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Duangtawan Hotel opens in Chiang Mai

Unemployment allowance starts nation-wide payment on July 1

Government eyes nightspots for energy saving closures

Duangtawan Hotel opens in Chiang Mai

504 rooms waiting for tourists

Marion Vogt

After three months of re-building, renovating and construction, Duangtawan Hotel, right in the heart of the city, has opened its doors.

The Duangtawan Hotel Group added the 504 downtown hotel as the latest ‘baby’ in their chain. They already operate properties in Bangkok (First Hotel), Pattaya (The Regent Marina and Central Place), Phuket (Hyton Leevadee) and Koh Samui (Malibu-Chaweng Beach and Samui Park Resort).

A new face in town - Surasri Suwannanon, general manager of Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai. (Photo: Michael Vogt)

This new property is, for many tourists, perfectly situated in the middle of the Night Bazaar, making it easy to explore the city, going shopping and only a 10-minute drive to the airport.

The hotel boasts 24 floors, superior rooms, deluxe rooms, junior and executive suites with 2 bedrooms (perfect for family tourism) and even a presidential suite with four bedrooms, lounge and dining room.

Chiang Mai governor, Suwat Tantipat, strikes the Lanna victory drum to declare the Duangtawan Hotel officially open. (Photo: Michael Vogt)

The facilities include a business center, swimming pool, car park, traditional Thai massage and banquet and conference rooms for up to 800 people. For a city which aims to hit the MICE market and offer convention possibilities for any kind of promotion, a hotel with 10 conference rooms, all fully equipped with high performance audio-visual facilities with 40-800 seats fits the bill.

Surasri Suwannanon, general manager of Duangtawan Hotel introduced his hotel, saying that he and his staff want to contribute their share to make Chiang Mai an even more exciting location for local and foreign tourists.

He invited Suwat Tantipat the governor of Chiang Mai to strike the Lanna victory drum to declare the hotel officially open.

The reception was attended by over 500 guests, who were well fed and entertained by dancers from Simon Cabaret.

Unemployment allowance starts nation-wide payment on July 1

The payment of an unemployment allowance to eligible recipients nation-wide will start as planned on July 1, said the Social Security Office (SSO) Secretary-General Pairote Sooksamrit. He said the SSO’s ongoing trial project to test its readiness for the new payment had, so far, proved successful.

The SSO is required by an executive decree to ensure that the payment can be made to qualified jobless people nationwide. At present, social security welfare payments are only eligible to employees who are killed, become disabled, or permanently ill, in the line of their duties, as well as women taking maternity leave, or those having to pay child support, and those who have retired. Unemployed people who have qualified will be now be eligible for welfare payments for the first time ever.

The trial project conducted by three other agencies under the Ministry of Labor include the Department of Employment, the Department of Skill Development and the Department of Labor Protection and Welfare. It began on April 1, and will end on June 30. (TNA)

Government eyes nightspots for energy saving closures

The government recently announced that it could order the early closure of entertainment venues in order to bring down fuel costs, as the Ministry of Energy conceded that its energy saving measures had been largely unsuccessful.

Speaking after a joint public-private sector brainstorming session on how to save energy, Cherdpong Siriwit, permanent secretary for energy, announced a shift in focus in the government’s energy saving campaigns. Whereas in the past the government had relied almost solely on public cooperation, it would introduce more obligatory measures to cut fuel consumption.

Suggestions brought up in the meeting included floating the price of benzene, which would push up octane 95 to 21.07 baht per liter and octane 91 to 20.37 baht per liter. The price of diesel, however, would remain unchanged in recognition of its vital role in the economy.

The second suggestion was to close petrol stations, while the third was to close all entertainment venues by 1 a.m. Fourth, the meeting proposed switching off every other streetlight; fifth, to shut down television stations after midnight; and sixth, to switch off advertising billboard lighting after 9 p.m. Cherdpong said that the suggestions would be put before the next cabinet meeting to determine which would be implemented.

According to government estimates, oil imports could grow by 100 percent over the next 10-20 years. This year has already seen particularly high oil imports, with oil imports in May alone standing at 544 million liters. Oil imports in April were worth a whopping 6 billion baht more than during the same period in 2003. (TNA)