Vol. II No. 27 Saturday 5 July - 11 July 2003
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TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Thai Airways cuts Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son flights

Thailand to entice French tourism

“The Seas are Life” campaign aims at marine resource preservation

Accor to launch advertising promotion

First wireless Internet access at Don Muang Airport

Thai Airways cuts Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son flights

Only two flights daily till September

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Thai Airways International has temporarily suspended three return Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son flights because of the low season and insufficient passengers to make the route financially viable.

Tewan Damronghad, the Mae Hong Son station manager of THAI said that the numbers of passengers traveling from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son was currently very low, which he attributed to the usual low season dip but also as a flow-on from the SARS scare.

To bring the route back to being profitable, THAI has cancelled three outbound and three inbound flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. Flights cancelled are TG 190, 192, and 194 and the return flights from Mae Hong Son; TG 191, 192, 195. They are suspended from now until August 31 this year.

Despite the cuts, travelers will not be left in the air, as there will be two regular daily flights from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son at 11 a.m. and 4.10 p.m. and one daily flight from Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai departing at 12.05 p.m.


Thailand to entice French tourism

Nuttanee Thaveephol

Niramol Pliencharoon, director of the Bureau of Tourism Service Development has said that following the joint scheme put forward by his office and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, Thailand will cooperate with France and neighboring countries such as Laos and Cambodia in tourism development. The scheme will also promote Chiang Mai as a hub of Asian tourism and link the local home-stay market to the equivalent standard with France.

According to the director-general Sasithara Pichaichannarong of the Office of Tourism Development, they will have to survey tourism sites in cooperation with their French counterparts. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has already agreed to create new awareness of France as a tourist destination in a reciprocal tourism agreement. “In September, the Ministers from France, Cambodia, and Laos will select tourism personnel to promote Chiang Mai as the hub of Asia,” said Niramol.

The Tourism Development Office is proceeding to classify home-stays and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports will give certification to the sites that pass the accommodation standards. The Bureau of Tourism Service Development director said that the Ministry is planning to push Nan’s world heritage significance as well.

The Tourism Development Office has the mission to develop tourism sites to an international standard, instead of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) which handled this previously, but from now on will be responsible for tourism marketing and promotion.


“The Seas are Life” campaign aims at marine resource preservation

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and the World Wildlife Fund (Thailand) jointly launched a public awareness campaign on the importance of sea preservation called “The Seas are Life”.

The campaign encourages members of the public and local fishermen to care more about environmental problems, ecological balance and marine resource preservation.

NRE Minister Prapat Panyachatraksa said that at present the marine resources are deteriorating from various factors. “Coastal development mismanagement, coastal encroachment for tourism purposes and over-fishing are among the major causes of the deterioration. We must join hands to preserve the seas otherwise our marine resources will vanish,” said the minister.

Coastal and Wetlands Resources Conservation Project, WWF (Thailand) was assigned to oversee the campaign.

Prapat pointed out that that environmentally-friendly tourism is encouraged and could play a much bigger role in the tourist industry if the seas are properly protected. “But lifeless seas will not draw tourists,” he said. (TNA)


Accor to launch advertising promotion

To support positive signs of travel picking up, Accor Asia-Pacific will launch a major advertising promotion the end of June to drive business back to destinations affected by the SARS outbreak.

From June 27 to September 30, Accor is offering impressive discounts at its hotels in all major capital cities and main resort destinations around Asia. Promotions with airline partners Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways International will award guests with double miles when staying at Accor hotels. Another promotion targeting Visa cardholders with take place in August and September to expand the offer. (TGG Asia)


First wireless Internet access at Don Muang Airport

Thailand is to get its first wireless Internet access service when Millcom Systems launches a cutting edge new service for passengers at Bangkok’s Don Muang International Airport this month.

Rattana Meetem, executive director of Millcom Systems, said that the service would provide businesspeople and tourists with fast, reliable Internet access to surf the Web or check their email.

“We are installing the equipment near exit doors of the domestic and international terminals, as well as in duty free shops. We are calling this wireless Internet service ‘W Land Net’,” he said.

All passengers will need to access the service is a notebook computer with a Wi-Fi 802.11 b card, and a W Land Net card that can be purchased from various shops within the airport for 250 baht for an hour’s usage.

The service represents a deal forged between the Airports Authority of Thailand, Millcom Systems, and Far Eastern Net and Wireless Link. Rattana said that in the near future the service would be expanded to cover leading hotels, and that the W Land Net card would also be valid in a number of other countries. (TNA)



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