TRAVEL & TOURISM
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THAI Announces New Route to Milan

Russians brought to Chiang Mai to discover new tourist attractions

Savour Thailand’s delicious lychees

THAI Announces New Route to Milan

61st destination for our national carrier

Kanok Abhiradee, Thai Airways International President (THAI), said that the launch of the new Bangkok-Milan route serves to mark the 44th anniversary of THAI, as well as support the government’s aim to promote Bangkok as a Fashion City. Milan is recognized as one of the world’s fashion centers.

A number of Thai supermodels accompanied the flight, representing Thai grace and beauty.

THAI currently serves Italy with six weekly flights to Rome and Milan is THAI’s 61st destination. THAI will be the first Asian carrier to offer a direct connection from Milan to Southeast Asia.

THAI began its flight operations between Bangkok and Milan on May 4th 2004,flying each Tuesday and Friday outbound with TG940 leaving Bangkok at 40 minutes past midnight, arriving Milan 7.20 a.m. TG941 departs Milan 2.30 p.m. and arrives Bangkok 6.10 a.m. (the following day).

At the reception to celebrate its newest route, Bangkok - Milan v.v., at the Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan, Italy, chaired by Pol.Gen. Sant Sarutanond (center), a member of THAI’s Board of Directors, and Giorgio Goggi (5th from left), Deputy Mayor of Milan. Also present at the reception were members of THAI’s Board of Directors, including Dr. Chai-anan Samudavanija and Prof. Dr. Tatchai Sumitra, Dr. Vachara Phanchet, Vice Minister for Industry and Panlert Baiyoke, Chairman of Bangkok Fashion City Board of Director.

THAI estimates a cabin factor of 75 percent with passengers comprising both tourists and businessmen in the design and fashion industry from Japan, Australia and Thailand.

Italian tourists ranked 7th in the number of arrivals from Europe to Thailand in last year with 40 percent from northern Italy, one of Europe’s best sources of tourism. The launch of the route between Bangkok - Milan will make it easier for these tourists to visit Thailand.

As part of Thailand’s Ministry of Industry policy to promote Thailand as a fashion centre, a reception held at the Palazzo Mezzanotte on Thursday, 20 May 2004, in Milan. The reception highlighted a fashion show by four leading Thai designers, Nagara for Jim Thompson; Pichita, using fabrics from the SUPPORT Foundation; Mae Fah Luang, using fabrics from the Mae Fah Luang Foundation; and Pasaya, presenting 48 Thai original designs. The fashion show aimed to underline Thailand’s potential to stand among the world’s fashion leaders. An exhibition of Thai silk from the SUPPORT Foundation was also shown.

On the Milan-Bangkok flight during May, THAI invited Italian chefs to create special dishes for Royal First and Royal Executive Class passengers. Royal Orchid Plus members also benefited, with Royal First Class passengers gaining 3,000 bonus mileage points, Royal Executive Class passengers 2,000 bonus mileage points, and Economy Class passengers 1,000 bonus mileage points between May 4th-31st July.

For further information and flight bookings, call 66-2628-2000 or THAI ticket agents worldwide, or visit THAI’s website at www.thaiairways.com


Russians brought to Chiang Mai to discover new tourist attractions

Michael Vogt and Saksit Meesubkwang

About 200,000 Russian tourists travel to Thailand every year, most of them families who prefer seaside locations in the east and south of Thailand, such as Pattaya and Phuket. However, through his personal contacts to Chiang Mai, the Thai ambassador to Moscow, Surajouth Promoj, is trying to divert their interest and draw the Russian media attention to the north of Thailand as well, an area relatively unknown in Russia.

Surajouth Prompoj, the Thai ambassador to Moscow (right) and Russian tourism business delegates at the reception.

In cooperation with the Thai Hotels Association (THA) and Thai Airways International (THAI), a familiarization trip was organized, encompassing “classic” destinations such as the seaside resorts, but also the new destination Chiang Mai and the north of Thailand.

The Northern Chapter of the THA hosted a cocktail party to welcome the Thai Ambassador to Moscow and his Russian delegation of tourism business entrepreneurs and the media at the Amari Rincome Hotel in Chiang Mai.

