Industrial Fair boosts Northern products
Industrial Fair 2005 was held from January 28 to February
6, 2005 at the Industrial Promotion Center, Chiang Mai.
Phasookwanich, permanent secretary of Industry Department and Banjong
Piphatsamutra, chairman of the Industrial Fair 2005 Organization cut ribbon
to open the fair.
Jakkramon Phasookwanich, permanent secretary of Industry
Department, said that the Industrial Fair aimed at building networks and
cooperation between entrepreneurs and improving and enhancing their
Banjong Piphatsamutra, chairman of the Industrial Fair
2005 Organization, said that the fair was arranged to support and promote
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), expand international markets and
make Northern Thai products known. He said that as business competition was
intense, marketing strategies and competitiveness were crucial for all
Many upgraded SME products were displayed at the fair and an exhibition
of industry related technologies was presented.
Samlors to the Night Bazaar in Chiang Rai
Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa is offering a tricycle
(samlor) ride to the close by Night Bazaar. The staff has been specially
trained on the Resort’s own Samlors! More information and bookings call 0
5391 0400 or e-mail Marc Dumur at [email protected]
NGO community reflects on tsunami impact
Owen Elias (Health and Development
The Indian Ocean tsunami of December 26 2004 had a
devastating impact on the lives of coastal communities across the region. It
also touched millions of people across the world who witnessed the tragedy
unfolding in the media. The consequences of this event have been
far-reaching and the NGO Forum held on January 25 at Health and Development
Networks provided an opportunity for members of the NGO community to gather
together and reflect on ‘the challenges and opportunities for NGOs in the
aftermath of the tsunami’.
Many of the participants recounted first hand stories of
the immediate impact of the tsunami. Everybody had emotional responses to
share. Guest speakers Shanya Attasillekha, Jettaya Phaobtong and Veerayuth
Triamsantipap had each experienced the full ferocity of the waves in
Southern Thailand. Ajarn Sanun Wutti, Sean Litton and David M. Dauer had
been involved in the relief effort in the immediate aftermath of the
disaster, in Thailand, Banda Ache and Sri Lanka respectively.
Personal responses reflected the shock, concern and
sorrow felt by all, but also other emotions - frustration at not knowing how
to help; anger about the politicization of the official response; gratitude
for the compassion and generosity shown to survivors; empathy for the
victim’s families; and relief at having personally avoided tragedy.
The challenges identified varied considerably, depending
on the work area of the participants, but one common issue of concern was
funding. Many people were struck by the huge mobilization of resources in
response to the tsunami and felt that the real challenge was how to raise
the same level of concern for issues such as HIV/AIDS. Others expressed the
fear that budgets were being directed away from other areas in response to
the tsunami, and that funds raised may not be spent appropriately or
Sean Litton, a lawyer working in child protection,
expressed grave concern for children in Banda Ache, and other affected
areas, whose vulnerability to sex trafficking may have been dramatically
increased. Ilse Claes of Empower talked specifically of the challenges
facing sex workers in affected areas of southern Thailand, many of whom are
Burmese migrants who are afraid to ask for help because they lack proper
In terms of opportunities, several participants felt that
the response to the tsunami offered a ray of hope. People all over the world
were moved to generosity and showed real concern for those in the developing
south. If this compassion can be engaged for other issues it represents a
great possibility. Other participants talked of the opportunity to develop
local partners and build relationships with other organizations. Alison
Campbell, of Internews spoke of the renewed interest of donors in their
community media projects in Banda Ache. Before the forum was closed, a final
question was posed, ‘What did you gain from today’s experience?’ Most
of the participants felt that the opportunity to share their experiences
with the community had been very rewarding. Shanya Attasillekha, of AHRN
spoke for many in expressing appreciation for her group simply listening
sympathetically to her story.
The aftermath of the tsunami obviously poses enormous
challenges for reconstruction of communities in affected areas but, as the
forum revealed, it perhaps challenges NGOs in other less obvious ways,
stimulating re-evaluation. It also seems that it even offers some surprising
opportunities. The NGO Forum takes place on the last Tuesday of every month.
For more information, please contact Owen Elias at Health and Development
Networks, 053 418 438 or [email protected]
Meritus to open second Thai property
Jeffrey Studebaker, TTG
Meritus Hotels and Resorts has announced plans to open a
five-star, 150-key spa resort in Chiang Mai in early 2006 on the banks of
the Mei Ping River.
The resort owner, Chiang Mai lord mayor, Boonlert
Buranupakorn, is also the owner of a major teak factory, which will supply
materials for the eighteenth-century Lanna-style property. In keeping with
traditional construction techniques, no nails or concrete would be used.
Bangkok’s Meritus Suites State Tower general manager,
Kaya Cansever, said the new property represents the latest move in the
group’s expansion in Thailand.
In a parallel development, Accor has officially been
named the operator for a new 600-key, 2.7 billion baht (USD 67.5 million)
hotel at the new Bangkok airport to be named Novotel Suvarnabhumi and opened
along with the airport at the end of September.
