Amari awarded ‘Best Domestic Hotel Chain’
Ruffli received the trophy for ‘Best Domestic Hotel Chain 2005’
During the TTG Asia Awards for the ‘Best Domestic Hotel
Chain’ at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort in Pattaya, Kurt Ruffli was on hand
to personally receive the trophy.
Receiving the award, he stated, “We did not win because I sit in a
comfortable chair in the head office in Bangkok, but because in our hotels
we are providing exceptional standards of excellence and expertise that have
been noticed by the travel trade. In fact, this award belongs to all the
employees of Amari.”
Nok Air adds Chiang Mai-Udon Thani route
Nok Air has opened a new route between Chiang Mai and
Udon Thani to help support investment and tourism between the North and the
Sihapan Chumsai na Ayuthaya, administration and marketing
vice president of Nok Air, said that during the initial phase from now until
December there are two flights per week, on Friday and Sunday. Flying time
is only 50 minutes, a sharp contrast to the eight-hour road journey.
Sihapan said that in addition to spurring trade and
tourism between the two regions, the link also opens a new route to Lao PDR.
Ticket price during the launch period is from 1,250 to
2,050 baht, with 60 seats available on each flight. If the route proves
successful, more flights will be added.
Cabinet approves tsunami anniversary plan
The Thai cabinet has approved a 300-million baht plan to
commemorate the first anniversary of the December 26 tsunami that devastated
the country’s Andaman Sea coast, killing almost 5,400 people. The
anniversary organizing committee submitted the plan to the cabinet at a
Details released by the committee show a total of 14,123
people have been invited to attend the December 25-27 memorial events. The
guests include Thai and foreign survivors and immediate relatives of those
who died, as well as a number of foreign heads of state. To cater for those
attending the various events, a total of 4,500 hotel rooms have been
reserved in the southern provinces of Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi and Trang,
and 5,000 in Bangkok.
Thai ‘home stay’ style accommodation in local
residents’ homes is also being offered as an alternative. Sponsored guests
are being offered two nights’ free accommodation and return air tickets
paid by the Thai government.
Tsunami memorial services are set to be held at 10 am on
December 26 at six locations: Patong Beach; Kamala Beach and Mai Khao
Cemetery in Phuket province; Bang Niang and Nam Khem villages in Phang-nga
province; and Phi Phi Island in Krabi.
On the afternoon of December 26, a foundation-laying
ceremony for a tsunami memorial will be held in Phang-nga’s Khao Lak Lamru
National Park followed by evening religious rituals at Chongfah beach, also
The six coastal provinces of Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi,
Trang, Ranong, and Satun were devastated by the December 26 tsunami.
The first anniversary commemoration ceremonies and other
activities in the affected provinces are also aimed at rebuilding confidence
in Thailand as a tourist destination. (TNA)
TAT promotes certified home-stays
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is promoting
certified home-stays in Thailand to attract foreign tourists. Prices vary
from B. 300 to B. 700 per person per night but excludes activities such as
merit making, offering food to Buddhist monks, fruit tasting, boat building,
producing rice and shellfish farming.
In North Thailand, tourists can visit Ban Mae Kampong in
Chiang Mai, Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang, Ban Muang Pon in
Mae Hong Son and Ban Lap Lae in Uttaradit.
In the Northeast there is Ban Prasat in Nakhon
Ratchasima, Ban Chiang in Udon Thani and Phu Thai Kok Kong Cultural Village
The central region offers Ban Plai Pong Pang in Samut
Songkram, Ban Rang Jorakae in Ayutthaya and Bang Chao Cha in Ang Thong.
In the South there is Ban Na Teen in Krabi, Koh Yao Noi
Island in Phangnga, and Sin Manee Oyster Farm in Surat Thani.
Tourism suffers slight fall but all set for buoyant winter
Tourism in the North of Thailand has been slightly down
for the past nine months but the high season is expected to perform well and
there are no signs of the avian flu scare having any effect on visitor
Ob-ua Karuthanoot, new director of the Bank of Thailand
Northern branch, said that the number of Thai and foreign tourists was down
during the month of September because of the high cost of fuel oil, the
violence in the Deep South, and the flooding in prime areas such as Chiang
These factors combined resulted in a decrease of 4.2
percent in arrivals at the airport and a reduction of hotel occupancy to
40.5 percent, although the rate being paid for a hotel room showed an
increase of 1.9 percent. Ob-ua added that the nine months between January to
September saw the average room rate rise by 6.9 percent with hotel occupancy
at 50.6 percent.
This winter with its especially cool weather is expected
to attract Thai and foreign tourists to the region. The Tourism Authority of
Thailand and Chiang Mai province are organizing various activities during
the approaching season and this is expected to generate even more visitors.
Elephant lunch will be a jumbo-sized buffet
A buffet lunch for elephants is on the menu from December
2 to 4 at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Hang Chat district,
A conference chaired by Lampang Deputy Governor
Chareunsuk Chumsri to find ways of promoting tourism and finding revenue to
support Thai elephants decided to hold the event at the same time the local
ceramics fair is being held, as it can be promoted by the Tourism Authority
of Thailand and attract tourists already in the region for the fair. The
elephant buffet has been staged in previous years and has proved successful.
Residents, students, government departments and the
private sector will be invited to participate by providing food, and the
elephants will take part in games and compete for trophies, although
hopefully before lunch.