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THAI wins Airline of the Year TTG Travel Award

New travel products at PATA Travel Mart 2004

Nok Air celebrates the launch of new Phuket route

THAI wins Airline of the Year TTG Travel Award

Thai Airways International (THAI) was awarded the “Airline of the Year” TTG Travel Award at the 15th TTG Travel Awards held in the Sofitel Central Plaza Hotel. The Tourism Authority of Thailand received the “Best NTO” award, with Thailand-based hotel properties also recognized with awards in respective categories.

Vasing Kittikul (center), THAI’s commercial executive vice president, receiving THAI’s “Airline of the Year” Award from HE Sontaya Khunplome (left), minister of tourism and sports; with Darren Ng (right), TTG Media’s managing director, in attendance.

Vasing Kittikul, a THAI Executive Vice President, said, “THAI is very proud to be awarded the ‘Airline of the Year’ Award by TTG, as our airline has been actively moving forward in all areas, including in-flight and ground services, over the past year, in a move to meet passenger expectations of comfort and convenience better than ever before.”

Kittikul also said, “THAI is currently undergoing network expansion to serve more destinations worldwide, preparing to introduce new aircraft types A340-500/-600, B777-200ER, and A380 to its fleet beginning next year, introducing new cabin design with upgraded service, and re-branding of its corporate identity. Receiving the ‘Airline of the Year’ TTG Travel Award is a benchmark that serves as evidence of THAI’s success in providing maximum passenger service satisfaction and is an incentive for the challenges yet to come as we work towards our goal of being the ‘First Choice Carrier with Touches of Thai’.”

TTG Travel Awards recognized 51 organizations and individuals from the Asia-Pacific region. More than 28,000 TTG Asia and TTG China readers from 14 Asia-Pacific countries nominated travel industry organizations in 47 categories during July 2004. The award ceremony was presided over by His Excellency Sontaya Khunplome, Minister of Tourism and Sports.

New travel products at PATA Travel Mart 2004

Total tourism is the name of the game

Reinhard Hohler

During the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart 2004 in Bangkok on September 22-24 hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways International (THAI), 720 sellers from 37 countries tried to offer new exciting travel products to 345 international buyers. But behind these bare facts is more than a marketing concept. The travel mart in itself is a magnet to all kinds of people to see new projects and developing new partnerships. Total tourism is the name of the game in order to counterbalance the negative effects of communicable diseases, terrorism, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

HE Sontaya Khunplome (second from left) visits the ACCOR Asia Pacific booth.

However, despite the challenges facing the global tourism industry, tourism in the Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing in the world against a slowing down in old Europe and in America. Consequently, new travel products are welcomed and prove the health and vigor of regional travel and tourism mainly propelled by the emerging source markets of China, India and the Middle East.

Hotel Cambodiana by the mighty Mekong River.

During the three days of selling and buying at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, there were some outstanding tourism products offered.

Chiang Mai, which is awaiting a myriad of new hotel constructions, announced its controversial Night Safari Park with elephant trekking near the Jaguar Trail and Swan Lake, where tourists can learn and understand natural resources and the environment. The park will be opened on April 13, 2005.

ACCOR Asia Pacific with nearly 4.000 hotels in 90 countries will open Sofital Phi Phi Villa and Spa in early 2005, tucked into a hillside on Phi Phi Don Island in the south of Thailand.

AMARI Hotels and Resorts introduced their five star comfortable Trang Beach Resort and idyllic Emerald Cove Resort located on the secluded Klong Prao Beach in Koh Chang, while Phulay Beach Krabi Aprime Resort offers the latest state of the art facilities at the Andaman Sea.

In Myanmar, the newly inaugurated Lisu Resort in Putao, Kachin State awaits brave visitors to stay for an exclusive four day wilderness journey across the pristine headwaters of the Irrawaddy River, perhaps the last unspoiled frontier of Southeast Asia. This exciting project was co-founded by Brett Melzer from Balloon over Bagan. When in Bagan, go no further than the Bagan Hotel River View and don’t miss sailing in the RV Pandaw, the Irrawaddy River cruising boutique hotel, in an original 1947 built colonial steamer. When in Yangon, stay in the teak Kandawgyi Palace Hotel and face to face with the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda.

Cambodia offers the highly recommended Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh, where the Mekong River splits into four arms. Besides the elegant and luxurious City Angkor Hotel, other new projects come up in Siam Reap every day, while the deepest South has a new airport in Sihanoukville and the already opened deluxe Sokha Beach Resort. East meets West Travel in Bangkok takes care of all and functions as the official representative of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism.

A world of treasures also awaits you in Vietnam, where Vidotour Indochina Travel with its head office in Ho Chi Minh City organizes different tours in the colorful and intriguing Mekong Delta.

By far the largest space in the exhibition hall was occupied by India to advertise special tours in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. N.N. Prasad, Chief Executive Officer of the emerging Uttaranchal Tourism Development Board, even dared to invite members of the media to come and see the four holiest pilgrimage centers of Hinduism there. Countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka occupied much smaller booths.

From the Pacific region were representatives of Micronesia, who introduced the Palau International Coral Reef Center, then the Philippines, Indonesia and East Timor with their world-famous diving sites as well as Malaysia to promote the 99 tropical islands of Langkawi in the Indian Ocean.

Finally were China specialists CITS Guilin and other attractions, spanning from the Korean Peninsula to Australia and Egypt.

For further information, contact GMS Media Travel Consultant Reinhard Hohler by email: [email protected]

Nok Air celebrates the launch of new Phuket route

Drop the surfboard and check-in on the beach

Staff reporters

Nok Air celebrated the opening of its new route to Phuket and the launching of the latest ground service innovation, “The beach check-in service”. An innovative way of providing Nok Air passengers with greater convenience, ease, and comfort.

Nok Air’s latest Boeing 737-400

Nok Air began its service to Phuket on October 15, 2004, operating three daily flights on Nok Air’s latest Boeing 737-400, with new colors to reflect Nok Air’s ‘beach’ approach.

Patee Sarasin, chief executive officer of Nok Air, said, “Nok Air is thrilled to be flying to Phuket. We are very excited about adding Phuket to our three existing destinations. Phuket is internationally recognized as one of the world’s top vacation travel destinations. All of us at Nok Air look forward to being part of the excitement that is travel to the beautiful “Pearl of the Andaman”.

Patee added, “We are also very proud to announce what we believe is a revolution in ground service. Nok Air’s passengers traveling from Phuket can enjoy extended time at Nai Yang Beach by checking in at Nok Air check-in counter at Crown Nai Yang Suite Hotel. After checking in Nok Air’s passengers can enjoy free time on the beach, relax at the hotel swimming pool, at the hotel lounge, or enjoy other available activities. The hotel’s facilities by the swimming pool area are also available for Nok Air’s passengers. One hour prior to the departure time, there will be buses transporting our passengers from the hotel to the airport where they will then board the plane as usual.”

Nok Air travelers have the option to make reservations for their desired flights on the Nok Air website <www.>, which provides them 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.

The Nok Air planes stand out with their unusual style and colors, as they have the look of a real “Nok” (Thai for bird).