They experienced many outdoor activities such as trekking and rafting, plus close encounters with elephants. The Russians also saw hill tribe villages, waterfalls, the Mae Sai border market and Wat Prathat Doi Suthep temple, a place which most impressed the visitors. They were also introduced to a select number of spas in Chiang Mai.

The delegation was welcomed by Chiang Mai’s Vice-Governor Prinya Panthong, and representatives from the local media, who were eager to meet their Russian counterparts. If there had not been a language barrier, this could have been the start of a fruitful international media cooperation!

In his welcoming speech, Chiang Mai Orchid’s general manager Jin Sukumarabandhu welcomed them all to the beautiful north of Thailand, and expressed his satisfaction in being the host for this relaxed get-together. Chiangmai Mail’s managing director Michael Vogt was invited to formally welcome the media representatives to Chiang Mai. Assisted by the official interpreter of the Royal Thai Embassy in Moscow, Katya Chernitsa, our MD Michael Vogt, on behalf of the Chiang Mai editors and journalists, requested the visitors to take a small piece of Chiang Mai back home to Russia in their hearts, and to always remember the uniqueness of the northern hospitality.

For the familiarization trip group, the evening ended at the Night Bazaar, which, despite all inconveniences, is still a “must-see” for all first time tourists visiting Chiang Mai. Hopefully, by the time of the return of the group, the conveniences will have finally overtaken the inconveniences, and the Night Bazaar will become a real and presentable highlight of a visit to Chiang Mai.


Savour Thailand’s delicious lychees

There’s more than enough for everyone

Autsadaporn Kamthai

Chiang Mai has held a weeklong “Lychee Festival” to encourage more locals and Thai and foreign tourists to buy the delicious juicy fruit.

The Chiang Mai Provincial Agricultural Office in collaboration with Chiang Mai Municipality and Chiang Mai Provincial Authority organized the festival at the Thapae Gate grounds from May 21-27. Apart from lychee selling, there were competitions for various strains of lychee and of lychee products, as well as OTOP (One Tambon, One Product) booths.

Thongchai Wongrianthong, deputy Chiang Mai governor is seen cutting a ribbon to open the lychee festival at Thapae Gate grounds on May 21.

During the same period, lychees were also available along the city moats opposite the Nong Buak Had public park as the Chiang Mai Agricultural Office and Chiang Mai Municipality provided the space for the farmers from Fang and Chai Prakan districts to bring their top grade lychees to be sold at the market place.

Lychee fruits are on sale at the festival held at Thapae Gate grounds.

Panit Charoenboon, from the Agricultural Extension and Development Office, Region 6, said that this year the country had produced 86,000 tons of lychees. It was outstanding that over 76,000 tons of lychees were produced in the north alone. The government’s promotion of lychee plantations in the north had been very successful and many people were growing the crop. However, the market was faced with an over supply. “The government has supplied 110 million baht to help solve the problem of a surplus of lychees in the market place and devised four measures to resolve the problems,” Panit said.

The first measure is for the government to subsidize transport of the fruit to consumers in other parts of the country.

Secondly, the Agricultural Office is buying from planters to maintain the price of grade A lychees at 15 baht a kilogram. Thirdly, the government is trying to increase lychee consumption by encouraging some northern provinces to hold lychee festivals.

The last measure is to allow the Marketing Organization of Farmers to buy lychees and “repackage” the fruit, although this measure has not been applied yet.

The Office of Agricultural Extension and Development was trying to produce dried lychees in another attempt to support growers, said Panit. “The Office has cooperated with other associated organizations and plans to repackage Si Thong lychees as dried fruit in the same way as longans, because the two are similar.”

Initially, the Office would encourage planters to use longan drying ovens to dry the lychees to help them reduce production costs, continued Panit.

The Thai Research Fund and the Faculty of Agro Industry at Chiang Mai University are also trying to assist in resolving the lychee surplus by researching lychee reprocessing, focusing on dried lychees, canned lychees and lychee jam.