Accor won the bid over hotel companies Marriott, Carlson,
Central Pattana and Amari Hotels and Resorts.
Oriflame cosmetics whiten Chiang Mai
Kristina Ostermann and Jan
Oriflame, a Swedish brand of natural cosmetics,
introduced new products to Chiang Mai at the Airport Plaza Chiang Mai last
Saturday. With the Oriflame theme being “White, Color Of Nature”, this
had an immediate appeal with the local ladies, who all wish to be
Lanna Fashion Show
The event was presided over by Dr. Jao Duandueng na
Chiang Mai who told the audience how important it is today to get more back
to nature. She said that Sweden is known for cleanliness and elegance, and
that was exactly what this new cosmetic series embodies. Oriflame believes
in enhancing people’s natural looks rather than concealing them and they
also perform no animal testing.
Guests at the opening were entertained by the music of well known artist
Koh Saxman, and an elegant Lanna Fashion Show.
ASEAN Tourism Forum 2005
to promote peace and prosperity
The 24th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) was held on January
21-29 in Langkawi, one of the premier destinations in Malaysia. ASEAN
comprises the ten destinations of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,
Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The theme
was “Shifting Paradigm – Prospering the Region” to benefit the ASEAN
tourism businesses as well as the region’s economy.
former Prime Minister of Malaysia, H.E. Tun Mahathir Bin Mohamad (left)
during an interview with the international press and flanked by the
Malaysian Minister of Tourism, Datuk Dr. Leo Michael Toyad (right).
It was an honor for Malaysia to play host to ASEAN’s
flagship tourism event for the 5th time since its debut in Kuala Lumpur in
1981. Since then, the ATF has gained increasing worldwide recognition as a
platform for the gathering of ASEAN tourism ministers and senior officials
to address current issues and formulate new policies. In addition, the forum
offers the opportunity for travel industry players to network with a large
number of international buyers and members of the media. The official
opening ceremony of ATF2005 was held on Eagle Square, the island’s most
prominent landmark at Lankawi island’s main town Kuah, where the take-off
point to neighboring islands is located.
At this year’s forum being only shortly after the
tsunami that hit the countries around the Indian Ocean on December 26, there
were 1,800 delegates, including 403 buyers, 405 seller organizations, and
198 media to descend on the beautiful island of Langkawi. (Actually,
Langkawi comprises a group of 99 exotic islands and is developed along the
lines of Phuket in Thailand and Bali in Indonesia.)
landscape on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia
Most of the media was booked into the inland Kampung Tok
Senik Resort, which is made up of Malay-styled chalets surrounded by vast
rice fields and a chain of rolling hills. Nearby was the mausoleum of
Mahsuri, also called Lady White Blood, who was unjustly sentenced to death
for adultery in the 18th century.
The highlight of the program was the ASEAN Tourism
Conference on January 26 with Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, H.E. Tun
Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, the keynote speaker. Dr. Mahathir made his points
by advocating a need to change our mindsets in order to attain greater
prosperity after the crises of SARS, bird flu, terrorism and political
On a positive note, the former Prime Minister promotes
Southeast Asia as a single destination and vaunted its humidity as a factor
in staying youthful. “If you want to stay young, come to Southeast
Asia,” he said. Furthermore, he singled out the tourism industry as a
“catch” business that is better than selling guns. He described the
human race as not civilized yet and mentioned wars have been killing people
since the Stone Age. “Killing people to solve problems is very primitive
and to be against wars is the only solution to solve problems between
nations”, he concluded.
Vietnam and Myanmar hosted special dinners for invited
delegates, and there were late night functions by Malaysia Airlines and by
the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia.
The closing ceremony at the Telaga Harbour Park featured
the announcement by U Thay Aung, Director-General from the Ministry of
Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar that they would hold ATF2006 on January 13-21,
2006 in Yangon under the theme of “Strengthening partnership towards
peace, prosperity, and progress.” We will all wait for that!
For further information, please contact Reinhard Hohler, GMS Media Travel
Consultant, by email sara @cmnet.co.th.
Thai AirAsia celebrates
one year in Thailand
The first anniversary of Thai AirAsia was celebrated in
style with ‘give-aways’ of free flights over many radio and TV channels
during all of February. They will also sell package tours to many
destinations in Thailand and special rates with two hotels in Singapore.
Bijleveld, (middle with black T-Shirt) with well wishers and a huge birthday
cake for the 1st
birthday of Thai AirAsia
Five hotels from the Accor Group in Thailand will cooperate with AirAsia
and offer special accommodation rates. Sofitel Raja Orchid Khon Kaen is
1,600 baht per night, Panwa Beach Resort Phuket 1,800 baht per night,
Novotel Central Sukhontha Hat Yai 1,810 baht per night, Novotel Coralia
Phuket 3,000 baht per night and Novotel Chiang Mai 1,420 baht per night. The
Singapore special rates are the Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel S$ 110 per night
and the Novotel Clarke Quay S$ 120 per night. These promotion rates include
daily breakfast for two persons and are valid until March 26, 2005.