Emirates’ launch-flights arrive in Auckland
Maurice Flanagan, vice chairman and group president,
arrived on the second inaugural flight, from Melbourne, and was greeted by
the mayor of Manukau City, Sir Barry Curtis. Sheikh Ahmed’s delegation
included New Zealander Gary Chapman, president Dnata and Associated
Companies; Ghaith Al Ghaith, executive vice president commercial operations
worldwide; and Ram Menen, senior vice president cargo.
New Zealand’s prime minister expressed her delight with
Emirates’ new services to New Zealand and was pleased that the routes were
launched only nine months after she had visited Dubai and discussed the
possibility with Sheikh Ahmed and Maurice Flanagan.
Sheikh Ahmed, making his first visit to New Zealand,
said, “We hope our new service to Auckland will help to enhance the
relationship between the UAE and New Zealand and bring more tourists and
business travelers to your country.”
The new services offer passengers the choice of 14
flights weekly across the Tasman Sea with the further choice of two
Australian gateways. On October 26, those numbers will increase when
Emirates launches a new daily service to Brisbane, which will continue on to
Auckland. Flights via Sydney and Brisbane will provide convenient
connections from the Middle East, while flights via Melbourne increase the
options for the Australian traveler.
Emirates plans to provide a major boost to the Auckland
route by operating the new Airbus A340, non-stop between Dubai and Sydney
and onwards to Auckland from December.
Emirates Holidays has also produced two packages enabling
leisure travelers to experience the spectacular New Zealand landscape with
the self-drive option. The North Island tour takes in Auckland, Pauanui,
Rotorua, Napier and Wellington. The South Island Adventure includes
Christchurch, Dunedin, Te Anau and Queenstown.
Cargo loads on both inaugural flights were full with
shipments for Singapore, Sydney/Melbourne in addition to Auckland. Shipments
into Auckland comprise spare parts, personal effects and electrical goods
while fresh produce is expected to form most shipments out of Auckland.
“Andaman Pearl” and “Lanna Heaven” counter promotions
Pushed by Pattanapong Aikwanich of Phuket Tourist Association
Phitsanu Thepthong and
A trade mission consisting of mainly private sector
tourism-related businesses from the South came up to meet with Chiang Mai
tourism operators and tourist-related business counterparts for mutual
business talks and sales. It was held at the Empress Hotel, Chiang Mai.
opening ceremony of the Lanna Exhibition under the Chao Doi Chom Le (hill
tribes view sea) tourism program organized by Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce
at Phuket last month. Here permanent secretary of Ministry of Tourism and
Sports Chadej Insawang (center) was honored to jointly cut the ribbon
marking the opening of the exhibition and fair. He is flanked by Phuket
Governor Pongpayom Wasaputi (left) and Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat
Pattanapong Aikwanich of Phuket Tourist Association said
about 900,000 Thai domestic tourists have been visiting Phuket, a major
tourist spot in the South during the low tourist season. “With a total
number of 3-4 million visitors both Thai and foreign travelers visiting
Phuket, annually, this generates about 69,000 million baht a year,” he
To assist contra promotions, he said both international
and domestic airline services like Thai Airways International (THAI) could
help promote and advance Chiang Mai’s status and link domestic flights
with the Northeast and Southern region and then internationally.
With the government policy promoting Chiang Mai and
Phuket provinces as regional aviation hubs of the northern and southern
regions, Phuket and Chiang Mai Tourism Associations and representatives of
tour agents in Phuket are setting up special tour programs, called
“Andaman Pearl” and “Lanna Heaven” promotional campaigns.
More than 30 hotels and resorts are joining in this one
year long Andaman Pearl package program, which is divided into 5 packages -
Golden Pearl, Black Pearl, Blue Pearl, Pink Pearl and White Pearl package.
The price starts at 1,950 baht including 2 nights hotel accommodation with
breakfast, free transfers between the airport and the hotel, half-day city
tour and a dinner. Tourists can buy packages from authorized agents in
For more information about “Andaman Pearl” tour
package, please contact Phuket Tourist Association, tel. (076) 222 177- 8,
Fax (076) 354 139 e-mail: [email protected] ks.co.th and for details on the
“Lanna Heaven” package contact Boonlert Perera, the president of Chiang
Mai Business Association tel. (053) 270823.
‘Culture taxis’ to whisk tourists round Bangkok
Bangkok’s tuk-tuks may be the capital’s most famous
form of transport, but soon they could be overtaken by the humble taxi
thanks to an initiative by the Ministry of Culture to introduce ‘culture
taxis’ to the City of Angels.
