SWISS passengers support SOS-Children’s’ Villages
By means of coins and miles, SWISS clients are making a
contribution to the SOS-Children’s Villages around the world. “Your
small change can make a big change” is the motto of the campaign which
SWISS is conducting on board its flights. The most recent project in Italy
has now been implemented thanks to the generous contributions by clients.
The SOS Holiday Village at Caldonazzo, near Trient in
northern Italy will celebrate 50 years of existence on July 19, 2003. Every
summer the village accommodates schoolchildren - about 35-40 kids at a time
- from villages from all over Europe and provides them with holiday
activities. SWISS is delighted that so many passengers have assisted with
their contributions, thus bringing so much happiness to the children.
Ambassadors tour Samui and Phuket islands compliments of TAT
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) invited
ambassadors and their spouses from 30 countries to tour two of the
kingdom’s most popular resort islands in an exercise designed to boost
foreign confidence in the wake of the SARS heath scare.
The 30 couples from the United States, Europe, Japan and
the Middle East, all of which are important markets for the upcoming tourism
high season, were taken on a two-day tour of the islands of Samui and Phuket.
The TAT hopes that the trip will help assure foreign
tourists that Thailand is safe from SARS. Although Thailand has repeatedly
insisted its SARS-free status, it has inevitably been tarred with the same
brush accorded to other countries in the region on the World Health
Organization’s SARS warning list. (TNA)
Korat Zoo breeds extinct Thai crane
Korat Zoo has successfully bred two Thai sarus cranes
which have become extinct in the wild, according to director general of the
Zoological Park Organization. Expressing pleasure at the success of the
breeding program, Sophon Dumnui, who is also deputy president of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) zoological association, said
that it had taken several years to breed the young cranes and visiting
tourists have been very surprised and delighted since these birds are so
Sophon said that in December he will bring the breeding
program to the attention of the ASEAN zoological association when it meets
in Singapore to show them Thai conservation programs. The breeding program
will continue in order to ensure that a large number of cranes are bred so
some can eventually be released into the wild. (TNA)
Phnom Rung likely to be
made into world heritage site
The Khmer monument Phnom Rung in Thailand’s
northeastern province of Buriram looks set to be made into a world heritage
Arak Sanghitkul, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Culture
said that he had asked the Department of Fine Arts to draw up a new
classification system for Thailand’s ancient monuments under new ministry
criteria for dividing monuments into sites of national importance and world
“Monuments such as the Khmer Phnom Rung temple and Phu
Phrabat in Buriram were likely to join the ancient capitals of Ayuthaya and
Sukhothai as world heritage sites under the supervision of the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),” Arak
said, adding that the scheme would also include local customs and ways of
Arak added, however, that the registration of ancient
monuments had run into long delays, and that only 1,000 of the country’s
5,000-odd monuments had been surveyed. He said he has asked directors of
archeological offices across the country to survey monuments in all
provinces so that the registration process could proceed. (TNA)
Low-cost carrier preparing for takeoff
Orient Thai Airways (OX) is making final preparations to
launch a no-frills airline that will begin operating throughout Thailand at
the end of the year offering fares one third less than established
operators. Services will be from Bangkok to eight domestic destinations
using 220-seat Boeing 757s and 160-seat Boeing 737s.
The company’s managing director Udom Tantiprasongchai
said there will be 14 flights a day to Chiang Mai and Phuket; six flights a
day to Had Yai, Chiangrai, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and Ubon Ratchatani; and
two flights daily to Surat Thani and Phitsanulok.
Udom said distribution would be via the Internet and
through 7-Eleven retail outlets, but he believed most tickets would be
purchased at Don Muang airport.
“We’re talking about flights every hour on the Chiang
Mai and Phuket routes. I believe people will turn up and buy their ticket on
the spot,” Udom said, adding that a website booking engine is under
construction for those who wish to book in advance. He said typical fares
would be 33 percent less than Thai Airways. Udom aims to inaugurate the
first flights on December 5. (TTG Asia)
Thailand targets “Bollywood”
Indian film-makers will be a prime target for the Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) when they visit the subcontinent in August for a
four-day official visit.
TAT’s India expert, Somprasong Varamisra, said Indian
film-makers had already made several films in Thailand, but he believed TAT
had only touched the tip of the Bollywood iceberg. “We believe that
film-making tourism is a niche with a very strong potential and India, which
has the biggest film-industry in the world, is of great interest to us,”
TAT representatives will be among a delegation of 100
Thai tourism, trade and investment officials visiting India from August 6-9.
Their itinerary includes Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Madras. (TTG Asia)
Virgin Atlantic becomes 21st airline to offer services between the UK and Australia
Sir Richard Branson recently announced that Virgin
Atlantic would become the 21st airline to offer services between the United
Kingdom and Australia.
The Chief Financial Officer of Qantas, Peter Gregg, said
Sir Richard and some others seemed to be under the impression that Virgin
Atlantic would only be competing against British Airways, Qantas and Lauda
Air. “In fact, they will also be competing against another 17 airlines,
including Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Emirates, Japan
Airlines, United Airlines, Air New Zealand and, of course, Singapore
Airlines which owns 49 per cent of Virgin Atlantic. Qantas competes with all
these airlines on a daily basis.”
Gregg said he would be very interested if Virgin Atlantic
managed to obtain rights to fly to Australia via Hong Kong because, despite
trying for many years, Qantas had been unable to obtain the rights to fly
between the United Kingdom and Australia via Hong Kong.
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