Travel Fair attendees welcomed by Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in conjunction with the
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) hosted a traditional Lanna-style banquet
complete with fireworks display in their new property in Chiang Mai.
left to right): Margaret Bhadungzong, Nutteera Khachornlikitkhul, director
of TAT Stockholm office; Savas Rattakunjara, executive assistant manager of
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai; Pornsiri Manoharn, deputy
governor for International Marketing of TAT; Junnapong Saranak, director of
TAT, Northern Region; Chaichatri Limcharoon, chairman of Chiang Mai
Provincial Organization; Dr. Ken Santitham, municipal clerk of Chiang Mai
Municipality; Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai City mayor and Pornchai
Jitnavasatien, mayoral secretary.
The dinner was to welcome over 350 guests who were in
Chiang Mai to attend the “Chiang Mai and North Travel Show, 2004”.
The guests included Thai dignitaries Pornsiri Manoharn,
deputy governor for International Marketing of TAT; Boonlert Buranupakorn
Chiang Mai City mayor and Chaichatri Limcharoon, chairman of Chiang Mai
Provincial Organization. Other guests at the banquet included overseas
tourism operators, plus international and domestic travel agents.
The banquet was preceded by a display of traditional
Lanna pageantry that included music, dancing and candlelit processions.
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai, is one of the city’s newest
world class resorts. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s sister property,
the Oriental, Bangkok, is regarded as one of the world’s best hotels.
New faces at Four
Seasons Resort Chiang Mai
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai announce the appointment of
Andrew Harrison as general manager and Titiya Chooto as resort manager.
A native of U.K., Andrew Harrison brings over 20 years of
extensive international hotel experience to this new posting. He joined the
resort from the Four Seasons Resort Aviara, USA where he held the position
of hotel manager for the past year.
His career includes previous postings as resort manager
at Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, resident manager at Regent Kuala Lumpur
(a Four Seasons managed hotel) as well as executive assistant manager at
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, which included the opening of the
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan.
Andrew Harrison is a graduate of the Blackpool College of
Further and Higher Education (UK) with diploma in Hotel and Catering
Management and Business Administration. He has held a number of operational
positions in his native UK, Switzerland, Russia and France and is fluent in
French, German, Indonesian and Russian.
After moving to Thailand he said, “I am delighted to be
part of the hotel’s enthusiastic team and to have the opportunity to share
the well known Thai hospitality with our guests.” In his new position
Harrison will oversee all resort operations reporting directly to Neil
Jacobs, senior vice president operations Asia/Pacific. He is joined by his
wife, Francette and daughter Nikita.
Titiya Chooto, who is Thai, brings over 20 years of
extensive international hotel experience to this new posting as resort
manager. She joins Four Seasons from the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok where
she held the position of executive assistant manager – rooms.
Prior to this, Ms. Titiya was working in the same
capacity at the Hilton Hotel in London, UK following three years as
personnel & training manager at the same hotel. Other positions include
purchasing manager at the Anglo-American School in Moscow, Russia as well as
postings in hotels in Sussex and Surrey, UK. In Thailand, Titiya previously
oversaw the pre-opening front office operations at the Novotel Bangkok. In
addition to her mother tongue, she is fluent in English and speaks
In her new position Ms Titiya will oversee the resort operation reporting
directly to Andrew Harrison, general manager.
SEAGA conference coincided
with annual Silk Fair
Khon Khen welcomed 100 international geographers
During November 29-December 2, the 7th Southeast Asian
Geography Association’s (SEAGA) international conference was held at the
Charoen Thani Princess Hotel in Khon Kaen. The theme ‘Development and
Change in an era of Globalization’ was timely and had brought more than
100 geographers from all around the world to Isaan’s modern historic city,
which also celebrated its annual Silk Fair Festival when the conference took
Kaen, the new gateway to Indochina. The bus hub of the north-east.
Professor Dr. Sekson Yongvanit, Director of the Research
Center for Mekong Regional Tourism, Khon Kaen University, and Professor Kim
Chuan Goh, National Institute of Education at the Nanyang Technological
University Singapore, jointly organized the conference, providing 40
sessions for academics, policy-makers and geography teachers to present
their relevant research.
