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.
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.