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Meritus feels we merit a bright future

Northern provinces well represented at BIG and BIH

Meritus feels we merit a bright future

Staff reporters

Another major hotel construction is on the way. The Meritus Chiang Mai Pavilion and Spa Resort is under construction and expected to be opened in 2006. This resort project, costing 700 million baht, is being managed by the Singapore Meritus International Hotels Pte., Ltd. It is expected to have its official opening in early 2006.

Meritus Chiang Mai has been established to capitalize on the bright future for Chiang Mai City that is being developed as the City of Life and Prosperity, following the Thai government’s policy launched by the Thaksin administration. (PM Thaksin Shinawatra was born in Chiang Mai.)

An artist’s rendering of the new Meritus Chiang Mai

Meritus Chiang Mai is a resort project to be rated as a four-five star accommodation, right up to world-class standards. The architecture and interior d้cor is designed to reflect that unique Lanna heritage and culture, resulting in a boutique distinctive themed resort.

This project uses a new creative concept by bringing in the images of the Ping River from the past, when it was the major river transportation and communication route used in foreigner trading, and where it was the center of community life for all the northern peoples including minority groups such as Thai Lue and Thai Kern.

This concept can be seen in the design and interior decor. This resort will use teakwood, floated down the Ping River as in the past. The teak logs are used on site to be fashioned into the materials used for the interior decoration, and the even the fabrication will be done in the original way, with traditional wooden pegs, rather than nails and screws.

This method of construction will be passed on to the young generation of artisans, to show them just why teakwood is such a legendary material. The visitors too will be able to see and feel the ancient traditions and culture of Chiang Mai City. These will be tangible selling points of the resort.

Meritus Chiang Mai is located in the heart of Chiang Mai City close to the Ping River, comprising 77 rooms (58 deluxe, 18 suites, and one penthouse), with spa, fitness center, art museum, gallery, restaurant, and conference room.

Access to the rooms can be by waterway, cruising along the Ping River from the resort’s boat landing, so that guests can get in touch with the one-of-a-kind ambience of river transportation.

Meritus Chiang Mai is run by the Riverside Pavilion and Spa Resort Co., Ltd, owned by managing director and mayor of Chiang Mai City, Boonlert Buranupakorn.

Northern provinces well represented at BIG and BIH

Innovative marketing the key

Staff Reporters

The combined Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair (BIG and BIH) held at the Impact Exhibition Center saw a good representation of private enterprise from the North displaying their wares.

In a move that heralds future competition to the Thai enterprises, there was a significant number of Laos, Cambodian and Chinese entrepreneurs vying for the attention and trade dollars from the overseas buyers who could be seen to be very interested native products and the uses that these could be put to.

For example, the Saa paper representatives were most innovative, with the sales girls from Siamphomprathan Company dressed in fetching Saa paper outfits that would be fine till it rained! Their factory is in Sankhampaeng, Chiang Mai.

Another Chiang Mai group that is a regular attendee at these fairs was the Siam Royal Orchid Company, with Marketing Manager Victoria Nimmanahaeminda and her enthusiastic staff, showing their range of unique orchid jewelry and some new homeware items such as napkin rings embellished with their treated real orchid flowers. Victoria said that these fairs often do not generate so much business at the fair, but three months later she will suddenly get an order from overseas that was generated by it.

Other enterprises that took the interest of the potential buyers included Ngern-Yard from Bumrungrat Road in Chiang Mai city and Craft World Chiang Mai with their range of shell jewelry.

The Laos silk weavers were out in force, with many of their exquisite designs showing a certain finesse that the Thai silk weavers are losing, and they should be aware of the inroads being made into this specialized market by the weavers from the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

Another country that is starting to make its mark in the world marketplace is Cambodia. For many years the ‘poor relative’, Cambodia has realized that it must promote itself, and the Artisans’ Association of Cambodia, a working group of NGO’s is assisting the artisans with disabilities to market their work in the SE Asian milieu.