurants and attractions listed for each island on TripAdvisor during a 12-month period.

The awards recognised more than 100 islands across the globe, she said.

Heading the list is Ambergris Caye in Belize, followed by St John in the US, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, San Juan Island in Washington, USA, Santorini in Greece, Isla Mujeres in Mexico, Moorea in French Polynesia, Koh Tao in Thailand, Easter Island in Chile and Nosy Be in Madagascar.

Thailand boasts four of the top 10 islands in Asia _ Koh Tao (1st), Koh Lanta (3rd), Phuket (6th) and Koh Samui (7th).

“Whether you are looking for idyllic palm-lined islands, or islands that offer a more cultural experience, you will find inspiration in these lists,” she said.

For the complete list of winners from the 2013 Travellers’ Choice Islands, visit tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Islands.

Bangkok to host 2013 Pata Summit The Pacific Asia Travel Association (Pata) will organise the 2013 Pata Annual Summit on April 26 in Bangkok.

The one-day summit will address the theme “Embracing the Complete Visitor Economy” with four key sessions: “Why the visitor economy is key for jobs and societal development”, “Public sector challenges and opportunities inherent in politically advancing the complete visitor economy”, “Private sector connecting the complete visitor economy” and “Strengthening weak links in the visitor economy”.

The event will be held at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre. Registration can be done online at http://www.regonline.com/2013PAS.

Visit www.PATA.org/2013PAS or email events@PATA.org

Spicy food and wet fun

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Visa International (Visa) have

joined hands to launch the “Thailand Splash and Spice 2013” campaign to offer special prices on hotels and restaurants in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya.

According to TAT governor Surapol Svetasreni, the campaign builds on the success of last year’s inaugural campaign and this year the programme covers not only Bangkok, but also other major tourism cities to benefit millions of travellers, especially during the upcoming Songkran festival.

“We are delighted to be working alongside Visa on this exciting campaign, which will showcase Thai food at its best to a worldwide audience. The variety and unique flavours of Thai food have won fans around the world and is one of the great draws of Thailand,” he said.

More than 50 five-star hotels are participating in the campaign to offer special packages on rooms and restaurants while at least 10% discounts are offered to both Thai and international Visa cardholders at 30 dining outlets at Suvarnabhumi airport and other dining places.

Visa country manager Somboon Krobteeranon said Visa is committed to assisting the TAT, supporting the tourist industry with a variety of campaigns throughout the year.

“More and more tourists come to Thailand to enjoy our world famous Thai New Year festival. We are delighted to be able to support the tourism authority and connect Visa cardholders with special offers at the country’s most sought-after restaurants, hotels and shopping outlets,” he said.

The campaign will end on May 31.

Finnair launches entertainment tablet

Finnair has launched a two-month trial for guests to use HP Windows 8 tablets as the new in-flight entertainment system.

“We want to enhance our customers’ in-flight comfort,” said the airline’s Vice President Customer of Experience Peter Gabrielsson, adding it would also want to test the functionality of the wireless network on intercontinental flights and how passengers use the equipment during the flight.

The pilot testbeds have taken place in Business Class on scheduled flights and in Comfort Class on charter flights while participating passengers can use the HP Windows 8 tablet to watch movies and TV shows, listen to music, play games, connect to the internet and try wellness-related programs such as a relaxation app to cope with jet lag.

The result of the survey will be used to further develop Finnair’s in-flight entertainment service.