HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

THAI and USA sign consultation agreement

Duangtawan hotel enters digital age

Nok Air claims 50 percent market share in Chiang Mai

THAI Signs code-share agreement with Air Macau

Local tourism seminar

THAI and USA sign consultation agreement

H.E. Darryl N. Johnson (second from left), ambassador of the United States of America to Thailand and Kanok Abhiradee (second from right), president, Thai Airways International, signed a grant agreement for the funding of consultation services for THAI’s operations at the new Suvarnabhumi Airport, to ensure proper security systems and implementation of THAI’s new facilities at the new Airport. THAI trusts that through these experts in the field of aviation security, it will set a world-class security standard through its people, processes and technologies.

Duangtawan hotel enters digital age

Phitsanu Thepthong

Duangtawan Hotel in Chiang Mai has invested 10 million baht in its IT and communications system, becoming one of the first hotels in the northern region to go fully digital.

Surasri Suwannanont (left), general manager of Duangtawan Hotel, shakes hands with Noppadol Deerangsarn (right), director of sales and marketing for Genesis Blue, while Christopher Mospy, IT manager at Genesis Blue, looks on. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Along with IT providers Genesis Blue, the two companies held the official signing ceremony on October 2, for high-speed Internet services in its business and Internet center as part of its Digital Hotel project and security installation.

Arthit Chimpleewat, the manager of IT & E-Marketing, Duangtawan Hotel, said management had spent about 2 million baht on the IT system, 5 million baht for the ICT system, and 3 million baht for other Genesis Blue operation services, security gateway and Internet corner.

Surasri Suwannanont, general manager of the Duangtawan Hotel said the hotel management wanted to install the IT, ICT and Internet services at all its outlets for guests or conference participants, on every floor.

The wireless IT and high-speed ASDL Internet installation would improve facilities for meetings and seminars organized at the hotel.

Prakit Wangpat, TT&T, Upper Northern Region regional director, added that the hotel used TT&T for Internet connections, using fiber-optic cables.

Nok Air claims 50 percent market share in Chiang Mai

Adds two new routes - Phuket and Phitsanulok

Nok Air, one of the low cost carriers (LCC), is confidently expanding to add two new destinations, Phuket and Phitsanulok, as it further strengthens its position in the domestic market.

Patee Sarasin, CEO Nok Air

Adding to its three existing destinations of Chiang Mai, Hat Yai, and Udon Thani, which Nok Air has been serving since July 23, 2004, Nok Air will operate two daily flights to Phuket and two daily flights to Phitsanulok from mid October this year, with reservations commencing already.

As it grows Nok Air is adding an additional Boeing 737-400 to its fleet. Additional cabin crews are also being selected and trained in the Nok Air culture, along with complete and thorough safety training from Thai Airways International.

Patee Sarasin, chief executive officer of Nok Air said, “We are very excited about adding the Phuket and Phitsanulok destinations. Phuket is internationally recognized as one of the world’s top vacation travel destinations. Nok Air looks forward to being part of the excitement that is the beautiful “Pearl of the Andaman”. Phitsanulok is the hub of transport and communication of the lower north of Thailand and is becoming a major economic center. It is a city imbued with rich history and magnificent natural beauty, and Nok Air is honored to have the chance to serve those traveling in and out of this prominent province.”

Patee added, “It has always been our aim to take Thais to see the beauty of their own country, to see families and family members that they haven’t seen in years, to allow Thais to travel long distances quickly and comfortably, and to do all this at prices that are affordable, and these two new destinations are another step towards achieving those aims.”

Nok Air travelers have the option to make reservations on the website (, which provides travelers with the opportunity to choose their own seating, or they can call the Nok Air call center (1318). Payments can be made online or via the call center with a credit card, or at any 7-Eleven throughout Thailand featuring Counter Service Plus, or at Siam Commercial Bank ATMs (for SCB account holders) or at any Nok Air airport counter.

Operating Boeing 737-400s, each with a capacity of 149, Nok Air planes stand out with their dynamic style and colors, as they have the look of a real “Nok” (Thai for bird).

THAI Signs code-share agreement with Air Macau

From October 1, 2004, Thai Airways International (THAI) and Air Macau will begin code-share flights between Bangkok and Macau, operated by Air Macau’s aircraft with THAI as the marketing carrier. The code-share flights are:

Bangkok – Macau (every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday): NX881/TG6830. Departs Bangkok 9.45 p.m. and arrives Macau 1.30 a.m. the following day.

NX882/TG3831. Departs Macau 6.50 p.m. and arrives Bangkok 8.45 p.m.

Suthep Suebsantiwongse, THAI’s Executive Vice President Commercial Department, said, “This cooperation between THAI and Air Macau will cater for the demand of travelers between Thailand and Macau. It will bring the two destinations closer together and provide better connecting services for their passengers.”

Li Qiang, Air Macau’s Vice President Commercial added, “I am glad to become a code-share partner of THAI. This agreement will bring Macau closer to Europe and Australia where connections can be made in Bangkok from the carrier’s operating network. I am looking forward to seeing an increase in the number of tourists arriving on the code-share flights from these two continents,” said Li, “I am sure it will contribute positively to the tourism industry and the economy of Macau.”

Air Macau was founded in 1994 and currently operates to Taiwan, China, Thailand, the Philippines and South Korea. The airline has a total fleet of eleven passenger aircraft and three freighters.

Local tourism seminar

Three-country tourism potential taken to a higher level

Editorial staff

The tourist potential of Laos, Cambodia and Thailand will be investigated at a conference later this month, where research results on the subject will be presented.

The conference, on October 15-16, at the Anandra Resort and Spa Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen district, Chiang Rai, will deal with tourism-related development projects along the Mekong River.

The Social Research Institute (SRI) of Chiang Mai University (CMU) will host the meeting at which papers on potential, trends and integrated development in tourism linking Laos, Cambodia and Thailand at both local and international levels will be developed.

Assoc Prof Dr Mingsarn Kao-sa-ard, director of the SRI, said that the countries located along the Mekong river basin seemed to agree that Thailand was the regional leader in tourism management.

“Thailand’s northern region can be developed as the gateway to the Indo-China countries, which are rich in diverse natural resources,” he said.

Statistics showed that Thailand welcomed over 10 million visitors in 2003, of which 700,000 were from Cambodia and 630,000 from Laos.

“But, some local people at community level still lack the expertise in tourism management to receive the influx of foreign tourists and visitors. Moreover, they do not have sufficient information on marketing and tourism behavior,” he noted.

The SRI and researchers from Laos and Cambodia met to promote the tourist potential in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) by exchanging information and research data - including on the Lanna people, local wisdom and tourism management.

The meeting will be attended by many researchers and academics from Thailand and abroad. John M. Koldowski, managing director of Strategic Intelligence Center, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will speak on the tourism hub of Asia and the GMS; Prof Zhang Wen of the School of Tourism Management, Beijing International Studies University, who will speak on the role of China in tourism in the GMS; and Suparuek Surangkoon, the president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents will speak on the expectations of educational institutions from the studies on tourism.