President of the Constitutional Court Office at the Amari Watergate Hotel
Pelletier (center), general manager of the Amari Watergate Hotel, recently
welcomed Kamol Tongdhamachart (2nd left), president of the Constitutional
Court Office, upon his arrival to preside over the opening ceremony of a
seminar and ceremony to celebrate the Office of the Constitutional Court’s
5th Anniversary. The event was organized by the office and Konrad Adenauer
Stifung International Cooperation and held at the Amari Watergate Hotel.
Also participating were Dr Chaowana Traimas (left), director of the
Institute of Constitutional Studies, Nichaya Chaivisuth (2nd right), public
relations director at the Amari Watergate Hotel, and Chetsada
Techaprasertporn (right), executive assistant manager of the hotel.
Emirates declares record-breaking profits
The Emirates Group has declared a 74 per cent increase in
net profits to Dhs1.05 billion ($285.7 million) for the financial year
2002/3, ended on 31st March 2003, driven by the growing confidence of its
customers in the airline and travel-related group of companies.
The average passenger seat factor rose to 76.6 per cent,
breaking all previous records and cargo represented 19.6 of the airline’s
Emirates’ chairman, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed
Al-Maktoum said, "As I travel around our network, journalists always
ask the same question - what is the secret? I am convinced the answer is our
passion for quality, which surfaces throughout the group wherever we do
The growth of Emirates goes hand-in-hand with the growth
of Dubai. At the airport, the government is making a crucial, multi-million
dollar investment in a new, revolutionary expansion of the already
futuristic complex which will increase the capacity to 60 million passengers
a year by 2012 - and in a mega-cargo center capable of handling one million
tons of freight, providing Emirates with an exclusive terminal from 2007.
Travelers urged to discover the enchantments of Phang Nga
Koh Phra Thong in the southern province of Phang Nga is
to be highlighted as one of the new tourist destinations in accordance with
the government’s tourism promotional campaign to spur domestic travel.
Anupap Therarat, director of Tourist Association of
Thailand (TAT) Southern Region office said that the south of Thailand has
much potential. Now some of these interesting but less publicized places are
being touted through TAT’s new tourism campaign, "Unseen
"Phang Nga is one of the destinations where
travelers can find unspoiled islands such as Koh Phra Thong, Koh Surin, and
Koh Similan," Anupap said.
Koh Surin and Koh Similan are better-known among scuba
divers but only a few know that the two islands are in Pang Nga and not in
Koh Phra Thong has a distinctive characteristic featuring
savanna, a habitat of samba deer, and local plants. Shallow-water and
deep-water coral reefs reveal beautiful marine life.
Koh Phra Thong is conveniently located 20 minutes from
shore by speedboat, or one hour traveling by long-tailed boat.
"The charming natural attractions, well-equipped
facilities, and convenience in transportation will draw tourists to the
island," Anupap said.
TAT will work with local tour operators to develop
tourism management together with human resource.
Anupap added, "At present, foreigners are the
majority of tourist groups visiting Koh Phra Tong. Soon more local tourists
will discover this beautiful island. (TNA)
TAT’s “Unseen in Thailand” guide features great places to visit off the beaten track
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has published a
Thai-language guide "Unseen in Thailand" with the support of
Bangchak, Double A Paper and Singha Beer.
The 119-page book features Thailand’s lesser-known
tourist attractions backed by spectacular photographs of places that are
simple but fascinating.
There are tips on how to get there, maps and the best
time to visit. The guide is priced at 150 baht, but if you buy at Bangchak
petrol stations or Double A Paper outlets the price is only 25 baht. The
offer is valid until June. For more details, call 02-941-1420-1. (TNA)
Health Minister confirms Thailand’s national airline is
Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan, on May 14,
reiterated assurances that passengers traveling with Thai Airways
International Plc. (THAI) do not run a risk of contracting Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), while confirming World Health Organization
(WHO) reports that Thai agricultural products are also free of the flu-like
Speaking after officially receiving 100,000 plastic
gloves from Japanese company Siam Mount Plastics, to offer protection, the
public health minister said that the WHO’s representative in Thailand had
issued a statement on May 1 confirming that Thailand was not at risk from
SARS, and that the country’s agricultural products were also safe.
Sudarat praised the public and private sectors’
cooperation in combating the SARS outbreak, saying that the private sector
had already donated a total of over 1 million baht in cash and several
million baht worth of goods, which had now been handed over to the special
SARS Control Center.
The health minister also stressed that travel on THAI
flights did not put passengers at risk from contracting SARS, saying that
the airline had worked closely with the Ministry of Public Health and had
screened passengers both prior to departure from SARS-infected countries and
on arrival in Thailand. Passengers arriving by land or sea were also subject
to similar screenings. (TNA)
Air New Zealand reduces international capacity
Air New Zealand recently announced that the airline has
reduced its international capacity through to the end of September 2003.
This means that service cancellations and the move to
smaller aircraft previously announced for May and June have been extended to
incorporate the months of July, August and September, and some new
cancellations have been introduced to Singapore and Taipei services.
These changes represent a further 2% reduction in total
available capacity across the airline’s international network.
Air New Zealand’s managing director and CEO, Ralph
Norris emphasised, "This move was a prudent business response to a
clearly changed air travel environment due to SARS."
Air New Zealand has also deferred the introduction of an
additional Boeing 767-300 aircraft planned for December 2003, but remains
committed to the introduction of its new A320 fleet.
Tourist industry wants bailout from NESDB to the tune of 2.9 billion baht to curb downturn
As the SARS outbreak continues to negatively impact
Thailand’s tourism, the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) has asked the
National Economic and Social Development Board NESDB for 2.9 billion baht to
use for marketing both locally and overseas.
Since tourism is a prime source of revenue for the
nation, the additional budget could generate as much as 38 billion baht in
foreign exchange, which would help soften the blow from the drop in tourist
arrivals and the revenue they generate.
However, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has indicated
he would prefer the industry heals itself rather than approve a request for
On a more positive note, Sonthaya Khunpluem, Minister for
Tourism and Sport said, "Projections of foreign visitor arrivals and
revenue could change as it is still early in the year. Aggressive marketing
campaigns will start to bear fruit soon."
Meanwhile, there have already been positive signs in
markets such as Australia and Japan. TAT recently staged successful road
shows in the Japanese cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka. TAT will also sign
an agreement with 17 Japanese travel agents, which will commit to bringing
40,000 Japanese tourists to Thailand from June to September. Around 1.2
million Japanese tourists are expected to visit Thailand this year. (TNA)