Under the scheme, announced by the ministry, together
with Rajabhat Institute Suan Sunanta, the Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration’s Tourism Promotion Division, and the National Culture
Office, taxi drivers will help publicize the uniqueness of Thai culture,
together with the famous ‘Siamese smile’ and good manners.
The first batch of 150 taxi drivers began training on 12
August, with the training program focusing on cultural studies and English
language skills. On successful completion of the course they will be able to
display a prominent ‘culture taxi’ sign to show their status. (TNA)
ASEAN joins with regional giants in bid to revive tourism
Ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN) have joined hands with their counterparts from China,
Japan and South Korea to announce a drive to boost the region’s battered
tourism industry by encouraging greater intra-regional travel, cooperating
to prevent terrorism, and promoting tourism among extra-regional market
Speaking after the first ASEAN+3 meeting of tourism
ministers, convened in the wake of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
crisis, Tourism and Sports Minister Sontaya Kunpluem said that the meeting
had signed a ‘Beijing Charter’ pledging cooperation in the revival of
the region’s tourism industry.
“The charter stated with confidence that SARS was a
short-term problem and countries in Southeast Asia and the Far East still
remain among the most popular tourism destinations in the world,” Sontaya
Sontaya stressed that Thailand’s tourism industry has
bounced back quickly after the SARS crisis, but warned that other factors -
most particularly terrorism - as evidenced by last week’s bombing of the
Marriott hotel in Jakarta, remained a threat to the region’s tourism
industry. He urged the meeting to quickly draw up measures to boost
cooperation and to ensure the continuation of tourist confidence.
The meeting passed six unanimous resolutions. First, it
described tourism as an important bridge for global friendship, which also
played a vital role in promoting economic and social development and in
creating the roots of international peace.
Second, the meeting noted that the tourism industry was
volatile in the face of external events, whether natural disasters,
terrorism, politics or health concerns. The ministers will cooperate in
drawing up a system to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of tourism
collaboration, and to extend and amend all stages of tourism security
Third, the ministers observed that tourism was caught up
in the natural flow of persons from one country to another. This in turn led
to problems of administration. To help combat this, the countries present at
the meeting agreed that their respective tourism agencies would exchange
data, experiences and tools in order to facilitate tourism and ensure
maximum ease of travel, while if a crisis should occur, the country affected
would solve the problem and issue warnings to the other countries in the
Fourth, the ministers agreed to amend procedures for
crossing international boundaries, in particular for members of the regional
grouping, to facilitate intra-regional travel. Fifth, the meeting agreed to
upgrade the quality of regional tourism and ensure tourism safety. Finally,
the ministers stressed that the SARS crisis had now disappeared, and that
the member countries were waiting to receive tourists with open arms. (TNA)
Helicopter flights to take tourists to view Thailand’s scenic mountain
Thousands of visitors who make the arduous trek up one of
Thailand’s most popular mountains might soon be able to spare their leg
muscles, thanks to plans to introduce helicopter flights up Phu Kradeung.
Aphinan Plotpliew, president of Eco Flying Service Co.
Ltd., said that the company would introduce helicopter services taking
tourists up the mountain in the north-eastern province of Loei from 15
October this year, after having received a license from the Royal Forest
Department to provide flights to elderly people unable to make the climb.
The twin-engine helicopters will be able to take eight
passengers, taking only 15 minutes to fly from the tourist service center at
the base of the mountain to the summit.
Although at 2,000 baht, the flights are not cheap, but
the company is confident of getting customers. When proposals to introduce
the flights were aired at a recent tourism fair in Bangkok, over 3,000
people expressed an interest, with 1,000 people already having booked
Citing statistics showing that around 80,000 visitors
climbed the mountain last year, Loei Governor Phairat Phochanachai said that
discussions were also underway to build a cable car up the mountain. He
predicted that 120,000 visitors would flock to the mountain this year,
generating extra tourism revenue for the province. (TNA)
Nai Lert Park hotel to retain name
Contrary to earlier reports, the hotel from which Hilton
is exiting on December 31 will not be named Swissotel, but will be called
the Nai Lert Park, Bangkok, - a Raffles International Hotel.
Dispelling any doubts, the owner and managing director of
the property, Ms Bilaibhan Sampatisiri, told TTG Asia that Raffles had
agreed the property had its own distinctive history and heritage which
should not be diluted.
Ms Bilaibhan said the new general manager of the hotel
would be Mr Blaise Montandon, a Swiss national and one of Raffles’ most
experienced staff. He will take up his new position at the hotel on
September 1. (TTG Asia)