HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Promotional Tours to tsunami ravaged south

AirAsia Tops Euromoney Award for Asia’s Best Managed Companies 2004

Travel News from around Thailand and the World

Strawberry Fair without Beatles

Lanna Call Center 1797 providing service throughout Thailand in 2005

Promotional Tours to tsunami ravaged south

TAT, Skyline Trip and Nok Air to revive Andaman tourism

Maetavarin Maneekulpan

Aiming to revive the Andaman shores of southern Thailand, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in collaboration with Nok Air and Skyline Trip has announced a special initiative bizarrely called, “Love your Andaman, Sea-Sand-Sun, is You” starting from January 21 through to February 28, 2005.

There are six packages, ranging from THB 4,990 to THB 6,990, and include round trip airfare with Nok Air (Bangkok/Phuket), full board (3 meals provided), accommodation and city tour to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world such as the Cape Phomthep, Maya Bay, Similan, as well as tourist entertainment locations such as Phuket Fantasea.

Despite the recent tragedy, most of the Thailand’s Southern areas on the Andaman coastline still retain their extraordinary beauty, with the blue waters cleaner than ever and minimal damage to the living coral and other sea life.

“We are looking at many ways to bring back the business in the Phuket area, while respecting all that has happened,” says Juthamas Siriwan, TAT Governor. “Much as we mourn, we know we need to help those living in the area get back on their feet as soon as possible because this is a big part in rebuilding their lives. We want to show everyone that the Andaman coastline still has some of the most beautiful and welcoming destinations in the world, and now is certainly the time to come.”

“We are very appreciative and supportive of Nok Air and Skyline Trip for taking the initiative with this program, and we look to this as one of the beginning steps in bringing back Phuket to the world,” concluded Siriwan.

Travelers can make reservations for one of these packages through 1318 (Nok Air’s call center), at the Nok Air website,, at the Skyline Trip website,, or by calling Skyline Trip at 0-2541-5522.

AirAsia Tops Euromoney Award for Asia’s Best Managed Companies 2004

Luc Citrinot

2004 has been a busy year for AirAsia. With rapid expansions in Thailand and Indonesia through two successful joint ventures, and the orchestration of one of Malaysia’s largest IPO on November 2004, AirAsia has added another feather to its growing list of accolades.

The red and white AirAsia airplanes are now a common sight at all airports in Thailand.

AirAsia was named “Best Managed Company in the Airlines and Aviation Sector” in Euromoney Magazine’s annual Asia Best Managed Companies Poll. The low fare airline received top honors in the category after being placed above other established companies in Asia such as Virgin Blue, Auckland International Airport, Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA).

AirAsia’s impressive IPO debut in November 2004 has also garnered the airline a third placing in Euromoney’s poll for Best Newly Listed Company. In presenting the Euromoney Award to AirAsia, Euromoney Magazine’s Managing Director, Simon Brady said, “In a sector known for its challenges, AirAsia has demonstrated that bold and innovative management can deliver excellence to its customers and value to its shareholders.”

Travel News from around Thailand and the World


Phuket Pavillions offers intimate escapes in Thailand

Hong Kong-based boutique hotel group Pavilions will open Phuket Pavilions in Phuket, Thailand in June 2005. The all pool-villa hotel’s hilltop location is on the island’s west coast, a short distance from Bang Tao and Layan Beaches. Phuket Pavilions is just five minutes from the well-established Laguna complex, with its large range of dining options, shopping and activities such as the world-class Banyan Tree golf course, tennis, horseback riding, and water sports. Each of the 30 villas, one-bedroom pavilions and three-bedroom villas feature a kitchen, dining area and living room that flows into an outdoor space with a private pool, sundeck and garden. For further information tel: (852) 3526-7828. Fax: (852) 2810-6796. E-mail: kacarpenter @ pa Web site: http://pavilions-resorts .com

Central Hotels and Resorts launches new village resort concept in Thailand

Central Hotels and Resorts has launched a new village resort concept at its Central Karon Village, Phuket and Central Samui Village properties in Thailand. Village resort concept services include personalized check in at the lounge area including an escort to the villa, a drink and cold towels on arrival and upgrades for breakfast service. New poolside services offer trays of tropical fruits twice daily, cold water and cool towels. Late check out is available until 6 p.m. For further information visit: www. cen tralhotelsre

