Embassies tackle SARS questions head on
Bangkok TGG Asia
Every Thai embassy and consulate worldwide is appointing
at least one person to run a post-SARS center to supplement the efforts
being made by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). The centers, called
“tourism revitalization centers” (TRCs), will answer enquiries from
travel professionals and the public about the safety of Thailand as a SARS-free
A spokesman for the ministry of Foreign Affairs said TRCs
had an important role to play in the 150 countries where TAT does not yet
have an office.
“We want to encourage anyone in any of these countries
to contact their Thai embassy or consulate and ask to speak to the TRC if
they have any queries about safety, hygiene, health or anything to do with
tourism,” said the spokesman.
Shanghai sees sun rise
again on MICE business
The exhibition industry in China has gone into top gear
and hundreds of postponed shows will now get underway.
Since the self-imposed ban on holding conferences and
exhibitions in the city because of SARS was lifted, Shanghai venues have
been scrambling to find room on the calendar to accommodate the rescheduled
shows. The result is that the city will be hosting 123 exhibitions between
now and the end of the year, more than 20 of which are major international
Included among these is the 2003 Forbes Global CEO
conference which will take place from September 16 to 18 as scheduled.
Trang, Krabi and Satun bid to open up new sea routes to boost tourism
Public and private sector officials in three southern
provinces are surveying Andaman shipping routes in a bid to increase tourist
numbers and pull in more tourism revenue. The president of the Trang
provincial administrative organization, Kit Leekpai said that provincial
administrative organizations in Trang, Krabi and Satun were joining together
with public and private sector agencies to survey shipping routes in the
Andaman Sea in order to promote marine-based tourism.
Statistics show that last year 1.4 million tourists
visited Krabi, while 800,000 tourists visited Trang and 600,000 tourists
visited Satun. If the shipping program was successful, the three provinces
would see 5 million visitors each year, bringing in no less than 60 billion
baht in tourism revenue and also act as a gateway to receive tourists from
abroad, in particular Malaysia and Singapore.
Tourism destinations in all three provinces would be
included in the Andaman program, which would be publicized to tourism
operators both at home and abroad. In addition private sector operators
would be able to create minor shipping routes to link up with the major
routes on the program, which would help boost tourism in the region as a
Krisphong Kiawkhong, president of the Krabi Chamber of
Commerce, said that if the initial routes proved successful, a new circular
route would be established linking Krabi, Phang-nga and Phuket. However, he
said that public sector backing was vital for the success of the project,
adding that he would request government funding of 1 billion baht to develop
tourist destinations forming part of the program. (TNA)
TAT forecasts revenue of
over 700 billion next year
Tourism revenue is likely to exceed 700 billion baht in
2004 as the tourism industry picks up in the wake of the drop in visitor
arrivals caused by SARS.
Juthamas Siriwan, governor of the Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT) said that forecasts for September this year signaled an
improvement in tourist numbers, as September marked the beginning of
Thailand’s high tourist season. While acknowledging that SARS had dented
visitor arrivals for the year, she said that the drop was likely to stand at
only 2-3 percent of total visitor numbers although this relatively small
decrease would mask a more significant drop in revenue.
Pledging that the TAT would pull out all the stops to
ensure that revenue returned to last year’s figures, she said that the
rate of tourism growth this year would have to at least equal 2002 growth
Lufthansa raises stake in Air Dolomiti to over 98 percent
Lufthansa is raising its stake in Air Dolomiti to 98.8
percent, largely by acquiring the 23.7 percent share of the Italian regional
airline’s equity held by its founder Domenico Alcide Leali.
Following the increase in Lufthansa’s stake in Air
Dolomiti on 16 April from 20.7 percent to 51.9 percent, Lufthansa made - in
accordance with Italian law - a public offer to purchase the stock held by
all Air Dolimiti shareholders. Effective 8 July, the shares acquired in the
takeover offer will be transferred into Lufthansa’s ownership. Lufthansa
will acquire the remaining shares in a “squeeze-out”. The shares will be
de-listed from the Milan stock exchange on 9 July 2003.
Air Dolomiti is Italy’s most successful regional
carrier and the holder of numerous awards, among them the Regional Airline
of the Year Award 2002. It operates a modern fleet of 21 aircraft, linking
destinations in north and central Italy with airports in Germany and other
Air-India adds another frequency on the Mumbai-Paris-Newark sector
Air-India will now have 15 services a week to the USA.
While seven of these services are operated on the India-London-New York
sector, three are operated to Chicago via London. The remaining five
services are to Newark via Paris.
Air-India has also reintroduced two of its five Mumbai-Delhi-Hong
Kong services effective July 11. These flights were temporarily withdrawn by
Air-India in April 2003 in view of the adverse impact of SARS on passenger
traffic to/from Hong Kong. Both these flights to Hong Kong will also operate
on the extended sector to Osaka, as earlier. These two flights will be
operated on Tuesdays and Fridays. Air-India proposes to step up flights to
Hong Kong in line with traffic growth on the India-Hong Kong sector.
Chiang Mai eyes links with Chittagong
A delegation of businesspeople from ten of Thailand’s
Northern provinces will travel to the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong to
assess trade and investment opportunities. The move follows the launch of
the Chiang Mai-Chittagong air route at the beginning of this year.
President of the 9th Provincial Chamber of Commerce,
Rachan Weeraphan, said the delegation will introduce a number of goods and
services in the form of a ‘table top sale’, including tourism,
healthcare, education, food, silk, toys, household goods and products
forming part of the ‘One Tambon, One product’ (OTOP) scheme.
The trip aims at boosting bilateral trade and investment
between the two regions, which fall in line with the government’s goal of
transforming Chiang Mai into a regional aviation hub. (TNA)
Samui Island Carnival 2003 scheduled from July 18-20 to liven up low tourist season
Ruangnam Jaikwang, president of the Tourism Association
of Samui Island said that Samui Carnival 2003 will be organized from July
18-20 at Laem Din, Chaweng Beach.
The grand opening ceremony of the carnival will begin at
6p.m. with a variety of colorful caravan floats taking over the main street,
followed by hordes of enthusiastic dancers dressed in dazzling costumes and
trinkets. Visitors will also experience the country’s first on-water
carnival parade. Prize money will be awarded for the most outstanding float.
The festival is divided into three zones: Food Zone, Fun
Fair Zone, and Dance Zone.
In Fun Fair Zone, kids and the young-at-heart can enjoy
rides and activities in the festival’s spacious Fun Park, which includes
Ferris wheels, carousel and the water-dunking game. Competitions will be
held such as boxing on a log and a coconut juice drinking contest.
From 8 p.m. onward, there will be both local and
international bands playing retro, rock and roll, reggae and hip hop at the
Dance Zone. >From 10 p.m. to midnight several famous DJs from top clubs
in Bangkok and abroad will take the stage. There will also be a dance
marathon with a prize of a free air ticket.
The event wraps up on Sunday with a fireworks display and
an awards presentation ceremony for the parade contest. (TNA)
Emirates launches five-a-week Dubai/Moscow service
The five-a-week link to Moscow’s Domodedovo airport
will boost booming business links between the Russian capital and the
commercial heart of the Middle East, and offer Russian customers convenient
connections to Emirates’ major Far East business and leisure destinations.
Flights leave Dubai on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays,
Fridays and Saturdays at 0830, reach Domodedovo at 1355, and return to Dubai
to touch down at 2310 the same day, providing the only full-service link
between the two, and encouraging the growth of trade and tourism between the
UAE and Russia.