Vol. V No. 12 - Saturday March 18, - March 24, 2006
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TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

New Executive Chef at D2hotel Chiang Mai

Travel agents taken to visit a new tourism route between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son

Imperial Hotels push MICE north

Philippines acts to reassure fleeing tourists

Thailand’s political turmoil may hit tourism

New Executive Chef at D2hotel Chiang Mai

Danaya Sarikbutr

Mike Drews

Mike Drews, a German national, has been appointed Executive Chef of the newly-opened D2hotel Chiang Mai. Mike has 14 years experience in various famous hotels and restaurants in Germany and Switzerland; he also travelled to many countries in Europe, South America and Asia to learn about different cultures and cuisine.

In 2002, he continued his ambitious search for challenge in South East Asia where he discovered delightful tastes, and the friendliness of people. He has been working in 5 star properties in Pattaya and Phuket. Prior to his new appointment, he was the Executive Chef and F and B manager at La Residence Hotel and Spa in Hue, Vietnam.

D2hotels + resorts is a new brand extension of Dusit Hotels and Resorts. D2hotels blends the tradition with the contemporary in a modern setup, uniting the standards that are international with hospitality that is distinctly Thai. D2hotel Chiang Mai, a member of Small Luxury Hotels, is the first urban lifestyle hotel located in the heart of bustling downtown, across from the famed Night Bazaar, as well as many other tourist attractions.


Travel agents taken to visit a new tourism route between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son

Saksit Meesubkwang

Wisit Buachum, head officer of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mae Hong Son Branch disclosed that more tourists had visited Mae Hong Son Province since November, 2005. There were 333,000 visitors, an increase of 5 percent compared with the previous year. This year TAT, Mae Hong Son Branch has cooperated with the travel agents of Mae Hong Son and invited 40 interior travel agents from different parts of Thailand to personally experience the Chiang Mai-Pai-Mae Hong Son via Mae Sariang-Chiang Mai circular tourism route. It was believed that by showing the travel agents this beautiful scenic route they would be more inclined towards promoting Mae Hong Son to people wishing to take touring holidays in the area.

He added that the 40 travel agents discussed the many tourist facilities to be found in the North with their counter-parts from Mae Hong Son. It would prove beneficial for tour companies, car rental shops, resorts, hotels and guest-houses, restaurants and souvenir shops.


Imperial Hotels push MICE north

Deals attract business travelers to six of the group’s hotels

eTTR

The Imperial Hotels Group Northern Thailand is offering special promotions for business events, valid until 31 October, to encourage meetings and seminars in the north. For every 20 paid rooms, Imperial will award one complimentary room and one room upgrade for the organizer during the event period.

The promotion covers six Imperial hotels in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son and Petchaboon provinces.

The Imperial Mae Ping Hotel offers complimentary meeting facilities for groups spending a minimum of B. 150,000 on their master account. Benefits include one-day use of an LCD projector, a 10 minute head-and-shoulder massage, 10 percent discount at Imperial Spas and the organizer’s choice of a one-night accommodation voucher or a meal voucher valued at B. 2,000.

The Imperial Chiang Mai Resort Spa and Sports Club offers complimentary meeting facilities for groups spending a minimum of B. 80,000 on their master account. Benefits include complimentary morning coffee or tea on the first day and the organizer’s choice of a free night’s accommodation, a B. 1,000 meal voucher or a one year sports club membership worth B. 1,000.

Eurasia Chiang Mai Hotel offers complimentary meeting facilities for groups spending a minimum of B. 80,000 on their master account. Benefits include complimentary morning coffee or tea on the first day and the organizer’s choice of one night’s accommodation or a meal voucher worth B. 1,000.

The Imperial Golden Triangle Resort offers complimentary meeting facilities for groups spending a minimum of B. 100,000 on their master account. Benefits include complimentary morning coffee or tea on the first day and the organizer’s choice of one night’s accommodation or a B. 1,000 meal voucher.

The Imperial Tara Mae Hong Son Hotel offers complimentary meeting facilities for groups spending a minimum of B. 100,000 on their master account. Benefits include roundtrip airport transfers, complimentary morning coffee or tea on the first day and the organizer’s choice of one night’s accommodation or a B. 1,000 meal voucher.

The Imperial Phukaew Hill Resort Petchaboon offers complimentary meeting facilities for groups spending a minimum of B. 100,000 on their master account. Benefits include roundtrip airport transfers, complimentary morning coffee, or tea on the first day and one night’s accommodation for the organizer.


Philippines acts to reassure fleeing tourists

eTN

Manila, Philippines (eTN) -The Philippines has posted two travel advisories on its government website to reassure fleeing tourists following a coup plot and declaration of state of emergency in the country.

The country’s travel and tourism industry expressed concern the situation has created a negative perception among potential tourists, concerned over their safety while in the country.

“Our tourism industry is good. In 2005 tourist arrivals reached 2.6 million visitors,” said Edwin Trompeta, regional director of the department of tourism. “The state of emergency has not affected the arrival of tourists.”

This follows confirmation of temporary cancellation of bookings, resulting in almost 15 percent decline in the number of arrivals. Industry sources say it is the biggest fall “in decades.”

“The country remains safe and secure and primary tourist destinations in the country are undisturbed. Law enforcement agencies continue to monitor all activities within the tourist destinations to ensure safety of all tourists,” said a department of tourist advisory.

This followed an earlier travel advisory informing travelers the Philippines is still safe.

The department added, there has been no report of major cancellations of groups traveling to the Philippines.

The Philippines is on a tourism sales blitz in its bid to woo more tourists from China, Russia and India, in addition to the present numbers from the US, Japan and South Korea.

Guangzhou (in China) issued the most number of visas for tourists to the Philippines. The Philippines has targeted 160,000 tourist arrivals from China for this year.

“We remain on target to hit 3 million visitors for 2006 though the coup plot scared away tourists,” said Ignacio Bunyea, presidential spokesman.


Thailand’s political turmoil may hit tourism

eTN Asia

As the voice for the immediate resignation of Thailand’s Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra gets stronger, the South East Asian nation could declare a state of emergency if violence breaks out during protests.

As per the warning from a senior security official, at the National Intelligence Agency, “If they destroy state property or burn government buildings, we will announce a state of emergency, beginning by imposing a curfew. If the situation grows too severe for government officials to control it, the authorities will be authorized to arrest protest leaders.”

The army and police are both on high-level alert since pro-Thaksin groups from northeastern Thailand will arrive in Bangkok early Tuesday and also make a rally outside the Government House.

At least 15,000 anti-Thaksin demonstrators gathered at Bangkok’s Sanam Luang (Royal Square) late Monday to call for the immediate resignation. According to published reports, the demonstrators gathered at Sanam Luang since Monday afternoon, with many of them vowing to stay at the square through the night and then march to the Government House to demand the prime minister to step down.

About 8,000 policemen have been deployed around the square and other sensitive sites, such as the Government House and the Victory Monument, which are seen as the political center of Thailand.

Sondhi Limthongkul, a key leader of the current protest movement, told his supporters that his speech was a message for Thaksin to resign.



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