HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Expats helping Expats

Chiang Mai convention center to open December 2007

THAI to offer spa, massage services to passengers

Expats helping Expats

Phillip Johnson

Yoawathida Samukkee, from Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, was guest speaker.

The Chiangmai Expats Club (CEC) held its second meeting of the year on Saturday, January 28. Jim Cox, CEC president reminded everyone that club membership is open to all, and that anyone living in and around Chiang Mai may drop by on the second and fourth Saturdays of the each month to see what the club has to offer. Meetings are held at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel (next to Central Shopping Plaza) at 10.30 a.m.

Yoawathida Samukkee from Chiang Mai Ram Hospital was guest speaker, and she shared a host of information about the services they provide, and its mission to provide high quality medical care and health services. She said that Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and United Health Care are just three of the many health plans accepted by Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, and that appointments can be made via their website.

Chiang Mai Ram Hospital, established in 1993 as a private hospital, was the first medical center in northern Thailand to be awarded the prestigious Prime Minister’s Export Award in 2004. The hospital is affiliated with nine other Ramkhamhaeng group hospitals throughout Thailand. Chiang Mai’s facility, located on Boonruangrit Road in the Sripoom District, is a 12-story building with a 350 bed capacity, boasting a highly trained medical staff and state-of-the-art medical equipment. Visitors are welcome at the hospital any day of the week to see how a truly international medical facility is managed.

For those early risers, the next hike will be on Monday, February 6, so check the CEC website ([email protected]) for particulars.

Richard H. Colburn, Senior Consultant with Montpelier Financial Services, is the scheduled guest speaker on Saturday, February 11. Richard will be sharing his financial expertise with us on what to look for when picking a financial advisor. Richard points out that financial advisors should be professionally qualified, regulated, and independent, so that they can provide the best possible services to their clients.

Remember, it’s all about Expats helping Expats.

Chiang Mai convention center to open December 2007

To host Asean Tourism Forum 2008 says TAT


Chiang Mai Meeting Incentive Convention and Exhibition Center should be open in time to host the Asean Tourism Forum 2008, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor, Juthamas Siriwan.

She said the ground breaking ceremony for the B. 1,220 million project, should be held shortly after appointing the contractor in June. It would take 15 months to complete construction. That would give the center just three months to achieve operational status to host the January 2008 Asean Tourism Forum.

According to the TAT, the project is at the blueprint stage where final adjustments can be made to the design before construction is approved. The center should be opened to mark HM the King’s Birthday, 5 December 2007

According to Ms Juthamas, once the center is completed the project will be handed over to the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau to take the lead role to boost business. However, it is also possible that a professional and independent management team might be appointed.

TAT stated it is expected that the new venue will be able to host the ATF 2008 which would attract 2,000 delegates from Asean countries. TAT has not sought the opinion of the private sector and there could be a strong lobby to propose Pattaya, which has a bigger room inventory and is just 70 km from the new Suvarnabhumi Airport due to open later this year.

Pattaya is host to the Pata Annual Conference this April and has hosted various trade events of a similar size and nature to the ATF.

However, there will be pressure on TAT to push conventions and exhibition to the government owned convention hall in Chiang Mai in preference to the private sector owned centers in Bangkok and Pattaya.

THAI to offer spa, massage services to passengers


Jet-lagged passengers can now find relief as Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) has come up with an innovative idea—offering spa and massage services to its passengers at Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport and aboard its planes, the head of THAI announced Saturday.

Somchainuk Engtrakul, Acting President of the national carrier, said THAI would offer spa services to its passengers on the ground at the airport, while they await transit flights to other countries.

In addition, massage services will be given to airborne passengers, while traveling aboard its planes so that they would feel more comfortable.

Services to refresh jet-lagged travelers are expected to perk-up the low profits registered during the recent spate of rising fuel costs, depressing profitability.

The spa service is expected to be launched soon. He said he expected the service would also help publicize Thai spa and herb products.

Touching on THAI’s service in 2006, he said the airline had planned to increase flight frequencies on routes which are popular among passengers.

For instance, flight frequencies from Bangkok to New York would be increased to five from four times a week, while Bangkok to Los Angeles flights would rise to four from three per week, he said.

Flight routes which are not making money—such as Bangkok to New Zealand— will have their service frequencies reduced.

He said he believed that rising oil prices on the world market would not affect THAI’s earnings because the increases would be temporary and THAI would have more active services after the new Suvarnabhumi Airport is opened for service, which, he said, would boost profits.