Vol. V No. 22 - Saturday May 27, - June 2, 2006
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TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

King’s Cup Elephant Polo heads to Chiang Rai

Mekong Seminar at Siem Riep

THAI introduces “THAI Value Plus Card” for affordable travel across South East Asia

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai makes it to the Conde Nast hot list 2006

SGA to fly Chiang Mai-Pai route next year

TAT sells tickets for HM boat parade

King’s Cup Elephant Polo heads to Chiang Rai

Elephants in the North are already good football players - now they will put Polo on their tasks of achievement. (File photo Chiangmai Mail)

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After five years, the annual elephant polo tourney leaves Hua Hin for the Golden Triangle. The King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament organizer, Anantara Resorts, has announced this year’s competition will take place at Chiang Saen in the Golden Triangle from 4-10 September.
The event will be held on the grounds of Chiang Saen Secondary School, located some 60 km north of Chiang Rai International Airport.
For the past five years, Hua Hin has hosted this annual tournament, where it went from a two-day event with six teams to a week-long competition featuring 16 teams with 55 players from 15 countries. It is understood that Hua Hin hotels are doing so well they can no longer accommodate an event in September. The Tourism Authority of Thailand supports the event while spectators are admitted free of charge. Further information tel: 0 2476 0022 ext 1707.


Mekong Seminar at Siem Riep

Chiangmai Mail Reporter
The Social Research Institute (SRI) of Chiang Mai University invited experts, researchers, Cambodian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai international tourism organizations to exchange their views and to develop strategies for Mekong regional tourism in the international seminar “Mekong Tourism: Learning Across Borders II.”
SRI of CMU will hold an international seminar called “Mekong Tourism: Learning Across Borders II” on June 1-3 at Siem Reap, Cambodia to propose a project to develop information and knowledge concerning the Mekong regional tourism and to exchange knowledge and experience about tourism between participants. The participants are experts, academics, researchers and advisors in the tourism industry, international organizations, those who involved with tourism policy planning, directors of international tourism, students in tourism from Mekong regional countries; such as Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thai. This seminar is supported by National Research Council of Thailand and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The seminar is believed will bring benefits for Mekong regional tourism development because the tourism industry is the leading industry in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS). It not only produces employment but it also generates more income for the nation. Nowadays, tourism is not only a matter of visiting tourist attractions or relaxing on vacation, but health and medication tourism are also growing in importance.
This is an attempt to coordinate the approach to tourism by the participating countries and to avoid the negative results of some approaches. Casino tourism is being promoted in some countries and its pros and cons to neighboring countries will be discussed—although no change of policy is expected in those countries who are receiving unequal benefits from this aspect of tourism.


China set to become world’s second biggest tourist nation

Chiangmai Mail Reporter
Thai Airway International Public Company Limited today geared up on the next step of its value card, after the successful launching of THAI Value Card, a prepaid travel card flying THAI domestically. The company announced the introduction of THAI Value Plus, a prepaid international travel card across South East Asia, and aimed to boost regional tourism during low season and increase 400 million baht on its revenue.
Mr. Wallo Bhukkanasut, Vice President for Sales and Distribution, said that in response to the great success of Thai Value Card that offers special promotional fares and convenience to passenger, introduced early this year. With just one card, passengers are able to travel throughout Thailand on THAI domestic flights. Today, the new innovative “THAI Value Plus Card” would add choice for passengers as well as cost savings and more value than ever before. The card also aimed to encourage travelers throughout South East Asia during low season.
The “THAI Value Plus Card” is suitable for those who frequently travel around this region, such as business people, Expat, mini group travelers to enjoy the beauty and magnificence of 7 cities in 5 countries throughout South East Asia. Destinations include Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.
The “THAI Value Plus Card” will be available in packs of 5 cards with 5 card designs of symbolic destinations. Available to the public with a total of 10,000 cards of economy class as well as 5,000 cards for business traveling. The “THAI Value Plus Card” will be sold for the first time at the THAI Value Plus Fair at 1
st floor, Siam Discovery during 18-24 May, 2006. In addition, 1,000 baht savings for economy class, 2,000 baht savings for business traveling and many privileges will be offered at the fair. After the fair ends, passenger will be able to purchase the “THAI Value Plus Card” at any THAI office and travel agent nationwide until September 30, 2006.
“THAI Value Plus Card” makes convenient travel possible with only one card used throughout South East Asia region and a convenience travel asset with THAI. For more information, call Tel. 02-628-2000 or 02-356-1111.


Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai makes it to the Conde Nast hot list 2006

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai has been selected by the Editors of Cond้ Nast Traveller UK for inclusion in their Hot List 2006, which is published in the Magazine’s May issue.
A definitive guide to the hottest, hippest new resorts, spas and restaurants, the Hot List is recognised within the international hospitality industry as a benchmark for innovative properties that are setting new trends around the globe.
“We are thrilled by this listing,” says General Manager of the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Mark Bradford. “It’s an indication that our discerning and well traveled guests really appreciate the charm and unique character of this property in Northern Thailand. Cond้ Nast UK Hot List 2006 provides us with the right foundation to build our reputation in the years ahead, to truly become one of the top destination resorts in Asia.”
Spread over 60 acres of verdant grounds in the cultural heart of Northern Thailand, Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai offers discerning travellers some of the world’s most spacious and luxurious accommodation. Showcasing the beauty of Lanna art and architecture, the resort features spectacular examples of local craftsmanship, design and an extensive collection of museum-quality antiques at every turn. Inspired by the age-old cultures of the region, the name ‘Dhara Dhevi’ is Sanskrit for ‘Star Goddess’, hinting at the ethereal and otherworldly charm of this uniquely enchanting property.


SGA to fly Chiang Mai-Pai route next year

Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Siam Generation Aviation (SGA) will commence a new service on January 1, 2007, using a 14-seat airplane making two flights a day between Chiang Mai and Pai.
Ticket cost is expected to be 1,450 baht with a flying time of 30 minutes. In response to tourism to Pai district growing, the company considers it will be economically sound to offer this service, while wishing to support the province’s tourism.
Siam Generation Aviation is also interested in opening another air route from Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang, using another 14 seat aircraft.


TAT sells tickets for HM boat parade

Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Thanya Nikrothanont, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Northern Region 2 said that the TAT is responsible for the seating arrangements for watching the Royal boat parade. For those tourists and people who would like to observe this spectacle, TAT would like to announce the location of the spectating places.
1. On the Riverside Boat 3 parked in front of Royal Thai Navy Convention Hall (to watch boat parade and shows)
2. On the stand beside the river at Bank of Thailand (to watch boat parade) to watch the actual show on June 12, 2006 and the dress rehearsals on June 2, 6, and 9, 2006.
This occasion will have all 52 royal boats in the royal flotilla out on the water. There will be new poems to celebrate the occasion of 60 year of ascension to the throne of HM the King. This colorful show will be held in the evening in front of the Royal Thai Navy Institute.
For those spectators watching the parade on the Riverside Boat 3, there will be a light and sound show (only on the dress rehearsal day) on June 2, 6, and 9, 2006. The cost of the ticket will be 3,000 baht and there are only 2,000 seats available, so early booking is advised. There will also be a buffet served for this occasion, but no alcohol. Unfortunately there will be no parking areas provided for the audience, so those who buy the tickets will have to come by public transport. Spectators can get on board at Niwetworadit Port (beside the Royal Thai Navy Club) between 5-6 p.m.
The onlookers watching the parade on the stand beside the river at the Bank of Thailand will be able to witness the royal boat parade (no light and sound show) on June 2, 6, and 9, 2006. The cost of this ticket will be 1,000 baht with a capacity of 4,000 seats. Included in the ticket price there will be a snack box. There is no parking area provided for spectators at this location either.
Part of the revenue from this royal spectacle will be donated to the fund for the reparation of the Royal Thai Navy Academy (RTNA) on the occasion of the 100 year anniversary of the RTNA. For more information or seat reservation, contact TAT Shop, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Tel. 0-2652-8313-5 or 0-2250-5500 Ext. 2115-7, website http;/ www.navy.mi.th/sctr/royal_barge_60/index.php.



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