TRAVEL & TOURISM
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APEC public holidays bring 20 billion baht into circulation

First subway for Bangkok uplifted by air

Krabi flights ready for take-off

70 million baht gives swing to Bangkok’s International Jazz Festival

APEC public holidays bring 20 billion baht into circulation

Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently released a report saying that the government’s scheme to encourage domestic tourism during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meetings 2003, coupled with a rise in international visitor arrivals, generated tourism revenue of over 20 billion baht.

The TAT report said that the APEC meetings, covered by over 2,000 Thai and foreign journalists, served to boost Thailand’s reputation as an international conference organizer, while also generating global confidence in Thailand’s security arrangements.

At the same time, pictures of the Royal Barge Procession laid on for the APEC leaders, broadcast on television screens across the world, helped generate foreign interest and Thai pride in the kingdom’s unique artistic and cultural heritage.

The growth in visitor arrivals from 1-20 October was comparable to that for the same period last year, with 381,094 visitors arriving at Don Muang Airport.

In addition, the TAT praised the government’s scheme to encourage domestic tourism during the APEC season by declaring a week-long public holidays for government and state enterprise workers, noting that a huge number of Bangkok residents had traveled upcountry from 17-23 October.

The most popular provinces for domestic tourism during the APEC season were Chonburi, Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Petchaburi, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Rayong, Chiang Mai and Phuket. (TNA)


First subway for Bangkok uplifted by air

The Freight Co Ltd., a Bangkok based freight forwarding company specializing in international freight and logistics was entrusted with the customs clearance and delivery of the first complete subway train for the new Bangkok Subway due to open later next year. The subway train, consisting of 3 coaches, was flown from Austria to Thailand on 3 chartered AN-124-100.

Offloading the last of 3 subway coaches.

The first coach was uplifted in Vienna on October 9 and the last coach arrived on October 15 for the official welcoming ceremony at Bangkok Don Muang Air Force Base. Arrival time of the last coach was scheduled to match the official reception chaired by Deputy P.M. Visanu Krau-ngam and Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit. The project was successfully completed on schedule with the delivery of all 3 coaches to Siemens AG during the night of October 15.

The complex structure of the project required a lot of preparation and coordination between several government agencies and private companies involved including Royal Thai Air Force, Airports of Thailand, Thai Airports Ground Services, Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand, Bangkok Metro Co Ltd, Siemens and various others.

The Freight Co Ltd previously already handled Bangkok’s first Mass Rapid Transit System (Bangkok Skytrain) for Siemens on a turnkey basis.


Krabi flights ready for take-off

Bangkok Airways launched non-stop flights to Krabi from Bangkok and Samui on October 26. The Bangkok-Krabi twice-daily service will use a Boeing 717 configured with 125 seats. The Samui-Krabi service now operates once a day using a new 70-seat ATR72-500.

Bangkok Airways vice-president marketing, Peter Wiesner, said the flights had been introduced to meet demand from locals and international travelers. “Krabi is a similar product to Samui and we believe they attract a similar type of visitor. I think our experience of the Samui market will stand us in good stead with these two new services,” Wiesner said.

The round-trip fare Bangkok-Krabi will be 5,120 baht (US$128), matching the price of Thai Airways International who also operates the same route. (TTG Asia)


70 million baht gives swing to Bangkok’s International Jazz Festival

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is joining hands with the private sector to pour 70 million baht into hosting Thailand’s 2nd International Jazz Festival this December, as part of an overall policy of transforming Thailand into a regional center for music.

Announcing the launch of the festival, Tourism and Sports Minister Sontaya Khunpluem expressed confidence that the event would attract 30,000 Thai and foreign visitors each day, a total of 150,000 across the five-day event.

The festival will be held on 12-14 December in Dusit Palace, before moving to Bang Saen Beach in Chonburi Province in 19-20 December.

TAT spokesperson Phonganant Sanphanich said that the festival would be split into two sections.

The first will showcase performances by leading Thai and international jazz musicians, including performances of music composed by His Majesty the King, a keen jazz musician.

International artists will include famous names from the United States, the UK, Mexico and Japan, including T-Square, Larry Carton, Joe Sample, Lee Ritenour, Spyro Gyra, Tuck & Patti, Angelita Li, Irvin Hombres, Andy Wolf & The Riverboats, the Kenny Clainborne Band and Shakatak.

The second part will consist of a jazz opera - Chao Phaen Din (Owner of the Land) - the first jazz opera ever to be performed in Thailand. (TNA)