Vol. II No. 40 Saturday October 4 - October 10, 2003
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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Malaysian Tourism and Trade presentation at Westin Chiang Mai

Amadeus pushes e-ticketing

Air India offers special discount fares for senior citizens

Seized drug house to be opened up for tourists

National Artists to showcase work at Bangkok’s new airport

One million customers send Emirates’ record tumbling

THAI to launch three new routes

Malaysian Tourism and Trade presentation at Westin Chiang Mai

Marion Vogt

H.E. Dato’ Syed Norulzaman, the Malaysian ambassador, visited Chiang Mai to show business and travel industry representatives the immense potential Malaysia has to offer.

He opened the evening by thanking Jumpol Chutima, president of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, for all the help provided to organize the event. He went on to say, “Up to now, Malaysia was only promoting relations between Malaysia and Bangkok, Rayong and the South, but this will be changed from now on. Chiang Mai becomes more and more the aviation hub in this part of the world. The collaboration with the north must be increased but before that a lot of groundwork has to be done. We have to focus towards economic links between Malaysia and Thailand, to investments; trade on both sides have to be touched as well as looking at the similar attractions drawing tourists from the other parts of the world. Malaysia and Thailand can develop joint packages for tourists and link Kuala Lumpur with Bangkok, Phuket or Chiang Mai.”

H.E. Dato’ Syed Norulzaman, the Malaysian ambassador, speaking at the Malaysian Tourism and Trade presentation. (Photo by Michael Vogt)

During his speech he pointed out that at the Joint Informal Cabinet Meeting between Malaysia and Thailand, both governments agreed to pursue activities promoting joint ventures in selected industries. Other proposals included strengthening the capacity of Malaysia-Thai service providers, facilitating border trade, establishing joint free trade zones at the border, promoting information exchange and the possibility of cross listing of the stock exchanges in KL and Bangkok to develop a regional bond market.

Jumpol Chutima, president of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce speaking at the Westin Chiang Mai. (Photo by Michael Vogt)

He also said that to facilitate trade, the Central Bank of Malaysia (Bank Negara) and the Exim Bank of Thailand established the Accounts Trade agreement in September 2002. It is basically an additional tool for doing business using local currency instead of US Dollars.

The advantages to exporters and traders in settling trade payments through the accounts trade system include guaranteeing payments in domestic currency for export, eliminating credit and exchange risk.

(From left) Zulkifly Md. Said, director of Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board’s Thailand Office, H.E. Dato’ Syed Norulzaman presenting a token of appreciation to Jumpol Chutima, president of the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce. (Photo by Michael Vogt)

During the question and answer session, clarification was sought on various issues including ‘tax exemption’ for traders and the possibility of increasing flights from Malaysia to the north of Thailand.

Amadeus pushes e-ticketing

Amadeus has just launched e-ticketing for 10 additional airlines in Thailand following its introduction with Thai Airways International in February. The 10 airlines are: American Airlines, Air France, Continental Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss Air Lines, Austrian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines.

E-ticketing, pioneered by major airlines in the US, is expected to replace paper tickets, underscored by recent announcements of United, Air Canada and British Airways to phase them out by the end of 2004.

Amadeus president Asia Pacific, David Brett, said, “E-ticketing had been implemented in 40 markets for 19 airlines in the second quarter of this year. The average cost of issuing an e-ticket is only around US$1 or US$2 per ticket. We expect this technology to generate cost savings of up to US$7 per ticket for airlines.” (TTG Asia)

Air India offers special discount fares for senior citizens

Senior citizens traveling to USA, UK and Europe from India can now receive special discounted fares for travel on Air India flights. These return fares which are up to 25 percent lower than normal fares will be valid for outbound travel from India up to March 31, 2004.

Travel on these special tickets will, however, not be valid out of India during January 2004 and from USA-UK-Europe to India between November 15 and December 31, 2004. Men age 65 and over and women age 60 and over will be eligible for these discounted fares.

Seized drug house to be opened up for tourists

For years, Phanom Sapanek was the scourge of the northern province of Lampang, operating a methamphetamines and bribery racket from his 100 million baht Thai-style wooden house while simultaneously sitting on the provincial administrative organization.

But now his house, seized by the Anti Money Laundering Office (AMLO) is to be turned into a tourist attraction in a bid to conserve what has been described as an important part of the province’s architectural heritage and is expected to be open to the public in October.

Sitting on 39 rai of land, it is thought to be one of the largest Thai-style residential complexes in the country, and constructed in the elegant Thai Lanna architectural design.

AMLO secretary-general Pol. Maj. Gen. Pheeraphan Premphut said that AMLO was handing over the house to the Lampang authorities, as it did not have sufficient personnel or funding to ensure that the house was kept in good condition. (TNA)

National Artists to showcase work at Bangkok’s new airport

Passengers using Bangkok’s new international airport will be able to see the work of some of the country’s most prominent artists, thanks to a joint project by New Bangkok International Airport Co. (NBIA) and Silpakorn University.

As part of the scheme, the NBIA is providing 700,000 baht in financial support to showcase works by 37 National Artists and leading art teachers at Suvarnabhumi Airport, due for completion in 2005.

It is hoped that the ‘Suvarnabhumi Arts’ program will introduce international visitors to Thailand’s unique artistic heritage through the works of famous Thai artists including Prayat Phongdam, Preecha Thaothong, Nonthiwan Chantanaphalin, Thaworn Ko-udomwit, and Panya Wichinthanasan. (TNA)

One million customers send Emirates’ record tumbling

The award-winning international carrier enjoyed a bumper August, with a total of 1,009,636 people flying on its ever-growing network. This compares with 792,399 last August, up more than 27 percent.

Emirates also achieved a new record of 2,115 departures from Dubai International Airport, against 1,577 in August 2002. And freight loads surged to 52,430 tons, 28 percent more than last August and the most ever carried by the airline - which pays special attention to cargo.

Emirates Group Chairman, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, said, “This highlights the success of Dubai’s drive to become the new global transportation hub for the 21st century and attract 15 million visitors by the year 2010. But we must never be complacent, and even as our own records fall, we are preparing to redouble our efforts by unveiling new products to please our passengers.”

THAI to launch three new routes

Thailand’s national flag carrier is to launch three new routes to India, China and Laos this winter, and is also preparing to inaugurate routes linking Phuket and Chiang Mai with Australia and Japan.

Kanok Aphiradee, president of Thai Airways International, said that flights would operate on the three new routes from 26 October 2003 to 27 March 2004 in response to the growing trade and investment sector, as well as to accommodate more tourist and business travelers during the cold season.

In October, he said, the airline would receive two new Boeing 727-400’s for use on the new routes to Chenai in India, Guilin in China, and Luang Prabang in Laos. In addition, THAI is preparing to introduce new routes linking Sydney, Melbourne, Phuket and Bangkok, Tokyo and Chiang Mai, and Tokyo and Rangoon. The airline will also increase the number of domestic and international flights on a number of routes, including Bangkok-London, Bangkok-Frankfurt, Bangkok-Copenhagen, Bangkok-Seoul, Bangkok-Jakarta, Bangkok-Colombo and Bangkok-Krabi. (TNA)

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