Chiang Mai North Travel Show 2002

Chiang Mai North Travel Show 2002

The first ever Travel Show from the Northern Region of Thailand is over. The preparations took Chiang Mai City and the Tourism Authority of Thailand 2 years, and both authorities succeeded in putting up an unforgettable weekend for the participants, both from Asia and overseas.

Hundreds of travel agents attended the Chiang Mai North Travel Show 2002 held last week, and to a person, all said it was a great event. The event went a long way to promoting tourism to Chiang Mai, and we should be proud of the way the organizers put together an event to remember. Full story, more photos and reactions on center pages this week.

Posing for the official picture are (from left) Miss Juttamas, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, PM Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, Mayor Boonlert, and Minister Sonthaya Khunpluem.

More than 140 local tourism companies had the opportunity to exhibit their products and services directly to the buyers, which was scheduled by the Chiang Mai Tourism Promotion Board (CMTPB), comprising of government and private agencies of Chiang Mai, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Chiang Mai Administration Office.

Maybe not for every-day use, but very stylish.


One of the eye-catching models presents Lanna-style dresses from 300 years ago until now.

Everybody was impressed by the grace and style of the performing artists.

Le Grand Lanna Restaurant staged a performance of the Dhara Dhevi story, giving an insight into the upper classes of days gone by.

Women in the audience had a very close look at the fashion show (as did some of the men, as the women models were stunning).

(L to R) Vorapong, GM of the Imperial, Councilor Pornchai, and Ms. Panada Wongpudee, Miss Thailand Universe 2001, who later that evening did a beautiful rendition of “I will always love you”.

The program was in connection with the 2nd Phuket and Andaman Travel Trade (PATT), scheduled from 2nd - 5th December to promote Phuket - Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son as a great, fascinating holiday destination.

TAT sponsored the traveling expenses of about 250 invitees, while the CTPB took care of accommodation, meals, transfers and tours.

The welcome reception took place Friday evening at the most charming patio of the Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center, and was presided over by His Excellency the Prime Minister of Thailand, Dr. Taksin Shinawatra, as well as His Excellency, the Minister of Tourism, Sonthaya Khunpluem. This evening featured cultural shows and performances, in true Lanna style, and the most-heard expression from the audience was that they “have never experienced anything like that before”. The attending ladies were particularly interested in the fashion show, giving an overview of Lanna-dresses from 300 years ago until now.

Saturday was strictly business at the Suan Bua Resort and Spa, as buyers and sellers held their respective trade sessions, which was followed by a Northern Tourism Seminar, and a meeting with the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s overseas directors.

Posing with local beauties are Pornchai Jitnavasathien, Chiangmai Municipality Councilor (2nd left), and Noppawong Ratpathai, advisor to the Lord Mayor (right).

Buyers had a great time at the Imperial’s Mae Ping Beer Garden.

The colorful and swinging Chiang Mai Mardi Gras Night 2002 at the Imperial Mae Ping gave us a preview of what the city has to expect during its own Mardi Gras Celebration later this month.

Vorapong Muchaotai, the Imperials’ general manager, in full swing with his staff.

After a magnificent performance during the farewell evening at Le Grand Lanna, buyers and sellers used the perfect opportunity to get up on stage with people of a time long gone.

A final pose before a splendid, memorable and successful event came to an end.

The highlight of the weekend was the spectacular farewell dinner at Le Grand Lanna, on the way to San Kamphaeng. The stunned guests were treated to an ancient spectacle called ‘Dhara Dhevi’, a ritual which is believed to evoke peace and harmony, maybe not in this life, but in the next. The performance was embedded into realistic scenery, fireworks, hot air balloons, light and sound shows, and well presented by managing director, Chollada, and MC Dr. Apichart.

Enchanted by Lanna history and tradition, this night proudly staged the charisma of Chiang Mai and its people, and proved that it is a place blessed with mysterious charm. As a token, every guest received a small “kom loy”, and took this small air balloon back home, together with a heart full of unforgettable memories.

Opinions from the Travel Show

Question was: How do you like the Chiang Mai Travel Show 2002 and what is your opinion about it?

Sidney Alexander from Australia - 27 years ago was my first trip to Thailand. But so far I had only traveled Phuket, Koh Samui, Bangkok and Pattaya. We sell 35 destinations throughout Asia but I never made it up North. TAT convinced me to come and I must say it was a very good experience. It is a trip back in history with lots of culture but not dull at all. I am very thankful that the TAT did such a great job. The press is promoting the islands a lot more than this beautiful city, which should be changed. It was a very worthwhile ‘business-holiday’.