In his keynote speech, Professor Jonathan Rigg,
Department of Geography, University of Durham, U.K. stressed that Thai
identity is based on agriculture and should not be undermined by too much
industrialization. The professor did his very factual PhD thesis in Maha
Sarakham, one of Isaan’s poorest provinces. He also linked a kind of new
poverty to the redistribution of land.
Very enlightening was the presentation by researchers
from Khon Kaen University to focus on the potential of tourism development
in Isaan, Thailand’s Northeast, regarding accommodation, foodservice,
souvenir market, souvenir goods, media design, domestic tourism routes and
being a gateway to Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. But here the question arises,
why does Isaan have no international airport?
Referring to the co-operation in the Greater Mekong
Sub-region (GMS), Khun Apichai Sunchindah, United Nations Resident
Coordinator Office, Bangkok analyzed the ongoing cooperative frameworks that
appeared since 1992 in the region and assessed the likelihood of achieving a
wider co-existence and peace.
The first day included an interesting tour of Khon Kaen
University Campus. Like the University in Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen University
was established in 1964 and has 16 faculties, including the Mekong Institute
that provides specialized training and serves the countries of the GMS.
In another keynote speech, German Professor Dr. Hans
Gebhardt, Department of Geography, University of Heidelberg examined the
impact of international migration and transnational tourism on the region of
Isaan. The booming tourism industry in Thailand ultimately produced a labor
out-migration of Isaan villagers, who were victims of loan sharks since the
1970’s. But with the opening to the borders of neighboring Laos and
Cambodia, Isaan should be better integrated into the existing tourism
network and will be part of multi-cultural tours in the future. The
professor singled out the Swiss Diethelm Travel Company in Bangkok, which is
the pioneer in the region and initiated the idea of expedition-style
tailored tours to Yunnan and other GMS countries.
On the final day of the conference, a lively half-day
panel on the Mekong region was moderated by Australian Philip Hirsch,
Associate Professor of the School of Geo-Sciences, Division of Geography,
University of Sydney who drew on a project coordinated by the Australian
Mekong Resource Center (AMRC). The project brings together nine universities
highlighting perspectives, linkages and lessons to be learned. Chinese
Professor Huang Guang Cheng from the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences,
Kunming shared his rich material taken in the borderland of Qinghai, Tibet
and Myanmar, including the 290m high Manwan Dam in Yunnan.
There were two one day post-conference field trips to the
Nam Nao National Park at the border of North and Northeast Thailand and to
the Dinosaur Park and museum at the foot of Phu Khum Khao. At this site,
over 700 pieces of 130 million year old dinosaur bones of seven vegetarian
dinosaurs have been discovered. The Department of Mineral Resources in
Kalasin constructed the museum, which is open daily to visitors.
The 8th SEAGA international conference will be in Vietnam in 2006.
Thaitravelmart.com gives tourism enterprises global platform
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched
Thailand’s largest and hopefully most effective inter-business website,
www.thaitravelmart.com to support tourism entrepreneurs and SMEs.
Ngaorangsi, executive director of Information Technology, Tourism Authority
of Thailand (TAT) introduces the Thaitravelmart.com website to Chiang Mai
“Realizing that some small business entrepreneurs
cannot afford to join the Thailand Travel Mart held in foreign countries,
the TAT came up with the idea of building the website, which will give them
the opportunity to reach foreign buyers,” Sansern Ngaorangsi, TAT
executive director of Information Technology, said. The website
Thaitravelmart.com will act as a trading conduit for Thai sellers and
“Cyber network is a new trend for Thailand’s tourism
trade, so entrepreneurs need to be well equipped with Internet skills,”
Sansern said. At present, about 70 percent of foreign tourists retrieve
information on Thailand through the Internet.
“Chiang Mai has great potential for tourism growth, and
many innovative types of tourism occur in Chiang Mai, like balloon tours and
language tours,” he said.
Interested tourism services and products can register with the website
free of charge. The website would be promoted in 17 overseas countries via
TAT offices in January next year, said Sansern. So far, up to 500 Thai
agents have registered.