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New software office puts Chiang Mai on technology map

New president for CM TBA

New software office puts Chiang Mai on technology map

On January 14 the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) opened a new branch of the Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) in Chiang Mai, making this northern city the first in the country to boast a Metro LAN service.

Presiding over the launch of the office in the Chiang Mai Business Park, ICT Minister Suraphong Suebwonglee said that opening came a year after the government named Chiang Mai as part of its ‘ICT City’ program.

The Metro LAN network, currently unavailable elsewhere in the country, offers speeds of over 100 megabits, and will be extended to cover 10 Chiang Mai districts next month. The network, which employs fiber optic technology, is being installed by the telecommunications giant TOT Corporation Plc. Suraphong said that the network will meet the future needs of businesses needing to transmit large quantities of data.

One of only a handful of designated ‘ICT Cities’, Chiang Mai has worked to develop ‘e-province’ services, with the provincial authorities working closely with the Office of IT Services at Chiang Mai University. Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantiphat voiced optimism that in the near future the province would become a center for the development of the ICT sector. (TNA)

New president for CM TBA

Nopniwat Krailerg,
Jan Justus Schmidt and Kristina Ostermann

Songvit Itthithnakul, managing director of Standard Tour Co., Ltd. was appointed the president of the Chiang Mai Tourism and Business Association (CMTBA) for 2005-2006, with votes from representatives of 78 companies including hotels, airlines, rental cars and tour buses. Songvit defeated his opposition, Rachet Wapeeta, by 51 of 78 votes.

Anchalee Kalmapijit (4th left) from Mae Sa Elephant Camp presents a bouquet of flowers to congratulate Songvit Itthitanakul (3rd right), new president of the Chiang Mai Tourism and Business Association.

At the meeting, former President Boonlert reported on results of his administration. His outstanding works include the North Travel Show organization and MICE. He twice led the delegation to travel shows held in Germany to introduce Chiang Mai to European countries. Under his leadership, the association has cooperated with the Institute of Engineering, Chiang Mai University and other institutes in the US to boost the capacity and competitiveness of the association members.

The new president said that he aimed to create unity amongst the association members and seek more members. He pledged to continue improving the as yet unfinished website to serve as a forum for tourism products and services. He plans to link other members’ websites to make it a one stop service for tourists.

Songvit ambitiously aims to develop all tourist sites to a high standard and proposes that the government build a Lanna and hill tribe culture and handicraft centre to assist the growth of Chiang Mai tourism and support sustainable development. Another of his policies is to closely cooperate with TAT and both domestic and international airlines to promote Chiang Mai as an aviation hub conforming to government policy.

Important attendees included Junnapong Saranak, director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Northern Region 1 and Vorapong Muchaotai, president of the Thai Hotel Association (THA), Northern Chapter and representatives of the Chiang Mai Provincial Tourist Police.