Miss Quynh (nickname Mai) Nguyen, the manager of the Outbound Department of ‘Hanoi Red Tours’ in Vietnam - My company brought many tours to Thailand already, to Bangkok and to Pattaya, which are popular destinations in Vietnam. But we decided to open up the North for people who like it a bit more peaceful, because the scenery and the atmosphere are just unforgettable. I will take memories back home and I hope I can deliver the charisma of Chiang Mai to my co-workers and to everybody who is interested in Thailand because it was unforgettably beautiful.

Frank Wolf, journalist who specializes in outdoor adventures and international travel from North Vancouver, Canada - This is my 3rd time in Thailand and my 2nd time in Chiang Mai. So far I have seen amazing shows, I ate great food and I played golf. And in Thailand you get value for money. Not only in shopping, like all the girls from Canada who are here told me, but a golf course in Canada compared to a golf course in Thailand, believe me: no one would go anywhere else. The quality and the money value is unbeatable. (By the way: Frank Wolf was afterwards also one of the Lucky Door Prize Winners at the Great Lanna Restaurant.)

Danida Sutjianto, marketing representative of TAT Indonesia - So far I heard no complaints at all. We brought the cr่me de la cr่me, only top agents to Thailand and were at first a little bit worried that not all could stay at 4 star or 5 star hotels. But the openness and the friendliness of staff, of the TAT, of the whole Chiang Mai City is worth more than anything. The handling is great, the guides are caring and everybody is just saying that we spoil them too much. And this speaks for it! Because it is not spoiling, this is natural. The friendliness comes from the heart and people feel it!

A group of Japanese travel agents from all over Japan - Why is the time passing so quick! The days seem to be so much shorter than in Japan. We love the shopping. It is so cheap here. We love the trips. We went elephant riding and took so many pictures. We are so impressed but time is flying!

Travel agents from Duesseldorf, Hannover, Freiburg Frankfurt & Stuttgart - The friendliness and the care which we get here is more than we expected. Everything was beyond our expectations. We adore the friendliness and Thai food. We find it irresistible.

Gerhard Seidelmann, from Motorbike Fun Tours in Frankfurt - I have traveled in Thailand for the last 30 years, but believe it or not, I needed 30 years to come to Chiang Mai the first time. I am a diver on holidays, that’s the reason for me to normally go to Phi Phi Island or Phuket. But this has to be rethought. The area around here is ideal for motorbikes, the weather is even better and since I found a reliable partner now, thanks to this Travel Show, who will act as a guide and caretaker for our clients we will start to promote as soon as I am back in the cold winter in Germany. It will be a hit with our clients, that’s for sure! I regret that I cannot be here from the 6th - 8th December for the Charity Bike week. But well, one cannot have it all.

Miss Elena Vetrova, director Travel Trade Gazette ‘TTG-Russia’, from Moscow - I never expected such perfect organization. It is my 1st time here. The standard and the level of the organizing committee is much higher than many others. It is at least as high as a Travel Fair in Singapore and Singapore is one of the best organized in the world. I did not expect anything near it. My fellow Russians started many years ago, in going to Pattaya because it was an economical and in-expensive place to get away from cold Russian winters. After that, they moved to Phuket and now we also want to bring them to Chiang Mai. They have spending power and they know the beaches now. It is time for some culture and here in Chiang Mai there is so much to see. But most of all: congratulations to the City of Chiang Mai. It looks like they got their act together.

Mr. Paterson from London - I love it. My first time but not my last time - I have gone to Singapore many times before and know now that it was a big mistake not to come here earlier. TAT did a fantastic job!

Raymond E. Taylor, from the marketing department of All Continents Travel, Picasso Travel from Los Angeles, California, while paying respect to the monument of the 3 kings - This is a rare diamond in the midst of Asia. I understand now why the airlines make it so hard for us Americans to reach Chiang Mai. You want to keep the treasure of the Lanna culture for yourself. But Chiang Mai made a mistake. You brought us here and you shared with us tonight a bit of the old Lanna culture, of nature’s beauty and with this exotic and impressive closure night at the Grand Lanna Restaurant you made sure we will talk about it and we must be back. I don’t have enough words to express the wave of feelings I went through in just a couple of days. I am very, very sorry I have to leave so soon. But, as so many others probably told you: I’ll be back!

Danielle Porter, product & marketing executive from Asia World in St. Albans, Hertfordshire - My 10th time in Thailand, but my first time in Chiang Mai. I went to Koh Samui most of the times before and really did not know that there is so much cultural heritage here. It was just that the flights were never as convenient as going down South. But we’ve had a great time! I hope I can convince many more people to make the trip.




Signore Natale Camerano from Romano Viaggio in Catania, Italy - The days and nights we had here were much too short. And I have to come back. My English is not too good but talking with your hands and smiling gets you anything and anywhere. I never dreamed of meeting people like that, neither did I dream about getting 3 days of a ‘fairytale come true’ when I go to a Travel Show. Thumbs up and people of Chiang Mai: you better start learning Italian because we will be back soon!