Raffles re-brands Merchant Court Hotel Le Concorde Bangkok as Swissotel

Raffles International Limited has announced the re-flagging of the Merchant Court Hotel Le Concorde Bangkok as Swissotel Le Concorde Bangkok under its first franchise agreement. The hotel will benefit from the brand’s various marketing platforms such as global sales and distribution networks, cross-selling opportunities with sister properties from Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America as well as global brand advertising and promotions. The hotel features 407 guestrooms, four executive club floors and meeting and convention facilities to accommodate up to 1,000 delegates. The hotel is situated within a two-minute walk from the Huai Kwang MRT station in the Ratchadapisek area. For further information tel: (66-2) 694-2222. Fax: (66-2) 694-2214. E-mail: worra wee [email protected] Web site:

Dusit offers luxury golf breakaway in Chiang Rai

Dusit Hotels and Resorts is offering a two-night golfing getaway package at Dusit Island Resort, Chiang Rai until March 31, 2005. Deluxe single occupancy is priced at US$230++ per package and US$ 259++ for a twin. Extended stays per night with ABF are priced at US$ 90++ (single and twin) with a supplemental charge of US$10++/20++ (single/twin) on weekends and long weekends. Package includes two-nights accommodation in a deluxe river-view room, daily American buffet breakfast, one 18-hole round of golf at Santiburi Country Club, round-trip hotel - Chiang Rai airport transfers, round-trip hotel - golf course transfer, shuttle bus to town (as per schedule) and a 20% savings at YOGI ancient herbal massage. For further information:

SriLankan Airlines introduces business class promotion

SriLankan Airlines is awarding 130,000 miles to the Skywards member who earns the most number of miles in business class by August 31, 2005. The prize equates to one free business class return ticket between Colombo and any of SriLankan’s European destinations, two free economy class tickets between the same destinations or five business class upgrades between Colombo and the Middle East. The air miles are valid for three years and the tickets or upgrades can be transferred to others. For further information visit:

SIA increases its services during lunar New Year

Singapore Airlines has announced the increase of its capacity and operations during the Lunar New Year period from February 4-13, 2005. SIA will be using larger aircraft on some of its flights to Shanghai, China (PRC) and Taipei, Chinese Taipei. There will also be additional flights to Taipei from February 5-9, 2005. For Malaysia, supplementary flights will operate to Penang from February 4-20, 2005. The Airline will also mount up to eight additional flights to Kuala Lumpur if the demand in the sector is high. For further information visit:

Strawberry Fair without Beatles

Staff Reporters

To add color to this year’s Valentines Day, Samoeng district will hold a Strawberry Day and the Best of Samoeng District Fair during February 11-14, 2005 in front of Samoeng District Office, Chiang Mai.

Samoeng district has the largest area of strawberry plantations in Thailand, with approximately 2,000 rai of under cultivation.

Various activities will be offered during the fair, including the best strawberry contest, exhibitions from various organizations, sales of strawberries and strawberry products, Samoeng’s OTOP fair, A Great Kid contest (no kidding?), local cultural performances, a strawberry eating contest, spicy strawberry salad contest and, of course, the Miss Strawberry beauty contest.

The opening ceremony of the fair will be on February 12 and Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat will preside.

Lanna Call Center 1797 providing service throughout Thailand in 2005

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Thai Lanna Call Center 1797, implemented after the Maha Songkran Lanna Grand festival last year to provide information for tourists and to link tourists with service providers, will expand its service to cover 76 provinces under the name “Thailand Call Center”. This will assist Thais who wish to take domestic holidays, said Srisorot Khosachan, Thai Lanna Call Center 1797 administrator. Initially the call center served only eight provinces in the upper north.

According to statistics from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, over 76 million domestic travel trips will be taken and the Thailand Call Center can provide tourist information in a “One Stop Service” because tourists can call 1797 and inquire about tour programs or make reservations for the whole trip.

It will provide free calls for tourists in 17 countries throughout the world so that they can call 1797 directly. This service will link foreign tourists directly to Thailand.