Mae Hong Son brainstorming for sustainable development
The House Committee for Tourism recently teamed up with
Mae Hong Son Provincial Authorities to arrange a seminar titled, “Tourism
and Local Organization Administration,” aimed at seeking effective
strategies for developing sustainable tourism, and to strengthen the local
The seminar was held at Tara Mae Hong Son Hotel.
Songsak Thongsri, president of House Committee for
Tourism, and Somboon Praiwan, Mae Hong Son Member of Parliament presided
over the opening ceremony and participated in the tourism panel discussion.
The seminar mainly focused on 3 important topics:
“Summarization of Tourism in Thailand,” “The Importance of Local
Organization Administration toward Tourism,” and “The Preparation of
Action Plans for Tourism Budget Proposal.”
According to the government policy about sustainable
development, the seminar would encourage both government officials and the
private sector in Mae Hong Son to consider tourism management in term of
More than 300 people from the House Committee for
Tourism, representatives form the government budget office, representative
from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Mae Hong Son provincial offices,
and local administration organizations engaged in the seminar.
Japanese Prince Akishino participates in Thai tourism seminar
His Imperial Highness Japanese Prince Akishino, who
recently visited the Thai kingdom with his wife and daughter, gave a special
lecture on ecotourism as part of an ecotourism and ornithology seminar
organized by the Office of Tourism Development.
The office’s Director-General, Sasithara
Phichaichannarong, said that Prince Akishino spoke before an audience of
ecotourism experts at a seminar held at Khao Yai National Park.
Noting that ecotourism was growing in popularity among
both domestic and foreign tourists, Sasithara stressed the importance of
developing the ecotourism sector, in particular ornithology trips, in a
manner that ensured the sustainability of the ecosystem.
Pointing to the fact that Thailand was home to a huge
number of pristine environments suitable for tourism and study, with a
wealth of birdlife including species native to the kingdom, he expressed
hope that the seminar would help the Office of Tourism Development to draw
up plans to protect local environments, solve problems, and develop
ecotourism destinations, with a suitable dispersal of tourist revenue. (TNA)
Railway Authority donates old trucks to make coral reefs
One hundred ageing and disused railway trucks may not
seem like much of a birthday present, but the gift presented on August 12 to
Her Majesty Queen Sirikit by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will be
instrumental in preserving some of the Kingdom’s rare and beautiful coral.
Sukaman Sritula, head of the SRT’s public relations
division, explained that the SRT had selected 100 ageing freight trucks kept
at the Makkasan, Nakhon Ratchasima and Uttradit engine workshops to present
as a gift to HM the Queen in honor of her 71st birthday. The trucks will be
used in Royal projects to revive coastal life in the southern provinces of
Pattani and Narathiwat, where they will be made into artificial coral reefs.
The SRT has agreed to clean the trucks and remove
unnecessary equipment, before sending the trucks to Chonburi, from where the
Fisheries Department will load them onto boats to be taken to their final
This was the second time which the SRT had given trucks
to HM the Queen, the first being in 2001, when 210 trucks were handed over.
Myanmar relaxes FEC requirements
In a move welcomed by the travel trade, free independent
travelers (FIT) visiting Myanmar no longer must buy the minimum US$200 worth
of foreign exchange certificates (FEC) previously required by law.
US sanctions have caused the FEC, which is pegged to the
US dollar, to depreciate in value. One FEC was equivalent to US$1.
Previously those with FIT visas had to buy the FEC upon
arrival. They could make purchases using the FEC but some establishments did
not want to accept the currency. It also meant that they had to spend at
least 200 FEC (US$200) in the country. Only those who had bought in excess
of US$200 could have the extra amount exchanged back to US dollars at the
airport on their departure.
Meanwhile, US sanctions have also caused American banks
such as MasterCard and Visa to temporarily cease trading since end July.
Tourists going to the destination should bring cash or arrange for financial
transfers with local operators. (TTG Asia)
TravelwithPata.com anchors Project Phoenix online
PATA has launched TravelWithPATA.com (www.travel
withpata.com) as a one-stop consumer website featuring travel news,
explanations and samples of travel advisories, airline and hotel offers,
weather information, maps and currency exchange guides.
Detailed country guide information supplied by Lonely
Planet will be added before the end of August. PATA President and CEO, Peter
de Jong, said, “We aim for TravelWithPATA to become the first place
travelers will go to when they need authoritative and insightful information
about travel in Asia Pacific.”
This site is designed to help revive travel to and within
Asia Pacific. TravelWith PATA.com will give a fuller and more balanced and
forthright picture to help consumers make more highly informed decisions
about Asia Pacific destinations.
TravelWithPATA.com also contains a section for airline
and hotel offers from Project Phoenix contributors, updated exchange rates
and weather information for many countries in the region. (TTG Asia)
Rolls-Royce wins US$350 million order from THAI
Rolls-Royce has won an order worth around $350 million
from Thai Airways International (THAI) for Trent 500 engines to power eight
long-range Airbus A340s. The order comprises five A340-600s and three
A340-500s with deliveries commencing in March 2005.
THAI is an existing operator of the Rolls-Royce Trent
engine family, having been the launch customer of the Trent 800 powered
Boeing 777 which entered service in April 1996. Thai Airways International
has a total of 14 Trent-powered aircraft in service, including eight Boeing
777-200s and six Boeing 777-300s.
Mike Terrett, President - Civil Aerospace, said, “This
announcement further underlines the success of the Rolls-Royce Trent family
of engines and the popularity of the Trent 500 powered A340s. We are
delighted at the prospect of strengthening our relationship with Thai
Dragonair launches flights to Bangkok in November
Dragonair will start its twice-daily scheduled flights to
Bangkok in November, according to the airline’s chief executive Stanley
Hui, adding the service will be important in taking tourists from China to
The first flights will be using the 150-seat Airbus 320
aircraft, which will be replaced next year by the 300-seat A330. Dragonair
also has rights from Hong Kong to fly to Manila, Seoul, Tokyo and Sydney. (TTG